FunPlus Phoenix v Fnatic – World Championship 2019 Betting Preview and Prediction
The LPL champions FunPlus Phoenix will lock horns with the crowd’s favourites Fnatic at Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid, Spain in the second quarter-final fixture of the tournament, which will reveal which of the two sides will earn their spot in the semi-finals, set to take place on Saturday, November 2.
FunPlus Phoenix leave a lot to be desired
FunPlus Phoenix entered the 2019 World Championship as one of the main favourites to claim the title, however, they have not yet inspired trust, seeing how they failed to display their true potential this far. Looking back at the 2018/19 season, it’s easy to see why FPX arrived at the tournament marked as one of the strongest teams in the world. The Chinese outfit decimated everyone in their summer LPL split campaign, where FPX finished the regular season with a 14-1 record and lost only two maps on their way to the summer split title. While showing immense talent and skill on home soil, FPX failed to do the same in the group stage in Worlds.
Fun Plus got seeded in what was arguably the weakest group out of all four (Group B), where they got paired with Splyce, J Team and GAM Esports. Many expected to see FPX finishing the group as the first seed with a perfect 6-0 score, however, the reality was that they ended tied with Splyce with 4-2 record. Despite winning the tie-breaker match, FPX left a lot to be desired as they ventured off into the playoffs. The main concern many people had with FPX ahead of the World Championship was their lack of experience on the big stage and it seems like the concerns were justified. And while it’s hard to say what exactly made FPX struggle so far into the tournament, one thing is clear: FunPlus Phoenix did not look as strong as many expected.
Emotional Fnatic looking to make a statement
Fnatic rarely come up as a hot topic of discussion, seeing how they spent most of the 2018/19 season sitting in the shadow of G2, who were the dominant force in LEC. However, that is not all bad, considering it allowed Fnatic to fly under the radar for the whole year, with not many people seeing them as a real threat to make anything happen this World Championship. That being said, the boys in orange made sure we won’t be able to ignore them for much longer with an impressive performance in the group stage, which earned them a spot in the playoffs.
Seeing how Fnatic got seeded into the so-called “group of death” with SKT T1, RNG and Clutch gaming, not many people expected to see them advance, but Fnatic proved all the doubters wrong. They produced a phenomenal 3-0 run on the last day of the group stage, which not only earned them a top-two finish but also gained them a lot of respect from LoL community. Unlike in their first three fixtures, where Fnatic kneeled to SKT and RNG, the European runners-up made the impossible a reality by defeating Clutch Gaming, SKT T1 and RNG to secure the plane ticket to Madrid. What we got to see from Fnatic on that last day was a near-perfect performance, where they showcased how in-sync the team can be, and what results they are capable of producing.
While it would be hard to explain everything Fnatic did right on that day, one of the biggest factors that contributed to their incredible results was that they started to trust Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, who was in the first half of the group stage “forced” to play unconventional ADC picks, none of which were an ADC champions. But once he was “allowed” to pick the champions he is comfortable with… the results speak for themselves.
Verdict & Prediction
FPX are seen as favourites heading into this match, and while we can agree the Chinese champions are the stronger side on the paper, they have not shown us enough on the Rift to make us believe they are really as strong as the odds suggest. The fact that FPX struggled against teams like GAM Esports, J Team and Splyce, while Fnatic was winning against teams like SKT T1 and RNG tells enough about how in-form the two teams are. Fnatic did perform very poorly in their first three fixture of the group stage, but looking at it now, it seems like they only needed some time to get their wheels spinning. FPX on the other side are still seen as a team which has a very high ceiling, but we have our doubts they will reach it before they get eliminated.
Solely from what we have seen so far this tournament, we believe Fnatic are severely underrated. In our eyes, they have the needed quality to stack up against FPX. And while we believe it’s not wise to underestimate teams from LPL, we simply don’t trust FPX to suddenly start performing on the level needed to win against the piping hot Fnatic, who are here to leave a mark and push for their second Worlds title.
Prediction: Fnatic to win
Odds: 2.37 Bet365