Over the past years, it has become a tradition: the winners of the League of Legends World Championship have the opportunity to choose a champion that will receive a unique skin. FunPlus Phoenix won't break the rule, but we still don't know exactly which champions GimGoon, Tian, Doinb, LWX, and Crisp are going to choose.
Riot Games ask that players try to meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Participate in at least 2 play-in stage games that had an impact on the team’s advancement to the knockout game (i.e. those games had to matter for seeding or advancement).
- Participate in at least 2 group stage games that had an impact on the team’s advancement to the knockout game (i.e. those games had to matter for seeding or advancement).
- Participate in at least 1 knockout stage game (Quarters, Semis, or Finals).
However, this rule is more a guideline than a true policy and the minimum criteria is that the player must have played the champion at least once during Worlds.
Let's math this out.
During the Group Stage:
- GimGoon played Renekton three times, Gangplank twice, Mordekaiser and Ryze once.
- Tian respectively played Elise, Gragas and Lee Sin twice, then played Qiyana once.
- Doinb played six different champions during the Group Stage: Sion, Kayle, Malphite, Galio, and Renekton. The only champion he played twice is Ryze.
- LWX played Kai'Sa four times, Vayne twice, and Varus one time.
- Crisp played Nautilus three times, then only played once Galio, Leona, Thresh and Tahm Kench.
During the Knockout Stage:
- GimGoon played Gangplank four times, both Renekton and Camille twice; then played Kled, Gnar, and Mordekaiser once.
- Tian played Lee Sin four times, Gragas three times, Qiyana twice, Rek'Sai and Olaf once
- Doinb played both Ryze and Nautilus four times; then Kayle, Rumble, and Galio once
- LWX played both Xayah and Varus three times, Kai'Sa twice. He played Lucian, Ezreal, and Sivir once.
- Crisp played both Tahm Kench and Thresh three times, Nautilus twice; Galio, Blitzcrank and Rakan once.
Overall, it means that the following champions are eligible:
As a team, FunPlus Phoenix is therefore allowed to can pick six champions out of these thirty possibilities. That being said, it's necessary to take into account the fact that several of these champions were already chosen by previous World Championship winners:
- Gragas was picked by Fnatic in 2011
- Ezreal was picked by Taipei Assassins in 2012
- Elise, Lee Sin, and Vayne were picked by SKT T1 in 2013
- Thresh was picked by Samsung White in 2014
- Ryze and Renekton were picked by SKT T1 in 2015
- Olaf was picked by SKT T1 in 2016
- Rakan, Xayah, and Ezreal were picked by Samsung Galaxy in 2017
- Kai'Sa, Camille and Rakan were picked by Invictus Gaming in 2018
Ezreal was indeed chosen to wear a team-themed skin in both 2012 and 2017, but the fact that five years happened between these two championships might explain the repetition. This last clue would invite us to think that Thresh, Elise, Lee Sin, and Vayne might be chosen by Fun Plus Phoenix with the approval of Riot Games.
One last thing to take into consideration is obviously the personal preferences of each player. During the final press conference following their match against G2 Esports, most FPX players clearly announced which champions they had chosen:
- GimGoon is going for Gangplank, which is not surprising since it's the champion he played the most during the whole competition;
- Tian is "thinking about Lee Sin" — the champion with which he crushed G2 Esports three times in a row.
- Doinb declared that he would "select his champion skin with his chatroom";
- LWX is hesitating between Vayne and Kai'Sa — and we're just hoping that he will pick Vayne since Kai'Sa already received three skins and a Prestige Edition since she was released in March 2018.
- Crisp is going for Thresh.
Doingb said during one of his latest stream that he "asked for Yasuo, Malphite, and Ryze." even though he never played Yasuo during the competition. Apparently, he picked Malphite because that's the only champion his wife plays.
Overall, all these selections are still subject to change, especially since they all require to be approved by Riot Games.
However, if they're indeed implemented into the game, at least Thresh and Lee Sin would join the very selective club of champions that possess several Wolds winners' skins.
Have you ever seen such a gorgeous recall? Pulsefire Ezreal is surely a mythical skin, but look at this Thresh! Pulsefire Thresh and its Prestige Edition were implemented alongside preseason patch 9.23.