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Royal Never Give Up clinches first MSI semifinal spot, No. 1 seed for China at Worlds

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The LPL Champions are the first team to advance to the next round in Shanghai.

Riot Games

When the 2016 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational started, Korea's SK Telecom T1 was considered the overwhelming favorite, with China's Royal Never Give Up, Taiwan's Flash Wolves and Europe's G2 Esports all considered to be competing for second place. But that's why they play the games: after three days, SKT sits at fourth place at 2-4 and RNG has officially clinched its spot in the playoff round after a torrid a 6-0 start.

Every team at MSI has looked at least somewhat sloppy, including RNG, but the LPL side's focus on strong team fighting has suited it well in the tournament meta. Mata has been playing like the best player in the tournament, especially on Mata, while xiaohu, Looper, mlxg and Wuxx have been doing enough to lead the team to wins over and over again.

RNG's seeding in the playoff round is still to be determined, but one thing is for certain: they will be there. So far, RNG has defeated G2 Esports twice and every other team in the field once. Games against SKT and Flash Wolves would appear to be the biggest challenges left in the round robin stage, but Counter Logic Gaming is standing strong at 4-2 as well.

Because of the rules changes this year, Royal Never Give Up also clinches a No. 1 group stage seed for China at this year's Worlds. All four teams that advance from the round robin stage at MSI will nab that honor for their region.