Although they had previous attempts to enter the Dota 2 world, Royal never Give Up didn’t make a mark in Valve’s MOBA game until this season. The Chinese organization, with a huge fan base behind them given their success in League of Legends, have finally focused their efforts this year to break into the professional scene of Dota 2 as well.
Their beginning was tormented and shadowed by a back and forth battle between Du “Monet” Peng and LGD. In September last year, when RNG was taking shape, Monet was under contract with LGD and forced both organizations’ hands with an unprofessional move. He simply left the LGD team house and waged a small war with the organization on social media. The conflict lasted for several days and somehow got the entire Chinese community involved. At that time, it was revealed that initially, Monet wanted to transfer to EHOME to start the season with them, then he had a change of heart and decided on his own that he will go with RNG regardless of what his contract with LGD was stating. We covered the Monet-LGD-RNG conflict in detail last year, and unfortunately for quite a while, that was all the important news coming from the newly formed Royal Never Give Up.
Fast forward to November 2018, they already made a roster change and were fighting in the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor qualifiers with two Malaysian players. That was the first Dota Pro Circuit tournament that they attended, but with a stand in as their offlaner wasn’t able to secure the visa for Sweden. They placed third at the Minor, which was their best performance through the entire season.
Roster shuffle continued with Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng joining them in February 2019, followed by Su “Flyby” Lei joining from Royal, RNG’s secondary team, in April.
Royal Never Give Up roster for TI9:
- Du “Monet” Peng
- Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong
- Su “Flyby” Lei
- Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng
- Tue “ah fu” Soon
photo by: EPICENTER
Despite having two players who reached the top 3 at TI7 under the LFY banner, and bringing a decorated veteran to lead them in battle, RNG’s season was mediocre. They didn’t pose a threat in domestic leagues either, Keen Gaming and EHOME being always a step ahead of them. RNG finished the Dota Pro Circuit season with just 204 points and were forced to take the TI9 regional qualifiers path. And this is where the wake up call was made. They had a good group stage run, but were pushed in the lower bracket playoffs by CDEC Gaming. They cut through EHOME and Invictus Gaming to make a comeback in the grand finals, where they took down China’s young star elite team 3-2 to make RNG’s first year in the Dota 2 scene count with a TI appearance.
Royal Never Give Up is filled with talent, but up until very recently, they lacked leadership. They are a team that relies on the momentum more than most of the other competitors at this year’s TI. Monet is an explosive carry and LaNm must be the most experienced position 4 support in the scene, with an extremely keen eye for map rotations. It’s up to them to enter the big battle in Shanghai on a positive note and ride the momentum through the playoffs bracket. They do have all the potential to deliver big upsets and given Monet, Ah Fu and LaNm’s history with The International, they could be the biggest surprise of the tournament.
TI9 team profiles:
Infamous, the ever Morphling roster
Na’Vi, the rejuvenated Ancient Apparition
Virtus.pro, the Storm Spirit of CIS
Fnatic – The Troll Warlord with a twist
TNC Predator, the Undying hope of SEA
Mineski, the rising Phoenix of Southeast Asia
Evil Geniuses – Sven on a cliff
Team Liquid, the Enigma of the season
OG, the Monkey Kings
Ninjas in Pyjamas, the menacing Meepo
Alliance, the Tiny path to success
Team Secret, Chen’s army
Chaos – Knights with a vengeance
Newbee, a Grimstroke of fate
Keen Gaming, Abaddon on a dark horse
Vici Gaming, China’s Juggernaut