Royal Never Give Up Win 2022 Mid-Season Invitational
The final stage of the League of Legends 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, the Knockout Stage, took place from May 27th to May 29th in Busan, South Korea. The Knockout Stage featured four leading teams that had already proven their worth during the Rumble Stage: T1, G2 Esports, Royal Never Give Up, and Evil Geniuses.
The first best-of-five series was played between Royal Never Give Up and EG, while T1 and G2 played the second series. The round winners advanced to the finale, facing each other in a final Bo5 for the MSI trophy.
Evil Geniuses vs. Royal Never Give Up
Game one of the best-of-five series between EG and RNG was a complete one-sided sweep in favor of RNG. RNG methodically outclassed EG, closing the game with a stunning 22 kills and an 18k gold lead.
As both teams entered the Summoner’s Rift for the second time, Evil Geniuses began their open and continuous early aggression towards RNG to even the score. Despite being in the lead, EG lost a fight as the second Drake was spawning and, with that, threw the ball in RNG’s court. The final nail in EG’s coffin was their attempt to sneak Baron Nashor, which jungler Chang-Wei “Wei” Yuan stole for RNG. With just one Baron buff, RNG pushed their lead, withLi “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao catching and punishing a mispositioned ADC. Having created a massive gold gap between the teams, RNG soon closed the game.
In the beginning, game three awfully resembled the first game of the series. However, during the mid-game, EG caught out Wei and Chen “GALA” Wei, and were successful in taking Baron. Having equalized the gold gap, Evil Geniuses won yet another fight, letting everyone believe we’d have a series on our hands. Unfortunately, in an extended teamfight at the Elder Drake, EG lost their ADC, and the series as a result.
Although this best of five series between Evil Geniuses and Royal Never Give Up may seem like a one-sided stomp, Evil Geniuses did, to an extent, stand their ground. However, having been the methodical and mechanical gods they are, RNG simply outclassed them.
T1 vs. G2 Esports
In the first game of the series, G2 aggressively and repeatedly attacked T1’s bot lane with their roaming-oriented champions. With the help of mid-laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and jungler Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon, T1 managed to weather the storm and come out even at the end of the laning phase. Pressured by the scaling potential of T1, G2 forced plays which eventually led them to lose Baron and ultimately the game.
Game two was dictated by T1, even though both teams seemed to be even in both gold and kills. T1 entirely destroyed G2’s half of the map and, with that, their vision. Having little to no vision, G2 struggled with entering their own jungle, let alone taking neutral objectives such as Drakes and Baron. This resulted in T1 baiting G2, slaying Baron, and closing the second game.
The semi finals were concluded with game three of G2 and T1, with the latter T1 establishing their lead early in the game. Every effort by G2 to take back control of the game proved to be unfruitful. Since the match was completely streamlined and straightforward, it was one of the fastest games of the MSI, concluding in just 20:37.
Unlike their previous dominance, G2 was a completely unrecognizable team during the Rumble Stage and the Knockout Stage. While the EG vs. RNG series was far closer than it seemed, G2 vs. T1 was exactly as it appeared: an absolute lack of communication sprinkled with an incomplete game plan from the LEC powerhouse.
Royal Never Give Up vs. T1
The RNG and T1 series began with a predictable, slow-paced, and controlled game. Even though RNG called the shots through the whole game, there were no major gold or kill differences. However, T1 flipped a Baron during the late game and lost it, putting themselves behind and giving RNG the long-awaited window of opportunity to take the game home.
Starting at the beginning of of game two, T1 aggressively attacked RNG’s top laner Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin. With Bin being behind in both gold and experience, T1 took over the rest of the map easily until RNG got lucky picks on T1’s top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je and jungler Oner. Beyond happy with themselves, RNG headed to Baron, where the remaining members of T1 team aced them. The game was finally decided at a Drake fight, when T1’s prodigy, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong, secured a win off the back of a triple kill.
Game three was ruled by the Ruined King, Viego, with Wei securing five kills in the early game. Given that Wei is an expert jungler, he effortlessly extended his lead into other lanes and notched another win for RNG.
Similar to game one, game four was a calm, cool and collected game by both teams. However, with impeccable map rotations and an objective-oriented playstyle, T1 took the lead. T1 extended their lead with flawless team fights and synergy that resulted in Baron and a clean end.
Unrelenting and unstoppable, RNG took the matters into their own hands from the moment they entered the Summoner’s Rift for the final time and left no room for mistakes. Wei outperformed Oner with his undeniable presence and aggression, which secured RNG the final win and the title of the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational Champion.