EDward Gaming EDward Gaming China Rank #1 ZmjjKK Zheng Yongkang (郑永康) nobody Wang Senxu (王森旭) Muggle Tang Shijun (唐时俊) CHICHOO Wan Shunji (万顺治) Smoggy Zhang Zhao (张钊) Haodong Guo Haodong (郭浩东) have defeated FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix China Rank #3 Autumn Kale Dunne Life Qu Donghao (瞿东豪) AAAAY Zhang Yang (张杨) BerLIN Zhang Bolin (張柏霖) Lysoar Liang Youhao (梁优好) ZiXuan Liu Junwei (刘俊伟) 3-1, crowning themselves the winners of China Kickoff. With this victory, they have claimed a top seed for Masters: Madrid, and earned 3 Championship points for Champions 2024 qualification.

The win marks EDG's fifth domestic title in a row, a streak that began May 2023. They have also been the best-performing Chinese team at a VCT international event, reaching the top-six twice.

This series is the second time both teams have faced off in a grand final. FunPlus Phoenix won the previous matchup 3-1, back in 2022. Despite that win, the record between the two prior to Kickoff was 8-3 in EDG's favor.

FPX's map pick, Breeze, opened the best-of-five. EDG found an early lead on their defense, with CHICHOO 's Cypher taking on a protagonist role throughout the half. His setups helped punish the opponent's double duelist composition, mitigating their impact to such an extent that ZmjjKK had more than twice Autumn 's and Life 's combined eliminations.

It was not a clean half, however. FPX still won five rounds after losing the pistol, and they were able to keep rounds close. They bounced back on offense, where they won the first four rounds comfortably. This put EDG at a disadvantage for the first time in the match, but they managed to keep their score on par with their rivals.

CHICHOO and Haodong win a miracle round

FPX then won another two rounds to grant them map point. Not content with a looming FPX win, CHICHOO gave a lurking masterclass on round 23 to save a 2v5. FPX seemed to crumble afterwards, not putting up much resistance in the final three rounds.

Once again, map two began with EDG taking the lead. They were able to win five rounds in a row, aided by three first kills from ZmjjKK. BerLIN and AAAAY helped turn their luck around, eventually tying the score at 5-5. A botched attempt at preventing the plant gave EDG their sixth round, and a triple kill from ZmjjKK sealed the half 7-5.

Overall, ZmjjKK was involved in nine initial encounters on attack, winning six and only dying first 3 times. He ended the half with 13 kills, closely followed by Smoggy 's 12

CHICHOO pushes to win a 1v1

EDward Gaming continued to extend their lead on the second half. They won the pistol round, and a lingering Snake Bite prevented FPX from winning EDG's bonus round. A lurk from autumn helped win the following round, but a 1v1 and subsequent 4K from CHICHOO put his team on map point. Again with their backs against the wall, FPX looked lost on the final round. A missed Showstopper and well placed smoke gave nobody a triple kill, enough for his team to end the map 13-6.

Icebox was FunPlus Phoenix's chance at redemption. Reyna-Jett was their chosen duelist pairing, and it initially paid off for them. The duelist duo had a strong beginning to the map, together winning the first four rounds in a row. EDG was able to identify Life's overeagerness and FPX's weak B site, two factors they capitalized on to win five rounds of their own. The two teams then traded rounds to end the half 6-6.

FPX dismantle EDG thanks to an Autumn 3K

Autumn led the scoreboard going into the second half, and he continued the performance the next couple of rounds with 2 first kills to open their attack. EDG won the bonus round, but two successful site holds and a clutch from Life extended the round differential. The next round, a correct gamble stack and isolated 1v1s gave EDG an eco win. Eventually, FPX was able to win two close rounds, winning their first map of the series 13-8.

Statistically, autumn stood out above the rest of the players, totalling 25 eliminations. He also had a 4-1 first-kill to first-death ratio, compared to ZmjjKK's 5-6. AAAAY was not far behind with 19 eliminations, finding crucial kills on defense that halted EDG's attacking ideas.

Both teams went into Ascent using non-traditional comps, with FPX on the same agents they picked against Dragon Ranger Gaming and EDG opting for a comp that appeared tailor made to counter FPX's.

FunPlus Phoenix put themselves ahead to start off the map, winning their third bonus round of the day. After taking the first five rounds of the half, EDG's counterstratting started to show, in turn helping them win six rounds in a row.

Not only are both teams playing unique Ascent comps, EDG's is handpicked to counter FPX's. The shallow Viper's Pit allows CHICHOO to push comfortably while denying information for common Cypher setups

EDG use a Snake Bite to break Cypher's Spycam over B Main

After winning the second pistol round, FPX found another streak of round wins. EDG fought back, using ZmjjKK as spearhead for early pushes and chaotic retakes. Three rounds later, FPX were able to claw back from a 3v5 to get them to map point. Two failed pushes onto A followed, and EDG dragged the map to overtime. The teams went back-and-forth, but in the end EDG scored the final blow, winning the series 16-14.