LCK’s T1 and LPL’s FunPlus Phoenix are opening the 2020 Mid-Season Cup in a highly anticipated match. Fans around the world wanted these teams to meet in the 2019 World Championship, but fate and G2 Esports, wouldn’t allow it. Now, T1 and FPX are finally playing against each other in the first game of the tournament.
FunPlus Phoenix is the embodiment of the LPL style, aggressive, it doesn’t always make sense, and if they fall, they fall together. FPX redefined what it means to be a team and what it means to work as a unit. Super carry Doinb introduced the world to mid lane Nautilus, a controversial pick that made him the target for some harsh criticism even as he found success.
As the defending World Championship team, Doinb and FPX keep receiving criticism from the community, especially in the west. In the eyes of some western fans, FPX is a troll team that wins by playing foolish strategies. This perception couldn’t be farther from the truth. While unorthodox, FPX’s methods are ultimately effective. FPX simply plays by its own rules, and that’s the reason why the team continues to be successful domestically. Despite ending the season in third place, spring was a solid split for FPX.
Heading to the Mid-Season Cup, all eyes are on the defending World Champion. They failed to win spring and need to make a statement in this tournament. Winning Worlds wasn’t a happy accident, but FPX needs to prove it still is the best team in the world.
The community had doubts about T1’s roster heading into the 2020 LCK Spring Split. The team had lost two key players and its head coach. With two new players and new coaching staff, T1 had a poor showing at the 2019 KeSPA Cup. That first impression was enough for some fans to rule T1 out.
Through the regular season, T1 just kept getting better. Every week, the team show serious improvement and quickly became the favorites to take the LCK spring title. Not even Gen.G, the team with the most stacked roster on paper in the LCK, could challenge T1.
T1’s strength comes precisely from the newcomers. Jungler Cuzz and rookie top laner Canna had the season of their lives. The newest additions to the team didn’t change the team’s dynamic. On the contrary, they picked up where the previous players left off. Cuzz plays strongly through the solo lanes, similarly to Kim “Clid” Tae-min, and Canna can carry the games just like Khan did before him.
Canna’s carry potential takes the pressure off mid laner Faker who is free to roam around the map. In the bottom lane, Teddy and Effort continue to be an immovable force.
On top of the great individual and collective performances, T1 has a team of analysts behind that is exceeding expectations.
The Mid-Season Cup is starting with a bang, with a clash between two high profile teams. When the schedule was revealed, the odds put both teams on even ground. As tournament approaches, T1 is gaining some points. As of right now, the odds are T1 1.65 to FPX’s 2.08.
The numbers favorite T1, but it doesn’t mean FPX is out of the race just yet. The key matchup is the mid-jungle duo, Cuzz and Faker versus Doinb and Tian. The goal is to enable the side lanes and get control over the neutral objectives. FPX needs to play a clean game because T1 is known for punishing mistakes and taking over if they’re given a chance. T1 likely has the betting edge in this match, even as the favorites.