Top Esports has taken down FunPlus Phoenix in the 2020 Demacia Cup in a quick three set and will advance to face Vici Gaming in the Semifinals.
Although FPX gave it its all, the former world champion was no match for the juggernaut Top Esports, which was able to close out the series in under an hour and a half.
New Season, Same Story
Although Season 11 has brought a fresh new wave of content for League of Legends players, such as Mythic items, new champions and more, much has stayed the same on the competitive side of the game.
Looking to get back to its 2019 world champion form after a middling 2020, FunPlus Phoenix is running it back in 2021 with four out of its five members keeping their roster spot. League of Legends fans didn’t get to see Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon make his FPX debut, but they did get to see Ping “Xiaolaohu” Xiao-Hu in his first-ever tournament appearance.
For Top Esports, it’ll be running it back in 2021 as well after a disappointing finish to Worlds 2020. Mid laner Zhuo “knight” Ding, who was heavily considered the best League of Legends player in the world, didn’t perform how fans thought he would during Worlds. Knight, along with the rest of Top Esports, looked to kick off Season 11 with a bang in the preseason.
By the end of the series, it was Top Esports sticking to its 2020 form and eliminating FPX from the Demacia Cup. As one of the heavy favorites to win the tournament, Top Esports played its usual Top Esports game, performing so incredibly strong as individuals, and then coming together with decision making and teamfight mechanics to easily take down FPX.
Although the fights throughout the series were often close and not one-sided, it just seemed like skirmish after skirmish, TES would just come out slightly ahead.
Both Old and New Faces
Fans of Chinese League of Legends got to see FPX and TES run back four out of their five 2020 starters for the Demacia Cup. On FPX, rookie Xiaolaohu had a memorable tournament in his first-ever competitive event, filling in for world champion Nuguri while playing alongside four other world champions.
At just 18 years old, Xiaolaohu managed to have a couple of pop-off performances, playing carry champions in Camille, Aatrox and Fiora. Specifically on Aatrox in Game 2, the rookie top laner had an excellent performance against Bai “369”Jia-Hao, picking up 10 kills.
Xiaolaohu also looked particularly strong during teamfights, nearly bringing FPX back into it, but Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo and Top Esports were just too strong to topple.
Xiaolaohu and 369 were more or less left on an island throughout the three games. However, the young TES support Wang “Zhuo” Xu-Zhuo saw the bulk of the action as he played with JackeyLove in the bot lane. Coming from Team WE Academy, Zhou had an easy time learning the ropes as JackeyLove repeatedly styled on the FunPlus Phoenix members.
JackeyLove Coming Online
Speaking of the bot lane legend, JackeyLove managed to show fans his true potential as one of the best League of Legends players in the world this series.
Playing Jhin and Ezreal, JackeyLove popped off aside Zhou, picking up a whopping 35 kills over the course of the three games. Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan, who had the second most kills in the series, had just 16.
JackeyLove managed to dominate in lane, while also popping off in teamfights. His movement was on point, his positioning was impeccable and his performance in the bot lane alone was one of the major reasons why TES looked so dominant against FunPlus Phoenix.
The Demacia Cup continues on Friday with V5 vs. JDG and WE vs. LGD.