The undefeated run in the group stage set Royal Never Give Up for a flawless performance in the ESL One Los Angeles Online playoffs to claim the title of their division.
RNG proved to be clearly superior in the region when it comes to playing in an online format. They took down the big names of the Chinese region in the group stage, which allowed them to continue the playoffs without having to deal again with the likes of Vici Gaming or PSG.LGD. By securing the top seed in the group play, RNG went straight into the finals, where they took down EHOME to advance into the best-of-five grand finals. EHOME, along with Newbee, were the big surprises of the tournament, both delivering big upsets, but in the end, it was Newbee who managed to reach the finals via lower bracket series.
However, despite the great run up to the grand finals, Newbee’s line-up faded when pitted against Royal Never Give Up. The series started with a beat down from RNG’s Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong on Storm Spirit, after he set up a fast tempo game to avoid Newbee’s Phantom Lancer getting to a point where he could dominate the game. The Bloodstone into BKB early item build allowed Setsu to crush all three lanes and seal the deal in under 30 minutes with no death under his name. He kept the same aggressive stance in game two, but on Puck, a hero on which he went for Boots of Travel as first item, followed by Blink – Eul’s for the extra mobility. With a Centaur Warrunner on their side as well, RNG rolled over Newbee and took the lead 2-0.
Newbee were able to bounce back in the third game of the series, courtesy of a mid lane Alchemist and a carry Dazzle. The duo was simply unkillable and it put RNG in a defensive footing, which led to a terrible game for their carry Slark, as he couldn’t find the early skirmishes to snowball.
Headed into the fourth game, Newbee adjusted their draft on the fly and tried to counter Setsu’s Templar Assassin in the mid lane with Centaur Warrunner. Their idea didn’t work too well, and although the laning stage was rather quiet with just 4 kills traded on the first 15 minutes, Setsu had free farm and was once again able to run over his adversaries once he got his Desolator completed.
With the ESL One Los Angeles Online completed for the Chinese teams, the action for them moves to the Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association (CDA), where the open qualifiers winners Sparking Arrow Gaming are writing an underdog story by being at the top of the group stage after three weeks of matches.