The idea of France calls a lot to mind. Bread and cheese. The Eiffel Tower. Perhaps the Louvre or the Arc de Triomphe.
If you’re at the peak of taste, however, you know that the French are renowned worldwide for being the highest-energy spectators of League of Legends esports events.
Whenever a tournament is hosted in France, thousands of stream-watchers discuss how French fans make up “the best crowd ever,” praising their hype and the “earthquakes” they create, shaking cameras with their applause.
The 2019 League of Legends World Championship will reach its epic conclusion this Sunday in the AccorHotels Arena of Paris, France. As G2 Esports (G2) — the best European team the world has ever seen — makes a bid for the Summoner’s Cup, the stadium is sure to be deafening.
Although none of G2’s starting players are actually French, it hardly matters; Paris will rally behind Europe’s chance to win the international trophy for the first time since 2011.
As the hometown favorite, G2 will have some added support — and pressure — as the team aims to complete the first-ever League of Legends “Grand Slam” by winning the Mid-Season Invitational, both regional splits and the World Championship in the same year.
The opposing finalist is FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), the Chinese first seed making its debut Worlds run. The core of the team is mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang, whose unusual picks, roam-heavy playstyle and adorable dog make him an instant fan-favorite at the tournament. The starpower of China’s champions, however, faces steep competition this weekend.
Sunday, Nov. 10: FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) vs. G2 Esports (G2)
Prediction: G2, 3-1
FPX is notorious for building enormous leads early in the game and snowballing them to victory via Doinb’s unmatched ability to read the map and jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang’s skill in clearing his path. On its way to the semifinals, the team crushed Europe’s second seed Fnatic and defending world champions Invictus Gaming.
“If I were to go against G2 in the finals, I would really look forward to it because our teams both like using unusual champions,” Doinb said at a press conference. “I still have more than 100 champions that I haven’t picked yet.”
G2 doesn’t seem fazed.
“Today was the real final, and FPX will get a reality check next week,” said G2 top laner Martin “Wunder” Nordahl Hansen after his team’s semifinals victory, eliminating four-time world champions SK Telecom T1 (SKT). “Our wrath will be swift.”
G2 is known for talking trash, but the confidence is not unwarranted. The European team occasionally faltered in their semifinals match, but it was quick to punish mistakes and recover early game deficits. Against FPX’s aggressive strategy, this is sure to be an important factor in a G2 victory.
Although the individual talent on FPX is strong, every player on G2 is ranked among the best in the world at his role. Combined with the team’s aptitude for bending the rules in unpredictable ways, as Doinb acknowledged, G2 has been a force to be reckoned with at every international competition this year.
FPX will have to put up an incredible performance to put down the European titans.