League of Legends: RNG outlast Top Esports 3-2 to win 2022 LPL Spring Split

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Royal Never Give Up are the 2022 LPL Spring Split Champions. RNG will be at the 2022 MSI to defend their MSI title this year. Photo: Riot Games.
Royal Never Give Up are the 2022 LPL Spring Split Champions. RNG will be at the 2022 MSI to defend their MSI title this year. Photo: Riot Games.

Chinese powerhouse Royal Never Give Up (RNG) have been crowned the champions of the 2022 Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Spring Split after they outlasted Top Esports (TES) 3-2 in the best-of-five grand finals on Saturday (23 April).

This marks RNG’s sixth regional title and also qualifies them to this year's Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), where they will also be the defending champions.

RNG had a strong showing in the regular season, ending with a 12-4 standing after facing 16 other teams in a nine-week showdown. The team secured the second seed, and consequently, a spot in Phase 2 of the playoffs.

RNG continued their dominance in the playoffs, defeating JD Gaming, 3-2, in Round 4. They then routed TES, 3-1, in the upper bracket semifinals to become the first team in the grand finals.

TES, on the other hand, ended the regular season in fifth place with an 11-5 standing, which still secured them a spot in Round 2 of the playoffs.

In the Playoffs, TES worked their way up in a miracle run. They first defeated Bilibili Gaming, 3-1, in Round 2, then swept LNG Esports, 3-0, in Round 3, before upsetting top seeds Victory 5, 3-2, in Round 4.

After losing to RNG in the upper bracket semis, TES once again defeated Victory Five in a 3-1 rout to force a rematch with RNG in the grand finals.

The first game of the finals started at a sluggish pace, with the action only beginning around the 11-minute mark as TES built a slight lead in gold and kills. After a couple of failed teleport flanks from both sides, RNG slowly caught up with TES as their champions slowly scaled into the late game.

A pivotal fight near Baron changed RNG's fate and gave them a significant lead in the game. Despite taking all dragons, TES lost all the Barons against RNG, and eventually, the Elder Dragon.

Behind a strong showing from Chen “GALA” Wei on Aphelios, RNG left TES behind and won the finals opener in 36 minutes with a 22-13 kill lead. GALA subsequently took the MVP honours for the first game.

Game two saw another slow start, with both teams content to just skirmish from the early to mid game.

Throughout most of the game, the teams were neck-and-neck until TES snagged some kills on RNG players in the bottom lane after winning a teamfight near the fourth dragon.

TES then built a substantial lead before attempting to end the game with a Baron.

RNG found their way back into the game, however, after outplaying TES in a clash in the jungle before securing the next Baron and the Dragon Soul.

And after a 38-minute encounter, RNG won the second game with a 21-18 kill lead, taking their team to match point. Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao was notably named MVP of the game for his stellar plays on Corki.

TES fought back in a do-or-die third game, with Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang and Zhuo “knight” Ding overpowering RNG with their Hecarim-Ryze combination in teamfights.

\With a 13,000 gold lead in around the 26-minute, TES pushed their advantage, taking the Mountain Soul for themselves to fortify their grip on the match.

After a 33-minute encounter, TES won their first game of the finals with a 23-14 kill lead. Tian, after putting on a Hecarim masterclass, took the MVP honours.

TES fought with all they had in the fourth game, exchanging equal trades with RNG up until the mid game.

However, TES then took control by taking most of the map objectives. RNG tried to make plays around these objectives but Tian’s Viego thwarted RNG’s plans, stealing the Baron under their noses.

And after a bit over 29 minutes, TES took game four with a 16-11 kill lead and forcing the finals to a deciding game five.

Huang “Wayward” Ren-Xing was named the MVP of the game as his Tryndamere was instrumental in pushing back RNG in the laning phase and in teamfights.

In the nail-biting decider and with Silver Scrapes running in the background, the two teams faced off for one last time for the championship.

The decider was a bloody encounter with 11 kills across the board in just 12 minutes, with ach team’s advantage shifting almost every few minutes.

However, RNG eventually gained more map control by taking two dragons and securing a lead. With

Xiaohu’s Vex destroying TES players in teamfights, RNG mowed their way through the TES base and destroying their Nexus in 37 minutes with a 25-10 kill lead.

With their victory, RNG claimed the 2022 LPL Spring Split Championship title and the grand prize of ¥2,000,000 (over US$310,000).

Meanwhile, TES bowed out of the competition in second place, taking home ¥1,000,000 (over US$155,000) in consolation.

RNG will be representing the LPL at the MSI 2022 on 10 May, where they will be gunning for their second consecutive MSI title against 10 of the best teams from around the world.

This year's MSI will take place in Busan, South Korea, however, the LPL representatives will be playing remotely, due to the travel and quarantine restrictions that Shanghai has imposed because of the rise of COVID-19 cases in China.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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