This year’s TI is shaping up to be one of the best in terms of competition. Several teams have been given the chance to shine during the group stages, with a lot of unexpected names outperforming and a few others entering the upper brackets. While things have been exciting, for the most part, there have been a few setbacks for some other teams.
Royal Never Give Up were one of the teams fans were looking forward to succeeding, with Chinese fans pegging them as their favorites to win the tournament. Unfortunately, a series of events have made that somewhat difficult for them, starting with a forfeit against fellow Chinese players PSG.LGD due to health issues. While this seemed like an isolated incident at the time and their midlaner Somnus who got infected was put into isolation, it only escalated from there.
Following the isolation, health officials conducted more nucleic acid tests, which led to revealing that everyone in the team with the exception of xNova was infected as well. Joining Somnus in isolation later were fellow players Kaka, Ghost, and Chalice who also got infected, leading to the team playing separately and causing a lot of issues in communication.
This lack of communication between the team led to them losing every game in their series throughout the day. Following a great start to the group stages, this setback cost them their upper-bracket spot, and are now relegated to the lower bracket with fewer chances to recover. With things looking dire for RNG, their official social media released a post regarding the condition of their players.
The post states that nobody was more heartbroken than the players themselves because the infection made it very difficult for them to even play to the best of their abilities. The sickness affected their bodies worse than expected with constant coughing and rampant fevers affecting their gameplay and coordination.
While the organization fully supports its team, the ones taking it the hardest are the players because they felt like they let their fans down, especially the ones that made the trip to Singapore to watch them play on the main stage of the tournament. This situation got even worse on day four when the symptoms got so bad that the players had to play from different rooms. The severe headaches and pain caused them to take painkillers to even finish their matches that day.
Hopefully, RNG’s run through the lower brackets will be fruitful and we can see them on the main stage soon.