NA > EU
First and foremost, the obvious Rift Rivals NA vs EU regional supremacy is undisputed. NA undoubtedly dominated across the board.
The final group stage win-loss score is almost painful to look at. NA teams had combined 12 wins, while EU managed to get only 6.
For comparison, Cloud9, the worst performing Rift Rivals NA team, had the exact same score in the end as EU finalist UOL – 3 wins and 3 losses.
The tournament itself certainly does not hold any significant value at present time. However, it offered an important insight into how the Spring Split top 3 from each region hold up against each other at the moment.
It’s quite obvious that EU teams didn’t come in as prepared and ready for Rift Rivals NA vs EU as their NA counterparts. There’s not much time to prepare, change and adapt for the international stage. EU better step up your game!
G2 No Longer Relevant?
Something is deeply broken in EU Spring Split champions.
The two Koreans Trick and Expect look burned. Looks like their trip back to motherland to “recharge batteries” prior to Summer Split didn’t work out.
Perkz is no longer as dominant in the middle, while Zven and mithy haven’t fully backed their bottom lane notoriety yet.
If G2 don’t get their act together, EU LCS landscape is primed for a significant shift at the top. UOL and Fnatic are the most obvious candidates for the throne.
Phoenix1 About To Set NA LCS On Fire!
The rebirth of Phoenix1 started with NA LCS 2017 Summer Split Week 5. Their victories over EnVy and especially Immortals have left everybody baffled.
The stage was set for them to make a Hollywood-style upset in Rift Rivals NA vs EU. However, TSM arrived as well, better than ever this summer. P1’s hopes and plans came up short.
Still, with convincing back-to-back wins against EU’s Unicorns of Love and G2 Esports, Phoenix1 looks more than ready to make a big comeback in the second half of NA LCS Summer Split.
Week 6 will be an ideal stage for P1 to make a statement. They will first face none other than Spring Split and Rift Rivals NA vs EU champions TSM.
If they manage to win that, then Team Dignitas has nothing to hope for against them.
Esportsranks will be there, closely watching all the action.
Don’t Let Doublelift Pick Ashe!
It was absolutely surreal watching Doublelift landing his arrows time and time again in Rift Rivals NA vs EU Finals against UOL.
The fact that he played Ashe in all 3 games speaks more about TSM’s deeper pool of champions, more refined strategy and adaptability to various scenarios than Doublelift’s individual quality.
As we all know, the banning phase can only get you so far in negating your opponents’ biggest strengths.
All 3 of EU Rift Rivals teams were in for a tough wake-up call. They simply couldn’t put TSM in the box. There was always this one razor-sharp piece cutting the damn thing in pieces.
When you are up against TSM, you have to take extra steps in your preparation.
Obviously, Bjergsen and Doublelift are TSM’s main heavy-hitters. Even when these two are somewhat contained, Svenskeren has more space to roam free in the jungle and then wreak havoc in the late game. Even Hauntzer at the top can be an equalizing force when everything else fails.
TSM proved once again they’re the most likely candidate to take home the NA LCS 2017 Summer Split title.
EU Meta Stagnant, NA Teams More Adaptable
Even though TSM matched all EU teams in their preferred playstyle, in general, EU teams proved to be superior in duels, 3v3s and teamfights.
However, NA’s balanced macro approach has just the right amount of teamfight aggression and objective-oriented gameplay.
Meanwhile, all 3 of the EU teams showed a flawed tendency of chasing down lone enemy survivors across the map. Instead of that, they should’ve spent more time pulling back, regrouping and pushing for the next most viable objective after winning the teamfights.
UOL is probably the most notorious chaser team of all EU Rift Rivals representatives. Exileh is the one most likely to feed the enemy team with easy kills in the early and mid game by overextending and overstaying.
An argument can be made that this got UOL into the finals. However true that might be, it also made them lose badly once TSM established control – they simply had no viable plan B.
In order to become competitive on the international stage again, EU teams need to start working on their macro-plays. They must switch focus from constant killing to playing around objectives and more strategic lane pushing.
Meanwhile, NA teams need to prepare for the World stage themselves. TSM is certainly capable of competing against the Asian bullies. However, even they are quite shaky when put under increased pressure. This was made obvious most recently against Unicorn of Love in Rift Rivals NA vs EU group stage.
Rift Rivals NA vs EU – Final Thoughts
Riot conceived and executed the idea of Rift Rivals just at the right time. IEM recently announced they would no longer feature LoL tournaments, citing overwhelming scheduling obstacles. Therefore, what better way to fill a hole in Riot’s own schedule than pit regional top dogs against each other?
Featuring a total of 5 Rifts across the globe, it’s safe to say now that the event was an overall success.
First of all, Rift Rivals gave us LoL fans something for the lengthy summer split break. Even if you didn’t tune in for every match, there were enough flashy, ridiculous plays to fill up your Twitter and FB feeds.
Second, the format is a perfect sneak-peak into the World Championships later this year. Having an opportunity to see how the teams fare against each other is a valuable insight, for both the fans and the teams themselves.
Third, the top spring split teams from each major region had a chance to take a bite at each other in a less formal and stressful environment. The players have tightly packed schedules, so an opportunity to compete in familiar environments (NA vs EU was hosted in EU LCS studio in Berlin, for example) relieves some of the pressure and stress off their backs.
With the level of play featured across the board, Rift Rivals are guaranteed to become a staple in Riot’s schedule for future LoL seasons.
Check out the recap of the Finals in case you missed it.
What are your own thoughts on Rift Rivals NA vs EU as a whole? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.
Also, make sure to follow us on social media @Esportsranks. Stay tuned for more.