On the 18th of May (CEST), the first match of MSI 2018 Knockout Stage between Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and Fnatic (FNC) was held.
Each team prepared the match carefully and it was visible from the picks & bans. FNC banned Kai’Sa in all matches and picked Ezreal as their first pick while RNG banned Yasuo and picked Caitlyn for Uzi in all the matches.
Game 1 was very fierce. Karsa started in the jungle for RNG. Both teams didn’t hesitate to be engaged in large scale teamfights. RNG had a surprise pick of Irelia in their mid lane which delivered a quite impressive performance. The game ended after a big win around mid lane. The kill score was 16-27 in RNG favor.
The start of game 2 was somewhat more conservative for both teams. FNC banned off Irelia in the second ban phase and Caps locked in Aurelion Sol. FNC was able to snowball from the early game, being advantageous up to nearly 30 minutes into the game. However, after a decisive Baron steal from Karsa’s Zac, the game turned around. Bwipo tried hard to split push and go backdoor with Camille but was unsuccessful. After Karsa stole Elder, RNG was able to close the game.
Game 3 started off similarly, but this time, FNC picked Singed. Again, FNC had initiative in the early game, taking first turret. It was the first game in the series that RNG gave up the first turret. Still, RNG managed to stay close and after a big teamfight win, they took Baron and continued pushing. In RNG’s Baron power play, Rekkles recorded a huge penta-kill to stay in the game. However, RNG still had initiative and after another Baron, they closed up the game to head to the finals.
After the match, RNG jungler Karsa was interviewed by Sjokz.
Q. What does it mean to you to make it to the MSI finals with RNG?
This was the first time I actually made it to the finals in an international event. I feel that everything I’ve dedicated, everything I’ve put in has come back to me.
Q. Especially in Game 2, you got two very important objective steals. Can you walk me through that Elder and Baron steal in Game 2?
Smite is always a fifty-fifty chance. I’m really grateful that my teammates trusted me to give me the confidence to go for the Smite.
Q. You took down Fnatic 3-0 here in their home turf. What do you have to say about your opponent’s performance today?
Mostly I was a bit nervous today. The gave us a lot of early game pressure and were able to beat us in the early game. However, I’m very happy that we were able to come back.
Q. How much have you thought about the fact that you might be playing against your previous team Flash Wolves at the finals on Sunday?
In an interview earlier, I had said that I will beat them badly. That hasn’t changed.
Q. Anything you have to say to them?
Thank you everyone for the support. I’ll do my best to play better. Hopefully I’ll win a championship this time.