Last off-season Kim ‘DoinB’ Tae-sang was considering retirement. Now, he’s a League of Legends world champion.
It’s the dream League of Legends run that no one anticipated, and one that perfectly summarises the incredible story lines that this ten-year-old game gives us. So it’s no surprise that as he and the rest of his FunPlus Phoenix teammates lift the trophy in front of a packed crowd in the AccordHotels Arena in Paris, tears start to fall. These tears belong to Tang Xiaoyo, DoinB’s wife, who not only discouraged him from leaving the world of League of Legends esports behind all those months ago, but asked him to prove himself on the big stage. And that he did.
The team might have been called the weakest first seed heading into the main part of Worlds by G2 Esports, but their performances suggested otherwise. Blitzing through games in this tournament, each and every one of FPX’s players have made a name for themselves. DoinB’s roaming skills were talked about in great detail leading up to today’s final, but on the Summoner’s Rift, all five players rose to the challenge.
A dominant showing from the Chinese powerhouses meant that the finals were completed in just 98 minutes. It’s by no means the quickest clean sweep we’ve ever had in League of Legends, but given that no one expected a 3-0 win, not even FPX themselves, it shows the power of the team before us.
“Before the games, we predicted a 3-1 victory,” DoinB reveals after the game. “So we were surprised when we won 3-0. I must say that my team performed very well.”
Despite the European crowd baying for Chinese blood, the vitriol in the stadium only seemed to spur FPX on. Gao ‘Tian’ Tian-Liang’s performance on the Rift was something else tonight, and when you pair that with DoinB’s roaming skills, this Chinese team are simply unbeatable.
And although G2 showed promise, clearly the pressure of having Europe’s hopes and dreams riding on their shoulders was too much for them. No matter how many times they tried to switch things up, DoinB and his gang were waiting.
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Yes, G2 probably could have been better, but given FPX’s drafts and the team’s impeccable level one plan, the better team lifted the trophy on the night.
And for DoinB, who was worried no one would ever remember his name, he can go to sleep tonight knowing that it will never be forgotten.
Like a true phoenix, he has risen from the ashes.