EDward Gaming eliminated Royal Never Give Up 3-1 in the first round of the LPL Spring Playoffs. As they advanced forward to meet reigning world champions FunPlus Phoenix, EDG also handed RNG their worst playoffs finish in the team’s history.
RNG struggled all season long as their star AD Carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-hao was sidelined due to wrist pains. Former Flash Wolves bot laner Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung took the starter position, and while RNG did make playoffs in the end, their bot lane took a visible downgrade.
RNG’s own playoffs chances didn’t look good coming into the match against EDward Gaming. Royal lost four of their last five games, dropping series to bottom-tier teams like LGD Gaming, Rogue Warriors, Dominus Esports, and Suning. While EDG themselves didn’t have the best record they were looking as the narrow favorites, especially considering RNG’s awful last two weeks.
RNG’s bot lane problems were highlighted even more as Betty and Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming went on to face Wang “Hope” Jie. EDG’s AD Carry not only topped the damage charts in the first two games, but consistently won the 2v2 skirmishes and even stole a Dragon underneath Li “XLB” Xiao-Long’s Smite.
EDG also showed why they’re one of the hardest team in the LPL to take down. Known for winning games from behind, EDG channeled this statistics in their favor and into victory. Despite holding a minor gold lead in the first two games, RNG could not convert them to a dead Nexus and they only took one game in the entire series. The fourth game was especially brutal for Royal, starting with two early kills for EDG during the level 1 skirmish, which snowballed into a decisive win.
By being eliminated in round 1, this is the worst playoffs showing of RNG in franchise history. Besides their very first split since their creation in Summer 2015, RNG have made it to every single playoffs and until now, the top 6 from 2019 Spring has been their lowest point. Out of their eight playoffs appearances, RNG have three first and four second place finishes. 2020 Spring is only their second time in history to not make finals.
While EDG showed good League of Legends today, they will need more than that if they want to beat FunPlus Phoenix on Saturday. The world champions barely missed the top 2, but are in good a form as ever, with Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang only losing the regular split MVP vote to Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok by a small margin.