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It’s official, FunPlus Phoenix (“FPX”) are coming into the 2019 World Championship as the LPL’s first seed. Professional players everywhere have shown their excitement to play against this roster during the year. Quite frankly, it isn’t hard to see why.

The team went from being a mid-range contender to winning the LPL regular season back to back. With a change that is the addition of star player Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang. Ever since Doinb promoted to the LPL from the LSPL, the promotional league for China, he has been a consistent top-of-the-table threat.

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Almost all his regular-season placings have been in the top three. Despite his consistently high showings, he’s practically unheard of in the Western regions. He’s never made it to World’s, and he didn’t make his name on a team before leaving South Korea. Isaac “Azael” Cummings Bentley compared his popularity to the stars of Invictus Gaming, Song “Rookie” Eui-jin and Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok.

He’s even more obscure than they were. Unlike Rookie he’s not known as an international threat from season 4 and he’s never one-tricked Riven like TheShy. Doinb does have one thing that should collect him fans at this World Championship though, he has a champion ocean filled with his unique picks and builds.

Nautilus, Nocturne, and Neeko Oh My

Doinb has played 21 unique champions during the Summer Split of the LPL. These champions aren’t limited to the mid lane however, he’s shown his capability of swapping into the jungle with Nocturne and Skarner picks. Even the builds he uses are unique to him. Ryze is seen as an AP threat that can carry the game through side lane pressure and quick map rotations but for Doinb, Ryze is an engage champion.

He builds Righteous Glory and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter to slow his enemies and start fights. Doinb loves to engage, and that’s why he plays Nautilus. This pick has lost its favor with others. However, he hasn’t dropped the pick since it became popular late in the Spring Split.

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His aggressive tendencies don’t stop at engaging however, he’s built a Mejai’s six times out of his last 45 games. That means out of 10 games he’s likely to build the item at least once or twice. The picks that he plays shows no fear for breaking the meta. Some of the champions that he plays such as Poppy and Riven have seen play in other regions, but only Doinb has used them in the mid lane in a major region.

Doinb is a creative player. He will use what works for him, regardless of the general outlook. He crafts his builds alone to make sure they fit his hyper-aggressive play style and unique outlook on the game.

Teams that are matched up against FPX during the World Championship will have more to fear than a strong team, they’ll have Doinb.

Credit: Jimmy Bellinghausen

Originally published at on September 13, 2019.

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