The latest League of Legends international competitions, Rift Rivals, is well underway across the globe. In the match up between Europe and North America, NA finds themselves firmly in the lead after the second day of bo1 matches, with an overall record of 7-5.
League of Legends Rift Rivals: NA vs. EU
The competition has been intense in Berlin, as the three top teams from the Spring Split in the NA LCS and EU LCS have met today and yesterday to compete for bragging rights over which region reigns supreme on the Rift. Team SoloMid proved dominant, and while many analysts and fans expected them to be the best shot for North America, the seeming ease with which they were able to dispatch some of their European counterparts was surprising.
With Europe’s Fnatic, G2, and Unicorns of Love leaning heavily on scrappy, aggressive plays and comps like protect-the-carry, TSM has been able to shut down their opponents strategies, or meet them head on in team fights, relying on their honed mechanics. They went 2-0 on Day 1, beating G2 and UoL. They secured their third victory in Day 2 against Fnatic, before falling to UoL in a heated rematch.
But TSM has not been any means been the only exciting team in Berlin for North American fans. Phoenix1, despite being tied for 8th place in the current NA LCS Summer Split, has been showing that their recent roster changes are really starting to settle into a powerhouse team. The additions of Xpecial on support and rookie jungler MikeYeung have brought the team back to where they were in spring and perhaps even beyond. MikeYeung in particular has now caused sensation on the international stage, after winning only his first pro game two weeks ago.
I’m so happy, first professional win!
— MikeYeung (@MikeYeunglol) June 24, 2017
But the success and hype is simply due to the extremely low expectations placed on P1 coming into the international tournament. They’ve done just as well as Cloud9, with a dead even 2-2 record, but what is considered a smashing success for P1 is probably a poor showing for C9. And the 2-2 record is equally disappointing for fans of EU, many of whom expected their top teams to destroy the North Americans in the tournament. Nevertheless, Fnatic and UoL sit at 2-2, while G2 has struggled to find cohesion and deal with NA meta picks, leaving them 1-3.
.@Smoothie on RR expectations: “Our team is affected by jet lag pretty hard.”
— Slingshot Esports (@SlingshotEsport) July 6, 2017
Tomorrow marks the final day of the bo1 round robin matches, with the teams finishing up their second matches with each other. On Saturday, the top team from each region will compete in a bo5 final to see which region truly has the better League of Legends players.