FunPlus Phoenix has officially qualified for Worlds 2021 as the LPL’s 1st or 2nd seed as of August 27th, 2021. With their superb performance during both Spring and Summer split, the team has quickly climbed as the undisputed favorites to win Worlds. But if we know anything about favorites, we know that there’s a high chance that they will fall the moment they make it to the world stage. Will FPX join its predecessors in failing at the international scene or will they claim their 2nd Worlds trophy instead?
FunPlus Phoenix’s Summer Run
Despite falling short in the Spring Playoff Finals against RNG, FPX didn’t lose their mojo and carried their consistency onto the Summer Season as they steamrolled through the competition to secure 1st in the regular season. The team has been the best team in the LPL since Week 1 and once they beat EDG, who was the only one that contested their claim, FunPlus Phoenix officially claimed the title and proved themselves against even the strongest challengers.
During the LPL Summer Split, Doinb and Tian secured themselves not only as the best players in their respective roles but also as the most dominant Mid-Jungle duo in the entire world. With the addition of Nuguri as the team’s stabilizer and teamfight savior, FPX has created a playstyle that’s hyper-aggressive without getting punished heavily by the opponent. They went into the Summer Playoffs as the most feared team in the bracket that everyone wanted to avoid at all costs.
Supercarry Doinb’s Fantastic Split
Everyone knew that Doinb was a genius at the game but it was his Lee Sin pentakill that really secured his position at the top. Out of all the players in the LPL’s 17 team region, Doinb is the player that has acquired the most MVPs and he has done so as the primary offensive force in his team. Even though Tian also played aggressively and Nuguri provided some high-quality engages and flanks, it was still Doinb who has kept being recognized for his contribution to the unique FPX playstyle.
We can safely say that FunPlus Phoenix would totally lose its identity without Doinb in the mid lane. We thought that this man has peaked out at Worlds 2019 when they one their first international title but it turns out he hasn’t even reached the highest point of his capabilities. He has evolved from playing utility, roam-heavy champions to using those that have incredible 1v5 potential and executing them perfectly against impossible odds.
Tian’s Amazing Recovery
In the middle of Spring 2021, FPX Tian announced that he will be taking a mental health break as he was feeling the pressure from playing on-stage. He was gone for a few games and everybody thought that he might not come back until the next split, and even if he did, he wouldn’t perform the same way as he did. However, his break made him stronger than before, and looked like he found a newfound perspective on playing in the game. (A good reminder that mental health is important)
In the summer split, Tian seems like he was tired of Doinb racking up the MVP awards and started playing carry jungles. Their friend rivalry between each other has caused them to create a synergy that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Alongside Doinb, Tian is the man carrying the team with aggressive picks like Viego and Diana that are able to create openings for the team while assassinating enemies that are caught out of position as primary engage champions.
Nuguri: The Secret Formula To FPX’s Success
Nuguri has proven himself as the world’s best top laner in 2020 when he won the championship at Worlds that year. Now that he has joined FunPlus Phoenix, he has proven that he wasn’t getting carried in Damwon when the team became extremely shaky without him. Meanwhile, an inconsistent FPX suddenly became the best team in the league when he was added to the roster as he provided the team with much-needed stability in teamfighting and skirmishing.
Even though Xiaohu is still hailed as the best top laner in the world today, Nuguri is definitely a contender for the title. After all, being able to carry the team through teamfighting utility is also as important as being able to gain a lot of kills in a fight. Nuguri is set to meet his old teammates in Damwon Kia once they arrive at Europe for the World Championships and prove once and for all who needed who to secure themselves a title.
FPX Expectations at Worlds 2021
Everyone has already considered FunPlus Phoenix as the tournament favorites, even Korean power rankings are putting FPX at the top. You know that a team is really strong when even other regions have no choice but to be unbiased towards them in their power rankings. However, just because people place this team at the top of the rankings doesn’t mean that they’ll stay there especially since the meta might shift heavily against them in the Worlds 2021 patch.
Regardless of the meta, we’re sure that FunPlus Phoenix will continue their hyper-aggressive style at Worlds and show everyone the true LPL style that accelerates the game by getting a ton of kills throughout the game. FPX has never been the patient kind of team so even if they play against a conservative team, they’ll force them to engage in skirmishes unless they want to get left behind by the pace that the team is trying to dictate for themselves.
Is FPX the strongest team at Worlds 2021?
FPX definitely has the most talented roster at Worlds 2021 with an all-around composition that can play aggressively and systematically in a teamfight. Other teams will need to find ways to keep up with these players if they want to even stand on the rift with them otherwise they’ll get mowed over by their unique playstyle.