Three Koreans named among Chinese LoL league's best five
The 2021 Summer All-LPL First Team, announced Wednesday by the League of Legends Professional League, featured three Korean players.
FunPlus Phoenix mid laner Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang was chosen as regular-season MVP, becoming the first player in China's top League of Legends circuit to win the honor three times since the current all-pro system was implemented in the league.
Doinb differs from the other two Korean honorees — Edward Gaming bot laner Park "Viper" Do-hyeon and Li-Ning Gaming jungler Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong — in that he has spent his entire competitive career in China and is officially recognized as homegrown LPL talent. As he has never played professionally in League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), it may be disingenuous to draw any deep links between his individual brilliance and his nationality.
Viper and Tarzan, on the other hand, do hail from LCK. Both made their name during their time on Griffin, the fairytale rookie squad that took LCK by storm in 2018 and 2019 before upper management issues effectively disintegrated the organization.
Prior to the All-LPL Teams announcement, Viper's spot had been considered by most a lock, but the same did not apply to Tarzan; many fans reacted to his inclusion with surprise. This is somewhat reflected in their respective distance from the second team — Viper won comfortably by a 35-point margin, while for Tarzan the difference was 18.
However, both pale in comparison to Royal Never Give Up's veteran top laner Li "Xiaohu" Yuanhao, who was unanimously voted first by all 39 panelists and walked into the first team by a gap of 80 points.
Xiaohu's RNG teammate Shi "Ming" Senming won best support, tying Invictus Gaming top laner Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok's record of being voted to the All-LPL first team five times.
Viper, Xiaohu and Ming, who also made the 2021 Spring All-LPL First Team earlier in the season, have displayed remarkable consistency over this calendar year.
No Korean players made the second or third team.
BY JEON YOUNG-JAE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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