FunPlus Phoenix to Part Ways With Tian and Nuguri
To say that FunPlus Phoenix failed to deliver at this year’s Worlds would be putting it mildly. So, frankly, it should come as no surprise that Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon and Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang have decided to part ways with the organization and look for greener pastures.
The loss of two such legends will no doubt affect FPX in a myriad of ways, none of which are particularly positive. Still, they’re a big brand (with ample financial backing) so finding suitable replacements shouldn’t be too hard. Filling in for Nuguri and Tian will be no easy feat, but we know for a fact that the LPL is stacked with stupendously talented players and, in case none of them “fit the bill,” FunPlus Phoenix can always import someone from the LCK — it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
Where these two veterans will go next still remains to be seen, but they should have no shortage of options now that they’ve entered free agency. With that being said, we have an inkling that Nuguri will almost surely return to Korea and sign for a top-tier organization.
Could a reunion with DWG KIA be on the horizon? It’s definitely possible, if not even probable.
The Return of the LPL Dynasty
No one thought that Edward Gaming had it in them. Heck, most folks deemed FunPlus Phoenix as the biggest frontrunners to win this year’s Worlds, but fate had other plans. Gone was the FPX of yore, and in its place we saw a middling, flawed contender that was out of sync and out of sorts in the face of its opposition. It was a tough pill to swallow and we felt as if we were robbed of a truly great narrative, a comeback for the ages, if you will.
But competitive League is a fickle beast, and FunPlus Phoenix knows it, too. One day you’re on top of the world, getting showered in confetti, and then — in what feels like a blink of an eye — you’re being ridiculed by the community for fumbling in the most unexpected of ways. As always, you can’t have the good without the bad.
The fact that Nuguri and Tian are parting ways with FunPlus Phoenix means they’re looking for a fresh start — for reasons that need no explaining. We hope they’ll find teams worthy of their pedigrees and continue to dominate for years to come!