Royal Never Give Up or T1, which team is looking better so far?

When it comes to the 2022 MSI, two teams stand out above the rest by a huge margin. Although in prior years we’ve seen many upsets, like back in 2019. We had a NA vs EU grand finals, where Team Liquid, the team that beat world champion Invictus Gaming in the semifinals, would try to take down a G2 that had just defeated Korea’s SKT T1. It’s crazy to think that something like that happened not too long ago because now coming into the 2022 MSI, it seems very unlikely that we’ll see something similar happen.

T1 arrives at the 2022 MSI after having a perfect spring split where they won 20 series in a row, becoming the first team in the history of the LCK to ever do it. The most impressive thing of all is that they did it with a recently-formed roster composed of mostly rookies. The only veteran player in the T1 lineup is Faker, the absolute best League of Legends player in the world. Meanwhile, T1’s top laner Zeus is only 18-years-old and the rest of the players are 20-years old.

It’s amazing to see a team with such young players be considered the best of the team in the world by many. But there is one thing that we are not considering, they haven’t played a single best-of-x series in an international event yet. The 2022 MSI playoffs stage will be the first time that we see these players have a real challenger in front of them, and most likely it will be against LPL’s Royal Never Give up.

China’s representatives are the ones looking like strong contenders to take down T1 and put a stop to their legendary win streak. And just like T1, their roster is full of young prodigies. Bin and Wei are both 19-year-old players looking to take the competition by storm. We already saw Bin reach the grand finals in the 2020 World Championship with Suning. Now he’ll be trying to do the same in this year’s MSI, now with Royal Never Give Up.

From what we’ve seen so far in the tournament, we can tell which team is looking stronger. The 2022 MSI meta is leaning towards a fast-paced playstyle, playing around strong early game champions and having a big priority on early objectives. It’s well known that both of these teams play in very different ways, but it’s still too early to tell which team is the definitive best so far. During the spring split, we saw T1 play heavily around getting early leads in their laning phase and rolling over the enemy team as they took control over their map.

On the other hand, Royal Never Give Up didn’t have the strongest laning phase of the LPL teams in the spring playoffs. They rather played around teamfights because they knew that their mechanical prowess was strong enough to win games that way. But the RNG we’ve seen so far in this year’s MSI is not the same we saw in the playoffs. They’re playing a much faster game and are focusing on taking fights around early objectives, which might be just what they need to take down LCK’s T1.

If things keep going the way they are going, Royal Never Give Up might arrive into the playoffs stage in a much better form than T1. Now, if what the Korean team is doing so far in the group stage is testing the waters, then we’ll have to wait a few more days to see if T1 is comfortable enough playing the 2022 MSI meta. But if they fail to adapt, then we might see an end to T1’s perfect run.