Li, along with Shi Senming, aka Ming, was the member of RNG's 2018 championship squad. So the two veterans felt the responsibility of leading the younger Chinese gamers to restore the club's old-time glory.
"It's a different experience than the 2018 MSI title. At that time, others led us to victory. But now Shi Senming and I have become veterans, so we need to more active and shoulder more responsibility," added Li.
Chinese e-sports sector is experiencing dramatic development. According to the 2019 Global E-sports Development Report published by Tencent E-sports and Penguin Intelligence, the number of Chinese gamers and e-sports fans reached 350 million in 2019. E-sports has also been confirmed as event program for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.
Not many expected that a Chinese e-sports club would stand on the highest podium of this year's League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, but the prodigies of Chinese e-sports club Royal Never Give Up proved all the doubters wrong to once again claim the world title.
After a tense 3-2 victory over South Korean club DWG KIA, RNG was crowned the winner of the 2021 MSI on Sunday in Reykjavik, Iceland. It's the second time for RNG to lift the MSI trophy since its maiden MSI title in 2018.
Through the 2021 season, few would have expected RNG, which had struggled for years to return to its peak condition since the 2018 season, to win this year's MSI trophy. So its victory over the pre-tournament favorite DWG KIA instantly became an internet sensation on Chinese social media.
Among the top 10 trending topics on Weibo on Monday morning, three were related to RNG's victory in Reykjavik. And the news related to RNG's second MSI title was viewed over 1.4 billion times on Weibo within six hours after the victory.
"To be honest, all the four teams in the semifinal were very competitive. So it's hard to even earn a ticket in the final," said RNG player Li Yuanhao, aka Xiaohu, after winning.
"But in the China's League of Legends Pro League (which is China's top-tier League of Legends professional league), there are many more strong teams that are equally competitive like us."