This is the end of the European dream, and for once, it has nothing to do with Brexit. The G2 Esports team, last representative of the Old Continent and given as ultra-favorite of the final of the video game world championship League of Legends, was brutally beaten three times to zero in less than two hours of play, by the Chinese FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), Sunday, November 10 at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
The final was one way, but not in the direction expected by the incandescent public of Paris Bercy. Unhappy in their choice of characters, dominated strategically, submerged in the fighting, G2 players appeared without solutions or ideas.
" I am very sad ", apologized on the stage the Spanish Ocelote, the founder of G2 Esports, the voice knotted. "The whole team, the people behind, did a lot of work to get us here. It's difficult to see them lift the cup, it should have been us, but we have to be proud anyway. ". The training in the black jersey offered a lap of honor, head down, under the indulgent applause of nearly 20,000 spectators present.
For Dane Rasmus Winther, said Caps, considered the best European player, transparent this Sunday, it's a second straight defeat in the final, after the one under the colors of Fnatic in 2018.
New European disillusion
In front of his public, however, G2 left as a favorite, having won in 2019 two European championships and the mid-season world cup, paving the way for a historic grand slam.
FunPlus Phoenix, a young underdog team, only had a recent championship title from China. But the balance of power has always been favorable to FPX. Led by her winger Lin Wei-Xiang, said Lwx, ruthless (ten opponents eliminated in the first run, eight in the second), she constantly put the Europeans on the back.
In a second round of demonstrations, the representatives of the Old Continent even wiped two "ace" (the team put out of action) in just three minutes. "It's not really us who have achieved a feat, but G2 who has not been at the level", fired after match Lwx, as incisive to the microphone as to the keyboard-mouse, in an indolent voice.
The French public at the height
If European victory there was, it was at least in the stands. The final was held in a Paris Hall AccorHotels Arena crowded, enthusiastic and fair play. Some proudly wore a baguette and beret, a frequent caricature of French fans. League of Legends, who have recaptured the cliches abroad. Others wore equally fantastic costumes from the game, and cosplay and jerseys of G2 or Fnatic, another flagship European team, met indifferently around the stadium.
During the game, the majority of the French-speaking public showed off the tricolor colors and its legendary frenzy. "Ahou! Ahou! ", from "Let's go G2" sung on the air of the title We will rock you, from Queen, from "Ola" and chopsticks brandished in the air, all under the fireflies of connected bracelets whose color adapted to the action. Even when FPX took the lead on the G2, the crowd never whistled nor grunted, but continued to support his team at heart, while applauding his winner.
Only Lwx's post-match protests sparked some mocking disapproval, but did not prevent spectators from celebrating with honor the trophy, exceptionally set in a Louis Vitton box.
"Honey, I'm leaving you"
At the exit, most European supporters preferred to see the positive. "We are inevitably disappointed, especially in the second run, where they were crushed. But the atmosphere was cool, the Parisian public was up, even when we lost 2-0 he continued to give everything. That was nice, retains Antoine, 23, accompanied by his friends Victor and Germain, happy to have had places for this finals sold out.
"Honey, I'm leaving you"jokes Jonathan, a German economics student, who came with his girlfriend of Chinese origin, Kelly. "I was for G2, seeing this atmosphere, it was extremely impressive, but hey, I'm happy for her". "I cried for it"says Kelly, a student in international relations and passionate about the LPL, the league's Chinese League of Legends.
Less present, the few Asian supporters present celebrated with humility. "I'm happy, but 3-0 is a disappointing score for a match like that, and I'm sorry for all those felled people", apologizes almost Yuko, Japanese player who made the trip to Paris expressly to encourage the team of his pet, the Chinese Doinb.
For the second year in a row, China sits at the top of the main e-sports competition. And could achieve the pass of three in 2021: the final of the next edition will be disputed in Shanghai. "I want to take the audience to the party: they have deprived us of the title here, we will return the favor in Shanghai", has already predicted the commentator of the chain Ogaming, Charles Lapassat, said Noi, in a teasing tone. Chiche.