On the 24th (CST), TOP defeated RNG 2:0 in the 2019 LPL Spring.
With TOP displaying outstanding performance lately, and the fact that RNG had his star player, Uzi back in their lineup, this matchup was indeed one of the most anticipated series for the first half of this LPL Spring. But, despite the high expectations, the match ended with a rather early 2:0 victory to TOP.
In game 1, RNG did seem to be on an advantage to the mid game. However, TOP was the better team in late game teamfights. With their main carries, Knight and LokeN displaying exceptional performance, TOP turned the tables after securing a few huge teamfight victories near the Baron and Drake pit.
After winning the first set, TOP seemed to be on positive momentum. In game 2, they were a step ahead throughout the game, especially in the top lane. Starting from a solo-kill against Urgot, 369's Jayce picked up some early kills which made his team play around top lane and easily snowball forward.
After the series, the TOP members gathered in the press room for an interview.
Q: (To xx) How does it feel facing Uzi, an intensely aggressive ADC player today? In the mid-stage of Game 1, your team deadlocked with RNG and even was on a disadvantage. However, the team turned the tables near the Baron. How did the team decide to make that decision?
xx: We had two key champions in our line-up. One was Ryze and the other was Kai'Sa. Both champions have high mobility which makes us rush to Baron quickly. At that time, we found that our opponent’s jungler was out of sight so we thought that we could give it a try.
Q: (To Coach) You banned mid lane champions during the pick/bans for both games. Was that part of the team’s strategy when facing RNG? Did you ever think you’d be able to win 2-0 against RNG?
Coach: Yes, we had that strategy in mind because we thought our opponent would probably make such ban choices. Previously, I said that we really wanted to win today’s game because the victory would be a great help for our ranking and a morale boost. We definitely did think about winning RNG in the past.
Q: (To369) You performed well today. You solo killed AmazingJ in both Game 1 and Game 2. Did you expect a solo kill from yourself before the match?
369: I never thought about that. Being myself is enough.
Q: (To Knight) During fight near the Elder Dragon in Game 1, your Ryze Flashed and solo killed Lee Sin.
Knight: Lee Sin had his eyes on Baron and his position made me feel that I could kill him in a hit. That's why I Flashed in.
Q: (To Ben) Congratulations on your victory today. I have a question for Ben. The team has secured a 5 game winning streak and has been performing consistently lately. Which team do you think is the strongest opponent in the LPL now?
Ben: FPX and IG. FPX is a team that is undefeated in the Spring Split, and IG is the 2018 Worlds champion.
Q: (To Coach) Did you prepare anything special against RNG today? From your perspective, who was the key player that has contributed the most for today’s win?
Coach: No matter which team we face, we train based on our opponent's style. All of our team members showed competitiveness and played well.
Q: (To Ben) The two bot laners of RNG are known as the strongest bot laners in LPL. Were you pressured to face them? How was your performance against them today?
Ben: As a matter of fact, I didn’t feel much pressure. Considering our composition which was focused on our top, mid and jungler, our bottom duo had to withstand some pressure. In case of that, I think our bottom duo has to improve more on sustaining in lane. I will give myself 5 points for today.
Q: (To Coach) What are your thought on the team's performance today? What kind of improvements do you think should be made?
Coach: RNG is a very experienced team, and their play style is quite different from the teams we usually play against; I think I have learned a lesson today. RNG is a really competitive team that puts us in quite a lot of pressure, so it's hard to state our performance for today. Nevertheless, gaining experience is always a good thing.
Q: (To Knight) You and your team displayed some insane mechanics in teamfights during game 1. However, despite the fact that you’ve won, TOP was on quite a disadvantage throughout the early to mid game. How did you guys manage to be so confident during the mid-late game teamfights? Were there any specific calls?
Knight: Our lineup for Game 2 exceeds in the late game. All we needed to do in the early game was to safely farm up. There were some specific calls that were made during those situations.
Q: (To LokeN) TOP has displayed outstanding performance recently. However, today’s bottom lane matchup could have been rather stressful since you guys had to go up against Uzi and Ming, who are such an experienced and talented duo. Were you guys confident of winning this matchup?
LokeN: Facing great pressure in bot lane means that the opponent is very strong performance-wise. Well, although I did make some minor mistakes, I had faith in my teammates. That's why I was able to keep up with their pace.