Rift Rivals is an international event that pits regions against each other. This years Rift Rivals NA vs EU event will be one that everyone keeps an eye due to the results of the Mid-Season Invitational that saw North America’s Team Liquid fall to Europe’s G2 esports in dominating fashion. So, let’s take a look at the teams that we will see perform at the event.
Courtesy: Team Liquid
The teams representing the North American league circuit are the MSI finalist Team Liquid, coming off of a win in the semifinals against reigning world champions Invictus Gaming of the LPL, and a loss in the final to EU’s G2 esports. Star support player Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in proved his talent in the LCS and was awarded the LCS MVP award at the end of the spring split.
Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng looks to continue proving himself against international teams after many failures in his career. He looked exceptionally well at MSI and hopefully this will continue into Rift Rivals. Team Liquid looks to continue proving their talent on an international stage and get revenge on G2 esports. Could Liquid usurp this Rift Rivals NA vs EU tournament?
Next is the LCS finalist Team Solomid, who are coming off a strong split and heartbreaking game 5 loss to Team Liquid in the LCS finals. They came off a disappointing season last year, that saw them miss out on the World Championship for the first time ever.
With a revamped roster, TSM returned to form. New additions Sergen “Brokenblade” Çelik, Matt “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Andy “Smoothie” Ta, performed excellently during the split and proved to be amazing additions to the struggling squad. Under the leadership of veteran Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Team Solomid is looking very strong and is looking for a chance to prove themselves, Rift Rivals is a great event for them to showcase their potential.
Courtesy: Dot Esports
Cloud9 is the last North American team invited to the tournament after obtaining 3rd place in the LCS playoffs. They had a stellar cinderella story at the 2018 World Championship when we saw them become the first North American team to make it to the Semi-Finals of the World Championship. Since then they have lost star mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen to Team Liquid and replaced him with Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer.
Nisqy has been a fine acquisition and proved his worth in the 2019 LCS Spring Split. Cloud9 has a lot of talent in the forms of top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and support Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam. They are looking to achieve a similar success to that of their 2018 World Championship run. When they are all on the same page, they can achieve a lot. Maybe we’ll see a huge performance out of them in this year’s Rift Rivals NA vs EU!
Courtesy: Riot Games
G2 esports proved to the world that the west is here to end the eastern reign on League of Legends. Europe has never won a Mid-Season Invitational, until G2 esports slayed SKT T1 and then, in dominating fashion, defeated Team Liquid for the first European win at MSI. Rasmus “Caps” Winther has lived up to his name “Baby Faker” as he dominated almost every mid laner at MSI, therefore making his case as the best mid laner in the world.
The European superteam is firing on all cylinders with the return of Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle in the bot lane and they are looking to further fuel the argument of Europe being better than North America.
Courtesy: Riot Games
Origen Gaming was a household name in the European League of Legends for years since their creation. After time away from the European competitive scene they’ve made an explosive return to the LEC, placing 2nd in the regular season and falling to G2 in the finals of the LEC. Behind the power and leadership of veteran Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, Origen looked scary.
They came out of the gate slow and then bullied their way through the league and handed G2 their first loss of the split. Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez looks to take a few wins off of his former TSM squad and maybe Origen will show us that this is the year of the Nukeduck.
Fnatic was coming off of a heartbreaking worlds finals loss going into the inaugural season of the LEC. On top of the loss, Fnatic lost their star mid laner Caps to rival G2 esports and found themselves stuck with a void in their team that they needed to fill. Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek was the replacement to Caps, but at the beginning of split Fnatic stumbled.
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After the slump Fnatic went on a rampage, winning nine games in a row to close out the split in the 3rd place slot. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, the veteran ADC has shown glimpses of his MVP self, with help from jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pederson and top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, Fnatic is returning to form and look to showcase their talent against North America’s best.