FunPlus Phoenix won the 2019 League of Legends World Championship on Nov. 10 after an amazing performance from mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang and the rest of the LPL’s top-seeded team. But unlike FPX as an organization, which was created in 2017, Doinb has been in the scene for quite a while.
“I think a lot of people will remember Doinb as someone who’s competed for many years, and after a difficult journey, finally won Worlds,” Doinb said before his final matches. “He’s a diligent and hardworking player. That’s how I want everyone to remember me.”
This years’ Worlds finals might have been Doinb’s last competitive games. His hard work finally yielded the result he wanted, and after almost five years of fighting for it, he built a career to be proud of.
Here’s everything you need to know about Doinb.
Start of Doinb’s competitive career in LPL 2015
Doinb started competing at the League 2015 Secondary Pro League as a part of QG reapers, now a disbanded team. With Doinb in the mid lane, QG came in first in both of the league’s splits and qualified for the League Pro League 2015.
The team had a strong showing throughout the 2015 season. Doinb came in third at the China Regional Finals, almost reaching Worlds 2015. The team went on to place second at IEM Cologne Season X and they were in the top-five at the IEM Season X World Championship.
Doinb stayed with the team for the upcoming 2016 season but was demoted to the secondary squad after QG was acquired by Newbee. The team played at the top of China’s secondary league before getting back into the LPL in 2017. The Chinese scene was becoming more and more competitive, though, and Doinb and QG couldn’t keep up. They finished the spring playoffs as the last-placed team.
Joining the big leagues in 2018
After QG was acquired and rebranded to JD Gaming, the team still wasn’t competing at the top level. Doinb left to join Rogue Warriors, the team he stayed with until joining FPX in 2019.
Doinb started to prove himself with RW. And the first big step was Rift Rivals 2018 between the LCK, LPL, and LMS. RW shared first place with the other LPL representatives—Royal Never Give Up, EDward Gaming, and Worlds 2018 winners Invictus Gaming. The Chinese mid laner was finally competing at the same level as the other best teams from the region.
Doinb didn’t earn a spot at Worlds 2018, however. During the LPL’s 2018 regional finals, RW fell behind EDG, who took the Worlds qualification slot. Doinb shared in a post-match interview after the Worlds finals this year that another disappointing result made him think he wasn’t good enough and should retire from competitive play. But his wife, Li “Umi” Youzi, who’s been with him from the beginning of his pro career, motivated him to try for another year.
And deciding to compete for another season became one of the best choices in his career.
FPX winning Worlds 2019
To start the latest competitive season, Doinb joined FPX, a young team with no notable achievements, but with a completely new roster. This was his time to shine.
FPX started the season by surprising everyone and winning the 2019 LPL Spring Split with an 87 percent win rate. It wasn’t just the luck of an underdog, either. They then won the Summer Split just as easily, winning 14 matches and dropping only a single game in the process. Doinb finally made it to Worlds.
His first and possibly last performance at Worlds saw him get crowned a champion. FPX advanced out of the group stage as the first seed, defeated defending champions IG in the semifinals and dominated G2 in the finals. Doinb performed consistently well throughout the whole championship. He was the mid laner with the highest win rate, gold per minute, and KDA during the Worlds main stage.
After an amazing performance, he lifted the trophy together with his team.
Following his success at Worlds 2019, Doinb announced he might retire from competitive play. It was a tough ride, but his determination paid off. Doinb finally became the superstar he wanted to be.