This article contains spoilers for the Worlds 2019 semifinals, IG vs FPX. If you love watching action-packed games where anyone could win at any moment, you should watch this series on LoL Esports.
The League of Legends 2019 World Championship Semifinals started out on November 2. Invictus Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix are well known for having high kill rates in games, especially when facing each other. This series was no different.
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There were bans on both Kai’Sa and Xayah, so we had some more off-meta picks in this game. FPX was on the blue side with Renekton, Qiyana, Rumble, Ezreal, and Nautilus. On the red side was IG with Quinn, Gragas, Syndra, Varus, and Alistar.
The game started off very tense. FPX split the map, taking bot side. A few small scuffles later, IG took first blood when Tian on Qiyana tried to invade for triple buff greed. Normally, after splitting the map, a jungle takes the buff in the enemy jungle and then the buff in their own jungle on the same side of the map (top or bot side). Instead of moving on to his own buff on the bot side after splitting the map, Tian went back to fight for his top side buff and unfortunately died to the Gragas burst instead.
IG continued to outmaneuver FPX in plays and came out ahead in kills, but the gold difference stayed close thanks to FPX’s ability to sneak in a few trades. The game started heating up in a fight for the Rift Scuttler when a well placed Rumble ultimate shredded through IG.
After that, IG once again put themselves in a small corridor and was ripped apart by Rumble. FPX pulled out amazing sieges and killed anyone in their path. IG had poor positioning and didn’t respect walls and corridors. FPX won the game.
IG was on the blue side this time with Vladimir, Gragas, Lucian, Varus, and Tahm Kench. Why did they pick Lucian mid? Because FPX decided to break the meta with Nautilus in the mid lane. On the red side, FPX had a mean to hook and pick with Mordekaiser, Lee Sin, Nautilus, Kai’Sa, and Blitzcrank.
FPX once again split the map, favoring the bot side and taking IG’s red buff. Tian, just like in the first game, moved to his red buff to challenge Gragas. This time, the play was successful and Lee Sin shut Gragas out of the early game. Knowing Gragas had nowhere to go except gank, FPX moved to counter with both a gank by their own jungle and a roam by the support. This further removed IG’s jungle from the game, and they found themselves a pressure advantage. They continue to push this, taking advantage of their team composition and getting picks through pressure and vision control.
No Guaranteed Winner
FPX was gaining a lead, but it turned into a double-edged sword when Nautilus was too aggressive and got caught out. IG immediately capitalized on the mistake, taking a turret and Mountain Drake. FPX got back on their feet and continued to pick off the members of IG with hooks. This didn’t last long though; IG finally forced a full team fight at Baron and won. They almost won the game too, taking FPX’s base all the way down to 1 Nexus turret. FPX refused to give up. They managed to stop the next Baron and a whole lot a messy fights around Baron continued back and forth until FPX finally took it.
FPX went after Elder Dragon. Gragas stole the Dragon, but IG lost the fight. FPX almost won the game through bot lane, but Rookie on Lucian threatened FPX’s base in the mid lane. Multiple members of FPX were forced to back because of how well Rookie played the fights and he kept IG in the game.
It was late game and FPX was spread out while looking get more picks on IG, but IG caught on quickly when they spotted Blitzcrank in the river. They took advantage of FPX’s split team and forced a fight. FPX’s Kai’Sa tried to pull the same stunt as Rookie but failed. IG won the game.
The sides were swapped again, and FPX felt comfortable enough to pick a similar comp. They were on the blue side with Gangplank, Qiyana, Nautilus, Xayah, and Thresh. IG was on the red wide with Lucian, Gragas, Jayce, Ezreal, and Alistar.
The game started off very peaceful compared to the previous games. Neither team split the map. Ganks were focused on the top side while IG sought to shut Gangplank out of the game. They didn’t push the denial all the way with a dive to keep Ganpplank from taking a huge wave that pushed under turret after Lucian kept the wave frozen for awhile.
FPX moved to swap the lanes to help their Gangplank and go after the Rift Herald. A fight broke out over it, IG won in kills 4 to 3 and FPX got the Herald. Fighting continued at the Infernal Drake, this time the teams went even in kills and FPX got the drake.
IG went around the map and took turrets but when they tried to get a pick, FPX swung the fight in their favor. A fight over the Ocean Drake brought IG back to game 1, as they were once again caught in a corridor against Qiyana. FPX won the fight and the drake.
Around 21 minutes into the game, both teams were looking around Baron. IG tried to get a catch on the Thresh, but he flashed out with a sliver of health. Everything burned on trying to get Thresh was wasted and FPX engaged a fight, won, and took Baron. FPX sieged IG, getting picks along the way to take the single Baron to an early win.
The series was 2-1 in favor of FPX. IG was pressed against a wall and desperate to win. They pulled out a full engage team fight comp on the blue side with Kayle, Olaf, Galio, Kai’Sa, and Rakan. FPX was on the red side and took Gangplank, Gragas, Nautilus, Varus, and Tahm Tench.
The game started out great for FPX when IG attempted to invade the top side to split the map for Kayle. FPX was prepared and had everyone except Varus there. After the failed invade, IG only had 3 members, with a dead jungler. Gangplank took revenge for being pushed out last game and got a solo kill on the Kayle. FPX continued to pressure Kayle as much as they could while IG’s Kai’Sa got some alone time with the bot turret.
Amazing Team Fight Potential
IG had some messy plays and FPX found a lead. It didn’t last though, they played too aggressive and IG picked up 2 kills. The teams were evenly matched, but there was a Kayle and even in mid-game, Kayle wins. A beautiful team fight by IG with Rakan and Galio engage displayed their comp’s and Kayle’s potential.
Instead of Baron, IG took the mid turret. FPX was given enough time to challenge IG at Baron again but lost, and IG finally got the Baron. IG went to siege FPX, but what looked like a misclick by Kayle cost them the fight. The Kayle ultimate went on Rakan, who was leaving the fight right after his initial engage.
IG continued to misplay and get caught out. Although Kayle hit level 16, they were unable to position correctly and FPX jumped on every mistake. They burst Kayle down so fast after catching her on the front line, that she didn’t get to use her ultimate. That mistake allowed FPX to win the fight and take down IG’s Nexus for the series victory.
IG failed to play as a team. FPX took advantage of this with champions that focused on getting picks. When IG tried to match FPX in team fights, they couldn’t pull it off, even with an incredibly straight forward dive comp. FPX displayed flexible players and tight teamwork, although they sometimes got too aggressive.
The semifinals continue with SKT vs G2 on November 3. FPX will play against the winner in the finals and True Damage will premier in the opening ceremony on November 10. Look out for more highlights, Esports coverage, and other gaming news on Gamezo.