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Snake Esports tried its best but couldn't hold on as Royal Never Give Up took a 2-0 sweep to close out Week 7, Day 2 of the League of Legends Pro League on Friday in Shanghai.
Snake Esports (2-8, 6-19 match record) had a risky plan coming into Game 1: giving the newly released champion Kayn to jungler Le "SofM" Quang Duy and letting him run wild. This strategy worked early on as SofM picked up first blood at six minutes, building what became a 3,500-gold lead for Snake by the 16-minute mark.
Snake stalled in the midgame, though, due to SofM's constant splitpushing delaying his levelling and RNG's pick composition scaling up. Nevertheless, a Baron secure after a long Baron dance at 34 minutes gave Snake the power to start knocking down towers and building a 4,000-gold lead at 38 minutes. Then, disaster struck.
As Snake attempted a 41-minute Elder Dragon, RNG finally came online, carried mostly by mid laner Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao's Taliyah in a 3-for-2 teamfight win, Baron kill and eventual Elder Dragon. With all these buffs empowering Xiaohu, who finished with a 5/3/10 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 94 percent kill participation, RNG finally overcame Snake's early pressure in a 44-minute comeback.
Snake looked to get ahead early in Game 2, but intelligent drafting from Royal Never Give Up (6-4, 14-11 match record) prevented Snake's beefy team composition from getting too out of hand.
It might have been fun to see what of the LPL's rare picks in mid lane, Kled, could do for Snake mid laner Liu "Zz1tai" Zhi-Hao, but his team couldn't get in sync and dropped the ball completely during a tower dive in the 15th minute.
A Baron attempt for Snake 22 minutes in went sour, too. As soon as it had secured the buff, the team lost four members to a collapsing RNG. RNG snowballed after that, as Snake had no tank-killing champions, and RNG jungler Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu's Cho'Gath had gotten ludicrously bulky. RNG too a 5-for-0 ace at 26 minutes to cap off a negative Baron power play that saw Snake lose 5,020 gold. The favorites wasted little time in knocking down the Nexus from there and wrapped the game up at 29 minutes.
Snake Esports will next hope to find a win against Suning Gaming at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday, while Royal Never Give Up now prepare to take on a red-hot Team WE at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday.