Fading cheers for FunPlus Phoenix traveled by the LoL Professional League viewers on July 21 following FPX’s loss to Invictus Gaming because the digital camera made one last pan throughout the gang, catching quite a lot of neon fan indicators. Probably the most prominently featured one expressed confidence that Invictus Gaming would attain the League of Legends World Championship last. It learn: “iG va à Paris” (iG goes to Paris). Two weeks after their win over FPX, iG’s beginning jungler and former world championship last MVP Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning could be benched for Lu “Leyan” Jue, who had simply turned 17.
FunPlus misplaced just one collection in the course of the LPL summer season common season: their July 21 best-of-three towards iG. They misplaced solely 4 video games in whole all through the season. Half of them got here from this collection. Now, they’re going to face off within the League of Legends World Championship semifinals on Saturday.
A cursory look at their draft reveals a pre-rework Pantheon was nonetheless a must-ban towards FunPlus mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang alongside his signature Ryze. Not so coincidentally, each champions enable Doinb to do what he loves greatest: roam and play towards FPX’s aspect lanes. This was the final time that Doinb performed Nautilus within the mid lane this 12 months. Invictus Gaming picked up the favored Varus-Tahm Kench lane that FunPlus has continued to run on the present world championship when Kai’Sa and Xayah have been picked or banned by their opponents. FunPlus made certain to ban iG prime laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok’s Jayce and Kennen.
Come Saturday, the draft would possibly look eerily comparable. These two groups know one another effectively. Invictus Gaming will not give FPX the identical leeway in draft and on Summoner’s Rift as Fnatic did of their latest quarterfinal, however FunPlus have a extra outlined and cohesive playstyle than iG. It isn’t so simple as “teamwork” versus “uncooked expertise,” and the result will rely extremely on drafting and mid/jungle map actions.
Invictus Gaming win circumstances:
Up to now, iG’s run by this world championship has regarded a bit like their run by final 12 months’s world championship. They’ve relied on sturdy mechanical outplays from TheShy, Track “Rookie” Eui-jin and even bot laner Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo. JackeyLove has admittedly had a disappointing event so far — particularly in comparison with his beautiful shows in iG’s regional qualifier run to qualify for worlds — however his teamfighting continues to be sturdy, and the potential for greatness is at all times effervescent below the floor. His performances at worlds are, in some ways, a microcosm for iG as a staff.
Arguably, the present iteration of iG is barely weaker than final 12 months’s on account of Ning’s lack of play time with the staff by the ultimate few matches of summer season and the regional qualifier, however iG’s uncooked energy was nonetheless on show in full drive of their match towards Griffin. A standard line uttered by the LPL devoted, screamed at their computer systems whereas iG are enjoying, is, “They cannot maintain getting away with this!” In some way, iG virtually at all times do, discovering the magical teamfight or skirmish the place TheShy, Rookie or JackeyLove can mow down iG’s opponents en route to a different victory.
But, when iG do not discover that successful mixture, they in the end look silly and misplaced. Invictus Gaming’s laners like to push up far previous the place it is clever to take action and do not at all times think about the place the opposing jungler is on the map. This could give FunPlus’ Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang extra leeway than Ning, whose choices are at all times restricted merely as a result of approach iG wish to draft and play their lanes. Ning usually is discovered within the prime aspect giving benefits to TheShy, which can take some stress off of FunPlus’ bot lane. Will probably be as much as JackeyLove and help Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi to stop FPX help Liu “Crisp” Qing-Track from roaming to group up with Tian and Doinb.
FunPlus Phoenix win circumstances:
FunPlus lack the brute drive of iG and the uncooked talent of iG’s particular person laners. The reality of this matchup is much extra nuanced than the simplistic “FunPlus have higher teamwork and that is how they win this.” Nevertheless, boiled all the way down to its essence, that’s what this collection will possible come all the way down to. A lot of this may be completed by drafting. If Doinb can have a champion that enables him to have an effect on FunPlus’ aspect lanes with out conserving him locked in a one-on-one towards Rookie, the chances of a FunPlus victory improve exponentially. As a lot as Doinb is touted for choosing tanky melee bruisers and taking them mid, these champion picks do not provide as many alternatives as a Ryze, particularly towards Rookie. FunPlus should watch out about Doinb’s champion picks, guaranteeing that he is on a champion that may push his wave and wreak havoc on the remainder of the map, slightly than staying locked in mid towards a considerably stronger laner.
All through the season, Doinb primarily regarded towards the bot aspect for his roams, which in flip opens up Crisp to roam alongside each Doinb and Tian whereas additionally facilitating Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang. Tian will possible spend most of his time prime aspect, both to match Ning or be certain that Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem can maintain TheShy below management — one other tall job for FunPlus as an entire. FunPlus have the stronger jungle/help duo, and alongside Doinb, these three would be the key to a FunPlus Phoenix victory.