RNG Takes Down T1 To Become Three-Time MSI Champion
The final best-of-five lives up to the hype as the series enters Game 5 with silver scrapes!
The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 final was a classic showdown between two eastern mammoths T1 and Royal Never Give Up (RNG). Both the teams are historic League of Legends squads who had previously won two MSI titles each. In this series, they were fighting to claim their third title as MSI champion. For RNG, a win would mean back-to-back championships at the mid-way point of the competitive season.
RNG created history in Busan, South Korea by taking down the team with the home advantage and lifting the trophy remotely from its training facility in Shanghai, China. The series was everything you would expect in a grand final: electrifying plays, immaculate drafting, and exquisite team fighting.
Notably, every time one of these teams was on the Blue side of Summoner’s Rift, it won the game. It was an unlucky day to be on the Red side of the map. Moreover, RNG made sure to shut down playmakers like Faker and Oner very early on to dominate the series.
T1 was very close to winning it all, however, RNG was the team that seemed the most consistent through the entire tournament and claimed its trophy and title by right.
RNG steamrolls with early game advantages
RNG Chen "GALA" Wei picked up first blood within the first minute of the game by killing Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong, which stemmed from an invade into T1’s Blue. Following this, Tristana picked up two long swords and additional potions. T1 traded kills on the top lane and Choi "Zeus" Woo-je picked up a kill on Jayce. However, GALA, who was left alone in the bottom lane farmed up and collected gold. It seemed like Chen "Bin" Ze-Bin was very comfortable and confident playing into the Jayce as he was winning scrappy duels. At 22-minutes, RNG secured its third dragon and shut down Moon "Oner" Hyeon-joon, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok.
The Chinese squad picked up Ocean Soul and T1 looked to trade it with the Baron buff. However, amidst a team fight, Yan "Wei" Yang-Wei managed to secure the buff and pushed RNG’s gold advantage.
To everyone’s surprise, Bin managed to kill both Faker and Zeus in an isolated fight, thanks to Gwen, her ability kit, and his mechanics. Unlike Rasmus "caPs" Borregaard Winther’s Galio, Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao really tapped into the powers of the champion and enabled his side laners. However, it was Bin’s game to carry and win because when the game ended in 33 minutes, his KDA was 13/0/3.
Faker’s Lissandra shines in Match 2
The Wei-Bin duo picked up first blood over Zeus on the top lane again. However, Oner walked up top and secured a counter kill. It was a bloody game overall with all the players trading blows and picking up kills across the map. This time around Bin was significantly behind Zeus, who picked up the first tower bounty. RNG continued to stack up dragons while T1 tore down towers.
The Chinese squad turned things around at 23 minutes by taking down both Oner and Zeus and turned to Baron Nashor. Little did RNG know that Faker would outplay its members with Lissandra inside the Baron pit. Faker used his E - Glacial Path to get in between four members of RNG, used his Frozen Tomb, and helped his team pick up four vital kills.
Despite picking up Baron, RNG was facing a 3K deficit because of Faker’s heroic play. T1 picked up a dragon under its belt and marched down the middle lane to end the second game in 26 minutes.
Classic RNG invade
RNG invaded Oner’s jungle in the third match of the BO5 series. After a back and forth fight in the jungle, RNG came out ahead as it managed to push Faker out to his base and also kill Oner while stealing away his Red buff.
Meanwhile, T1 picked up a kill on Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming and equaled the kill tally. At around 7 minutes, there was a clear difference in the XP of the two attack damage carries (ADCs). GALA was already Level 6 whereas Gumayusi was only Level 4. Wei was so pivotal in this game as it looked like he was all over the map, picking up monsters and objectives. The first tower also fell on the side of the Korean squad.
T1’s base was cracked open with the Rift Herald and RNG snowballed its leads further. It is fair to say that this match was very one-sided and RNG could not be stopped.
Comfort picks across the board for game 4
Once again Wei picked up the first kill by taking down Zeus on the Gnar. T1 tried to mimic RNG’s playstyle by playing cross-map tactics. T1 summoned the Herald on the mid lane and secured its fourth tower of the game and turned to the second dragon. As multiple members of RNG collapsed on an isolated Zeus, the Korean squad secured its third dragon of the game and extended its lead. Following this, T1 picked up Baron Nashor and took down the Nexus of RNG and pushed the series into Game 5.
Silver Scrapes for MSI 2022 finals
Match 3 was already getting heated with players trading blows from minute one. RNG struck hard at T1’s bot lane and picked up a kill on Keria. Meanwhile, thanks to Wei’s gank, Xiaohu also killed Faker in the mid-lane. Immediately, RNG turned to the top lane and collapsed as three onto Zeus. It felt like T1 was overwhelmed by across-the-map play by the Chinese pros, who had turned it up by a notch.
At around 10 minutes, RNG was ahead by 1.3K gold. The Chinese squad’s motto was to shut down Faker and it worked out well for them. RNG had killed Faker’s Ahri thrice before 14 minutes. T1 was trying to contest smaller objectives like towers since RNG was stacking dragons but eventually ended up getting nothing out of the map.
The Korean squad was seemingly struggling and was playing catch-up but RNG was just too ahead. After using all critical cooldowns to take down Xiaohu in the bottom lane, T1 was left without options for the dragon soul fight.
At the dragon fight, four members of T1 died and RNG took down both the Dragon Soul and the Baron Nashor buff. At this point, T1 was staring at an 8K deficit. RNG pushed into T1’s base one last time and took down T1 one by one and closed out the game in under 26 minutes.