The 2019 League of Legends world champions, FunPlus Phoenix, announced the departure of mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang. The 24-year-old is the third player who left the team this offseason, suggesting FPX will look much different in 2022.
Doinb Is Out Of FunPlus Phoenix
The departure of Doinb got announced on Sunday, November 21, as the third departure from FPX since the free agency window opened on November 15. The Chinese LoL esports team have previously parted ways with jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon.
“After three unforgettable years, we would like to extend our gratitude to you for all the spirits you brought to the organization, both on and off the rift,” read the announcement.
“Since you joined FPX in 2018, your reliable leadership and affectionate energy have transformed the entire team into a cohesive family. Your determined faith and unmatched passion have represented everything FPX embodies and already made an impact on a lot of people.”
Doinb joined FunPlus Phoenix in December 2018 and has been a core member of the team ever since. He led FPX from a middle-of-the-table team to the title of LPL 2019 Summer Split champions and won the 2019 LoL World Championship a few months after.
Over that time, the 24-year-old Chinese mid laner established himself as one of the game’s greatest players and a beloved figure of the LoL community. Unfortunately, despite the team’s success in 2019, FPX struggled to deliver in 2020 and 2021.
Two Years of Disappointment
After winning the 2019 LoL World Championship, FunPlus Phoenix fell off significantly. In the 2020 season, FPX even failed to compete for the domestic title, finishing the LPL 2020 Spring in third and the 2020 LPL Summer in seventh-eighth place.
As a result, the defending champions did not attend the 2020 LoL Worlds. Things did not improve by much in 2021, even though FPX started gaining traction domestically.
In the 2021 season, FunPlus Phoenix reached the finals of the LPL 2021 Spring but lost to Royal Never Give Up (1-3). In the summer season, FPX won the regular season with a 13-3 record but again fell flat in the playoffs.
Despite being billed as the top favorites to win the split, FunPlus Phoenix had to admit defeat to Edward Gaming in the LPL 2021 Summer finals, securing yet another silver medal.
While an underwhelming run, things took a sudden turn for the worst at the 2021 LoL Worlds. After enjoying a strong start to the group stage, FunPlus Phoenix flopped and failed to make it out of the group.
The 2019 Chinese LoL esports team ended the group stage with a 2-4 record and finished the tournament in 14th-16th place. As a result of FPX’s humiliating performance, the organization is seemingly looking to rebuild for the 2022 season.
FunPlus Phoenix Looking To Rebuild
The departure of Nuguri, Tian, and now Doinb suggests that the Chinese LoL esports organization is looking to rebuild its roster. However, since there are no announcements about possible arrivals yet, it seems likely that FPX will field academy players.
In theory, FunPlus Phoenix have a complete roster for the 2022 season, although it would require them to play with two academy players. That includes Hu “Qing” Jia-Ju in the mid lane and Yang “Beichuan” Ling as the jungler.
Meanwhile, FPX seem to have their top lane situation sorted with Ping “xiaolaohu” Xiao-Hu, who has been with the team since July. The 19-year-old had also competed with the team during the 2021 season when he served as a replacement for Nuguri.
While fielding a couple of academy players seems like a reasonable decision, likely, FPX will first look to find suitable replacements in LPL or LCK star players.
Meanwhile, the future of Tian, Doinb, and Nuguri remains a mystery. Some rumors suggest Nuguri will take a break from the LoL esports scene, while Doinb has been linked to LNG.
Lastly, there is no news about Tian, who is currently a free agent, looking for a team to join.