As one of the oldest and most bitterly contested rivalries in League of Legends, RNG v EDG delivered on the Worlds’ stage with the latter emerging victorious - marking their first time they advance past the quarterfinals despite five previous Worlds runs and a championship win at MSI 2015.
Nevertheless, both teams sat down to answer questions from the press. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, only RNG were able to answer those questions.
RNG - A disappointing end to a successful year of proving the doubters wrong
It was broad strokes that opened up the press questions, with assistant coach Chang “Poppy” Po-Hao - who’d stepped in as the main coach for the tournament due to visa issues - asked to reflect on RNG’s performance over the year.
“Until now we’ve had good results, so I’m pretty satisfied,” Poppy opined. “At the beginning of the year we didn’t imagine we could reach this level, but we still have a little regret that our journey ended at the quarterfinals. We hope EDG can carry our will forwards and reach the finals.”
As for the series itself, Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei spoke for the team by saying, “We are not satisfied and I personally made a lot of mistakes.” Coach Poppy was pushed for a more in-depth take as to why EDG came out on top later on as well. “I think the ban/pick strategies for both sides did well,” he mused, but suggested that “maybe we didn’t have as many strategies for pick/ban [as EDG did], so maybe in that aspect they did better than us.”
Even so, Superstar top laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao, noted when asked about his thoughts on Worlds that “Compared to last year, we don’t have as much regret. We tried our best in this Best of Five to play our style, so I think there aren’t too many regrets.” He did also agree with Poppy though, that because the two teams knew each other very well RNG “didn’t have as many counter strategies prepared,” and that was the major factor in their loss.
Xiaohu was also asked about why he picked unusual top lane picks like Syndra and Lucian. “It’s an advantage unique to me” - Xiaohu, as a former mid laner, was notoriously proficient on both - “I’m pretty good at the champions as well.”
He later went on to evaluate his performance as a top laner, having transitioned to the role from mid lane at the start of the year. “Excepting this Worlds, I am quite satisfied [with my performance as a top laner], because in the beginning people looked down on me and I put in a lot of effort to prove them wrong, even if the results at the end weren’t good. As for improving as a top laner, I need to expand my champion pool.”
As for the biggest change between mid and top? “In the mid lane, I need to care about the overall situation of the game, but on top, I only need to focus on my own lane.” In terms of preference though, Xiaohu said “they’re both fun, but I’m relatively new to playing top, so it's still a fresh experience for me.”
Cryin too was questioned about his champion picks - namely, Annie, which reared its head as a major curveball during the series. It's a champion barely ever seen in pro-play and a first for Cryin’s career. When asked about why he went for the pick, he simply said: “I felt it had pretty good results in practice, so that’s why I went for it.”
As a final question, Chen “GALA” Wei and Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming were asked about their thoughts on their matchup against EDG’s all-star bot lane, Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and Tian “Meiko” Ye - specifically EDG’s priority on enchanter supports, and whether they would have played differently looking back at the series. “I think they did very well in the matchups,” GALA said, “If we had the chance to play the series again, I think we should have paid more attention to the little details of the matchups.”
“I know Meiko very well,” Ming said, “and in the past I learnt from him a lot, and I will still try to learn from him in the future.”
For more Worlds coverage, head over to our dedicated League of Legends section.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images.