Royal Never Give Up (RNG) followed up their huge win over Nigma Esports in the Upper Bracket semis by overcoming Geek Fam with a hard-fought 2-1 result. The surging Chinese team became the first team to book a ticket to the Grand Finals of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor in the process.
Geek Fam opened the series with a high-damage cored duo of Leshrac for Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto and Magnus for Karl “Karl” Jayme. RNG countered with a very tanky frontline of Kunkka for Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong and Omniknight for Su “Flywin” Lei, with Du “Monet” Peng on Phantom Lancer to dish out the damage.
Despite coming out of the laning phase with slightly ahead, Geek Fam couldn’t get anything going in the midgame as Setsu and Flywin were too tanky for them to take down. This gave Monet more than enough space to get enough farm to take the fight to their opponents.
With RNG slowly tightening the noose, Geek Fam tried to venture out under the cover of Smoke of Deceit to catch RNG unawares. However, Karl whiffed on a Reverse Polarity that could have given his team the opening they needed. It didn’t take long for the Chinese squad to close the game out from there, as they forced the GG call after 30 minutes.
RNG pulled out a surprise Riki pick for Monet in game two, with Setsu on Ember Spirit and Flywin on Omniknight to back him up. Geek Fam looked to bounce back with a high-damage mobile tri-core of Slark for Raven, Puck for Karl, and Underlord for Carlo “Kuku” Palad.
Geek Fam came out of the laning phase with things going their way, as Raven was topping the net worth chart and leading his team in controlling much of the map. Despite their huge deficit, RNG was able to draw the game out long enough for their cores to come online.
RNG retaliated after getting four big kills on the bottom lane, with Monet and Setsu leading the way in pushing Geek Fam back to their side of the map. The Chinese squad later won a huge clash for Roshan at the 47-minute mark, putting them in prime position to close the series out.
However, the game got turned on its head when Geek Fam repelled RNG’s attempts at a game-ending push and forced both Monet and Setsu to buy back into the game unnecessarily. That error cost the Chinese team a guaranteed win, as their two cores were killed in an ensuing teamfight that allowed Geek Fam to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
RNG looked to bounce back from that disastrous game two with a high-damage ranged core duo of Gyrocopter for Monet and Shadow Fiend for Setsu, with Flywin on Centaur Warrunner to man the frontline.
Meanwhile, Geek Fam looked to take things late as Raven was put on Phantom Lancer, with Karl on Puck once more, and Kuku on Beastmaster to buoy the team through the midgame.
RNG came out of the laning phase with the edge as all three of their cores hit the ground running, while only Raven had a good start for Geek Fam. The Chinese squad made good use of their advantage to take over the map early and methodically pick apart their opponents.
From there, it was just a matter of closing the series out for RNG as Geek Fam were left virtually powerless to stop them from claiming victory after 32 minutes.
With their win, RNG secure the first spot at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor Grand Finals alongside a guaranteed Top 2 finish, US$60,000, and 120 Dota Pro Circuit points. More importantly, the Chinese squad is now within striking distance of the coveted last spot at the Leipzig Major.
Meanwhile, Geek Fam will be awaiting the winner of the series between Gambit Esports and Nigma Esports to see who they will face off against in the Lower Bracket Finals.