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MSI preview: Royal Never Give Up, champions of China

RNG beat last year's MSI champions in the LPL Finals. Can they earn a repeat for their region?


Part III of a series quickly previewing each team at MSI. The schedule can be found here.

Who they are: Royal Never Give Up, LoL Pro League champions.

What they did this season: First place in LPL Spring Split Group B with a 13-3 round robin record, first place in LPL Spring Playoffs with wins over Team WE (3-2) and Edward Gaming (3-1). Also placed third/fourth at IEM Katowice (there was no third place game).

Their history: Formed in May 2015 by former Royal Club player Godlike, Royal Never Give Up finished ninth in the 2015 LPL Summer Split, but requalified for the LPL in the Promotion Series. RNG followed that up with its first-ever competition win at 2015 NESO, beating Snake Esports in the final, and then signed Koreans Looper and Mata to join its roster of young Chinese talent. It worked: RNG finished in first place in its group in the regular season, and followed that up by winning the LPL playoffs and qualifying for MSI.

Their roster:

Position Player Most played champions (career) Previously played with
Top Looper Maokai, Gnar, Dr. Mundo, Shyvana Samsung Galaxy White (LCK)
Jungler mlxg Rek'Sai, Nidalee, Gragas, Lee Sin Team King (LPL)
Mid Xiaohu Azir, LeBlanc, Lulu, Lissandra Gamtee (LPL)
ADC Wuxx Kalista, Lucian, Tristana, Ezreal Team King (LPL)
Support Mata Thresh, Janna, Alistar, Braum Samsung Galaxy White (LCK), Vici (LPL)

Why to watch their games: Mata's one of the best supports in the world, and mlxg, Xiaohu and wuxx are talented young Chinese players who look poised to make a global impact soon.

Why they could win: Home country advantage? Beating the LPL team that won MSI last time?

Why they won't: They are not SKT.