After taking it to Splyce 3-0 to start off Week 5, RNG Paladins had a tall task in front of them: an undefeated G2 Esports. Coming into this match, G2 had a 6-0 match record and an 18-3 map record. That kind of performance is one that we’ve come to expect from this veteran roster that was once known as “Odin’s Chosen”.
Map 1: Stone Keep
Although Jake “Kusqt” Jenkins of G2 Esports has been known for his Pip support play, going up against a Talus and Lian with Cauterize will certainly reduce his healing. It’s also hard to see him outheal a Mal’Damba, but these are pro players we’re talking about here.
After an extended poke trade that allowed G2 to take an 81% to 6% advantage on the objective, blood finally began to spill when both teams lost their main tank. Renegades was able to pick up one more kill before getting wiped and giving up the first point. G2’s payload push was stalled under the final archway for a long time, making them feel the need to invest all their ultimates. The score still ended up at 1-1 after said investments, as RNG Paladins successfully defended without using three of their ultimates.
Kusqt’s solo Evil Mojo (Pip ultimate) onto the enemy Ruckus, Dylan “Cliku” Mohne, set up an early player advantage for his squad. Leonardo “Hiro” Zamora, RNG Paladins’ second tank on Makoa, died shortly after and gave G2 a 90% to 6% capture advantage. Those same two tanks for Renegades were able to pull off some heroics for their team after respawning, but it wasn’t enough in the end. G2’s payload push was looking strong until double kills by Hiro and Lucxsan “Poison1999” Kandasamy put an end to it in the final inches with over a minute remaining. A barrage of Sha Lin arrows from Enno “iDropBodies” Aragon and a well placed Inara wall by Sebastian “doesupz” Pineo fell short in doubling G2’s lead.
It looked as though Andrew “WarDoom” Cole was going to be the first casualty of the fight as Fernando, but his team kept alive with 140 health and dominated the fight from that point on. G2 captured their third straight point to make the score 3-2, this time to the tune of 100% to 3%. RNG Paladins was desperate to defend, but their last ditch efforts were fruitless in stopping the unstoppable force of G2 Esports.
Map 2: Splitstone Quarry
When looking at the two drafts for Splitstone Quarry, one champion will decide this map. Could Georges “Lokii” Chalhoub perform on Strix against a lot of champions with tools to counter him on the side of G2? Inara’s wall blocks his sniper shots while Evie and Zhin sneak up behind him and distract him from the task at hand.
Much like how the first map started, first blood didn’t occur until after the 30 second mark. Nathan “Evulli” Lee’s kill as Evie onto Daniel “Viral” Madrid (RNG’s Mal’Damba) opened the floodgates for G2 Esports. They were able to tally three kills and force Renegades all the way back to their spawn. RNG Paladins snuck back onto the point as G2 reached 99% of the capture, but nothing came of that attempt. G2 pushed the payload over 90% of the way but couldn’t finish what they started. RNG Paladins started off strong until iDropBodies turned the tables with a triple kill. Two more staggered kills by him on Zhin were enough for his team to take a 2-1 lead. The second payload push by G2 this game looked almost exactly like the first.
G2 captured their third point of the map by the score of 100% to 15%. With just under a minute remaining, Renegades stopped G2 with about the shortest distance possible left. Not even a single inch was given to G2 in their second push from the same exact spot. Think of it like subsequent clutch stops on 3rd and inches, 4th and inches in American football. RNG Paladins gave it their all, but in the end they lose the second game 4-3 with a close score on the final point (100% to 90%).
Map 3: Frog Isle
The draft for Frog Isle featured an interesting pick for each team. G2 elected for Grover as their sole healer when Mal’Damba was still available and Renegades selected Viktor when there were plenty of other damage champions on the table considered stronger.
G2 Esports had a huge capture advantage out the gate, 66% to 0%, despite giving up the first two kills of the map. Renegades retaliated by capturing 60% for themselves but were eventually forced back and had to give up the first point. The payload was on the brink of conversion but fell just short with over a minute remaining because of the onslaught dished out by Lokii and Poison1999. A little more progress was made by G2 in their final push, but it was all for naught. Renegades’ 99% to 24% lead slowly disappeared and was eventually wiped away when G2 made the score 2-1 in their favor. IDropBodies being left all alone as Kinessa allowed him to take out most of RNG Paladins and let his team take a 3-1 lead. G2’s slow advance while still being able to stay on the objective was exactly what they needed to close out the game 4-1 and the series 3-0.
RNG Paladins finished the Spring Split with a 5-3 match record and a 17-12 map record, good enough to finish in third place. This means they will be at the Paladins Masters LAN in AtLANta on May 18-20 but not the EsportSuperstars event in Las Vegas on May 5-6. Team EnvyUs was also 5-3 in their matches but they will be heading to Vegas because of their better map record (19-12). To continue to keep up to date with our Paladins team, follow us on Twitter at @Renegades. To keep up with all that is Paladins esports, follow @PaladinsPro on Twitter and visit esports.paladins.com.
Article written by Jacob “WordsWinWars” Russell (@WordsJR on Twitter).