Rogue vs FunPlus Phoenix
This is a fascinating match-up, and just writing such a sentence makes one question one's sanity. No one in their right mind would've expected this to be even remotely close coming into 2021 Worlds, but for one reason or another, it's Rogue who have impressed us in both of their outings, with FunPlus Phoenix looking like a very fallible, out of sync mess.
How that's possible and what's truly at play here is anyone's guess. Rogue, for one, have a chip on their shoulder and want to at least do something worthy of mentioning — in spite of the fact that they've been slotted into the "group of death" for the second year in a row. A thankless position, no doubt, but also one that could catalyze growth, assuming it is harnessed correctly. And that, it seems like, is exactly what the boys in blue are trying to do: they're taking it one game at a time and have been playing their hearts out, knowing darn well that their chances of making it out are so slim they might as well be deemed non-existent.
Still, with FunPlus Phoenix being shakier than anyone could've ever anticipated, things could get very interesting, very quickly. They simply need to step up as they're closer to the point of no return than it might seem. They're still favored to get out of groups, but unless they can shore up their weaknesses in record time (something for which they're undeniably well-equipped), they won't stand even the slightest chance of leaving a mark further down the line. And that, for a team most folks thought of as a shoo-in for the finals would be quite a debacle.
Be that as it may, this is still FPX we're talking about — they have more than enough clout and have earned our benefit of the doubt time and time again. Are they playing it a bit too close for comfort? Absolutely, but we really shouldn't be sounding the alarms *just yet.* That point, however, is closer than they'd like, which is why this particular game will be so darn telling. If FPX struggles yet again, then this group will be wide open. If, however, they put on a clinic and outclass Rogue with ease, then we'll at least know that some sort of a rebound is in the works and that our initial predictions could, eventually, come to fruition.