While many teams tried to topple the juggernauts of the League of Legends Pro League throughout the Summer Split and put up commendable fights during the first three rounds of the playoffs, the old guard of Royal Never Give Up and Invictus Gaming stood tall and will duke it out in the finals this Friday. Despite both being in the East Region, both teams proved their relative dominance in the semifinals by taking out the new blood that attempted to come for the crown.
On the top side of the bracket, RNG shrugged off anything that was thrown at it in these playoffs. The team's run began against Topsports Gaming, which was fresh off a close 3-2 win over Suning Gaming in the opening round of the Summer Playoffs. Even though Suning had momentum on its side, it was no match for Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao and crew. Topsports could only claim a single win in the series before RNG moved on to the semifinals to take on the No. 1 seed from the West, Rogue Warriors.
Rogue Warriors might have had the higher seed, but these teams were dead even in terms of record, which meant this series was anyone's to win coming in. Right off the bat, though, Rogue Warriors struck first with a lopsided win in the opening game to put the defending LPL champions on the back foot in a hurry. Ever the resilient bunch, though, RNG didn't let Rogue bask in the win for very long as it rattled off three straight convincing wins to secure the series and book the first spot in the grand finals.
On the bottom side of the bracket, things were a bit less smooth. With Invictus Gaming waiting in the wings as the No. 1 seed from the East, JD Gaming carved out a path to meet with the titans of Invictus with a pair of big wins in the first two rounds. After quickly dispatching FunPlus Phoenix 3-1 in the first round, JDG went up against EDward Gaming, the No. 2 seed from the West. Despite having the higher seed and a four-game win streak to end the Summer Split, EDG was simply no match for the suddenly red-hot JDG squad. Even though this team ended the Split on a three-game losing streak, it turned up the heat in the playoffs and ran through EDG in a 3-1 series to move into the semifinals to face Invictus.
Monday's semifinal bout between JDG and Invictus was one of the closest series of the entire playoffs and only the second out of six series to go the distance. Invictus opened the series with a win and looked to be in control of its destiny on the way grand finals. At that point, though, JDG found its footing and began trading games with Invictus, which set the two up for an incredibly tense showdown in the final game of the series. JDG was within striking distance as the game crossed the 30-minute mark, but all it took was a Baron secure and a pair of flawless teamfights from Invictus to lock up the win and book its ticket to the finals. By virtue of the win, Invictus has also qualified for the 2018 World Championship as at least the No. 2 seed.
Invictus and RNG will now look ahead to the grand finals at 3 a.m. ET on Friday, while Rogue Warriors and JDG will face off in the 3rd Place match at 4:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.