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After going perfect for the first time in League of Legends Champions Korea, T1 are in a less-than-stellar situation after dropping their second match in just as many days with a loss to the League of Legends Pro League champions, Royal Never Give Up, on Day 2 of the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational rumble stage.

In the most recent addition to one of the oldest rivalries in League of Legends, RNG earned one in the win column after a close battle that only lasted 32 minutes. With 38 total kills on the scoreboard, despite T1 and RNG constantly trading blows, superstar bot laner Chen “GALA” Wei going deathless on his signature Kai’Sa pick helped settle the game.

T1 made one too many macro mistakes that ended up costing them the game. The moment that turned the tide was a call to fight at Baron that secured T1 the objective while costing each player’s life in exchange. Through that decision, RNG won every fight after it. The nail in the coffin was a decision to not prioritize T1’s main win condition, capturing the Hextech Dragon Soul. RNG took the option off the table and finally picked off T1 to win the game.

GALA and Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao had fantastic performances on the RNG side. Considering how bad a game Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin was having, ultimately going 2/7/9 on Camille in the win, the two had their work cut out for them. On T1’s side, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong played well, but they could not carry their team better than RNG’s mid and bot duo.

The win propels RNG to a 3-1 record in the Rumble stage. As for T1, the loss puts them at 2-2 — a record no one expected at this stage in the tournament. As the overwhelming tournament favorites, T1’s two losses against their main competition for the MSI 2022 title are disheartening at best.

The bright side for T1 is that these are best of one matches. The true test will come much later in the tournament. However, T1 will need to right the ship quickly to even reach that point.