Royal Never Give Up is the 2019 Demacia Cup champion.
RNG took down Edward Gaming in the Demacia Cup final in a series that finished with 3-1 score. The series was the perfect ending for the competitive year in China, giving fans high-level League of Legends action and a taste of what it is to come in 2020.
EDG strikes first in Demacia Cup finals
EDG was living on borrowed time once it reached the finals.
No one expected EDG to make it beyond the quarterfinals, where it completed a miraculous reverse sweep against Team WE. It managed to go one step further in the semifinals by defeating Vici Gaming with a hardfought 3-2 victory. It would’ve been something special to defeat the heavily favored Royal Never Give Up in the finals, but the squad just couldn’t muster up enough to post the upset.
Initially, things looked to be competitive.
In game one of the series, EDG checked all the boxes to get the win. For this roster, the win condition is always the same. Mid laner Lee “Scout” Ye-chan needs to be able to roam to the side lanes, while jungler Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie needs a perfect early game. RNG unknowingly played directly into EDG’s hands to give them the opening victory.
Despite drafting Olaf, one of the strongest champions in the current meta, RNG jungler Li “XLB” Xiao-Long played a passive early game. It created the perfect scenario for EDG to thrive and take over the map. Nine minutes into the game, EDG’s bottom lane moved to the top lane to create extra pressure. RNG attempted to match the rotations but it wasn’t enough to stabilize the early game.
EDG had the upper hand in skirmishes and RNG couldn’t repel the enemy aggression. Scout on Qiyana was the biggest threat on the map. Even when he wasn’t slaughtering enemies, he created opportunities so his teammates could get kills.
Once EDG got ahead, RNG couldn’t catch up. EDG got its first and only victory of the day.
RNG unleashed, defeat Edward Gaming
The Demacia Cup 2019 has been all about RNG’s solo laners Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying and Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao. With the biggest star of the team absent due to health issues, the Demacia Cup forced them to step up and carry the team. They answered that call well.
Throughout 2019, RNG played a bottom lane-centric style. Every chunk of gold available went into the pockets of Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao and the solo laners were fine with that. Now, RNG has deviated from that style and is playing through the most experienced players on the roster.
In game two of the final, XLB went for a more aggressive, borderline annoying strategy. XLB followed Jiejie through the jungle and threatened to steal his camps. XLB didn’t steal a single camp but he made Jiejie hesitate and waste time, creating a window for the rest of RNG to push without the threat of a gank.
EDG resisted but it wasn’t enough to get ahead of the enemy or even stabilize the game. The same scenario repeated itself in games three and four. Langx and Xiaohu were the superior players on the rift and with help from XLB, they completely took over.
RNG proved that they can comfortably play through the mid and top lanes. This is exactly what the team needs to be competitive in the LPL in 2020.
That isn’t to say they’re bad in the bottom lane now, either. While Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung is not Uzi, he proved to be a worthy replacement. While there is still room for improvement, Betty and Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming should be able to serve the team well if Uzi is out in the spring.