It's been less than a week since FunPlus Phoenix's shocking exit from the group stage of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, but a recent stream by professional player and former FPX top laner Kim "GimGoon" Han-saem may have provided valuable context to the #2 League of Legends Professional League representative's historic underperformance on the international stage.
According to GimGoon, FunPlus Phoenix jungler Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang played the entirety of Worlds 2021 with a wrist injury in addition to generally poor physical health. Highlights of the stream have been translated to English via Twitter, which states that Gimgoon said the following regarding Tian:
"Tian’s wrist injury is serious and his body health isn’t good as well. His condition isn’t good as his body health isn’t good. He didn’t want to play it but the situation changed and he must play it. I think he tried his best.
"You can blame others but Tian did try his best! It is not love him as you don’t know his situation. You can see he played a lot solo ranks in EUW and he achieved second place and qualified for worlds this year.
Unfortunately, the result of match isn’t good but he tried his best."
For the entirety of GimGoon's tenure on FunPlus Phoenix, Tian was his jungler, so it's not out of the question or even unlikely that he would be familiar with Tian and his potential competitive ailments. In addition, this wrist injury has been a well-documented thorn in Tian's side — he's already had to take time away from competing earlier this year because of it.
Tian was not heavily exposed in the LPL upon his return mid-season, but his form was a far cry from his peak at Worlds 2019. Tian was, however, exposed on the Worlds 2021 stage and was a cruicial factor in FPX's early exit from the tournament with an abysmal 29% win percentage.
However, it looks likely that based on previous information and the translations of GimGoon's recent stream that Tian was not 100% at Worlds 2021, and potentially, has not been for quite some time.