Breaking down the Royal Gaming Invitational Gauntlet

This article originally written by and used with permission of Pieter “AntiTankers” van Zyl.

After an eventful weekend for the very top League of Legends teams in South Africa, comprising a few close games and some very one-sided ones, we have come to the end of what is probably the most skill-filled tournament we will see up until the start of DGL’s summer leg early next year.


The Royalty Gaming Invitational tournament started between the two underdog teams Royalty and Forbidden with the winner of this first round quickly becoming quite clear as Forbidden’s BEARIX Myzir (George Gevorkian) stepping up to the plate to carry his team to a convincing 3-0 Victory against Royalty, getting a combined score of 27/1/17 in all his games. Not only did he completely shut down Royalty’s Psycho (Herman Reinach) in mid lane but he also averaged a whopping 63 percent kill participation, showing map-wide domination.

The second game of the tournament saw Forbidden now matched against former DGC champions, Energy E-Sports, though no one could prepare themselves for what was to come. Between the great macro plays and calls from Forbidden, their momentum and team spirit quickly lead to victory after victory. The highlights of this round included Myzir’s surprise mid lane Kassadin pocket pick which racked up a grand total of 22 Kills against eN in a single game.

The Grand finals started on Saturday (26 November) with most of the streamers rooting for Forbidden after they had steamrolled their way to the finals without dropping a single game in either of the first two rounds. In game one of the Finals, one could easily tell that this was anyone’s game but ultimately it came down to two key players, one per team. Forbidden’s Myzir continuing to shine and show his worth in the mid lane and, on the side of GoonSquad (previously Ventus), Kiddo (Connor Cryans) would be the key to the team’s success with his late game AD carry potential.

Game one seemed like Forbidden’s after Myzir picked up four solo kills against Ventus’ slayeR (Simon West) by the 14-minute mark, and even more so after a last-ditch effort to get back into the game by GoonSquad backfired as they tried to dive Sheepii (Jean-Pierre van der Merwe) who was alone in the top lane. The dive, however, quickly turned to Forbidden’s favour as three teammates showed up to clean up the now low GoonSquad players, picking up three easy kills. After a back and forth trade for the next 20 minutes suddenly a fight breaks out that would ultimately decide the game with kiddo’s Caitlyn leading the GoonSquad to their first victory after picking up a quadra-kill in this fight.

In game two, Myzir’s pocket pick on Kassadin would lead to Forbidden’s first win of the series and saw him outmanoeuvring and outplaying a struggling GoonSquad all across the map. Ultimately he would lead Forbidden to a quick 31-minute victory, keeping his side in the running.

Game three saw kiddo’s Tristana go unchecked and unrivalled, with the ADC sieging towers and taking kills wherever he saw fit. His end game score would eventually be 13/0/6, leaving his team with a twelve thousand gold lead by the 32-minute mark when the enemy nexus would fall.

In game four, Forbidden’s TagaBearClaw (Vasudev Stringer) showed us why he is considered to be one of the best top laners in South Africa with his performance going hand in hand with Myzir’s Twisted fate in a great Global team composition which would leave little to no space for mistakes by  GoonSquad. The insane map pressure provided by Shen’s ultimate, Stand united (which gives a targeted ally a shield and teleports to their location anywhere on the map), along with Myzir’s Twisted Fate (which has a near-global teleport ability for an ultimate) would lead to some superior macro plays from Forbidden that made it impossible for GoonSquad to show any resistance as Forbidden closed out game four with a victory.

The final game of the Invitational Gauntlet would be a 47-minute long constant trade between the two power-house teams. GoonSquad’s mid laner, slayeR, would pick up his socks and start to go even with Myzir in the mid lane.  By the 34 minute mark, Forbidden would still, regardless of slayeR’s improved play, have a six thousand gold lead which they would look to capitalise on, however, thanks to some great team play between slayeR and kiddo (on his Vayne), the gold lead would slowly melt away till it favoured GoonSquad by nearly six thousand at the 46 minute mark when the nexus and all chances of a tournament win would fall for Forbidden.

Following the match, Djinnes (David Jason Innes), the jungler for Forbidden, gave his thoughts on what the 2017 season would bring for his side.

van Zyl: “Do you feel like you can beat GoonSquad in the upcoming leg?
Djinnes:I feel like we can, we just need to draft correctly against them and find a way to end games before the 30min mark by which time ADC’s become really strong, We just need to find a way to beat kiddo after he starts to shine, which is after the 30 minute mark.”

GoonSquad’s slayeR commented after winning game five that it was the “toughest series for me yet.” Will he be able to keep up his good work in the mid lane and help kiddo carry in the 2017 DGL Season? Let us know in the comments.

When suddenly winning starts seeming like the routine you know that something is being done right. Right now GoonSquad seems ready for anything that the upcoming summer leg can throw at them. Will they be able to secure more victories against the likes of Energy Esports, Forbidden and Royalty gaming? Only time will tell.