Stylistic differences clash as Royal Never Give up face Fnatic at Worlds 2021

From top lane to the jungle, only one team can prevail.

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This article is written in partnership with DJ Esports. All odds presented are at the time of publication and are subject to change.


Both Royal Never Give Up and Fnatic have gone through some serious roster changes over the last year. RNG found success by shifting their offense to focus more on the top lane, leading to victory in both the Spring Split and the MSI. The team also qualified for the World Championships during regionals.

FNC, on the other hand, adjusted their strategy to focus more on the jungle, letting Nwipo loose in the lane. At the Summer Split, FNC seeped through the losers’ bracket after taking out NIT, MSF, G2, and RGE to enter the finals. They ultimately finished second and secured their spot at Worlds.

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As the champions of this year’s MSI, RNG are favored to win this matchup. Looking back at their performance over the summer, though, it’s hard to know if they have the consistency to pull off wins at this level. They lost 3-1 to LNG in the Summer Split playoffs and were eliminated in the third round of the competition. In addition, the recent nerf to RNG’s top laner Xiaohu’s signature hero Lucian is likely to slow them down in the laning phase.

Over the last few years, RNG have played against multiple LEC teams at Worlds. They lost to G2 in 2018  were got eliminated in the quarterfinals. In 2019, they lost to FNC and didn’t even make it to the knockout round.

FNC may beat RNG yet again in this rematch. DJ Esports puts the odds of FNC winning at 2.938, but they’re poised to stage an upset.

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RNG relies heavily on top-lane pressure to push their offense and create openings. Xiaohu typically outperforms his competition, often receiving help from support player Ming, who tends to wander to the top. This can leave bot-laner Gala open to early bullying.

Related: DJ Esports brings esports and crypto together with its game-changing betting platform

Because of this, RNG’s odds of getting the first dragon are lower than they might seem. According to DJ Esports’ analytics matrix, RNG’s first dragon rate is only 48 percent over their last 25 games. Compared with FNC’s 76 percent (the highest in the entire tournament), it seems likely FNC will claim the first dragon.

Image via DJ Esports
Image via DJ Esports

Although RNG tends to start with fast attacks in the early game, they’ve historically been a slow-paced team overall. Just a quick look at their lineup shows it. Thanks to their excellent teamwork, RNG prefer to pick teamfights and they simply have a better lineup for that. This has shaped their playstyle to be more focused on gradually expanding their lead, setting them up for a decisive victory later on. RNG’s average time per game is ranked 12th in the LPL division, and their stable style may drag the game out. In the case of a long game, the total number of kills may be high. Taking the Over on 27.5 kills could be a wise choice.

Image via DJ Esports
Image via DJ Esports

RNG like to control vision to rush Baron. With their heavy-hitting lineup, they can burst Baron down swiftly. If they can secure the first Baron quickly, the probability that the total number of Barons killed being more than 1.5 will be very high. Considering the odds of up to 2.729, This is a solid choice.

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RNG place a great deal of value on controlling the laning phase. With FNC’s focus on the bottom half of the map, RNG may not face much opposition up there. RNG’s jungler, Wei, is one of the best at spotting opportunities for a gank, as can be seen in DJ Esports’ data. His aggression and brutalizer scores reached 18 and 19 points out of 20, respectively. 

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After taking an early lead in the laning phase, RNG is all but certain to attack the Rift Herald. If you think this combination of RNG’s early offense can work, RNG taking a Win + first Blood + first Herald parlay is a strong choice.

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Both RNG and FNC are regulars on the world stage. They have been assigned to Group C in this World Championship. The strengths of the teams in Group C are relatively close. Every game is crucial. RNG and FNC are bound to set the tempo for the rest of the Group.


For more insight on the 2021 League World Championship and up-to-the-minute updated data and odds for all of the competing teams, you can view them on DJ Esports.