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Royal Never Give Up defeats Edward Gaming for Chinese League of Legends championship

RNG will be headed to MSI for its first major international competition.

Royal Never Give Up triumphed in the LPL Finals Saturday, defeating Edward Gaming three games to one to claim the Chinese League of Legends championship. RNG now qualifies for the Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai, joining Flash Wolves, G2 Esports and Counter Logic Gaming.

MSI will be RNG's first major international competition as a team, after finishing in fourth place at IEM Katowice earlier this season. RNG finished in ninth place during the Summer LPL split, but have previous smaller competition wins at World Cyber Arena 2015 and National Electronic Sports Open 2015.

Edward Gaming was China's representative at last season's MSI and ended up winning the whole thing, beating SK Telecom T1 in the finals. But RNG was the better team in the LPL this split, and showed it in the finals. The team received very strong performances from young Chinese talents xiaohu and wuxx, and look like a strong candidate to break the region's recent rut in international competitions.

Time to celebrate, RNG!

* * *

Game 1: Royal Never Give Up vs. Edward Gaming

Wins: RNG (23-16, 40:55)

Edward Gaming started the game with two kills, picking off Mata after the Thresh tried to invade EDG's jungle and then taking out xiaohu right after. RNG was able to take back the gold lead thanks to strong farming and a pick off of Pawn in the mid lane, but a pair of picks in the bottom lane spurred by Meiko's Bard kept the game in EDG's control. RNG took the gold lead back after getting some kills onto some dangerous champions for mlgx and xiaohu, and was able to dictate the pace and team fights of the mid game.

A massive team fight at 25 minutes went 5-3 in favor of EDG, and the game was tied 10-10 with a narrow .8k gold lead for EDG at 30 minutes. Some fancy footwork from wuxx's Lucian led to a 4-2 winning fight for RNG, taking Baron at 32 minutes as a result. RNG secured the win 40 minutes in after another impressive display from wuxx, earning a Triple Kill.

xiaohu and wuxx were continually able to apply non-stop damage in team fights, and EDG had no answer (especially for Azir's damage from range).

Bans: Twisted Fate, Alistar, Maokai; Sivir, Poppy, Braum

RNG K/D/A CS Gold Earned EDG K/D/A CS Gold Earned
Looper (Ekko) 1 1/1/13 261 Koro1 (Gragas) 3 2/7/12 252
mlxg (Kindred) 3 5/4/14 172 Clearlove (Graves) 1 4/4/5 209
xiaohu (Azir) 3 4/4/14 378 Pawn (Ryze) 1 3/5/8 359
wuxx (Lucian) 2 10/3/9 341 Deft (Ezreal) 2 4/3/6 307
Mata (Thresh) 2 3/4/16 31 Meiko (Bard) 2 3/4/12 31

Game 2: Edward Gaming vs. Royal Never Give Up

Win: EDG (24-11, 40:49)

This game got off to a relevantly quiet start before Looper solo killed Koro1 eight minutes in. The pace picked up soon after, like in Game 1, and the teams were tied at 3-3 18 minutes in. Then EDG won a huge fight in the top lane 5-1, led by Deft's unconventional Twitch pick, opening up a slight gold lead.

Looper was able to pick off Deft at the beginning of the next team fight thanks to a good culling from wuxx's Lucian, but EDG still aced RNG 5-3 with a triple kill from Pawn's Ryze. EDG took Baron soon after, and the triple threat composition of Twitch/Ryze/Graves proved too much to handle for RNG's poke composition. RNG had no answer for PawN flanking with a Deathcap Ryze, and the pure damage output carried EDG to the win.

Bans: Sivir, Azir, Kindred; Twisted Fate, Maokai, Alistar

EDG K/D/A CS Gold Earned RNG K/D/A CS Gold Earned
Koro1 (Poppy) 3 8/2/10 303 Looper (Ekko) 1 4/4/3 301
Clearlove (Graves) 2 5/1/12 224 mlxg (Nidalee) 2 3/4/5 164
PawN (Ryze) 1 8/3/11 334 Xiaohu (Varus) 3 2/4/4 337
Deft (Twitch) 3 3/2/11 307 wuxx (Lucian) 2 1/5/7 310
Meiko (Thresh) 2 0/3/18 38 Mata (Braum) 1 1/7/6 44

Game 3: Royal Never Give Up vs. Edward Gaming

RNG banned Deft's Twitch for this game, and a different unconventional pick in Ashe did not work quite as well for him. The first skirmish went 2-1 in RNG's favor, getting two kills onto Looper's Quinn, and a pair of double kills for Wuxx's Jhin soon after gave RNG the gold lead.

Looper picked up another pick at 21 minutes, giving RNG a gold lead of just about 1k even with a 7-2 kill score. EDG was able to respond during the first big team fight of the game, using the area-of-effect damage from Graves and Karma to pick up three unanswered kills and move on for a 24-minute Baron. But the aftermath of the Baron didn't go so well: everyone but Meiko was immediately killed by RNG swooping in with double teleport.

By 30 minutes, the fed Jhin simply did an absurd amount of damage, and EDG couldn't deal with it. Wuxx picked up a triple kill in EDG's base, and RNG was able to knock down the remaining objectives for the win and the series lead.

Bans: Twisted Fate, Maokai, Twitch; Sivir, Ryze, Azir

RNG K/D/A CS Gold Earned EDG K/D/A CS Gold Earned
Looper (Quinn) 3 5/2/6 239 Koro1 (Poppy) 1 3/3/4 215
mlxg (Ekko) 2 0/1/7 124 Clearlove (Graves) 1 1/3/5 172
Xiaohu (Lissandra) 2 2/3/9 274 PawN (Karma) 3 2/4/5 263
wuxx (Jhin) 3 9/0/4 318 Deft (Ashe) 2 1/4/4 240
Mata (Alistar) 1 0/2/9 42 Meiko (Thresh) 2 1/3/5 45

Game 4: Edward Gaming vs. Royal Never Give Up

Remember all that success Deft had on Twitch in Game 2? Well, it made it through the ban phase in this one, so wuxx picked it up and immediately picked up a pair of kills (including First Blood pre-minions), as RNG took a 4-1 kill lead and a 1.5k gold advantage five minutes in.

EDG picked up a 3-1 team fight about 10 minutes later, but RNG still held a slight lead at 15 minutes. xiaohu blindpicked LeBlanc, and that ended up just fine: at 20 minutes, his scoreline read 6/0/4. EDG finally shut him down at 8/0/6, but it was during a won team fight for RNG. The game's frantic pace continued, as EDG took a quick Dragon before being aced by RNG.

At 31 minutes, the game was still within 1k gold, but RNG picked up a clean 4-0 fight to set up Baron, thanks to a boatload of damage from wuxx's Twitch. From that point, RNG dominated, closing out the game and clinching its spot at MSI.

Bans: Sivir, Lissandra, Azir; Maokai, Ryze, Twisted Fate

EDG K/D/A CS Gold Earned RNG K/D/A CS Gold Earned
Koro1 (Trundle) 2 3/5/5 354 Looper (Poppy) 1 5/0/9 344
Clearlove (Graves) 3 3/6/11 175 mlxg (Ekko) 1 4/4/16 177
PawN (Lulu) 3 6/7/7 271 xiaohu (LeBlanc) 2 12/2/9 321
Deft (Lucian) 2 2/6/4 335 wuxx (Twitch) 3 7/6/13 308
Meiko (Alistar) 1 2/6/9 52 Mata (Braum) 2 2/4/18 56