Rift Rivals 2019: NA vs EU | Preview
The Rift Rivals Europe vs. North America returns to Los Angeles between June 27-29, 2019. The Top3 teams from both regions Spring split will clash for the ultimate bragging rights in the EU<>NA rivalry. The event is even spicier after MSI 2019 where G2 absolutely dominated Team Liquid in the shortest best-of-five match in LoL’s competitive history.
The tournament format will feature the best of both leagues. We already mentioned that “NA is a league of three teams” and the same was true for EU in Spring, meaning the format is ideally created to hide the flaws of both regions and showcase the strengths.
Europe is on the high horse coming at this event as the #1 region in the World. North America is the 2nd best region after Spring, but it doesn’t matter as long as Europe is ahead.
Representing North America we have Cloud9, TSM and Team Liquid. On the European side we have Origen, Fnatic and G2. Each team will meet each of the opponents of the opposing regions in a single best-of-one round robin cycle that nets points for the regions. Additional show matches between league veterans are created the fill the gaps.
The crowning event is the Relay Race finals, where a series of best-of-five’s will determine the ultimate Rift Rivals champion and seal the bragging rights for the at least four months until Worlds 2019.
Before we get a conclusive answer on all of this we need to take a look at each team and each region coming at Rift Rivals and set some expectations.
With a few weeks of Summer being us, we can see the North American representatives coming out of a pool of equality in the standings. The 6 top teams in NA are all one win apart in the standings, with Team Liquid still at the top with a minor margin. No team out of the three at Rivals seems to shine bright in the current meta.
On the European side Fnatic and G2 are building impressive win streaks only three weeks in, and only Origen is left to struggle in form currently. It is not a hard call to predict FNC and G2 dominating their NA counterparts in a similar or stronger fashion as they do in their home region. Origen on the other hand is a coin toss as they might lose all three matches. Yet, if NA is really as bad as EU fans wish them to be even OG will be 3W-0L after the initial round.
NA fans shouldn’t despair. If we treat the MSI finals as an anomaly, Liquid beat the World Champions after beating G2 in a best of one earlier at that event. And in this scenario North America is not a flop region that can be taken lightly. This in turn means EU fans will have a weekend of being silenced and ultimately Twitch chat trolled for the remainder of Summer at the very least.
In-between all the drama, I am looking forward to this ultimate veteran showmatch.
Does NA>EU>NA? It all comes to head this weekend.