League of Legends star Uzi faces Chinese playboy’s superteam in LPL final
Invictus Gaming and RNG will clash in LPL’s final after defeating JD Gaming and Rogue Warriors in semifinals
The superteam versus the King.
I’m not talking about the Warriors taking on LeBron in the NBA Finals. I’m talking about all-star Invictus Gaming going head to head with superstar Uzi’s RNG in the final of China’s League of Legends competition, LPL.
Golden age, indeed.
Invictus is owned by Wang Sicong, the son of tycoon Wang Jianlin. The younger Wang -- who is famous for hosting Crazy Rich Asian-caliber parties -- has been gradually piecing together a superteam since 2015.
The team led the league this year with back-to-back 18-1 records in both spring and summer splits. Invictus Gaming had so much swagger that it even let the owner himself play in the final game of the regular season… and still won.
But between the two LPL splits, it was RNG which won the international tournament MSI. RNG’s Uzi ascended to superstardom, cementing himself as the world’s best in the Carry position.
Then Uzi became a national hero by leading China’s national team to victory in this year’s Asian Games, beating the world’s best player Faker and the South Korean national team.
So this year’s final is a clash between the two faces of China’s esports. A billionaire’s son versus the MVP.
But the two teams’ roads to the final were not without drama, as they went up against JD Gaming and Rogue Warriors.
JD Gaming, another rich and fast-emerging esports club (owned by China’s e-commerce giant JD.com), forced Invictus Gaming to a concluding match on Monday. The series was a nasty brawler, with the two teams breaking formations and falling into erratic split fights constantly.
But Invictus Gaming managed to overcome by mechanically outplaying its opponent. The team’s tank TheShy often flew four men deep to knock up enemies, giving Rookie and JackeyLove the time and distance to chain their shots.
Unfortunately, Rogue Warriors, backed by Asus ROG, didn’t have much luck in its matchup with RNG on Sunday. While Rogue Warriors tied RNG for grabbing the split’s second best record at 14-5, RNG is stronger than its record shows -- because Uzi sat out a number of matches with injury.
Against Rogue Warriors, RNG started Game 1 without Uzi and fell short. But with Uzi back in the lineup starting with Game 2, Rogue Warriors didn’t stand a chance. Uzi was a man among boys in this matchup, racking up kill after kill, often with a wide grin on his face as they swept to three straight wins.
LPL’s summer split final starts on Friday at 3am Eastern Time -- or 3pm in Nanjing, China. But no matter the outcome, both teams will represent China’s LPL in the League of Legends World Championship next month.