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Royal Never Give Up was tested by Invictus Gaming on Week 5, Day 2 of the League of Legends Pro League, but finished Friday's action with a 2-1 series win in Shanghai.
All eyes were on returning RNG AD carry Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, who took Kalista into Game 1. Uzi even got ahead early with a two-minute gank that earned him first blood, but he got too confident and gave the kill right back to Invictus Gaming (4-4, 10-8 match record).
IG took a 4-for-0 teamfight in the bottom lane and turned it into first tower gold and a significant early lead. With its oppressive double-marksman composition, Invictus jumped to a 4-for-0 tower advantage at 20 minutes. IG seemed poised to tear through Game 1 after a sneaky Baron kill at the 27-minute mark increased its gold lead to 8,000 at 28 minutes, but RNG (5-3, 11-9 match record) fought hard in its base.
RNG continued to repel IG's advances,won some teamfights and secured a Baron of its own 35 minutes in, but the favorites ultimately had no answer for IG mid laner Song "Rookie" Eui-jin's Corki. He capped off a game-high 32,300 damage to enemy champions by blasting RNG apart in a final 4-for-0 teamfight, and IG took Game 1 in 40 minutes.
The following draft made it look like things would go even worse for RNG in Game 2. IG picked up a plethora of its most powerful champions, including Zac for jungler Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning in exchange for a Galio for mid laner Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao to complete a late-game teamfighting juggernaut.
Despite the drafting disadvantage, a small early-game gold lead only continued to grow for RNG as Uzi's Kog'Maw started getting more money funneled into him. RNG's immense pressure on IG's backline carried it to a 5-for-2 ace at 26 minutes, which in turn led to a free Baron kill.
By the time RNG had taken a second ace in IG's jungle, this time a 5-for-1, Uzi's Kog'Maw had become an unholy shredder of champions and towers. He finished with a game-high 31,100 damage dealt to enemy champions and player of the game honors with a 7/1/9 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 80 percent kill participation. RNG closed out Game 2 in 38 minutes after taking a second Baron.
In the pivotal Game 3, IG opted to put substitute top laner Kang "TheShy" Dong-geun on Jarvan IV, but the change didn't matter much. With Uzi's Kalista picking up two kills in a 2-on-2 outplay in the bottom lane and TheShy dying in a 2-on-1 tower dive at the same time early on, RNG quickly took a gold lead. IG fought hard, but a scuffle at near the 14-minute mark gave RNG full control over the game.
Uzi was the catalyst for RNG in Game 3, securing three kills in a teamfight close to the 20-minute mark, then claiming a Baron just four minutes later while also helping pick up a second Baron at the 34-minute mark. Uzi and support Shi "ming" Sen-Ming's Thresh finally managed to put the nail in the coffin by sneaking behind IG while the rest of RNG attempted to knock down its fourth consecutive Baron. The maneuver helped RNG claim a 47-minute, series-clinching win.
IG will try to bounce back against Newbee at 8 a.m. ET next Friday, while Royal Never Give Up will wait until next Sunday to take on I May at 8 a.m. ET.