Royal Never Give Up stomps Fnatic in MSI semifinals

Royal Never Give Up fans cheer on their team at the Mid-Season Invitational in Berlin. Riot Games

League of Legends team Royal Never Give Up continued its romp at the Mid-Season Invitational, blowing past Fnatic in a 3-0 sweep to advance to the tournament finals in Paris.

Royal Never Give Up has been on an absolute tear this year, as it now has won an impressive nine straight games. The win-streak has propelled the team into the grand finals, a first for China since Edward Gaming won MSI in 2015.

Game 1 started off with a surprising Irelia pick for RNG mid laner Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao. After using the champion to find an early kill, giving RNG a small lead, the game quickly devolved into an all-out blood bath. With both teams hesitant to let up on any pressure, RNG and FNC clashed time and again, resulting in teamfights left and right. Although Fnatic found itself small advantages throughout, RNG was in the driver's seat for the majority of the game, picking up an early Baron to siege Fnatic's base. Though Fnatic tried to make a final stand, the team's inability to deal with the damage output resulted in a 34-minute defeat for the Europeans.

Fnatic picked up the pace in Game 2, largely off the back of mid laner Rasmus "Caps" Winther's Aurelion Sol. During the early game, he found solo kills onto his lane opponent and roamed to build a sizeable lead. Although RNG found itself several dragons early, Fnatic's teamfighting was superior, allowing the squad to take control of the mid game. A baron steal put a wrench in Fnatic's plans, however, as RNG suddenly had plenty of momentum on its side. With excellent play from RNG's jungler Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan on Zac, the team easily used that momentum to take control over the game. After stealing Baron, Karsa went on to steal an Elder Dragon that all but solidified Fnatic's defeat. Without any way to rebound, FNC found itself falling in 41-minutes, bringing the series score to 0-2.

Despite losing both previous games, Fnatic opted to maintain its draft strategy for Game 3. It was no surprise that the team again opted for a splitpushing champion in the top lane, but the surprise came when the team opted for Singed instead of a more traditional splitpusher. Just like the previous games, Fnatic used the pick to find a decent advantage for itself during the early stages of the game. Unfortunately for Fnatic, this once again failed to pay off in the long run. Once RNG found its footing, Fnatic struggled to keep up the pressure, allowing the enemy to quickly find its way back and eventually take over the game. When all seemed lost for Fnatic and RNG was knocking at the doors to the team's base, Fnatic AD carry Martin "Rekkles" Larsson made one last stand in the form of a pentakill with Ezreal that gave Fnatic hope. Unfortunately, all this did was delay the inevitable as Fnatic was defeated after a grueling 47-minute game.

With the defeat, Fnatic will be heading home from MSI. Royal Never Give Up will face the winner of Kingzone DragonX and Flash Wolves during the grand finals at 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.

--Chase Geddes