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Europe crumbles as China surges at the Worlds 2019 Quarterfinals

G2 were the only European team to escape the Worlds 2019 Quarterfinals

The 2019 World Championship of League of Legends is moving towards its dramatic conclusion. This weekend saw two European teams fall out of contention, as Splyce and Fnatic were handed defeats, while a pair of former world champions returned to form in what proved to be an exciting Worlds 2019 quarterfinals.

Invictus Gaming, the defending champion, and Chinese powerhouse dominated LCK hopefuls, Griffin, while SK Telecom T1 jumped past Splyce to head to the Semis. But if those results sound pretty cut and dry, then think again. No team was perfect this week, and every series had some crazy moments for us to enjoy.

Griffin’s wings get clipped

For Griffin, the fairytale is over. The Korean team has grown used to taking bitter pills, having fallen short of not just a World Championship, but of every LCK title they’ve competed for. Heading into this game, there were questions about whether Griffin’s opponents, Invictus Gaming, were the same team that won Worlds last year. They’d certainly underperformed in groups so far.

Yet on the Rift against Griffin, iG surged. They looked exactly like the dominant team which shocked the world last year. Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, iG’s superstar mid laner was on top form, crushing his opponent in lane, and playing to his full potential. After two quick games, Griffin trailed 0-2 in the series, only for the Korean side to clutch out a turn-around win, and threaten a reverse sweep.

Yet the magic just wasn’t there. Griffin dropped their next game, ending any chance of a reversal in fortune, and ending their Worlds 2019 run. iG, for their part, is terrifying when they’re in top form. And there’s no doubt that this team is ready to win a second World Championship. 

FunPlus Phoenix shut down Fnatic in the Worlds 2019 quarterfinals

Despite their record, their performance in this tournament and their overall calibre, many have underestimated FunPlus Phoenix in Worlds 2019 so far. Perhaps because of their average performance in groups, the team looked likely to drop more than a few games in their clash with Fnatic. And things kicked off in the worst possible way for FPX, as the team gave up early kills in game one, and generally felt like the weaker team.

But as the match continued, FPX began to show dominance. And after several outstanding individual performances from Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang, and Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang, the team was on match point in game 3. This is where Fnatic made their desperate final stand, securing a single victory thanks to the stellar play of their top/jungle combo. Yet it was too little, too late, and FPX finished out the day as the victors. 

SK Telecom T1 steps on Splyce

In perhaps the most mismatched series of the quarterfinals, Splyce, the European third seed took on SK Telecom T1, the legendary Korean team headed by Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. No one expected any other result than the one we got, as Faker and SKT demolished the sneaky sneks from the LEC in dominating fashion. 

However, one surprising wrinkle came in game three. With match-point on the line, Splyce finally showed some signs of life. In what may be his career-best performance, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir put on a clinic with Rek’ sai in the jungle, cruising to a 7/0/7 KDA, and dominating his opponent’s Skarner. With this Splyce looked to rally, and turn around the series.

But like in all the matchups so farm, the reverse sweep was not to be. Splyce showed more competence in the final match, but ultimately couldn’t stand up to SKT, losing in the fourth game, and finding themselves eliminated from Worlds 2019.

G2 teaches DAMWON Yasuo a lesson

With the hopes of Europe riding on their shoulders since the elimination of both fellow LEC teams, G2 Esports looked to take down the LCK’s DAMWON Gaming, and secure a semifinal spot. And to do this, G2 started off remarkably safe, securing match one after a methodical and strictly meta show of gameplay.

Then DAMWON fired back, picking up the Ryze and bullying their opponents to even up the series 1-1. With momentum on their side, the LCK team looked to secure the lead. But they made a fatal mistake – the Yasou pick. Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon could do nothing in the bot lane against Luka “Perkz” Perković and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, who were intimately familiar with the Yasou lane.

What’s more, the Yasou pick seemed to awaken something in G2’s bottom laner. Uma Jan, Perkz’ confident and dominant alter-ego had arrived. In game three, he dominated his opponents in lane. And in game four, his own Yasuo pick racked up kill after kill, picking off DAMWON as he pleased. Ultimately, G2 cruised to a third and final victory against their opponents.

After this thrilling weekend of games, now all that’s left is the nervous wait until next week, where Europe’s last hope clashes with the unstoppable SKT, while China’s two titans collide on the other side of the bracket. 

Worlds 2019 quarterfinals are over but the action will continue on Saturday, 2 November, from 12:00 CEST. Catch it all on Riot Game’s official Twitch channel, and head to the Worlds 2019 website for full brackets and additional information. Follow Dartfrog on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Twitch for all the latest League of Legends news and analysis.