Royal Never Give Up has found its way to the 2022 League of Legends World Championship Group Stage. The reigning MSI champions stumbled first, but bounced back quickly in an all-deciding Play-In Stage series against DetonatioN FocusMe. With the 3-1 victory, RNG joins fellow LPL teams JD Gaming, Top Esports, and EDward Gaming in the next phase of Worlds 2022. For DetonatioN FocusMe, the loss meant elimination from the tournament.

DetonatioN FocusMe writes history in game 1

Although the odds were stacked against DFM, they didn’t play according to them at the start of the series.. The LJL champions had cleverly used their composition to zone RNG away from the first two drakes. RNG tried to get an advantage by heavily focusing Shunsuke “Evi” Murase in the top lane. But at twenty minutes, RNG started to realize DFM was running away with the game. RNG had to contest the objectives but DFM was simply too effective on them. Mun “Steal” Geon-yeong’s Maokai provided too much utility for RNG to find a clean angle to engage from. Using his Kennen ult, Evi set up the fights and mid laner Lee “Yaharong” Chan-ju sliced up RNG with Yone.

Even when DetonatioN FocusMe had the Hextech Soul and Baron buff, though, DFM was hesitant in their play. It took a brawl over the Elder Dragon to close out the game. RNG did manage to steal the objective, but DFM’s composition was simply too strong and blew up RNG’s Nexus after winning the fight. For the first time in history, RNG lost a game against a minor region.

Worlds 2022 continues for RNG in the Group Stage.

It looked like DetonatioN FocusMe would continue the upset trend in game 2. RNG played more proactively and tried to shut DFM down early. DFM had other plans. With individual outplays, most notably from Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura on the Aphelios. For twenty minutes, DetonatioN FocusMe was in the driver’s seat. But then RNG woke up. Chen “Breathe” Chen split up DFM while Chen “GALA” Wei hopped around the fights to deal monstrous amounts of damage. RNG had their opponents on the ropes. By teaming up at all times, they made it impossible for DFM to push back in the game. DFM tried to pull back into the series with a few hail-mary plays, but Royal Never Give Up comfortably tied the series.

Royal Never Give Up puts its foot down

The second game was a catalyst for RNG to start flexing its muscles. In game 3, they opted for early aggression through a good old Lucian/Nami bot lane but, on the other side of the map, Evi felt spicy and countered Breathe’s Aatrox with a Tryndamere. It mattered little, though. While Evi eventually found a comfort spot and won the lane matchup, the rest of the map was on fire. DFM had no grip on the aggression RNG was bringing to the table. GALA and Shi “Ming” Senming didn’t give DFM an inch to work with on the bot side of the map. The game was a stomp. Once the laning phase ended and the map opened up, Breathe roamed with a vengeance and tore up DFM. RNG put themselves on series point: 2-1.

Ming and his bot lane buddy GALA haunted DFM in the fourth game. (Source: Ingrid Muhlenbrock for Riot Games)

Game 4 was a nightmare for DetonatioN FocusMe. Everything that had gone right for them since the start of the series was absent now. RNG, on the other hand, knew exactly what they had to do at every step. After eleven minutes, the LPL squad had already raked in seven kills on their carries. Yan “Wei” Yangwei sat at a sweet 4/0/3 with his Viego after just fifteen minutes and made it impossible for DFM to play the game. RNG cruised to a victory with the Mountain Soul under its belt and eliminated DFM from the tournament.

RNG faces Gen.G, CTBC Flying Oyster, and 100 Thieves

For RNG, the Group Stage will bring a wildly mixed bag of opponents. Because every other group already contains an LPL team and Riot’s rules outline that two teams of the same region cannot be in the same group, RNG is placed in Group D. There they will meet LCK first seed Gen.G, PCS first seed CTBC Flying Oyster, and LCS second seed 100 Thieves.

The Worlds 2022 Group Stage kicks off on Oct. 7 at 11 PM CEST. You can find the full schedule here. All games can be watched live on the official LoL Esports site.