What to watch for at the League of Legends World Championship


It’s rare that the League of Legends World Championship has two teams that both represent the year in its entirety.

League is a game fraught with meta shifts — the most infamous ones historically released immediately before the world championship itself — and concentrated metas develop in miniature on the worlds stage. For a recent example: Royal Never Give Up exemplified what League of Legends was last year, yet failed to adapt to the shifting worlds meta and were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2018 by G2 Esports.

This year is different. No two teams sum up what League of Legends has been in 2019 more than FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports.

G2 are on the cusp of claiming an elusive sweep of every major League title in a single year, something that has yet to be achieved by any team in the game’s history. They’ve made it to this point, with a Mid-Season Invitational title and two domestic championships to their name, thanks to their remarkable flexibility.

As the year’s default No. 1 team, G2 have set a standard for teams all over the world to follow.

Although FunPlus haven’t had that same impact, they’ve stubbornly stuck to their specific style of play through two successful regular-season splits. FunPlus dropped only one series during the summer series, and won China’s hotly contested League of Legends Pro League title.

Both of these teams know how to make the most of the talent available on their respective rosters, and this knowledge has brought them to the game’s most prestigious match, which takes place at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday at AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind while watching the series.

G2 must shut down Crisp and Tian

You may have thought that was going to say “shut down Doinb.”

But similar to how FunPlus mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang’s teammates credit him with enabling them on the map, Doinb is aided by the impressive jungle-support duo of Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song. Together, the three can form a roaming squad that wreaks havoc in early laning matchups, leading FunPlus to an early-game victory that they are more than capable of snowballing into a game win.

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