Rift Rivals is upon us tomorrow and yet another battle between North America & Europe will be another exciting time for League of Legends fans and the people watching from Twitch chat spamming the usual classic memes and copypastas.
This is the second out of three Rift Rivals events that Cloud9 is able to attend due to them finishing in the top 3 in North America. They are looking to come into this event not only to gain experience as a team against international opponents but to also learn more about themselves as a team and how they stack up against non-NA teams at the moment. Let’s breakdown Cloud9 performing at Rift Rivals.
how do they stack up?
The Europe representatives are: Fnatic, G2 and Origen. Fnatic and G2 are considered the top two teams from Europe so that’s already great competition for Cloud9 while Origen may not be top 2 status, they are still in top 5 while they are tied for 4th with a 3-3 record. The question that might be asked as alluded is: How do they stack up against each of the three European teams?
Cloud9 stack up well against Origen and shouldn’t have that much of a problem decrypting the strengths and weaknesses of Origen. The two players Cloud9 need to look at and contain is Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm and Patrik “Patrik” Jírů, both players have high potential of taking over the game and steamrolling Cloud9 and Nukeduck’s champion pool can match up well if not better then Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer’s. While Patrik has been playing really well, Cloud9’s bot lane will need to match that level of skill if they want to get an advantage in the bot lane.
Against Fnatic, Cloud9 are probably feeling some revenge against the squad since Fnatic 3-0’d them out of Worlds 2018 Semifinals and one might wonder how well the Nisqy led Cloud9 stacks up against the Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek led Fnatic squad. Recently, Fnatic took down the powerhouse of G2 and while even a few of them have said it wouldn’t happened in a Bo5 setting, it was still a great victory to achieve.
As a team, they all have high ceiling players and the style hasn’t been too different since the last time these two teams have met other then Nemesis gelling into Fnatic’s style of play and map control. Fnatic took a page out of the book of flexible comps and played it well against G2, a team that’s best in EU when it comes to comps like that so for Cloud9’s case, it is important that not only you draft the better flex comp if that’s the game plan but draft something that works well against whatever Fnatic answers with. Cloud9’s bot lane of Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam need to step up their bot lane play against not only the other two Europe team but also against Fnatic’s, which remains one of the most important pieces of the Fnatic puzzle.
And to save the best for last, the toughest challenge for Cloud9 is none other then G2 Esports. G2 head into this tourney with a lot of eyes onto them considering they are the MSI champions and are looking to establish more international dominance against North America. For Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, his matchup against Martin “Wunder” Hansen is one of the most exciting match-ups of this entire tournament, the rising player in North America vs a player whose considered the best top lane not only in Europe but the ENTIRE world. Fans should also look to see how other lanes do well in their own match up, especially Cloud9’s bot lane since they need more of a fire under their rear and this tournament will give them exactly that. Cloud9’s drafts need to either be on par with G2’s or it just need to work out well and simple, they should not draft anything that’s too complex for them to play otherwise they will have a bad time.
prediction: 2nd place
While there is a lot of optimism for this team to perform well and learn more about themselves and how they stack up against Europe, Cloud9 will ultimately finish in 2nd place.
Cloud9 should be able to take a 1-1 against both Origen and Fnatic, while it will be a very tough call against G2 but anything is possible! One of things that will happen one way or another as mentioned before, this Cloud9 team will not only take in how they match up against Europe but also how they themselves are as a team. It will be exciting to see North America take a 2-1 lead in the Rift Rivals win column.
For more from Richard make sure to follow him on Twitter!