Royal Never Give Up, pre-tournament favorites to win the LPL, will face JD Gaming in Round 4 of the LPL playoffs. Winning pits them against Top Esports and a shot at the LPL finals.
Here is a breakdown of their duel, players that could impact the outcome and what potentially lies ahead.
RNG vs JD Gaming – LPL Playoffs Round 4
On account of finishing second in the regular season standings, this is RNG’s first match in Playoffs. They have been solid and reliable right through this season, which has included 12 wins out of 16 matches. They finished the season with two straight wins, which will give them the requisite confidence to be able to pick up from where they left off in the regular season.
RNG will continue to rely on their star bot laner Gala, who is averaging 4.33 kills and 5.59 deaths per map. He has been quite steady from the outset, which is an indicator that RNG will be hard to beat in the bot lane. Their most proficient player, this season, has been Xiaohu, who has produced returns of 4.36 kills, 1.74 deaths and 6.1 assists per map at a KDA of 6 along with a creep score of 283.33 and a CSPM of 8.84.
RNG’s remaining three players in their roster – Bin, Ming and Wei – have KDAs in excess of 3. These are all statistics that indicate that RNG are going to be extremely hard to get past across the board in a best of five, especially after the team has spent the last few days resting up for this encounter.
Opposite them sits JD Gaming, a team that has regained their best confidence and fluency during this split. JDG finished third on the regular season standings, with 11 wins out of 16 matches. They were troubled by Weibo Gaming in that best of five playoffs encounter in the third round of the postseason, but they came out on top in the fifth map. That result will inspire them with plenty of confidence going into this vital fixture as well. From a personnel standpoint, they will have to look at several avenues because that is the only way they get past a team like RNG. Hope has had a good season so far. In the regular season, he managed returns of 5 kills, 1.82 deaths and 6.24 assists per map at a KDA of 6.18 with a creep score of 299.91 and a CSPM of 9.56.
Kanavi also had a solid regular season, which included returns of 4.11 kills, 2.87 deaths and 6.76 assists per map at a KDA of 3.79. He has already provided steady numbers, which will help JD Gaming in the jungle and also in flanking in team fights.
Overall, this seems like one match that RNG should dominate but there is already evidence that this will not be easy to put away. JD Gaming are coming into this on the back of a solid result in round 3, which will keep them high on confidence. I’m backing Royal Never Give Up to win eventually, but this will not be one that will be decided in the first few maps. It could go all the way to a fifth map.
Looking ahead to a duel against Top Esports
After an absolutely crazy best-of-five series between Victory Five and Top Esports, there is little doubt that the LPL Playoffs just got a lot spicier. Ahead of the series everyone had V5 pegged absolute favorites. Two games in they seemed to have everything under control and were a game away from securing Upper Bracket Finals. However, Tian and Knight played three absolutely insane back-to-back games to bring the series to Silver Scrapes and ultimately give Top Esports the win.
Looking at a potential series against TES, its absolutely scary to Gala for RNG or Kanavi for JD can do anything to swing the series in their teams favor. Top to bottom, whoever faces TOP is now in danger and we honestly cant see either of these two teams challenging them.
We will still wait for their series to play out and maybe find a winning strategy going forward.