Saturday, January 22

2021 LPL Off-Season: Doinb to LNG, TheShy to Weibo, Xiaohu Swaps Back to Mid

The LPL off-season is far from over; there’s a surprising number of teams that still haven’t finalized their rosters, although we’re pretty sure they’ll announce their last signings over the next few days. This time around, we have a batch of exciting new leaks, most of which come from very accurate sources and, believe it or not, mid lane legend Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang — a venerable behemoth who has just signed with LNG Esports.

Doinb has leaked so many roster changes and player signings this off-season he might as well be considered an esports reporter — one with incredible accuracy and the best possible sources: the players themselves. The fashion in which he leaks things also warrants a mention: he’s as relaxed and mellow as possible, talking about these things with the utmost informality. 

He’s one of the few individuals reporting on LPL roster changes (and the LPL in general), so we’re not complaining! There’s a fair bit of ground to cover, so let’s go over everything that has happened since our last report!

2021 LPL Off-Season | New Roster Changes

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (formerly known as Victory Five) have reportedly finalized their roster for 2022: Lee “Rich” Jae-won (Nongshim RedForce), Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan (Top Esports), Song “Rookie” Eui-jin (Invictus Gaming), Ying “Photic” Qi-Shen (Top Esports Challenger), and Guo “ppgod” Peng (Bilibili Gaming). That’s… surprisingly solid for an organization that has just re-entered competitive LoL. A respectable line-up, no doubt, but also one that isn’t going to be challenging for a spot at the top any time soon. 
  • Weibo (formerly known as Suning) has acquired former world champion Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok.
  • Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin will reportedly be signing with Royal Never Give Up, which means that Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao will role swap to mid once again. An interesting decision, given Xiaohu’s absolute dominance in the top lane; still, Bin’s more than capable enough to fill in the void. He’s an absolute beast mechanically and should be able to prosper beyond measure under the RNG banner. Xiaohu will still be doing Xiaohu things — only this time it’ll be in mid instead of top.
  • Bilibili Gaming has acquired Chen “Breathe” Chen from Team WE and Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song from FunPlus Phoenix.
  • Former Royal Never Give Up mid laner and Mid-Season Invitational champion Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei will sign with Ultra Prime (formerly known as eStar) or FunPlus Phoenix.
  • Team WE are set to acquire Yu “Biubiu” Lei-Xin from Bilibili Gaming and will reportedly field not one but two junglers in the future. 
  • To get LPL legend Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, Bilibili Gaming supposedly had to give over Bin to Royal Never Give Up. This is just a rumor so take it with a grain of salt, but it seems very plausible.
  • As already mentioned, Doinb has decided to part ways with FunPlus Phoenix and test out his luck with LNG Esports. He’s still one of the best mid laners in the world and will no doubt serve as a boon to LNG’s chances in the future.

These are all very interesting changes, although the news of Xiaohu switching back to mid takes the cake as the most unexpected twist of them all. The things he could accomplish as a top laner were nothing short of spectacular. Hence, he’s somewhat strange to revert to his original position after styling over his opposition throughout the year. 

Be that as it may, he’s an absolute legend and is still at the peak of his powers — so why not? He’ll have more agency in mid and probably wants to stand the best possible chance of taking down Edward Gaming and once again claiming the LPL throne. It won’t be easy, but RNG has all the right tools for the job!

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