When Royal Never Give Up walked onto the stage, they felt as if they had their opponents, DetonatioN FocusMe figured out. Soon after, they would come to realize that a quick victory would not be in the forecast. Throughout the four-game battle, Royal Never Give Up experienced DetonatioN FocusMe’s LAN experience and quirky compositions mixed with confidence at the forefront.
For Royal Never Give Up top laner Chen “Breathe” Chen it was an unexpected challenge that he could only provide his respect for DetonatioN FocusMe’s surprisingly strong preparation against them.
“During those first two games, we felt that DFM was playing with a lot of confidence and they were playing very well without many mistakes,” Breathe shared. “They have a very good tempo for the game and just played very well in my opinion.”
Detonation FocusMe grabbed the first game of the series and immediately continued that strong form going into the second game where Royal Never Give Up was able to narrowly grab the victory to even up the series. For Breathe, DetonatioN FocusMe’s strong performance in the series was something that he was unprepared for, despite all the preparation put into the series.
“To be honest, they really surprised us with how good they were,” Breathe said. “We did a lot of preparation on them during our rest day. We watched their playoff games, and yesterday’s match, and studied their champion pool, but they were still a very strong opponent for us. It was a learning experience for myself.”
One of the biggest surprises that Breathe noted about the series was DetonatioN FocusMe top laner Shunsuke “Evi” Murase’s Tryndamere pick in the third game. While DetonatioN FocusMe ultimately lost that third game, it was something that Breathe particularly felt was a major adjustment throughout the series.
“I can’t say I have faced a lot of Tryndamere on stage,” Breathe said recollecting the pick. “I was surprised when he was picked in the third game and I really needed to spend a lot of effort focusing on all the details in the laning phase, but luckily my team was able to carry me that game.”
On Aatrox, Breathe managed to stave off the Tryndamere to a respectable 3/2/4 scoreline with 15.9k damage to his name before handing in an equally solid game four scorelines of 4/2/1, this time on the Fiora pick as Royal Never Give Up closed out the series with a dominant victory to send themselves to the Worlds 2022 main stage.
It was an unexpected start today for Royal Never Give Up. Regardless, they have secured their spot at the Worlds 2022 Group Stage where they have been slotted into Group D alongside LCK first seed, Gen.G, LCS second seed 100 Thieves, and PCS first seed CTBC Flying Oyster. Aware of how the community perceives them as favorites to make it out of that group, Breathe does not believe that the group is as clear-cut as many make it out to be.
“A lot of people see that group as a two-team race between Gen.G and us, but even though we are Spring Champions, we are here as the LPL’s fourth seed,” Breathe humbly stated. “I plan on going into those games with the mindset that I am trying to learn as much as I can and for us as a team to focus on our growth.”
That humble mindset has carried over into early preparation of all the Group D top laners, where he is hoping that he can takeaway a lot from each game while also providing fans “exciting games” whenever they play.
“I have been studying our group's top laners and I am really excited to learn new things from all of them,” Breathe said. “We will definitely look to keep this momentum as a team and try our best to provide some really exciting games.”
The Worlds 2022 Group Stages in New York City will begin on Friday, October 7. There, Royal Never Give Up’s Group D debut will be up against Gen.G.
All images by Ingrid Muhlenbrock/Riot Games
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