He was abandoned at the age of 12 and now plays at the World LoL Championships.
In the world of professional gaming, there is no shortage of people who had to sacrifice a lot to achieve the desired success, and unique story of one of the Chinese players League of Legends – Huan-Feng’s tango “huanfeng” – has recently been winning the hearts of players from all over the world. Why, you ask. In short: his parents abandoned him at the age of 12, and despite adversities, he decided to become a professional LoL player. In a few years he developed his career to fight for the most important trophy in his life during the World Cup.
Huan-Feng’s story was originally presented on the pages of the Chinese website Weibo, then translated and published on Medium, where the article quickly gained popularity. Then youtuber Gbay99 created a video (you can watch it below) in which he presented the story of this player in a more accessible way, thanks to which even more people heard about him. Later in this news, we will also introduce you to the history of the Chinese player so far, so that you can also get to know his inspiring personality (even if you are not necessarily interested in LoL). However, we would like to point out that special praise is due to the authors of the above-mentioned materials, who did an amazing job in publicizing the story of Huan-Feng.
Born in Dongxing, China, 19-year-old Huan-Feng did not have an easy childhood. As a few years old, he had to deal with the problem of constant quarrels and arguments from his parents, who often asked him who he would stay with when the inevitable separation took place. Tango’s father eventually moved in with his new family, and the boy stayed with his mother for a while. However, it did not bring him the desired peace. One day his mother just packed up without a word and left the 12-year-old boy to fend for himself. Huan-Feng had to be on his own since then (although he had a loose contact with his father from whom he received little monthly financial support). However, it was on his mind to study, to take care of the housework, and to prepare meals, all when he was just entering adolescence.
LoL as an escape from everyday life
Huan-Feng was not a very open person, and although he had a pack of faithful friends (who even shared his food with him when he had nothing to buy it for), and did very well at school, it was difficult for anyone to fully trust. Strongly experienced by life, he preferred to spend time alone at the computer (left by his father after he moved out), playing League of Legends. Undoubtedly, this production was a stepping stone for him from the real world – while focusing on the game, at least temporarily he forgot about what he has to struggle with on a daily basis.
Sometimes, when I see people who have to rely on others, it doesn’t feel like the best feeling. I’m used to dealing with everything on my own, and being independent from a small age can be really good.
But it didn’t take much for LoL to become something much more important to Huan-Feng. Once, when he was invited to a Lunar New Year celebration with his father’s family, he and his cousins sneaked out to an internet cafe to spend the whole night playing League of Legends. While returning home, one of them stated that they should become professional players one day. Words which for many would only be a reason to smile and dream (I cannot count the number of times I dreamed it myself) meant a lot to Huan-Feng. From that moment on, the boy started playing the game seriously – he got up earlier in the morning to play LoL, and used longer breaks in lessons and free evenings for the same purpose. In the end, on the “Chinese Super Server”, he managed to earn the rank of Master (one of the highest in the game), which opened the door to a professional player career.
“I. Computer, school, classmates. That’s enough for me, I can just wade. Source: YouTube – Gbay99.
The first attempts to become a professional player
In high school, Huan-Feng, after long reflection and discussions with a teacher close to him, decided that being a professional gamer was the best way for him in life. He dropped out of school – although it was not easy for him, because he studied very well and could have had a good education, although after transferring to a better class he ran into conflicts with other students and his father – and began to contact various teams, hoping that one of them would like to accept him as a player.
Unfortunately, it was not good enough for any of them. But then fate smiled at him – he was contacted by an internet cafe owner who wanted to start his own esports team. The salary he was offering was enough for Huan-Feng to immediately move to another city and start his career. Such an opportunity might not come again.
Unfortunately, his first adventure with professional games was not very colorful. He had to live in much worse conditions than in his “family” home, and his whole day was filled with playing LoL. His team did not achieve spectacular success, and the player himself stated that although he gained some experience, he did not develop at all. After a year, he managed to save some money, but considered the last months to be wasted (especially after the team owner sold their place in the second Chinese league) and left the organization, returning to his hometown. Now he had to make a decision – keep trying his hand at esports or maybe just go to the army (which his father suggested some time ago)?
However, fate once again decided to smile at the aspiring player. His old friend Leyan contacted him and revealed that his WuDu team was looking for a player in the shooter’s position (and that’s what Huan-Feng played). He did not hesitate for long and accepted the offer, and a moment later made his debut on the stage as part of the LDL (second league in China) competition. The team could have considered the season successful (taking third place), but due to the fact that it was not present during the spring struggles, it could not take part in the play-offs. So Huan-Feng used his spare time to develop his skills as a player and even managed to get the highest possible division in LoL on the Korean server. Unfortunately, on the same day he learned that he and his supporters had to leave the current team (apparently the management believed that players would find a better place to develop).
Three times lucky?
After a three-month hiatus, Huan-Feng joined LDL again, this time representing the colors of the newly formed Invictus Gaming Young (and again playing alongside his old friend Leyan). The team performed quite well in the regular season, but were defeated in the quarter-finals. The then coach Li “GuoKui” Wen-Jing decided that he would spend one more split with the young players, but this time he would risk a slightly different approach (so far the management board forced them to be very strict). GuoKui now focuses on contact with players, changing their approach to working together and communication. He organized their free time (e.g. by taking everyone to an evacuation room), and tried to approach each one individually (pointing out what else he could learn and what his strengths were). The new strategy proved successful – the IGY team led by Huan-Feng in 2019 won the LDL League Cup.
Invictus Gaming Young team in an escape room. Source: medium.com.
The road to the world championship in LoL
There was much more to be achieved after the LDL victory before Huan-Feng. His main goal (as well as his teammates) was to get to the top league in China – the LPL. After a few unsuccessful try-outs (tests in other teams), he was close to giving up on his dreams. He decided that he was not good enough to play with the better ones and needed a break. GuoKui’s coach came to the rescue again, encouraging him to keep trying. Eventually Huan-Feng landed on the Suning team. After his mid-season start (11th place in regular competition), he had a very successful summer split alongside an experienced SwordArt support (even beating defenders of the world championship). In the match for third place, Suning won 3-0 against the LAG and later secured their part in the group stage of this year’s World Cup.
At the current event, Suning already had a little success – Huan-Feng’s team emerged from the group from the first place with a 5-2 balance of matches. There are some challenging fights ahead of them, and reaching the trophy will not be easy tasks. Other contenders include the extremely strong DAMWON Gaming or the surprising G2 Esports. Undoubtedly, however, winning the World Cup would be a beautiful culmination of the story of 19-year-old Huan-Feng. However, even if he failed to do so now, he shouldn’t break down. Due to his young age, his career is just gaining momentum, and Huan-Feng is attracted more and more people, often claiming that he is currently one of the most talented shooters in the world.
Tang “huanfeng” Huan-Feng.
- League of Legends official website
- The official website for League of Legends esports