This quarterfinal matchup is more than a simple LPL civil war. It is a clash between the two most historic and dominant teams in the LPL. For western fans, the EDG-RNG rivalry is akin to the C9-TSM one. These two teams are the only teams in the LPL with multiple titles, accounting for 10 out of the 18 total championships. EDG leads in domestic titles, but RNG has more international titles. These two teams will be fighting to be the final representative of their region in the Worlds 2021 quarterfinals. Will RNG finally have a shot at the Summoner’s Cup they have been so close to in the past, or will EDG finally make their first Worlds semifinals?
Xiaohu vs Flandre
Since role-swapping, Xiaohu has become the main man for RNG. RNG funnels their draft and in-game resources to Xiaohu to set him up for success, and more often than not, he delivers, especially in teamfights around objectives. So far, at Worlds 2021, Xiaohu has put on the same performance, albeit with some missteps against FNC and HLE. On the other side of the rift, Flandre is a point of stability for EDG. While EDG does not camp Flandre the way RNG does for Xiaohu, they do not leave their top on an island. When their drafts require it, EDG gives Flandres attention and resources, and Flandre often uses his lead to generate pressure in sidelanes, leading to him garnering the highest CSPM among top laners.
At Worlds 2021, the main point of contention between these two players is their champion pool. So far, Xiaohu has played six unique champions, with unique counter picks like the Syndra and Lucian. Flandre has only played Graves and Jayce three times each so far. With how the role of top lane developed in the 2021 Worlds meta, it will be interesting to see if Flandre has any other picks in stock to prevent Xiaohu’s champion ocean from overwhelming EDG.
The RNG top laner has the edge in this matchup, primarily because of how easy it is for RNG to find an appropriate pick to funnel their resources into, considering his broad and flexible champion pool.
Wei vs Jiejie
Coming into the quarterfinals, Wei and Jiejie have their work cut out in their game plan and analysis of their opponent’s game plan. Wei is going to do what he has done all year, which is setting up Xiaohu. This can mean anything from ganking the lane directly to showing up mid to secure priority for Cryin to roam top. Jiejie will play around with the demands of his team comp. Sometimes, this results in playing around Scout, but more often than not, it will result in controlled, measured early games to ease EDG’s transition to their champion power spikes. Both junglers have their set playbooks, so this matchup will come down to executing their plans and exploiting their opponents.
Both play to facilitate their carry players and have good champion pools. In addition, both players have stellar performances as well as some questionable ones. Neither jungler has the edge per se, but the difference in the jungle will come down to the difference in the team.
Cryin vs Scout
Mid is the role with the most significant player gap in this quarterfinal final. Cryin is the most criticized player on RNG for both his play and champion pool. He is practically a Twisted Fate one-trick, but he had a poor performance even on his comfort champion. On the other hand, the EDG mid laner has played six unique picks in six games, and Scout has looked proficient on most of them.
In addition to the individual skill difference, the style matchup of the two players is not very favorable. Cryin’s role in his team is to get his teammates ahead with roams on champions like Twisted Fate and Galio. However, throughout Worlds, Scout has shown he can keep such players on a leash in lane or even match these roams on picks that do not have globals in their kits.
Scout has a considerable advantage over Cryin in terms of champion pool and individual skill. I will repeat again that the EDG mid laner displayed he can restrain a mid-laner from roaming to impact the map during the laning phase, which is Cryin’s only notable strength.
Gala vs Viper
After being considered a Kaisa OTP at MSI, GALA expanded his champion pool for Worlds 2021. So far, he’s played four unique champions, all proficiently, including a non-marksman pick in Ziggs. GALA’s performance has been fantastic so far as well. He receives little jungle attention in lane and is often left in a 1v2 while his support roams. Yet, he does not fall behind and exits the laning phase mostly safe and sound. Gala has become a reliable fall-back option for RNG when their usual top-focused strategy fails.
Like GALA, Viper is left to his own devices during the laning phase, receiving very little jungle or mid attention and having a roaming support. However, it is in the teamfights Viper truly shines. Although he has been relatively quiet at Worlds compared to his domestic performance, we got to witness his teamfight prowess in EDG’s first game against DFM. When the situation is dire for EDG, Viper will be there to drag them to victory.
Both ADCs are reliable carries for their team. They are not only consistent but have shown that they can come in clutch in teamfights. However, while Worlds has mainly featured domination through the top side of the map, we have seen teams like Rogue focus the bot lane. By the off chance that EDG does the same and allows one of the most deathly laning duos in the world to dominate their lane, I give the edge to Viper.
Ming vs Meiko
At Worlds 2021, both Meiko and Ming have played similar roles for their team. Both players have been leaving their ADC alone in the lane to roam the map and being main initiators for teamfights. However, one difference between the two so far is Meiko’s usage of enchanter supports. While Ming has only played tanky engage supports, Meiko has pivoted to champions like Lulu and Yuumi. This is most likely due to the playstyles of each team since RNG requires a team effort to camp their top laner while EDG are more willing to ease into the mid-game. However, on these squishier enchanters, Meiko roams the map to assist his team in plays.
Rather than their individual performance, I will give the advantage to the support who plays a more integral part in their team’s success, and coming into the Worlds 2021 quarterfinals, the RNG support has the edge in that context.
RNG vs EDG
At Worlds 2021, both Meiko and Ming have played similar roles for their team. Both players have been leaving their ADC alone in the lane to roam the map and being main initiators for teamfights. However, one difference between the two so far is Meiko’s usage of enchanter supports. While Ming has only played tanky engage supports, Meiko has pivoted to champions like Lulu and Yuumi. This is most likely due to the playstyles of each team since RNG requires a team effort to camp their top laner while EDG is more willing to ease into the mid-game. However, on these squishier enchanters, Meiko roams the map to assist his team in plays.
Final Verdict: EDG
EDG is my favorite for the series. My first reason for this is that RNG’s strong point of the top lane is not enough for the team to overcome the problems in mid, and Scout can even restrain Cryin to stop RNG’s top lane focus. My second reason is their most recent performance. RNG struggled against an HLE that got smashed by T1 while EDG went even with T1.