Rift Rivals Day Two brought an end to the group stage, and EU came out on top! The European teams now have the advantage for the Day Three Relay Race games, which is exciting for the fierce competition fans are sure to see. Crazy picks, bloody games, and exciting compositions defined the day, and the EU teams surely demonstrated why they are considered the favorites to win Rift Rivals 2018.
Team Liquid v Fnatic
The first game of the day was fought first on the Howling Abyss to determine side selection. Impact and Pobelter beat out Bwipo and Caps, allowing Team Liquid (“TL”) to choose Blue Side. It set the stage for the main game, where TL came out on top of Fnatic (“FNC”) again. Both teams played their typical styles, and TL showed why the standard style of play isn’t dead.
From the beginning, this match was action packed. Two-versus-twos in the middle and bottom lanes within the first three minutes gave two kills to TL. Both teams made moves to get leads, with dives happening top and middle, but TL stayed ahead of the curve constantly. At 20 minutes, they were able to carve a 3k gold and overall objective lead. Doublelift was the primary recipient of most of the kills, while Impact was able to pressure top lane and farm on his Gangplank.
FNC was able to obliterate Pobelter’s Zoe in the middle lane around 22 minutes. This prompted them to dive the TL team, but Doublelift and Impact were able to position superbly and turn it around. They won the team fight three-for-one, and secured more objectives afterwards. FNC again misplayed when they sent two on bottom to kill Impact. They succeeded, but when sOAZ and Caps Teleported to stop the Baron TL had started, they were deleted. Tl didn’t get the Baron here, but in the next few minutes they were able to finish off FNC’s outer towers and open up the map. They took Baron at 30 minutes. FNC tried to initiate a desperate fight, but were clean ace’d. TL took the Nexus at 34 minutes.
Echo Fox v G2 Esports
G2 Esports (“G2”) methodically choked the life out of Echo Fox (“FOX”) with their famous funnel composition. Though FOX had a strategy in mind to shut it down with Dardoch’s Pantheon, it fell flat. They hoped to use Rumble mid and Pantheon jungle to shut down the funnel duo. Though it did affect him, this strategy wasn’t enough to keep Perkz from being a threat in this match. Huni picked up First Blood, but due to a number of mistakes from FOX, G2 got a lead.
FOX was always fighting, trying to reclaim the lead. It is something that FOX likes to do, and sometimes it works. Today wasn’t one of those times. Three skirmishes broke out in succession, initiated by FOX, Perkz being the benefactor. At 16 minutes, his KDA was 5/0/1 because of seemingly free kills from FOX’s over-aggression. Even with this lead, FOX continued to fight. G2 won a couple more skirmishes, giving them more objectives and a 5k gold lead at 20 minutes.
Wunder, using Aatrox, smashed his lane like he had yesterday against 100 Thieves. He bullied Fenix all game, and managed to pick up a few kills for himself. His Aatrox pick proved to have as much of an impact on the game as Perkz did. He constantly applied pressure on the side lanes, and garnered attention from FOX. Along with Perkz being so fed and unkillable because of the support he had, FOX was doomed. FOX did kill three G2 members after G2 took Baron, but it didn’t matter. G2 was up 11k gold, seven towers and five kills before their finals pushes into the FOX base. They took all three of FOX’s inhibitors, won a team fight four-for-two, and took the Nexus at 30 minutes.
100 Thieves v Fnatic
FNC asserted total dominance over 100 Thieves (“100T”) in their second match of the day. Their draft seemed overall superior to 100T’s, whose draft looked strange and hard to execute. 100T made moves early and looked strong in the first few minutes. They secured First Blood in a Rift Scuttler fight, Ryu survived and killed Caps in his dive in the middle lane, and traded one for one in a FNC gank in the bottom lane. 100T threw this lead though when Bwipo kills both 100T bottom laners by himself, and he came online.
