A rumor circulating through the Chinese League of Legends esports scene points towards seven to eight teams from multiple regions around the globe are currently in conversations regarding an interest to buyout FunPlus Phoenix Academy jungler Zhou "Bo" Yang-Bo from FPX Esports. The rumor, which has been circulating throughout Chinese social media, has been translated to English and posted on Twitter:
Bo began the 2021 season in dominant fashion, winning all of his first ten games before turning himself in as part of a matchfixing scandal that he was apparently coerced into during the summer of 2020 while competing with eStar Young.
Matchfixing has run rampant throughout the LoL esports scene in China for multiple seasons, and even affected Worlds 2021 when Beyond Gaming mid laner Chien "Maoan" Mao-an was suspended from the tournament following leaking draft strategies of his team before the Play-In knockouts.
It's unsurprising that the rumors point towards Bo being bought out by an organization from another region due to his tarnished reputation in China.
However, outside of Bo's individual context, the move adds to a far more complex saga for FPX Esports following FunPlus Phoenix's shocking elimination from the group stage of Worlds 2021.
In a conversation with a friend via the League of Legends client, AD carry Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang stated that the entire FunPlus Phoenix roster would be dissolved and that he had 'run away' from the organization. If what Lwx is true, Bo is just one of many talents being moved in what could only be described as an FPX Esports fire sale.
FunPlus Phoenix came into Worlds 2021 as a potential favorite to win the event following their settling for the #2 representative seed from China after a narrow loss to eventual Worlds 2021 champion EDward Gaming in the finals of the 2021 LPL Summer Playoffs. The future of the organization and its LPL roster have yet to be made public by FPX Esports or any other parties.