LoL World Championship semi-finals preview

The League of Legends World Championships 2019 are down to just four teams in potentially the most stacked set of semi-finals the game has ever seen. The reigning World Champions as well as the champions from the three strongest regions (China, Korea and Europe) are all still in the tournament and it's fair to say that any of them would be worthy winners.

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Yet, there can only be one World Champion. Madrid are being spoilt as following last week's thrilling quarter-finals, the Palacio Vistalegre will also play host to the semis. Here's an in-depth look at the two epic series.

Related: All LoL Worlds 2019 results and updated schedule.

Invictus Gaming vs FunPlus Phoenix

Starting things off is an LPL showdown as FunPlus look for revenge against IG who were the only team to defeat them in the Summer Split. FPX dominated domestically, holding a combined 27-3 record from the Spring and Summer regular seasons.

Meanwhile, IG had to settle for third seed and for most of the Summer, looked far from the team that had become World Champions. Yet, just like in last year's tournament the star-studded roster appears to have stepped up for the knockout stages once again.

In particular, Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok is playing like an absolute monster as he terrorised Griffin's weakpoint of the top-lane. His Yasuo had a near 100-CS difference over his lane opponent Choi "Sword" Sung-won in the first game and then in game three, TheShy made a game-winning play with a huge Kayle ultimate at Baron.

The top-lane isn't exactly a strong point for FPX either so they'll will have to make up for that by relying on their strong-point, the combination of their mid-laner Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang and jungler Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang.

The Korean mid-laner is the star of the team and is fantastic and roaming around and impacting the map - a strategy that has been very effective at this tournament. This match will come down to IG's other star player, Song "Rookie" Eui-jin. If he can dominate the mid-lane, Doinb won't be able to leave and that makes FPX's plan much harder.


Related: G2 vs SKT: LoL Worlds 2019 true final?

SK Telecom T1 vs G2 Esports

Then, it's a rematch of this year's Mid Season Invitational semi-final. That series was a tense battle that went down to the wire and a fifth game but that was only the start of the war.

Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok has made it no secret that he wants revenge for the surprise loss earlier this year but G2 will play with a chip on their shoulder too, hoping they can prove they are better than the most decorated organisation in LoL history.

SKT has gone through the other two European seeds while G2 has gone through the other Korean seeds - this is a series to decide which region is stronger in 2019. G2's 3-1 victory over Damwon Gaming in the quarter-finals was the first a European team had ever defeated a Korean team in a Worlds best-of-five which tells you a lot about how far behind EU was just a few years ago.

SKT even dropping a game to Splyce was surprising but a large factor in that was the fact that they subbed in legendary support player Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong, who had hardly played in the Summer Split, most-likely so that he could qualify for a skin if SKT do win the tournament - that's how confident the team are feeling and rightfully so.

However, you can't underestimate G2 and to the same extent, you can't predict what they'll do. The creativity and unique strategies that G2 invent are one of the team's biggest strength though their usual strength of Luak "Perkz" Perković playing mages in the bot-lane hasn't been as effective this tournament and currently have a poor win record. Fortunately for Perkz, his signature ADC, Xayah, is extremely strong in the current meta and will at the very least draw another ban from SKT in a series where the draft will be crucial.

And there is also the top-lane battle as Martin "Wunder" Hansen has been a vocal critic of his lane opponent Kim "Khan" Dong-ha. Though, the Korean has had a very strong tournament so far and in his post-game press conference told the media that he will prove he is better than TheShy. Wunder wasn't in his best form heading into the tournament but is still a world-class top-laner who shouldn't be underestimated. In a series that will be decided by the finest of margins, top could be a pivotal lane.