The first instalment of newly formed Rift Rivals NA vs EU tournament will pit top 3 teams from NA and EU LCS 2017 Spring Split. Hosted in Berlin EU LCS studio, Riot quickly formed and scheduled Rift Rivals to fill the gap during the Summer Split, after ESL’s recent decision to stop hosting LoL at their IEM tournaments.
Rift Rivals NA vs EU Bracket
|1. TSM||1. G2 Esports|
|2. Cloud9||2. Unicorns of Love|
|3. Phoenix1||3. Fnatic|
Group stage is a BO1 double round robin that will unfold over a period of 3 days (July 5-7). The best NA team will face the best EU team in a BO5 Final (July 8).
Riot steered away from the initially announced single eliminations Last Man Standing finals, citing scheduling issues due to fans lobbying for BO3 eliminations instead of singles.
Current Competitive Landscape
After 5 weeks of continuous upsets, situation is nowhere close to how it was during Spring Split. Summer Split has pushed through more than a few “new” teams into the spotlight, both in NA and EU.
NA LCS bracket features CLG and IMT at the top. After a shaky start, TSM is back to their old selves recently and are inches away from the top 2.
In the middle of the bracket though, we can see Team Dignitas and Team EnVyUs just a step behind currently fourth-placed and struggling C9.
Spring Split third-placed Phoenix1 has been on life-support for almost a month. Only recently have they shown a glimpse of their old form, surprisingly beating Immortals and EnVy.
The situation back on the Old Continent is not much different either.
In Group A, both Fnatic and Misfits are ranked above troubled G2 Esports. Rekkles Fnatic has been on an absolute tear since the very beginning, while Misfits proved beyond doubt that the absence of KaKAO had not been a factor.
Meanwhile, Group B features a very strong and dangerous Splyce in close proximity to Unicorns of Love and H2K at the top. Everybody knew H2K and UOL will be close. Very few, if anybody, expected Splyce to emerge as a legitimate third contender.
Rift Rivals NA vs EU – Overall Team Chances
Among the crowd, Fnatic definitely stands out. The team as a whole looks amazing. Individually, each and every one of them is a force of their own.
Unicorns of Love definitely lay a claim as well. Despite their underwhelming performances against EU LCS underdogs, everybody knows UOL bring nothing but the best against the best.
G2 Esports is definitely a notch or two behind. Still, they’re a major challenge for any NA team.
TSM has been back on track for a while now. They are definitely a top 3, maybe even a top 2 contender.
However, Cloud9 and Phoenix1 are definitely underdogs here.
C9 is stuck in the middle of NA LCS bracket. The prospect of moving up is not impossible, but far from easy too.
Phoenix1’s roster still features ADC powerhouse Arrow, but the rest of the lineup went through a complete overhaul since Spring Split.
On paper, the most likely scenario for finals is either Fnatic or UOL on the EU side, against TSM on the NA side.
However, psychology and motivation are major factors to consider here. G2, C9 and P1 have more to prove than FNC, UOL and TSM. UOL has been particularly notorious for underestimating weaker opponents so far. On the other hand, TSM has probably been the most consistent of the three.
In light of their most recent upsetting victories against Immortals and EnVy, Phoenix1 is probably the biggest wildcard here. It’s questionable whether they can repeat these desperation-mode performances.
In the end, whoever wins will get a nice influx of cash and undisputed bragging rights – until World Championship, at least.
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