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Defending Mid-Season Invitational champions Royal Never Give Up prevented LNG Esports’ attempts at a reverse sweep and won the final series of the LoL Pro League Regionals 3-2, sealing their place in the Worlds 2022 Play-ins stage taking place in Mexico as the LPL fourth and final seed.

RNG deny LNG’s fairy tale run to Worlds 2022

Yesterday, LNG top laner Hu “Ale” Jia-Le said they would make Worlds due to top laner Chen “Breathe” Chen being part of RNG, but history would not repeat itself.

Like their series against EDG, RNG started off more proactively, taking down early turrets and finding a few early kills. LNG could not find many opportunities to strike back as RNG continued to gradually build up their lead. After taking down LNG jungler Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong during the third drake, RNG proceeded straight to the Baron and floored the pedal. With an almost 10k lead in gold at barely 25 minutes, LNG could do very little to stop the golden army; RNG systematically took the Mountain Soul and the Nexus a few minutes later in a dominant display. 1-0 to RNG.

LNG started Game 2 undeterred and turned the tables on RNG by finding early picks and utilising the early pressure to secure an approximately 4k gold lead heading into the mid-game. RNG would still keep pace with two dragons of their own. On top of that, with jungler Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei’s Baron steal at 29 minutes, the game returned to an even state; however, momentum favoured RNG. The game would be decided in a contest for the next Baron, which saw bot laner Wang “Light” Guang-Yu somehow stealing the Baron, but it was for naught — RNG were too strong and took down four members of LNG. They proceeded to end the game, leaving the casters wondering how they would dissect this bizarre sequence of events. 2-0 and match point to RNG.

LNG decided they had enough of Breathe on Jax and took it for themselves in Game 3; both teams started on more even footing, but with LNG going into the mid-game with a small gold lead once again, overall no team had the distinct edge. The game broke open at 32 minutes near the Baron pit, where LNG caught RNG before they could spring a brush trap; LNG would proceed to take down three members of RNG, secure the Baron and the Mountain Soul later. With an over 10k gold advantage, RNG could only watch as LNG marched on to take the win. 2-1. Would this be RNG getting reverse swept again?

For Game 4, LNG relied on comfort picks for their solo laners in Ale and Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang, drafting a Kennen top and Nocturne mid. With both teams even, the advantage would swing to LNG at 24 minutes during the contest for the third drake. LNG routed RNG’s best attempts and with three members down, LNG proceeded to take the Baron. But RNG were not down and out.

RNG took advantage of a botched engage from LNG, and a timely pick on Ale at 33 minutes from Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao allowed them to take the second Baron and tie up the gold lead. A heroic base defense allowed LNG to claw their way back in and they managed to secure another Baron as well as the Elder Drake. With those advantages in the bag, LNG could finally close out the game. 2-2 and we’re on Silver Scrapes once more.

Game 5 saw RNG double down on picking Fiora for Breathe once more and Doinb decided to pull out his signature Ryze. The final game looked like Game 4 where LNG had control of the game from early to mid, but RNG’s “miracle mid-game” as LPL caster Joe “Munchables” Fenny said prevailed and they found a huge teamfight for the fifth drake. After managing to take down four members of LNG, RNG put themselves on Ocean Soul point and took an open Baron to finally put themselves in the lead. With that, RNG patiently took the late game one step at a time and dismantled LNG in their own base, denying the reverse sweep and taking the last game of the series. 3-2 to RNG.

Post-match comments from mid laner Xiaohu

RNG mid laner Xiaohu did a post-match interview with Shi “Wendy” Wen-di after the series ended. He started off by saying that he was happy to make Worlds again, also making sure to thank top laner Breathe for his performance in the series. He also said managing to prevent LNG’s reverse sweep meant a lot for the team.

“Although we have a tight schedule, I think LNG’s schedule is even tighter so we didn’t have much pressure on our shoulders,” he said. “Even though we got reverse swept by Edward Gaming, we managed to win two games, so we were still confident in ourselves coming into today’s series.”

Before signing off for the night, Xiaohu summarised his thoughts in a message to his team and all the RNG fans.

“In summer, we had our up and downs but luckily we qualified for Worlds because going into Worlds, all the teams will be starting at the same start point,” he said. “We’re lucky because we still have some time to fix our mistakes and we can continue to make improvements.”

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