Rift Rivals is here and with it, the NA or EU better than the other debate begins. Yet, there is a bigger opportunity here, at least for NA. With G2 winning MSI, they or even Fnatic are considered the best team in the world currently. Both regions had their top teams make it to the finals at MSI with G2 winning so no matter what, this year could be the most competitive one yet. Here’s where the teams are ranked before the games begin.
After a second place finish in the Spring, Origen have already lost to Fnatic and G2. On the surface that isn’t that bad but the G2 game was especially not close. Then they lost to Splyce who have had their own struggles. Origen are not a bad team whatsoever but, they are coming in lacking major wins and clearly starting off slow. It is unlikely but possible that Origen could win if they play like they did throughout most of the Spring.
Who will fans see, Jonathan “Grig” Amaro, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham or a combination of both? From the last TSM Legends, it seems as though TSM are still trying to figure out what works best for them. That said they do have a win against Cloud9 already this Split. Also in the Spring they beat C9 in the playoffs and took Team Liquid to five games. This team has plenty of power and can play at a top level. Their major issue is what to do in the jungle? If they figure that out during Rift Rivals then they might surprise some people even if they don’t win.
Even with their latest losses to TSM and 100Thieves, Cloud9 are still a team to be feared. When firing on all cylinders they can play at a very high level as they proved at Worlds last year. Yacin “Nisqy” Dincer is the only one who was not a part of that Worlds run and he has continued to prove that he can go toe to toe with just about anyone in the mid lane. Rift Rivals will really put him to the test as he faces against the likes Caps for the first time since leaving EU. Cloud9 have a chance to show the world that they mean business.
3. Team Liquid
Have Team Liquid finally recovered from MSI? If so then they have a chance to go out and win the whole thing. While many may want to discount their run at MSI, they did make it and beat good teams to do so. There is no doubt that they are inconsistent but lately, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and crew have been playing really well after a rough start. They seem to be back in a groove and will have a chance at redemption against G2.
Had they not lost to Fnatic then they would be where everyone expects them to be. There is no doubt that they are still one of the best in the world but, they have to take every match seriously if they want to win Worlds, including Rift Rivals. This is a chance to cement themselves as at least the best in the west. Should they not win Rift Rivals, they better hope it is only because they didn’t take it seriously.
Their hard work has finally paid off as they have had a long climb back to the top of the LEC. Now they will also be looking to try and take the title as the best in the west. For the first time in a while, NA and EU are both looking very strong, especially at the top and Fnatic will need to still prove to everyone that they are worthy of the number one spot. The crazy thing is, they may be the best team in the World right now. But, for that conversation to truly have meaning, they need to take Rift Rivals.
Games will start on Thursday the 29th at 330 pm est and 1230 pm pst . Make sure you don’t miss any of the action. The TGH Staff will also have you covered with previews coming out over the next two days and coverage of anything major along the way.
“From Our Haus to Yours”