LPL Caster Hysterics here, wanted to share the recent history as well as some really simple to remember facts that will make the awesome Semi Final coming up even better for you!
Context – During the 2019 season, Invictus Gaming only faced off against FPX in two BO3's.
In both Spring & Summer Playoffs the teams were on separate sides of the bracket, meaning they have NEVER met in a BO5 in 2019.FPX and IG met in the middle of the respective split each time, with both BO3's going to all 3 games. FPX won it in Spring, IG in Summer, meaning the current score is 1-1.
The first thing you take away from both split's series is how damn bloody each game was:
Spring Series: 84 kills in 82 mins total game time
Summer Series: 98 kills in 88 mins total game time
Starting with Spring (FPX 2-1 win):
-LWX and Crisp were given Kaisa + Alistair all 3 games which fit so well into the 4v2 bot lane dive style FPX have come to be known by. As well as the fact that these were the best champions for the bottom lane
-Lwx's Kaisa especially who ended Spring with a 7 KDA average and 80%~ WR after 14 games on it.-Jackeylove & Baolan were as usual put on the weakside of the map with Ezreal Tahm/Galio in the first two games – they were pretty outmatched in the 2v2.
-Ning and Tian were anticipating each other, with Ning constantly moving to gank for TheShy & Tian always behind Gimgoon to shadow for the countergank.
-TheShy was playing carries into GimGoons Sion/GP – it was always about playing a strong lane into FPX's weak side of the map. The Darius pick in G2 fell flat and they subbed Duke in for G3 which was less of a rarity back in Spring.
This was one of the biggest stepping stones for FPX to show that they were a top team in Spring, my favourite moment of the year came at the end of this series when Doinb was "on top of the world" – https://youtu.be/n5qY4UlUhU0?t=372
Summer (IG 2-1 win):
-Lwx and Crisp once again sat on the same picks for the entire series with Caitlyn & Lux – this was a duo pick that only they were playing in the LPL. FPX had gotten to this point where winning the bottom lane meant winning the game 9.5/10 times. However, in this series they were matched by Jackeylove and Baolan with Varus & Tahm + Rookie on Talliyah/Corki.
-The bottom lane was essentially hit first by Ning & IG in their winning games. Rookies roamingn mid laners matched the early aggression usually shown by FPX and shut down the potential early snowball.
-TheShy pulled out a sick carry on his signature Vladimir in Game 3 and blew teamfights out of the water.
This was the first meaningful game in which all of the World Champion IG roster were back together (remember Rookie had to go back to Korea for family, Baolan was also out for a bit). FPX faced them when they were arguably at one of their weakest moments and were defeated.
-The Jungle matchup has dictated this series in the past, and with Ning back on the roster fighting strong it's all eyes on Tian to drag Doinb back into the bottom lane FIRST.
-TheShy is head to toe a better mechanical player than Gimgoon (not saying Gimgoon is bad) and will naturally win the top lane like before.
-Both bottom lanes have had spots of brilliance throughout the year and in each series. What will make the game/series is who affects it first. FPX's style of 4v2 diving bottom lane remains true while Ning & Rookie have been heavily attentive to the bottom lane in the FPX BO3 in Summer.
Pick & Ban notes:
Top lane – Gimgoon will opt into GP to set up bottom lane, safest and most loved weakside champion. TheShy has an insanely wide pool but the Vladimir, Akali & Gnar sit high in this matchup. I don't see the top lane pool being shared in this series.
Jungle – These two have shared very similar pools for the entire year – Olaf, Reksai, Gragas, Elise & Jarvan to name a few. Ning has his Kayn and Vi pocket picks which I hardley expect in this series, where I wouldn't expect Tian to go anywhere outside of normality.
Mid – Rookies Qiyana is 150% his best pick and all he has played from Summer onwards. Don't forget this guys Leblanc and Syndra are one of the best in the league as well. For Doinb – he has ditched his Nautlius mid and continues to set the standard with righteous glory Ryze. It's a shame that Pantheon is permanently bannned with Doinb around.
ADC – Kaisa is the best champion of both Lwx & Jackeylove, it will be 100% P/B this series with Xayah most likely alongside it. Remember that Jackeylove also has his pocketpick Draven which shattered JDG in the Spring Finals. Lwx also has the Caitlyn + Lucian he has been pulling out occasionally.
Support – Nautilus priority in this series will be the same as Kaisa, one of the most played for both of these supports. Alistair & Tahm are also high on the list of shared between these two.
Doinb finally gets a chance to prove that hes world champion material with the rest of FPX. IG get a chance to defend their title. We get two stylistically different LPL teams who are both worthy of being 2019 Finalists and challenging for that trophy. I'm so damn excited to see Rookie vs Doinb once again, to watch TheShy try and obliterate Gimgoon, to see if Ning spends 2 minutes in a brush waiting for the right gank or if Tian is there first – there is so damn much in this matchup to look forward to and I can only hope this serves as a start and leads to a bigger discussion to hype this up further. Although I've predicted IG to win this series, (and Worlds itself) I will be pleased either way!
Let me know your thoughts below and if there is anything you feel like I could add!
TL;DR – Both teams only faced each other in regular season, never playoffs. The score is 1-1 and the teams have never versed in a BO5 with their current rosters. It's Bot lane controlled chaos vs The Lane Kingdom/Lane Kings.FPX ramped up in the year and are right where they should be whereas IG have been super inconsistent and still concern every damn fan there is.
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