The bloodbath that was the Chinese Dota 2 regional qualifier for The International 11 (TI11) is now over, with Royal Never Give Up (RNG) emerging victorious after they soundly swept Xtreme Gaming (XG) 3-0 in the qualifier's grand finals on Monday (12 September).
RNG's victory secured them a spot in the Group Stage of TI11, this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament, which will be hosted in Singapore this October.
Meanwhile, XG and Vici Gaming (VG) will still fly to Singapore, but will have to earn their place in TI11 through the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) as the second and third-placed teams of the tournament's Chinese regional qualifier.
The road to Singapore for RNG
RNG were the clear favorites to win the Chinese regional qualifier, and they did not disappoint, as they only lost one game en route to securing their spot at TI11.
The team started their campaign with back-to-back sweeps over Ybb Gaming and Aster.Aries before facing XG in their first encounter at the upper bracket finals. RNG won that series, 2-1, to become the first team in the grand finals.
XG also had a strong start to the qualifiers, sweeping Invictus Gaming and CDEC before falling to RNG. They swept VG, 2-0, in the lower bracket finals to earn a rematch with RNG in the grand finals.
How the grand finals of the Chinese qualifiers played out
RNG came out swinging to start the finals behind star midlaner Lu "Somnus" Yao on Puck, wreaking havoc on XG in teamfights.
With all eyes on Somnus, Daniel "Ghost" Chan Kok Hong on Bloodseeker had free rein to clean up whatever remained of XG after his midlaner's onslaught.
It didn't take long for a battered XG to tap out, calling GG just before the 38-minute mark. Somnus scored a game-high 20 kills against just two deaths to pace RNG's 44-18 kill lead in game one. Ghost pitched in with 12 kills of his own against two deaths.
XG put up a much better fight in game two, as they matched RNG blow-for-blow Lou "lou" Zhen's Ursa and Zhang "Paparazi灬" Chengjun's Shadow Fiend.
Somnus on Queen of Pain was once again the star for RNG, making plays left and right to make space for Ghost's Bristleback in teamfights.
Both teams clashes throughout the early-to-mid stages of the game with no clear winner emerging. However, RNG started to take the lead around the 45-minute mark.
XG heavily relied on Ren "old eLeVeN" Yangwei's Enigma to give them the edge in teamfights.
Despite his best efforts, XG's offlaner failed to get an impactful Black Hole off in the decisive clashes as Yang "Chalice" Shenyi on Beastmaster and Hu "kaka" Liangzhi on Vengeful Spirit were always ready to stop him with their Black King Bar-piercing disables.
While XG were able to draw the game out to almost the hour-mark, RNG eventually forced the GG call from them after 57 minutes of action.
Somnus was somehow able to exceed his kill score from game one, notching a series-high 21 kills against two deaths as RNG took game two. Lou also had 19 kills in the loss.
RNG seal the deal
RNG smelled blood in the water in game three, as they never gave XG a chance to even try for a comeback in the series.
After a relatively quiet early game, RNG simply bulldozed through their opponents in the midgame behind the Bristleback-Queen of Pain duo for Ghost and Somnus that worked so well in game two.
XG looked to old eLeVeN, who was on Enigma once again, to land a crucial Black Hole and spark a comeback.
This time, it was Yap "xNova" Jian Wei on Warlock who repeatedly prevented XG's offlaner from having any impact in teamfights.
RNG finally completed the 3-0 series sweep after forcing XG to tap out at the 48-minute mark.
Somnus had another spectacular showing, finishing with a game-high 14 kills against just one death, to lead his team to a spot in TI11.
RNG are now the third Chinese team qualified for TI11, joining PSG.LGD and Team Aster.
But with XG and VG in the LCQ, there's a good chance that we will see at least four Chinese teams, if not five, in the battle for the Aegis of Champions.
TI11's regional qualifiers will be held from 3 to 17 September across the DPC's six regions: Western Europe, China, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, North America, and South America. The qualifiers will be played in three batches, with two regions playing in each batch.
The first batch of qualifiers took place from 3 to 7 September, with BetBoom Team winning the Eastern European qualifier and Hokori emerging victorious in the South American qualifier.
The second batch of qualifiers from 8 to 12 September featured China and North America.
Finally, the last batch of qualifiers for Western Europe and Southeast Asia will be held from 13 to 17 September.
Three teams will fly to Singapore out of each qualifier. The winner of the qualifier will earn a spot in TI11's Group Stage while the second and third-placed teams will have to earn their spot in the LCQ.
For more details on the TI11 regional qualifiers, check here.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
Royal Never Give Up roster:
Daniel "Ghost" Chan Kok Hong
Lu "Somnus" Yao
Yang "Chalice" Shenyi
Hu "kaka" Liangzhi
Yap "xNova" Jian Wei
Xtreme Gaming roster:
Lou "lou" Zhen
Zhang "Paparazi灬" Chengjun
Ren "old eLeVeN" Yangwei
Xiong "Pyw" Jiahan
Ding "Dy" Cong
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