Looking back at Renegades’ participation in the Paladins World Championship, there were so many what ifs with this event for this team. What if they had more time to prepare? (They were an emergency replacement for the CIS representative, Flash Point Esports.) What if starting support Joshua “Stormtroopey” Veillon wasn’t ill the whole week? What if the team had a substitute to play for him? All of those hypotheticals behind us, here’s what RNG Paladins did at the PWC at HRX.
Match 1 against Ninjas in Pyjamas (EU)
On Frozen Guard, Ninjas in Pyjamas had a stellar draft that accounted for the map selection and their opponents. Taking the Jenos pick away from Renegades was huge because it’s such a huge comfort pick for Stormtroopey, while the Grover pick allowed NiP to abuse the long lines of sight. Talus to me was the biggest key, as he has ability to have anti heal in his loadout and buy Wrecker (anti-shield) while in the match. Renegades’ double tank (especially the two most shield reliant tanks in Fernando and Torvald), double support composition just couldn’t handle that much pressure. The ninjas in their pajamas didn’t have to be sneaky to win game 1, they just ran right through Renegades 4-0 in just over seven minutes.
On a vertical map like Stone Keep, one would think that Renegades’ mobile composition consisting of Buck, Talus, and Ruckus would be able to fly through NiP and create havoc in the backline. That is the case until NiP’s Torvald applies a shield and boosts the damage of one of the two carries (Drogoz or Androxus) and watches RNG’s offense disappear. Speaking of offense, Renegades always found themselves defending a payload in this match. Their second payload defense was really close, but NiP was able to close out the game 4-0 in overtime.
Match 2 against Nocturns Gaming (LatAm)
Both Renegades and Nocturns Gaming had lost to a European team at this point in the bracket, meaning the loser of this one was set to go home. Unlike on day 1, Renegades looked like they had a solid idea of what they wanted to accomplish with their composition on Stone Keep. Maeve and Talus could dive the enemy backline while Torvald shielded them/boosted their damage and Jenos’ heal slowly ticked up their HP from far away. All of this would happen while Inara did what she does best, stand on the point and not move a muscle. (If she even has them? I guess she’s made of rock so I have no idea.) My bad attempt at Paladins related humor aside, the first objective point was all Nocturns, as they captured the point by a score of 99% to 3%. Although RNG’s composition seemed alright on paper, the Buck of Nocturns’ Fuzzyl0gic completely tore through both flankers drafted by the opposing side. At the end of game 1 he had a 11/4/9 KDA and 49,127 player damage.
On Jaguar Falls, Nocturns Gaming was able to pick up both Fernando and Talus for all of that anti-heal pressure. Renegades decided to pick Inara (who is immune to anti-heal with Earthen Guard) and to take away the Buck. This match ended up being the first where RNG Paladins put up a real fight. Although it didn’t look good at the start after Nocturns took a 2-0 lead, things were tied up at two after the second successful payload conversion of the match. A great stagger by Renegades allowed them to take the 3-2 lead, but they were unable to slam the door with the payload conversion. Nocturns tied it up 3-3 with the payload defense and ended things 4-3 in their favor by capturing the middle point on the back of their great DPS duo (Hecate on Lian and Saadhak on Bomb King).
On Frozen Guard, Renegades learned from their mistakes that they made with their draft on this map against Ninjas in Pyjamas. They picked up champions who utilize the long sight lines of the map, Grover and Sha Lin, this time around. What Nocturns did really well to counter this was draft Inara so she can put up an Impasse to block the long ranged projectiles. Hecate of Nocturns is considered one of the best snipers in the world, which is why his team put him on Strix to counter what RNG was coming out with. He proved his sniper prowess and pulled off the 1v2 against Sha Lin and Grover on his team’s way to a 4-0 match victory and 3-0 set victory.
With these two losses, RNG Paladins finished 9th-12th at the 2018 Paladins World Championship. They hope to rebound from this finish during the next PPL season that is set to start this Spring. Just like we had last season, expect a lot of content about this squad once they hit the Realm again.
This article was written by Jacob “WordsWinWars” Russell (@WordsJR on Twitter).