[MSI] RNG Poppy: "I think it's fun to watch who understands the meta better (at MSI)."

Image via Riot Games

The knockout stages of the 2021 MSI starts in less than 24 hours. On May 21, the four semi finalist teams of the 2021 MSI held a digital press conference to answer some questions from various media outlets around the world. 


Each team was given 30 minutes to answer such questions; Royal Never Give Up talked about their upcoming match against PSG Talon, as well as their perspective of all the other teams that have also made it to the knockout stage of the tournament.

To Head Coach Poppy - What is the team’s perspective of the team playing on Friday for the semifinals instead of Saturday (local time)?


Poppy: We already booked the flight back on Monday. As far as we’re concerned, China extended the designated quarantine and asked for the antibiotic test results in 48 hours prior to heading back to China. So we had to make reservations with a specific local clinic on Saturday. This potentially affected the schedule time at this MSI.


Also, because LPL teams have a very tight schedule post-MSI, we reported to Riot Central the moment we found out, told them our situation, and tried to find balance among the teams.


To Xiaohu - You’ve been playing top lane for a while now. What do you like about it and dislike about it, when compared to mid lane?


Xiaohu: Compared to mid lane, top lane plays at a slower tempo. As a mid laner, you have to push lanes, coordinate better with your teammates, and actively find those opportunities to support your teammates. In comparison, as a top laner, you can focus more on the laning phase; sometimes, top laners are the core win condition for your team composition, depending on the team’s game plan with the Rift Herald and what not.

To Ming - Up to now, what team was the most difficult to play against?


Ming: I think all the teams in the semifinals are very competitive.


To Cryin - Your team put two losses on the DWG KIA scoreboard. Should you meet them in the finals, do you think it’s safe to say that RNG will take the series? Or do you think DWG KIA will put on a stronger performance compared to the Rumble stage?


Cryin: I think all semi finalist teams have a chance to make it to the finals. There’s not a big gap between each team. In the case of DWG KIA, I think that they played better in the Rumble stage.

To GALA - Which team’s bot laner is the most difficult to compete against?


GALA: There isn’t a particular trait that stands out from each one of them, and I think they’re all very strong players.


To Wei - In the recent matches, RNG seemed to be at a disadvantage in the early game. Would this be solved in the Knockout stage?


Wei: We’ll definitely make improvements in our early game, because you have to have a good early game in order to get to mid-late game.


To Cryin - Is it hard to mentally prepare for a matchup, when your team is a favorite to win?


Cryin: Personally, I don’t feel there’s extra pressure that comes from being seen as the favorites. I just try to focus on my own performance and play well in every match.


To Xiaohu - As a veteran in this team, what do you think is the biggest difference in the team that has brought you guys to the knockout stage?


Xiaohu: I would say the unity that bonds our team.


To Xiaohu - If you win MSI and get the extra spot for Worlds, is there anything you’d like to say to the teams in your region?


Xiaohu: Getting the extra spot for the LPL is one of our goals for this tournament. If we can reach the finals and accomplish that, that means we could have more confidence playing in the finals.


To Poppy - Right now, RNG looks strong. How did you achieve this level of skill and how do you evaluate your chances of international competitions in the future?


Poppy: I’m very grateful for our team and especially our players, because they never forgot their beginnings as pro players, which keeps us motivated. We want to continue staying in good form, and keep up our level of passion for this tournament and the future.


To Poppy - What are the key differences between an international tournament and the LPL? How will you prepare to go into the knockout stage?


Poppy: Outside of the game, it’s really hard for the team players to get adapted to the food, climate, and locale. This isn’t a problem we would have during the LPL season. In terms of the game, we’re meeting the best teams of each region. It’s really good to see different understandings of the meta colliding against each other; I think it's fun to watch who understands the meta better. We have learned a few things in scrims during our time here, so we might use them in our future matches.

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