[Worlds 2020] Top Esports vs Fnatic quarterfinals MVP: Karsa

Photo by David Lee for Riot Games

 

Top Esports' 3-2 victory over Fnatic in the quarterfinals of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship was far less one-sided than expected, but the resiliency of TES jungler Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan throughout all five games of the series was unmatched on both sides of Summoner's Rift. Let's break down Karsa's amazing performance in Top Esports' victory over Fnatic in the quarterfinals of Worlds 2020. 

 

Photo by Yicun Liu

 

Fnatic had been strong throughout Worlds 2020 coming into the quarterfinals, but Top Esports was a favorite to win the event due to the enormous amount of talent on the roster. TES boasts two prodigous young solo laners in top laner Bai "369" Jia-Hao and mid laner Zhuo "knight" Ding as well as two experienced veterans in Karsa and AD carry Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, the latter of whom won the 2018 World Championship as a member of Invictus Gaming. 

 

Fnatic put up a far better fight against Top Esports than expected due to the continued strong performance of jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek and the innovative Singed pick of top laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau.

 

However, Karsa remained resilient after falling behind 0-2 in the series. Karsa's performances on Graves and Jarvan IV were far from incredible, but the veteran jungler can hardly be blamed for his team losing the first two games of the series. Even when Fnatic was gaining significant advantages, Karsa was able to catalyze many a successful counterplay for TES before FNC eventually triumphed.

 

TES made history in becoming the first team to reverse sweep a Worlds quarterfinals against Fnatic, and Karsa's performance was instrumental in the Chinese side's incredible comeback. Throughout Worlds 2020, Lee Sin has only been a successful pick if the jungler is able to execute individually on the highest competitive level, and Karsa did so not once, but twice.

 

Karsa's Blind Monk went 3/1/9 in game 3 against Selfmade's Kha'Zix, and in game 5, Karsa's mid lane gank put him ahead of Selfmade's Gragas and set the pace of TES' series win with a 4/1/6 performance. Despite the impressive and pivotal nature of Karsa's performance on Lee Sin, his most impressive performance of the series came in game 4. 

 

 

Karsa locked in Nidalee for game 4 of the series and found himself in a power-farming matchup against Selfmade's Graves, and TES' ability to properly executive proactive plays without Karsa's signature Lee Sin was called into question by analysts due to the team's performance throughout the first three games of the series and Selfmade's proficiency on carry junglers. Karsa spent the majority of the 2020 season as an enabler for TES, often sacrificing resources for his laners. 

 

"Top Esports is a team that pressures strong during the laning phase," said Karsa in a post-match broadcast interview with Park Jee-sun. "As for me, I can play any jungle champion according to where we need more power."

 

Throughout the group stage of Worlds 2020, Karsa showed strong performances on carry junglers and proved he still possessed the hard carry gear that made him globally famous as a star of Flash Wolves, but his Nidalee in game 4 was transcendent. Karsa's 10/1/7 performance on the Bestial Huntress was his strongest game of Worlds 2020 thus far, and it's hard to imagine TES forcing a game 5 without him playing at the top of his game throughout the entire series. 

 


 

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