LNG Esports, led by 2019 World Champion Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang, finished fourth in the LPL Spring 2022 regular season before getting swept and eliminated by Top Esports in the playoffs.

In Summer, the team struggled even more as they fought to qualify for the playoffs. Ending the LPL Summer 2022 regular season with a 8-8 match record, they scrapped by in seventh place, starting their playoffs journey in Round 1.

They not only defeated Bilibili Gaming 3-1 in the first round, but also upset Weibo Gaming 3-1 in the next. Up against Victory Five, who finished the regular season in third place, they stunned again with a hard fought 3-2 victory, and will face JD Gaming next in the double elimination bracket.

A big reason why LNG have become serious championship contenders this LPL Summer 2022 playoffs is due to Doinb, who takes risks on unconventional mid lane champions when no one else dares to.

LNG Esports Doinb brings back mid lane Nocturne and Renekton

FunPlus Phoenix mid laner Doinb and LoL champion Nocturne
Credit: LPL, Riot Games

Nocturne was only played six times in the LPL Summer 2022 regular season, solely in the jungle. Since 12.10’s Durability Update hit, assassin champions that once snowballed with lethality items have been in decline.

Yet, in his very first playoffs game against Bilibili Gaming, Doinb picked Nocturne — instead of another AP mage — to go up against Ahri in the mid lane. In game three, he did it again, this time against Akali.

Against Victory Five, led by Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, LNG once again locked in Nocturne as their final pick on blue side against Lissandra. Even though he trailed in CS in the laning phase, he kept the lane sufficiently pushed by buying Tear of the Goddess, and made up for it by rotating with teammates to catch opponents off guard, a Doinb special.

Nocturne’s full lethality build is no longer viable, so the mid laner now opts for the more typical bruiser build, with Stridebreaker as his Mythic item, followed by Guardian Angel. He also turns Tear of the Goddess into Fimbulwinter in the late game.

He caused so much trouble on the champion that Victory Five ended up banning or picking Nocturne the rest of the series.

Against Weibo Gaming in the playoffs round before, LNG selected Akali and Renekton as their last two picks on blue side. At the end of draft phase, they surprised by putting top laner Hu “Ale” Jia-Le on Akali to go up against Gwen, and Doinb on Renekton in the mid lane against Lissandra.

Showing the same playstyle, he trailed in CS in the laning phase, but worked with his jungler and top laner to shut down Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok in the early game. Giving over three kills in lane, TheShy eventually finished with a miserable 1/8/1 KDA.

With the ability to flex champions and pull out unconventional picks, super carry Doinb is clearly here to slay. Besides facilitating his teammates on bruiser champions, he’s also put on carry performances on Yone and Akali this playoffs run.

His best so far was in game two against Weibo Gaming, where he finished with a perfect 7/0/5 KDA on Yone, contributing 24.1 percent of total damage on his team.

List of champions Doinb has played so far in the LPL Summer 2022 payoffs

  • Nocturne
  • Akali
  • Corki
  • Yone
  • Renekton
  • Ryze
  • Lissandra

Catch LNG versus JD Gaming on August 23, 5 p.m. GMT+8 live on Twitch and YouTube.

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