Chinese behemoths Royal Never Give Up (RNG) have secured a place in the Grand Finals of the League of Legends (LoL) Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022, after sweeping Evil Geniuses (EG) 3-0 in the semi-finals of the Knockout Organize.
RNG had a dominant run throughout MSI, even though they played all of their MSI matches remotely due to China travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
The defending champions went a perfect 4-0 in the group stage, even after having to replay games due to a latency issue that offline teams faced in Busan.
RNG then defeated EG in the first match of the Rumble Stage. However, their next game ended in an upset loss to G2.
The Chinese team recovered over the next three days, winning seven games against other teams before losing a game to T1 on the final day of the Rumble Stage. RNG finished the Rumble Stage with the best record at 8-2.
Meanwhile, this year’s MSI marks EG’s first international exposure, with a fair mix of rookies and veterans on the team.
So far, this team has lived up to their promise by finishing second in Group C behind G2 Esports in the group stage.
EG started the Rumble Stage with a loss to defending champions RNG, but later in the day won a match against the Saigon Buffalos. After yet another loss to G2 on Day 2, EG were able to bounce back by defeating PSG Talon in an upset victory.
On Day 3, EG fell in T1 before winning against Saigon Buffalos, continuing their inconsistent record.
On Day 4, the North American team received retaliation against T1, but they were unable to defeat RNG on the same day.
EG prevailed over PSG Talon on the final day of the Rumble Stage before losing again to G2. As a result, EG barely snuck into the knockout stage with a 5-5 record.
While RNG won all three matches in the knockout stage semi-finals, EG did not go down without a fight.
The North American challengers kicked, screamed and slammed their way through the series, and made the defending champions work hard for this grand finale.
Here is a breakdown of the series between RNG and EG:
RNG dominated the first game, starting out winning in all lanes. EG couldn’t defend against the reigning champions siege as their comeback attempts were easily stopped by their Chinese opponents.
With an 8,000 gold deficit against RNG, EG attempted a flank at the Baron pit in an attempt to get the bounty on Gwen from Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin. However, RNG pulled off a masterful defense, knocking down the team fight to secure the Baron.
And after a 27-minute siege, RNG won the opener with a crushing 22-1 lead in a decisive victory to open the semi-finals.
EG fought back in Game 2 by finding plenty of opportunities to outplay the Chinese behemoths in the laning phase, like stopping Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-hao in the mid lane and killing in the top lane.
The North American challengers continued to find games in the river near the Dragon Pit and even successfully won a team fight against their Chinese opponents.
However, RNG used their teleport advantage to even out gold and kills after EG eliminated two of their members.
EG’s youngest player Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun with his pick Ahri was a game-changer in teamfights, where the North American team always found a win condition that kept them alive in the game.
As EG attempted to close out the match by taking the Baron buff, RNG’s Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei stole the Baron, but the Chinese team lost the ensuing team fight.
RNG found a way to gain the upper hand, however, after knocking out EG’s main damage dealer, Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki, in the mid lane. This allowed the defending champions to fight their way through EG’s mid lane.
With few options left, EG was able to eliminate the flurry that nearly ended the match. But RNG’s gold advantage began to show as EG struggled to maintain control of the map.
RNG finally sealed the deal by accessing EG to finally push the midfield one last time. After destroying EG’s Nexus after 35 minutes and with a 19-15 lead, the defending champions found themselves at match point.
In a do-or-die third game, EG again took the aggressive route, making plays and trading kills with their opponents. Counterplays from Jojopyun and Danny made it difficult for their opponents to navigate.
The more experienced RNG continued to lead rookies across the map, further establishing their dominance.
EG wouldn’t go down without a fight though, surprising everyone with an ace on RNG in the Baron pit and taking the Baron immediately after.
This cat-and-mouse game continued as RNG continued to knock down EG’s win conditions. But the young guns pulled off one miracle play after another to delay the game.
With a flank led by Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and Jojopyun, the North Americans found another miracle fight in the mid lane where they swept away all RNG but Wei, allowing them to freely retake the Baron and close the RNG lanes of their Link.
RNG tried to reestablish themselves in the mid lane in a long and bloody encounter that allowed them to rush back to EG’s base.
Just when it looked like RNG was close to claiming victory with only Jojopyun to defend the Nexus, he found another Nexus victory, keeping his team in the game once again.
EG chased the low health RNG members out of their base and took the old Drake for themselves. In response, as soon as all of the RNG members respawned, the Chinese team took on the Baron to prevent EG from pushing any further.
Both teams continued to look for ways to end the match, but after Xiaohu took out Jojopyun in a final team fight, RNG finally got the upper hand and ended the match after a bloody 43-minute encounter. with a 27-16 lead, securing their MSI. location of the grand finale in the process.
Meanwhile, EG retires from the competition with their heads held high in 3rd-4th place and with 25,000% US in consolation.
For the first time from a very young North American team on the international stage, EG proved that they are a team that deserves international recognition.
And with the perfect mix of talented prodigies and experienced team veterans who can mentor and share their expertise, who knows what other surprises they may pull off this year?
The next semi-final match will take place on Saturday, May 28, with a showdown between long-time international rivals G2 Esports and T1.
RNG will face the match winners of the G2-T1 Semi-Finals in the MSI 2022 Grand Five Finals Series on Sunday, May 29.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She’s a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and she’s a League of Legends geek. She’s also a foodie who loves a good cup of black coffee.