JD Gaming Upset Former World Champions, FunPlus Phoenix, In 2020 LPL Spring Semifinals

JD Gaming Upset Former World Champions, FunPlus Phoenix, In 2020 LPL Spring Semifinals
Credit: Riot Games via YouTube

JD Gaming took down FunPlus Phoenix today, sweeping the former League of Legends world champions in the semifinals of China’s LPL.

JDG top laner Zoom and MVP jungler Kanavi were expected to perform well against the favorites of the league. But today’s win was a collective effort.

Zoom outdid himself, securing a large lead over GimGoon in all three games of the series. He may not have had the best scoreline, but in terms of CS, gold, and map presence, he had the overwhelming advantage.

The same went for Kanavi. The former Griffin substitute outjungled, outmaneuvered, and simply outclassed Tian. Kanavi lived up to his MVP status and ran circles around FPX. But, importantly, he shut down Doinb, barely giving him room to breathe.

JDG mid-laner Yagao was also in his element. He isn’t known for his prowess in the laning phase, but today, he didn’t have to be. He patiently bided his time and waited to scale—and scale he did. He took control of the mid-game skirmishes and performed exceptionally in the late-game team fights.

With today’s win, JDG advance to the finals where they’ll face Top Esports on Saturday, May 2. The winner of the head-to-head match will be crowned an LPL champion for the first time in League history.

While FunPlus Phoenix definitely look insane this split, the top four teams in LPL are all close to each other on skill. On a good day it’s hard to predict who will come out victorious between JD Gaming, Invictus Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix and TOP Esports. China is such a good region in League of Legends that every split they crown new champions.

While China struggled with fostering domestic talent in the previous years, with the newly developed infrastructure after franchising the region is just full of young rookies looking to show their potential. The academy region (LDL) is extremely developed which allows LPL teams to find fresh talent and puts the jobs of veterans at risk. While the North American recycles same old talents, China is fostering new and is not maintaining the same players in the scene. The European LEC is also known for fostering good rookies due to it’s ecosystem, perhaps NA Riot Games should take notes from China and Europe regarding this to improve the overall power of the NA region.

Unless changes are done to NA’s region, they will always be behind EU and China regarding talents.