FunPlus Phoenix defeats Snake Esports after falling behind while reigning LPL champions RNG, suffered a sweep at the hands of Suning Gaming
The final day of the 2019 LPL spring split’s opening week featured a matchup between two teams coming off wins, Snake Esports and FunPlux Phoenix. The second match of the day, the one that had been hyped up as the match of the week, saw Suning Gaming pitch its superteam against the reigning LPL champions, powerhouse RNG. In the end, SG came out on top with a 2-0 win.
FunPlus Phoenix scores a comeback win over Snake Esports
Following a surprising win over EDward Gaming, Snake Esports tried to defend its record against a FunPlus Phoenix team also coming off a win over Rogue Warriors. In a closely fought series, FPX came out on top, securing a 2-1 series victory while improving its overall record to 2-0.
Game 1: Snake dominates FunPlus for an easy win
An overly aggressive play by FunPlus’ support Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song (Alistar) got him into turret range, giving Snake an easy first blood secured by support Hu “Maestro” Jian-Xin (Rakan). Despite the misplay, FPX’s bottom lane continued to push in, and the team went for a jungle invasion. Snake immediately collapsed in response, using the Camille-Galio combo with Lê “SofM” Quang Duy and Yang “Mala” Hyeon-jong. This play would set the tone for the rest of the game, as Snake had the ability to turn the fights around thanks to its excellent responses.
FPX did lead in turrets thanks to a better laning phase, but Snake continued to scale by winning the fights. With top laner Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun (Irelia) quickly snowballing out of control, Snake broke the stalemate with a good mid lane teamfight that saw the team ace FunPlus to set up Baron. Sitting on a 10,000 gold lead, Snake went for a final engage inside FPX’s base to complete the stomp.
- More: 2019 LPL Spring Split [W1D4] Recap
Game 2: FPX fights back to tie the score
Snake’s focus shifted to FPX’s star mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang (Urgot), committing three members to the play with a roam from Flandre (Akali). With Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem (Renekton) holding the push priority on the top side, FPX secured the Rift Herald and released it on the mid lane, but did not take down the outer turret.
Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang (Kai’sa) and Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song (Tahm Kench) got the bonus gold for taking down the first turret on the bottom side, while Doinb added the mid laner tower to the count, allowing FPX to secure a Mountain drake as well. FunPlus’ superior laning phase allowed the team to grow its lead, securing the Baron buff and taking out two more turrets. However, Snake stalled the game after finding a good fight on the top side, acing their opponents.
As Snake found another good engage, this time on the mid lane, it looked like the game could go their way. But the team went too deep, going for a rather unnecessary dive, and allowed Lwx to turn the fight around as FPX secured four kills. Thanks to the long death timers, FPX didn’t even bother going for a second Baron buff, going straight for Snake’s Nexus to even the series.
Game 3: FPX completes the comeback
SofM (Kha’zix) used his stealth ability to go for a risky jungle invasion, which actually succeeded. Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang (Gragas) tried to contest the steal, but Yang “Mala” Hyeon-jong (Galio) showed up to help his jungler. SofM walked away with the buff and the first blood. Doinb (Urgot) tried to go for a 1-on-2 trade and shared Tian’s fate.
Doinb and Tian got one back with a mid lane gank, and the FPX player reset his lane. Holding the push advantage, Doinb roamed to the bottom side and helped FunPlus secure the first turret 10 minutes in, meaning that the team also got the full gold from the plates. GinGoon got a solo kill on Flandre, allowing Tian to grab the Rift Herald which helped FPX by adding another outer turret.
A good fight for FPX as the two teams tried to control the river added three more kills to the count, and the team used the advantage to go for the mid lane inhibitor turret. With a good rotation towards the bottom side, FPX set up the siege. As SofM tried to go for the flank looking for a target to assassinate, Doinb picked off the Snake Esports jungler. The man advantage was all the team needed, as the ace soon followed. FunPlus closed out the third game in 26 minutes, taking the series.
Suning’s superteam sweeps Royal Never Give Up
Reigning LPL champions RNG made their 2019 debut with a loss to Suning Gaming. The LPL match of the week saw former Flash Wolves star Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan, on RNG’s side, face his former teammates Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh, Suning’s biggest signings for 2019.
Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao however was a notable absence, as it was revealed a few days before the match that the superstar AD Carry will sit out the first three weeks of the split. It’s worth noting that Uzi has a long history of medical-related issues and has considered retiring on more than one occasion. He also had to sit out last summer while dealing with a wrist injury, while rumors regarding his retirement came back in full force this following RNG’s disappointing World Championship campaign. Whether or not Uzi does come back this split is something to keep an eye on.
Game 1: Suning stomps RNG to open the score
An early gank by Yang “H4cker” Zhi-Hao (Camille) forced a Flash out of RNG’s AD Carry Zhang “Wink” Rui (Kai’sa) and taking down Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming (Alistar) for the first blood. Karsa’s (Lee Sin) response also came on the bottom side as the RNG jungler hit a beautiful inSec on Han “Smlz” Jin (Viktor). RNG secured a Cloud drake, but SNG added two more kills to the count. RNG went for a lane swap, surrendering its bottom lane turret and the bonus gold to SNG. SNG successfully contested the move, stopping the Rift Herald from taking down the turret and keeping its advantage.
Suning slowly took over the map, pushing all three lanes in its favor. At the 26 minute mark, Maple and H4cker found a good flank and went for the engage on RNG. Karsa was the first one to fall, followed by Ming and new top laner Ying “Tianci” Tian-Ci.
SNG had the space it needed to go for an uncontested, using the buff to get into RNG’s base through the mid lane. With another good fight, Suning secured four kills and completed the stomp.
Game 2: Suning’s superteam continues to roll
Smlz (Lucian) and SwordArT (Alistar) went too far forward and Karsa (Kha’zix) picked off Suning’s AD Carry for the first blood. RNG’s jungler continued to dominate the game, transferring the advantage to the bottom side and the mid lane. Using its river priority, the reigning LPL champions went for an Infernal drake, but Suning collapsed to force a fight. While Karsa managed to secure the buff, it came at the cost of three deaths on RNG’s side, which brought SNG back into the game.
Royal moved its priority to the top side, grabbing the Rift Herald and releasing it to take down the mid lane turret before the 14 minute mark. RNG’s early game went a lot better this time, as the team quickly opened a solid lead with four turrets to one. Suning meanwhile hung on by picking up better fights.
As RNG went for Baron, Suning’s top laner Xie “XiaoAL” Zhen-Ying (Jax) executed a perfect teleport to flank Royal Never Give Up. Tianci (Urgot) was the first to fall following a pickoff, and soon three more players on his side followed. With Wink (Ezreal) being the only one left for RNG, Suning turned their attention to an easy Baron buff. RNG tried to pickoff a split-pushing XiaoAL, but the SNG player turned the 1-on-2 around, holding off Karsa and Tianci while Smlz arrived in time with a teleport. As Karsa fell, Suning used its advantage in numbers to go for the game. SwordArT found a good engage inside RNG’s base and SNG secured three kills to complete the sweep.