Former FunPlus Phoenix top laner and 2019 World Champion Kim "GimGoon" Han-saem has announced his retirement from competitive play earlier today.
FunPlus Phoenix announced today that their former top lane GimGoon is retiring from pro play. After playing on the Xenics Storm team that qualified for the 2014 OGN spring split, he was a substitute on two Korean teams before moving to China the year after.There, he played on Energy Peacemaker and Game Talents - two teams that moved between the LPL and the lower LSPL league before moving to Funplus Phoenix in late 2017.
It was on FPX that GimGoon finally found success, acting as the team’s rock solid top lane player. The team was in the middle of the pack in 2018, before coming back strong in 2019. FPX were first in the regular split in both spring and summer, but in the later split they won playoffs as well. GimGoon became famous as the “weak side king”, able to absorb pressure and survive with minimal resources while the team focused elsewhere on the map, then come back strong in teamfights. While this is a skill that many masters of the top lane have had to learn, GimGoon had to do it at a time the LPL was legendary for its aggressive top laners such as Bai "369" Jia-Hao or Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok. Other players have said that he played a fatherly role in the team, guiding his younger teammates.
At Worlds 2019, FPX came out of a group they had some shaky performances, needing a tiebreaker game to come out in first place in front of LEC’s Splyce. In the playoffs, the team eliminated LEC’s Fnatic and fellow LPL team Invictus Gaming, finally sweeping G2 Esports in the final.
Sadly, FPX was unable to maintain its level, even with attracting another Korean star top laner in Kim "Khan" ( listen) Dong-ha. In 2020, GimGoon had to share the toplane with fellow South Korean Khan. The team had an okay spring, but looked much weaker in summer with a seventh place in playoffs and missing Worlds. GimGoon spent 2021 as a streamer, before announcing his retirement.
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