For the first time in the history of the League of Legends World Championship, a European team is favored to win the title. G2 Esports have been phenomenal this year. They are looking to become the first team ever to win the Grand Slam, claiming both domestic split titles, the Mid-Season Invitational crown, and the Summoner’s Cup. G2 have been the best team in Europe by a substantial margin this year, but FunPlus Phoenix have been the best team in China. We’ll see whether China or Europe reign supreme on Sunday.
2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals Betting Odds
G2 Esports -125
FunPlus Phoenix -105
How They Got Here
Neither G2 nor FunPlus were particularly great in the Group Stage. G2 finished second to Griffin in Group A, while FunPlus needed to win a tiebreaker to finish first over Splyce in Group B. However, both these teams pulled together and played great in the knockout rounds.
FunPlus had little trouble getting past Fnatic in the Quarterfinals, but they were pushed by their toughest domestic rival in Invictus Gaming in the Semifinals. These two LPL rivals played a thrilling four-game series, but FunPlus used their superior team fighting skills to beat Invictus 3-1. Jungler Tian was the MVP due to his fantastic performance on power picks like Qiyana and Gragas, and he has done a whopping 19.9 percent of FPX’s damage at Worlds.
G2 faced a much tougher draw in order to make the finals. Due to finishing in second place, they were pitted against DAMWON Gaming in the Quarterfinals, and they had to overcome some strong laners to win. They had a rematch from the MSI Semifinals against SK Telecom T1, but they defeated SKT despite being moderate underdogs per the League of Legends betting odds.
There is no such thing as home field advantage in Esports, but most of the fans in Paris will be cheering on G2. This team is the best chance Europe has had to win Worlds, and with good reason. They boast the five best players at their positions on the continent, and their flexibility leads to incredible advantages in the draft.
G2 love to draft flex picks that they can potentially use in multiple roles. That keeps the other team guessing as to where they will go, and the key to that is the play of Perkz and Wunder. Perkz’ move from the mid lane to the bottom lane at the start of the year was an inspired decision, giving G2 the opportunity to play marksmen or mages in the bottom lane, and he has performed very well on traditional AD Carries. Wunder has done an excellent job in the top lane too, pioneering picks like Pyke to throw teams off guard.
FPX are more standard in their drafts, but mid laner Doinb is a major wildcard. He has been the first to debut a few different champions in the mid lane this year, and his ability to play dozens of champions has led to some very creative drafts from the LPL Summer Split champions. Doinb’s Nautilus was excellent against Invictus and taking Rumble into the mid lane with Predator was an inspired decision too.
The bottom lane is a concern for FPX though as Lwx only plays traditional champions, and both he and Crisp get caught out far too often. G2 can punish them for overstepping.
I originally wanted to take FPX, but the more I studied the VODs, the more I like G2. G2 can match FPX’s teamfighting prowess, and they are much better in the laning phase. They don’t surrender leads once they are ahead, and I believe they will become Europe’s first true World Champion this weekend.
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