Image via Riot Games
After a 2-1 start to the LPL Spring Split, FunPlus Phoenix jungler Tian announced today that he would be taking a break from competitive play for health reasons. The ex-world champion cited health problems stemming from the pressure of competitive play as the reason for his planned absence.
In a translation of his Weibo post by Twitter user @ran_lpl, Tian revealed that the team’s 2-0 victory against Rogue Warriors on Jan. 19 was ‘one of the first games after 2019 that I actually enjoyed playing’, and that he had decided to ‘take a break and seek professional help’ after the pressure of LPL matches had left him feeling unwell. He clarifies, however, that he will be back, and that this break does not mark his retirement.
FunPlus Phoenix currently has no active jungle substitute for the LPL roster–with the only jungler currently signed to the organization being Beichuan. Beichuan is part of the organization’s League of Legends Development League (LDL) team, FunPlus Blaze, who are currently sitting undefeated in the LDL after 2-0 victories against both eStar Young and All Combo. However, with the LDL split already well underway, the organization would have to find a replacement for Beichuan, who would be pulled out of the team in order to fill Tian’s spot in the LPL roster.
FunPlus have not, as of yet, made any comment as to who their new jungler will be. With the team currently sitting at a 2-1 win record in the LPL after a disappointing 2020 that saw them fail to make Worlds, the loss of Tian will be a worrying hit to their opening momentum.
FunPlus Phoenix’s next game will take place against Suning Gaming on Jan. 23.