Despite being bullied by the opposing bottom laners, Bwipo got those kills. Once he did, Bwipo ran with his lead. Throughout the multiple skirmishes in the early-mid game, Caps’ Zoe picked up five kills. With their two carries enabled, FNC’s team was quite frightening. FNC proved their dominance in a couple of plays before 20 minutes. Hylissang efficiently used his Tahm Kench’s Abyssal Voyage to help his team dive Brandini in the top lane. Meanwhile, FNC won a fight two for zero when they were outnumbered.
At 20 minutes, FNC had already amassed an 8k gold lead and took five towers, while 100T took none. A mere three minutes later, all of the outer tower were destroyed by FNC. A fight broke out when FNC sieged the top lane Inhibitor Tower, which was devastating. FNC went four for one, took the top Inhibitor and both Nexus Towers. A Baron dance began, but 100T had to respond to Super Minions on their Nexus. When they returned, they were met with a FNC engage, and were Ace’d. FNC quickly ran into the 100T base with the Super Minions already there to destroy the Nexus at a quick 28 minutes.
Team Liquid v G2 Esports
The two best teams from each region finally met on the big stage, and it was a lot more one sided than many expected. G2, with this victory, captured the Group Stage victory for Europe, giving them an advantage for the Relay Race matches. TL looked helpless against G2 despite being the clear second in the event. Though Pobelter killed Perkz for First Blood, Perkz answered back the kill because of his Ignite. Doublelift died very early on in the two versus two, and Wunder solo killed Impact too. From the beginning, G2 was ahead and pushed it every step of the way.
Perkz was playing well and had an advantage against Pobelter, despite the First Blood. The solo laners were the deciding factors, but Jankos had a great game too. He was empowered by his winning solo laners, and was able to turn around TL plays all over the map. Wunder specifically was crucial to the win, making Impact’s Gangplank useless and winning fights for his team. Perkz managed to rotate and clean up fights, setting him up to carry, which he certainly did. Though TL members were able to pick up a couple solo kills in the mid-game, it was no where near enough.
At 20 minutes, G2 had a gold lead of 3k. It grew tremendously in the next few minutes because of plays they made. A Perkz solo kill on Pobelter pushed G2 to head for Baron. They secured it, and TL tried to force a fight. G2 gladly took it, and killed off three TL members for free. A couple more skirmishes happened, the middle Inhibitor fell, and G2 grouped to siege top lane. They proceeded to dive the Inhibitor Tower and kill three TL members for one of their own. The TL members died almost on respawn trying to defend their base, but were unsuccessful, and G2 destroyed their Nexus at an impressive 26 minutes.
100 Thieves v Splyce
While the battle against the two best teams was short, the game between the under-performers was very long. In a long grind of a game, 100T won the redemption game against Splyce (“SPY”). First Blood came out on KaSing at five minutes, but the rest of the early game was quiet. It wasn’t until the first major skirmish around Rift Herald that action happened. Levi started the Herald, and both teams soon collapsed on it. Though SPY got the kill on Herald, they didn’t pick up the buff and 100T killed four of their members for zero.
100T took the reins after this victory. They set up deep vision, and both teams danced around the top side jungle and Baron Nashor. This went on for a while, and during this time Brandini was dominating the bottom lane. As a Dr. Mundo against two AP solo laners, he was virtually invincible. He was constantly diving Odoamne and running Nisqy down.
The game came down to the Baron play at around 30 minutes. 100T started it and pulled off of it a couple times, which gave them three kills altogether and later the Baron buff too. The game picked up here, with SPY taking many losing fights to try to stay in the game. Eventually 100T managed to knock down all three Inhibitors with Brandini’s huge side lane pressure. They went for Baron one last time, and even though Kobbe’s Ezreal Ultimate nearly stole it, 100T secured the buff. They easily won a team fight in the SPY base and took their Nexus at 41 minutes.
For a recap of Day One, more analytical information on the North American and European representatives, power rankings for the tournament, and more on all things LoL, stay tuned here at The Game Haus!
Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.
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