Even the most hardcore League of Legends esports fans find keeping track of every region, including the minor regions, a tall task. As a result, the majority of fans will be unacquainted with many of the teams and players attending the most prestigious LoL Esports event of the year. So Worlds Spotlight was created to help educate and inform the fans of the stories and narratives surrounding these players and teams. Welcome to our Royal Never Give Up Worlds 2021 Spotlight.
Royal Never Give Up
Top: Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao
Jungle: Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei
Mid: Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei, Zhang “Yuekai” Yue-Kai
Bot: Chen “GALA” Wei
Support: Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming
Head Coach: Wong “Tabe” Pak Kan
Regular Season Placing: 4th
Playoffs Placing: 5-6th
RNG returned to the LPL as MSI champions, but they were not immune to the post-MSI slump plaguing the attending teams. Due to quarantine procedures affecting their early split practice, RNG seemed behind on the summer meta. As a result, they recorded a lackluster 1-5 in the first few weeks. However, once they had the chance to practice and analyze the meta properly, RNG bounced back, going 9-1 for the remainder of the split and securing 4th place in the regular season. Because of their red hot finish to the split, RNG was coming into playoffs ready to defend their title.
To the surprise of many, RNG was upset by LNG 3-1 in their first playoffs series. Because RNG only secured a top 4 finish during the split, there was no losers bracket yet for them to bounce back from the defeat. This immediately knocked RNG out of the summer playoffs. Many analysts viewed this upset more as an RNG underperformance than an LNG overperformance, although LNG did play exceptionally well. Thanks to their spring split championship, RNG still had enough championship points to qualify for the LPL regional gauntlet for Worlds, where they smashed Team WE in a quick 3-0 to qualify for Worlds as the LPL 3rd seed. Despite their disappointing summer results, RNG is still an extremely dangerous team, with the likes of DK and FPX as favorites to win Worlds.
Players to Watch:
Tiger King of Spring: Xiaohu
Xiaohu’s swap to the top lane is perhaps one of the most successful position changes in LoL Esports history. Not only has Xiaohu won titles with his role swap, but his individual performance was elite. Despite the insane level of the top lane in the LPL, Xiaohu has established himself as one of the best, if not the best, top laner in China. He has a highly flexible champion pool. He has shown proficiency on traditional top laners, playing both carries like Lucian and Jayce and tanks like Gragas and Dr. Mundo. Still, Xiaohu also brings champions from the mid-lane, like Orianna and Syndra, making him possibly one of the most flexible top laners in the world.
Coming into Worlds, Xiaohu is easily the best top laner in his group. Players like rookie FNC top laner Adam and heavily criticized HLE Morgan should be cannon fodder for Xiaohu compared to the beasts he clashed with within the LPL. Against these top laners, Xiaohu can quickly take over games and win the game. So the ball is in Xiaohu’s court. If this is the year RNG finally wins Worlds, it will be off their longstanding player in the top lane.