RNG advances to '18 LPL Spring QFs, squeaks past spirited WE in hard-fought Wildcard sweep

Chinese powerhouse Royal Never Give Up (on picture) takes a bow as they eliminated fellow Chinese titan Team WE, 3-0 in their best-of-5 Wildcard Round date.

By Ozzy Alaba

MANILA -- Chinese powerhouse Royal Never Give Up (RNG) successfully locked in their 2018 LPL Spring Quarterfinal slot, but had to survive Team WE's (WE) early-game triumphs en route to their hard-fought 3-0 sweep in their best-of-5 Wildcard Round date at the Shanghai LPL Stadium in Shanghai, China, Thursday evening (Philippine time).

Despite holding a 1-0 set advantage due to their East Region placement (3rd Place, 27-19, 12-7 in set), RNG, a former LPL champion didn't let complacency and relaxation run into them as they executed the ever-vintage "Protect the Puppy" strategy to utmost perfection, exemplifying it in Game 1, where they came back to a very large gold and objective deficit through protecting star AD Carry Jian (Uzi) Zi-Hao in the backline, sealing the win in a nerve-wracking 55-minute bloodfest, the longest of the current LPL season.

With the heartbreaking loss in the previous match, WE still showed their strongholds in the second game, with their AD Carry Jin (Mystic) Seong-jun getting a couple of kills in the early ticks, but this immensely collapsed in the dying moments as RNG easily exterminated their adversaries' frontlines, in courtesy of mid laner Li (Xiaohu) Yuan-Hao's poke power on Zoe and Jian's Varus, eventually bagging the series win in home soil.

With this, Li concluded the series by bagging the first Playoffs MVP points through his combined 7 Kill-Death-Assist (KDA) Ratio (5/2/9 KDA), while Jian spearheaded the kills category for the 10-man squad, with a team-high seven kills, a big help to his decent 7/4/10 KDA (4.25 KDA Ratio) in the two-game run.

Veteran jungler Liu (Mlxg) Shi-Yu and sophomore support Shi (Ming) Sen-Ming also boosted RNG's defenses in the entire series through their tanky and utility picks, which let them lead the assists department with 21 combined assists, and co-lead the kill participation side (KP) with 73.09 percent (Jian leads with a game-high 89.47 percent)

RNG's top laner Yan (Letme) Jun-Ze also delivered quality minutes for his team in spite of swapping with two-time Worlds contender Liu (Zz1tai) Zhi-Hao as he tied Li's KDA Ratio in his rare start in Game 2 with 7 KDA Ratio (0/0/7 KDA) on Ornn.

Meanwhile, even though being picked off early in game-clinching clashes, Jin, alongside with superstar mid laner Su (xiye) Han-Wei, finished the entire round with a decent record for WE through their game-high 14/5/18 KDA (5.8 KDA Ratio).

With the win, RNG will face the West Region's second seed Snake eSports (25-20, 12-7 in set) in the Quarterfinals on Saturday. WE, on the other hand, will end their 2018 LPL Spring campaign in 7th-8th place.

The updated bracket of the 2018 LPL Spring Playoffs. Leaguepedia

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