Tian leads FunPlus Phoenix to win over Rare Atom in 2021 LPL Spring Split playoffs

The 20-year-old jungler played three different champions throughout today's series.

Photo by Michal Konkol via Riot Games

FunPlus Phoenix eliminated Rare Atom, the dark horses of the 2021 LPL Spring Split, from the playoffs today in a one-sided 3-1 series. Tian led the charge for FPX with three different picks in the League of Legends series, securing two out of three MVP votes.

This match showcased FPX playing through different carries in every match, showing how tough it is to ban out a player from the team since the rest of the roster can carry instead.

RA were not seen as playoff contenders at the start of the season. But as the season progressed, they accumulated win after win. They upset the 2018 world champions two days ago in an intense five-game series. FPX seemingly studied them and countered their tactics to win today’s series in convincing fashion.

The first two games of today’s series were similar with FPX giving Tian a lot of room to outplay his opponents. With Udyr and Volibear, he took over early-game objectives and used that gold advantage to pressure opposing laners. He was always one step ahead of his opponent, reading him like a book and stopping his gank attempts.

In the third game, Tian’s performance early on wasn’t on par as in the first two games, costing his team a match. His lackluster early game set his team far behind and gave RA a chance to come back into the series. But he quickly bounced back in the next match.

In the last game of the series, Doinb picked up his pocket mid lane Kled. He used the champion to control the pace of the game with his constant roams, giving a lot of gold to his teammates. Even though he didn’t manage to pick up a single kill, he picked up the MVP vote for the game after his huge global presence throughout the game when he hit level six.

After this win, FPX will move on to face JD Gaming on April 5. Both teams had a shaky start during this split but bounced back as the season progressed. JDG looks just as strong as in 2020, when they won an LPL title, while FPX look as powerful as they did during their 2019 World Championship run. The series will be intense with both players having a lot of aces in their sleeves to show off.

The LPL playoffs continue tomorrow, April 4, with Team WE vs. Suning at 4am CT.

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