Royal Never Give Up turn the tables against Geek Fam at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor

One of the biggest throws this season did not stop RNG.

rng vs geek fam
Photo via WePlay! Esports

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A tumultuous game two between Royal Never Give Up and Geek Fam at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor saw RNG throw away a won game in a tumultuous display. RNG’s blushes were spared, however, after the series was sandwiched by two dominant showings from the Chinese Dota 2 team.

With their 2-1 series win today, RNG will advance to the grand finals of the competition, where they will await their next opponents for the grand prize of a DreamLeague Leipzig Major ticket.

RNG and Geek Fam previously met in Group A of the event, where RNG easily dispatched the Southeast Asian team 2-0.

Geek Fam’s risky hero gambles in the first game did not pay off. The SEA team committed to an early game-oriented lineup in Leshrac and Witch Doctor. RNG’s teamfight sustainability proved too high with an Omniknight and Kunkka duo. Slowly but surely, RNG swung the game in their favor as Geek Fam failed to kill off any important heroes.

Game two stood as one of the best games of the tournament so far. RNG picked up an unorthodox Riki carry, placing it in Du “Monet” Peng’s hands. The hero was invisible in the early game, while his counterpart Marc Polo “Raven” Luis Fausto on Geek Fam was off to the races.

Monet opted for a glass cannon build, escaping every fight by the skin of his teeth. While Geek Fam had a phenomenal laning stage, RNG managed to cover for Riki long enough for Monet to come online. 

Even though Raven executed some brilliant stalling plays, RNG managed to demolish the Geek Fam base even with their poor tower damage. Suddenly, the Chinese were in pole position to take the game and guarantee their slot in the grand finals. 

Instead, RNG decided to commit to some egregious errors. Diving Geek Fam’s fountain, RNG’s two strongest cores, Riki and Ember Spirit, found themselves dead and instantly bought back, instantly creating a win condition for the SEA squad. 

Geek Fam did not look the gift horse in the mouth, but rather rapidly seized their opportunity, killing off Riki and Ember once again. RNG, in utter disbelief at their handing over of a silver platter, was forced to a game three.

It was back to winning ways for RNG in the third game as they quickly put their troubles behind them. Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong was off to a hot start on his favored Shadow Fiend and laid into Geek Fam ruthlessly en route to a series victory.

Geek Fam’s grit was on full display through the series. In-game two, most teams in their position would have conceded considering the dire circumstances, but they believed and actually managed to grind out a win. They capitalized on RNG’s overconfidence while remaining calm themselves, a small sign of a top-tier team in the making. Even if they end up losing the tournament, they have improved leaps and bounds over their previous Dota Pro Circuit showing and can go back home with their heads high, ready to challenge the SEA duopoly.

While RNG’s performance in the second game certainly raised eyebrows and concerns—perhaps proving why they are in the Minor rather than the Major—their ironclad bounce-back performance in the third game also spoke volumes of their mentality. The Chinese squad has been the best team in the event so far and their efforts have been rewarded with a grand finals appearance. They have guaranteed themselves a $60,000 prize purse and 120 Dota Pro Circuit points, but their eyes will be set on the grand prize of a Major berth.