‘Isn’t it too much?’: RNG coach comments on replaying matches at MSI 2022

The LPL representatives thought of quitting MSI 2022.

Image via Riot Games

During the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, Riot Games erased the results of the first three matches of LPL representatives Royal Never Give Up from the competition.

On May 13, Riot announced there was a “discrepancy in the latency being reported in game logs,” which affected teams playing from Busan. With RNG being the only team playing from home, the issue was limited to Group A of the competition and led Riot to force the rematches of each of RNG’s first three games.

RNG’s head coach, Zhu “KenZhu” Kai, released a lengthy statement today explaining his thoughts on Riot’s decision to negate his team’s victories.

“My first reaction was puzzled,” KenZhu said. “In my decades of employment, I’ve never encountered such a thing.”

The coach said both staff and players were confused by Riot’s decision, which came in just two hours before their first game of the day. He had to “calm down” and reassure his players before heading into the games, underlining to his team that they are “professional” and despite the “injustice” they had to respect their opponents, the game, and our fans. 

He still seemed frustrated with the timing of the decision, however, especially considering RNG had played not one but three matches before the issue was noticed and addressed.

“If it was the first day of the game that the delay was inconsistent and led to a replay, I fully understand it, but after three days of matching, people found this problem and asked us to replay, isn’t it too much? But all we can do is accept and cooperate,” KenZhu said.

RNG closed the day without suffering a loss, even setting the record for the fastest game at MSI so far against RED Canis, closing the game at just 20 minutes and 30 seconds. According to the coach, the rematch had “more or less” impacted the team, and he commended his players for playing the games “calmly” even when under “such unexpected events.” 

The LPL representatives are playing from China due to travel restrictions, and despite not being in Busan, Riot allowed the team to take part in the competition. KenZhu thanked Riot for the opportunity and detailed the circumstances in which players and staff are currently living, including finishing training at 3am before sleeping for a few hours and then beginning strict procedures to ensure the “fairness” of the game. 

“We set up the training room by ourselves, adjusted the computers settings by ourselves, adjusted the audio by ourselves, and even the interviews were done by the staff themselves,” KenZhu said. “Everything during the period is completed under the supervision of Riot, and we do our best to complete various requests.”

Despite complying with Riot’s requests, the team was not made aware of the issue and that a decision was being made by the competition’s officials. The team, according to KenZhu, also thought of quitting the competition, but the coach assured that RNG will “insist on finishing this MSI.”

The games will take place after Group C’s matches tomorrow starting 7am CT, as scheduled on lolesports website. With RNG being at the top of their group with a 3-0 score, it will only take one victory for the LPL to qualify for the next stage of MSI.

About the author
Cecilia Ciocchetti

Freelance writer mainly focusing on the League of Legends and VALORANT esports scenes. Sometimes at events interviewing professionals of the scene, from players to the talented people working behind the curtains. You can reach out to me via Twitter.