Road to Worlds: Royal Never Give Up

A GAMURS exclusive series, taking a look at the 16 teams going to Worlds from the beginning of their qualification and see just how their road to Worlds went. Today, we look at Royal Never Give Up of the LPL.

Riot Games evolved its North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) to the recently-introduced uLoL Campus Series for 2016. For the first time, LoL fans will be able to spectate collegiate matches on a weekly basis.

A GAMURS exclusive series, taking a look at the 16 teams going to Worlds from the beginning of their qualification and see just how their road to Worlds went. Today, we look at Royal Never Give Up of the LPL.

2016 Spring Split and Spring Playoffs

Topping the Giants

Royal Never Give Up (RNG) entered the new split with a rejuvenated roster in the 2016 LPL Spring Split and began their time in Group B strong, demolishing the favourites EDward Gaming (EDG) 2-0 to claim the first point of the split over their eternal rivals. It would not end there as they also took another win against Vici Gaming to finish the first week at the top.

The Main roster at this point consisted of Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok, Liu “Mlxg” Shi-yu, Li “xiaohu” Yuan-Hao, Zhu “NaMei” Jia-Wen and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong.

RNG was looking to make a statement and earned themselves an invite to IEM X World Championships during the mid-season of the split where they were able to have a Semifinals finish after defeating Origen (European LCS) and ESC Ever (at the time, just a Challenger team in Korea). RNG was only beaten by Fnatic in the competition. 

On return to china, RNG was able to finish the Group B regular season ahead of favourites EDG by a single win and earn themselves a place in the semifinal of the Spring Playoffs with a shot at going to the Mid-Season Invitation.

Team WE would be their first opponents in the semifinal, and RNG was able to pull out a 3-2 win, setting up a final match against EDG. Despite EDG being the favourites once again, RNG were able to silence their critics by taking down the giants 3-1, become the LPL Spring Split champions for the first time in their history and represent the LPL at 2016 Mid-Season Invitational at home. This was something no one expected and RNG could only dream for.

2016 Mid-Season Invitational

An international outing

I feel it needs to be said that no one could expect this Mid-Season Invitational to go as it did. Favourites missed chances and teams that no one expected to be in the Mid-Season Invitational from their respected regions all turned up to what would be one of the most open group stages in the history of LoL.

RNG would record an impressive 8-2 finish in the group stage and finish as the best team to keep the LPLs top seed in ‘Pot One’ for the World Championships, doing their region proud and then some. They registered overwhelming wins against all teams apart from Counter Logic Gaming of the North American LCS and SK Telecom T1 of the LCK, who both recorded one win against RNG in the groups.

This would place RNG against a formidable SKT who were re-finding their form game-by-game after starting the tournament abysmally. Despite RNG’s amazing performances in the group stages, they were finally silenced by SKT 3-1 in the semifinals, earning themselves a respectable top-four finish at their international outing.

2016 Summer Split and Summer Playoffs

Silence the critics

RNG and EDG were separated for the following split, as EDG was put in Group A for the regular season while EDG stayed in Group B. The squad was looking to continue its form into the Summer Split and get themselves into Worlds as the No. 1 seed.

RNG would proceed to continue to dominate Group B by an even larger margin than they had in the Sprint Split and advanced once again into the semifinals of the Summer LPL Playoffs for a chance at that all important 1st seed.

They would begin their title defence against newly promoted I May and would be pushed to their absolute limits by this new organisation, formerly EDG’s Challenger team, to a five-game series ending 3-2 in RNG’s favour.

This would then set up the LPL Summer Split Playoffs finals with the rematch of EDG vs RNG. Regardless of the result, both these teams would be guaranteed a place at Worlds 2016 due to their superior circuit points over every other team. This was all about pride and getting that all important 1st seed for the region.

However, if anyone was expected a five-game thriller between the two best LPL teams, they would be in for a shock as EDG took a commanding lead in all three games that were played, pulling out all the stops after their perfect Summer Split season to destroy RNG and take the 1st seed. However, all was not lost as RNG did qualify for Worlds for the first time in their history and their second international outing in the space of a year, qualifying through circuit points as the 2nd seed for the LPL.

The final active roster attending worlds would be the following;

  • Jang “Lopper” Hyeong-seok (Top)
  • Liu “mlxg” Shi-yu (Jungle)
  • Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao (Mid)
  • Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao (ADC)
  • Cho “Mata” Se-hyoung (Support)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Royal Never Give Up’s “Road to Worlds!”

As we head into Worlds 2016 in North America, we ask you guys which team you are supporting in the competition? How far do you think they can go? Let us know on twitter @GAMURScom.

Adam Newell is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or on Twitter – @MonkeyKingHero.

About the author

Adam Newell

If it has anything to do with Nintendo and Pokémon chances are you will see me talking about it, covering, and likely not sleeping while playing it.