2021 Mid-Season Invitational champions Royal Never Give Up are back to defend their title.
Led by veteran mid laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao and support Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming, they triumphed over Top Esports 3-2 in the LPL Spring 2022 grand final.
After RNG won the first two games, Top Esports went back to the drawing board to change up their drafts, resulting in game three and four victories, tying up the series with potential for a reverse sweep.
Qualifying from the upper bracket, RNG took out JD Gaming 3-2 in Round 4, and Top Esports 3-1 in the semifinals. In the lower bracket, TES upset first place Victory Five 3-1 to meet their rivals for one last rematch of the season, but fell short a second time.
LPL 2022 Spring final: Royal Never Give Up are just too good at late game team fights
The average game time in the LPL 2022 playoffs is 32:40.
In all of Royal Never Give Up’s victories, the shortest was 37:03 in game five, and the longest 41:19 in game two.
In the second game, RNG were down by 4,000 gold 31 minutes in. Even though TES had Baron buff, RNG found an opportunity when they spotted Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo’s Xayah and Ling “Mark” Xu’s Nautilus out in the open by themselves without a minion wave in mid lane.
Teammates from both sides quickly swooped in as backup, but it was Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin’s Gnar who made a big play as RNG’s frontline in Mega Gnar form, sacrificing his life so that Chen “GALA” Wei’s Aphelios remained untouched in the back.
On the other hand, Huang “Wayward” Ren-Xing’s Irelia took the long way around, and completely missed out on the action, leaving his team 4v5 for a full 10 seconds.
Swinging the momentum in their favor, this was all RNG needed to propel themselves for the comeback win in game two, amplified by Xiaohu’s late game Corki at full build.
Despite being down two games, TES were undeterred, and adapted their drafts strategically. Putting JackeyLove on his signature champion Draven and Miss Fortune in games three and four, they relied on a team composition that peaked in the mid game, which curbed RNG’s potential to scale.
TES attempted the same strategy in game five, drafting Ziggs for their star bot laner. Unfortunately, one lost team fight at the 18-minute mark halted all momentum.
Even though TES secured the Infernal Dragon and even took out Ming’s Nautilus at the start of the fight, Royal Never Give Up’s solo laners pulled out all the stops.
Since TES had expanded their spells on RNG’s support, this opened up a window for Bin’s Jax and Xiaohu’s Vex to dive the backline. One by one, TES fell, which only helped Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei reset on Viego.
From then on, Top Esports never recovered, and RNG pulled ahead in the late game with a 10,000 gold lead to close out the series 3-2 for the LPL Spring 2022, their fourth domestic title, and the chance to do their region proud at the upcoming MSI.