It's incredibly rare for the defending League of Legends Worlds champions to meet the defending Mid-Season Invitational champions in a domestic series. It's even rarer for them to meet in a playoff match during the same year they won both of their championships. But, earlier today, Worlds 2021 champs Edward Gaming took on 2022 MSI champs Royal Never Give Up in a high-stakes LPL playoff match.
In the end, Edward gaming proved that their world championship might be worth more. The team dispatched RNG by a score of three games to one in their best-of-five series, effectively eliminating RNG from the LPL Summer Playoffs.
Despite holding professional league's two most prestigious trophies in their possession, RNG and EDG finished fourth and fifth in the LPL Summer Split, respectively, setting them up for a third-round playoff match. Double elimination doesn't kick in until the fourth round of the LPL playoffs, meaning that the loser of today's battle of champions would go home without a second chance.
Across today's four games, EDG never took their foot off the gas, apart from an outlier game three loss. That loss was quickly avenged by the most dominant win of the series, a 27-minute rout in which EDG could mount a gold difference of 15,000 by the time they took RNG's Nexus.
The last time the defending world champions took on the defending MSI champions in a domestic match (excluding RNG and EDG) was in the LPL's 2019 Spring Split when 2018 MSI champions RNG faced off against 2018 world champions Invictus gaming in the regular season. 2019 marked the last time prior to 2022 that both the MSI trophy and Summoner's Cup belonged to two different teams from the same region.
Related: All teams qualified for the 2022 League of Legends World Championship
While RNG may be eliminated from the LPL Summer Playoffs, the MSI champs still have a shot at making it back to the Worlds stage this season. Following the LPL's grand finals, the teams ranking third through sixth in championship points will compete in the league's regional qualifier: a single-elimination, four-team tournament to determine the final two berths at Worlds. Since RNG banked 130 championship points this season, they can have a high seed in the LPL's regional qualifier.
As for EDG, your LPL championship dreams are still alive. They'll play first-seeded Top Esports in the fourth round of the playoffs on Aug. 22.