The LPL finalists left no doubts they were the best team at the event

Top Esports defeat FunPlus Phoenix for the Mid-Season Cup

League of Legends
Top win the Mid-Season Cup

It might be a plaque rather than a cup, but they sure earned it. Image credit: Riot Games

Top Esports proved themselves the best team for the Mid-Season Cup in a 3:1 against reigning world champions FunPlus Phoenix.

The grand final of the Mid-Season Cup was a rematch from a fight in the groups as Top Esports and FPX both came out of the group with a 2:1 record. FPX caused Top’s first and so far only loss to claim first place. Could they do it again or would TES have their vengeance?

Game 1: The Masters of Blind Pick

As in the other playoff series, the opening game used blind pick for its champion selection. FPX got several early kills, but TES soon retaliated with proactive play from jungler Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan. Eventually, they grew a lead, much of it on their star mid laner Zhuo "knight" Ding. With an Ornn to improve their scaling and an infernal soul just 24 minutes in, they were firmly in control. When they started the baron FPX contested it only to give Top several kills alongside the purple buff. With it, they pushed in and while FunPlus managed to hold them off once, the next attack ended the game.

Game 2: Phoenix rising

FPX would once more have a good start, with several early kills going to Kim "Khan" Dong-ha’s Kayle. However, they went too far and Knight’s Corki punished them, getting an early triple kill and turning what looked to be a rout into a 3-3.

The teams kept fighting, however, and 19 minutes in, Top chased their opponents only to be caught by a great Galio taunt from Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang that resulted in a 3:1 for his team. FunPlus kept getting good fights and extending their lead, eventually getting two barons and a cloud soul. Soon after the second baron, they pushed in the bot lane and won the decisive fight that let them get the Nexus.

Game 3: TES rise again

After ten mostly quiet opening minutes where his team got a minor lead off a few outplays, Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo secured first blood for his team on his Ezreal.

Top were already ahead when they attacked FPX near the Rift Heraild. They first caught the enemy support and then landed a key shockwave from Knight’s Orianna for a 4-0 fight. Their advantage kept growing and was soon punctuated with a 20-minute Baron and four kills. FPX defended their base and beat back several attacks, but eventually Top Esports took all three inhibitors, the infernal soul and the baron before finishing the game.

Game 4: Game, set and match

An early roam top from Doinb saw the world champions take the first blood, but Top struck back with a great tower dive in the bottom lane giving them two kills and the first tower for a sizable lead. FPX seemed to be scrambling as several players were caught around the map and their Nidalee jungle was all but invisible.

An attempt to catch Bai "369" Jia-Hao nded in a 2:1 for Top who took an early baron. With it, they pushed down the top lane and after a 3-0 fight nearly ended the game before electing to chase after Doinb. FPX's attempt to catch them produced only an even fight, and eventually Top secured the ocean soul and bruteforced their way into the enemy base to end the game.

It was a well-deserved victory for the LPL spring finalist who left no doubt that they were the strongest team in the tournament with good drafting, aggressive map movements and many personal outplays. Congratulations to Top Esports: our Mid-Season Cup champions!

For more on League of Legends’ pro scene, in-game developments and patches, check our coverage here.

Boyan Penev

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