Paris is a city rich in culture and history, its eventful past evident in every corner. On Sunday, November 10 in the AccorHotels Arena, G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix left a permanent mark on the French capital as they took to the stage in a bid to be crowned this year’s World Champions.
The opening ceremony and debut of True Damage was dazzling, yet the action on the Summoner’s Rift was perhaps even more stunning. G2 and FPX made a name for themselves as two of the most unique teams to ever play the game – but only one of those names is now etched onto the Summoner’s Cup. Here’s how it all went down.
FunPlus Phoenix: Gangplank, Lee Sin, Nautilus, Sivir, Thresh (Bans: Syndra, Gragas, Kai’Sa, Rek’Sai, Olaf)
G2 Esports: Ryze, Elise, Pyke, Varus, Tahm Kench (Bans: Pantheon, Qiyana Xayah, Blitzcrank, Braum)
It didn’t take long for the series to explode into action: Both teams went for level one invades, which resulted in an early dive top by FPX’s Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang, from which even Rasmus “Caps” Winther couldn’t save Martin "Wunder" Hansen. Minutes later, Wunder was killed top once again, but that didn’t stop him from pushing his lane and forcing Kim "GimGoon" Han-saem back.
The action was non-stop, and while FPX were coming out on top in the fights, G2’s phenomenal map play was beginning to show. The LPL champions sent four down bot, but they couldn’t outpush Luka “Perkz” Perković and the Rift Herald – as he picked up first turret bonus, as well as a lot of damage on FPX’s inhibitor tower.
FPX were still out for blood however, and Caps’ defensive teleport to save Wunder once again seemed likely to backfire; but he flashed into the very edge of Ryze’s Real Warp at the last possible second.
The game was incredibly back and forth but came to a head at the Infernal Drake as G2 committed all five members to securing the objective. FPX quickly collapsed into the river, but weren’t satisfied with Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle as the only sacrificial lamb. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski tried to body block for Perkz to complete his teleport, but Tian just kicked the two into each other to ensure neither escaped.
With that, FPX secured the Baron despite some interference from Caps and Wunder. It looked like the first game was theirs for the taking, but G2 remained defiant and pushed all five members into their opponent’s previously damaged Inhibitor Turret. An epic team fight played out, and somehow was going in G2’s favour, but FPX turned it around though Wunder’s Real Warp once again spared some of the damage.
G2 were fighting with everything they had, but there are some deficits that even they can’t overcome. Wunder was caught out once again, and that allowed all of FPX to march into the base and secure the first advantage. Game one, FunPlus Phoenix.
G2 Esports: Akali, Elise, Tristana, Yasuo, Gragas (Bans: Renekton, Nautilus, Qiyana, Gangplank, Kayle)
FunPlus Phoenix: Kled, Lee Sin, Ryze, Kai’Sa, Galio (Bans: Pantheon, Syndra, Xayah, Olaf, Rek’Sai)
Game two was a much slower start and not much happened until G2 again committed heavily for the Infernal Drake. They secured the buff but were completely pincered by FPX, who picked up three kills in the process.
Things went from bad to worse for the European team as they lost the Rift Herald and were repeatedly outplayed in fights – and they weren’t even taking much in return, which usually was a strong point of the team.
FPX were in full control of the game and growing increasingly comfortable. G2 couldn’t even get close enough to contest Baron, and had to burn a few flashes in order to get out. It was absolutely disastrous for the LEC champions.
There was a long pause which lasted longer than G2’s hopes of staging a comeback, as they were quickly aced as the game continued. G2 seemed to accept their fate and individually went in for ill-advised fights, accepting that their only route to the Summoner’s Cup would be a reverse sweep.
FunPlus Phoenix: Gangplank, Lee Sin, Galio, Xayah, Thresh (Bans: Syndra, Gragas, Kai’Sa, Olaf, Rek’Sai)
G2 Esports: Ryze, Jarvan, Veigar, Ezreal, Nautilus (Bans: Pantheon, Qiyana, Rakan, Rumble, Akali)
Things were looking bleak for G2 but the spectacular crowd in Paris was still firmly behind them and made sure the players on stage knew that. But with everything on the line, it was clearly hard for G2 to be their usual aggressive selves.
G2 were extremely quiet in the opening of the match, as FPX took the fastest first tower of the entire tournament. The game needed something to ignite the home crowd for G2 and that moment came in the 14th minute as Mikyx caught out Tian to give Jankos first blood. Though, having only taken two tower plates to FPX’s 11, there was still a lot to do for the LEC side.
There were small, perhaps even miniscule, hints that the tides were turning. G2 committed heavily for an Infernal Drake once again and Jankos won the Smite fight before Wunder prevented most casualties. G2 had sprung back to life and for the first time in a while, were controlling the pace of the game.
But FunPlus had nothing to fear with a two-game series and repeatedly dared G2 to fight them in a 50/50 Baron. G2 stopped the first attempt but couldn’t help the second. An expert trap by Tian in G2’s own jungle kicked Caps into the waiting claws of Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang which then allowed FPX to find a few more picks at the cost of nothing.
At the next Baron, Jankos couldn’t even get close to the pit. Perkz and Wunder were the only G2 members alive and though they could find some kills, they couldn’t stop the Nexus exploding.
History repeated itself once again as a Europen team lost 3-0 to Chinese team for the second year running. This is now the LPL’s reign, they are the dominant region and FPX are the 2019 World Champions.