Huang "Fenfen" Chen has become the newest member of League of Legends Pro League (LPL) team eStar, the Chinese esports organisation announced this Saturday.
During their maiden season in the LPL, eStar did not need long to establish their dominance with exceptional performances throughout the early stages of the Spring Split. The league newcomers quickly climbed the ladder and solidified themselves as one of the best League of Legends teams in China.
Throughout the group stage, eStar picked up wins against the reigning world champions FunPlus Phoenix and Invictus Gaming, however, slowed down in the latter stages of the season and eventually finished fifth with an 11-5 record. In the playoffs, eStar suffered an unfortunate loss against Team WE (1-3) in the first round and had to settle with a seventh-eighth place finish, which is still a remarkable achievement for this rookie team.
Looking forward, eStar will look to build on that success and improve in the Summer Split, albeit with a slightly different roster. On Wednesday, May 27, eStar announced the departure of mid laner Yuan "Cryin" Cheng-Wei, who left for Royal Never Give Up. Throughout the Spring Split, Cryin established himself as one of the best mid laners in the league. He ended the split with some of the best marks in his position, including 6.27 KDA (highest), 77.1% KPAR (third-highest) and 23-1% GS (second-highest).
Due to Cryin's impressive showings, his departure did not come as a shock to anyone, however, it did spark a heated debate about who will fill in his shoes. Many speculations started to surface, connecting numerous Chinese mid laners with eStar, however, all the rumours died out this Saturday, when eStar unveiled Fenfen as their new starting mid laner for the LPL Summer Split.
Fenfen will join eStar as the most experienced player of the roster, which is mostly assembled from rookies, who made their maiden appearance in LPL this past split. Fenfen began his League of Legends career in April 2016 with Tan Chi Sa Gaming where he played for four months. After Tan Chi Sa Gaming disbanded in August 2016, Fenfen spent 11 months as a free agent, before joining Suning in June 2017.
In the months that followed Fenfen played for Snake Esports, LNG Esports and most recently LGD Esports, with whom he finished 2020 LPL Spring Split at 15th place with a 7-9 record. This marked Fenfen's worst LPL placement after a 12th place finishes with Snake Esports in LPL 2019 Spring and seventh-place finish with LNG in 2019 LPL Summer.
Although Fenfen failed to put up any outstanding numbers throughout the 2020 LPL Spring Split, his mediocre 3.6 KDA was overshadowed by his 78.1% KPAR (highest amongst mid laners) and 23% GS (third-highest), which indicates the 21-year-old mid laner has the potential to grow and become one of elite Chinese LoL players.
Fenfen failed to achieve any notable results throughout his career, nonetheless, that does not necessarily mean he will underperform in his new team. Numerous times before we have seen an underperforming player switch into a higher gear when he joined a team that suited his playstyle and perhaps, eStar has the right mix of players that will enable Fenfen to break out of his shell and prove he is one of the best laners in the scene.
LPL will resume on Friday, June 5 with the opening fixtures of the Summer Split.