Victory 5 might have been the worst team in LPL history, but nowadays they're unrecognizable. After an embarrassing 0-16 Spring Season, which saw them win just one game, V5 returned in Summer with a brand new roster and now they've become the nightmare of champions.
In the first round of the 2020 LPL Summer Playoffs, V5 met none other than reigning World Champions FunPlus Phoenix. FPX themselves came into the playoffs as the lowest, eighth seed, having suffered a tough Summer Season, with much instability in the top lane.
Usually, FPX would proudly carry the title of favorites, but today it was opposite day for the reigning champions. The analyst desk predicted a win for V5 and that's exactly what happened four games later. Mid laner Li "Mole" Hao-Yan, who received much praise on the desk even before the series began, carried V5 to an early 2-0 lead, putting on a clinic on Zoe in game 1 (8/0/9) and playing a near-perfect Orianna (10/1/3), which almost got a penta kill in game 2.
Down to their last life, FPX needed their captain Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang to come online quick and rally the team to victory, and he did so in game 3. A quadra kill at the Dragon pit put FPX on the scoreboard, giving a temporary hope to the Phoenix.
The fourth and final game was a true blood bath in the best traditions of LPL. Averaging a kill a minute, V5 and FPX sparred for half an hour, with Doinb doing the heavy lifting on Karma, but unable to withstand the Lucian/Olaf power coming from V5's jungle and top. Mole was relatively quiet on his Syndra, leaving Doinb space to make plays, but one player just wasn't enough to carry FPX out of the swamp. The final scoreboard confirmed the 3-1 victory for V5.
Despite their round 1 loss here, FPX isn't out of the Worlds race. The reigning champs are guaranteed a spot in the Regional Finals, which will determine the third and fourth seed for the LPL. Still, if FPX's form does not improve, the 2019 Worlds winners will have to make concessions and enter 2020 Worlds in the Play-in stage, or worse yet — miss it entirely.
Esports editor and journalist of 10+ years. Lives on black tea and corgi love.