Rift Rivals is almost upon us and with that in mind it’s time to take a look at how Week 5 played out for NA and EU. Both regions look like they are on equal footing at the moment. Is that really the case though? Here are the takeaway from last week’s LCS play and some Rift Rivals expectations!
Group B seems more stable than Group A
Things look interesting right now in Europe. In terms of cross-group play the score is pretty much even and it doesn’t seem like one group has a clear advantage over the other. However it does feel like Group B is the more stable group. While last split that wasn’t the case this time around it just seems like what you expect is what you get from the teams in Group B. All of the teams there continue to play the same way they usually do and there’s not too many surprises from them. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that the Unicorns of Love don’t look that great despite having a 5-1 record.
When it comes to Group A though it’s a different story. Ninjas in Pyjamas are 0-7 yet in their losses, they tend to make good moves that make you believe they have a chance of winning. But then it all goes down the drain and they just lose. ROCCAT doesn’t have the best score right now but they have shown glimpses of their previous form. Even G2 despite being the current champions of Europe and coming off of a great MSI performance are looking shaky. Misfits has also had some questionable games whether it’s unconvincing wins or rough losses. The only team that remains completely stable in Group A is Fnatic and the only blemish on their split so far is their loss to ROCCAT.
The teams in North America are close
Immortals beat CLG and Cloud9 but lost to TSM and P1 in Week 5. CLG has lost to TSM and Immortals but have defeated Cloud9 twice. TSM defeated CLG and C9 but lost to Immortals earlier in the split. They got their revenge on Immortals in Week 5 but also dropped a series to Cloud9. See where we are going with this? Everyone is beating everyone and the Top 4 is really close right now. While CLG is leading the pack heading into Rift Rivals, TSM and Immortals are right behind them. Cloud9 is also one game behind TSM and Immortals. The race for first is definitely on as we have hit the halfway point of the split. Just like last split the standings are incredibly close and teams are being separated by one game.
As it stands every team has a chance to move up in the rankings. Even Team Liquid can do it despite being in last place right now. Although it seems like they made a big mistake by not making any roster changes in the off-season, they have shown some good things this split. In their two victories they did show they have what it takes to work as a team. For them it’s all about doing that consistently and not just once or twice every now and then. FlyQuest and Phoenix1 have also started to show signs of life. Jason “WildTurtle” Tran has been pulling his weight on FlyQuest and it shows as he already has 6 MVP points while being on an 8th place team. Meanwhile on Phoenix1 the rookie jungler Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung is performing incredibly well even when his lanes often lose. It’s not hard to mistake him as an LCS veteran due to how at home he seems as an LCS player.
Rift Rivals Predictions
In terms of the Purple, Green and Yellow Rifts (basically the ones with Wildcard teams in them) there isn’t much to say except that RED Canids, GIGABYTE Marines and Supermassive are very likely to win them. And when it comes to the Red Rift which features Korea, China and Taiwan it’s safe to bet on SK Telecom T1 winning yet another international event. Only suffering one loss to Samsung Galaxy and sitting in 1st place in the LCK, it doesn’t seem like SKT is ready to slow down.
Now when it comes to the Blue Rift and the battle between EU and NA it’s much trickier. Although based off recent results and performances Europe looks better there’s some things that are worth mentioning. First of all Phoenix1 might have a bad record and they may be tied for 8th place right now, but the addition of MikeYeung to the roster has been a huge benefit for them. With G2 being really shaky right now and Unicorns of Love not having the most convincing wins, P1 might have a fair chance of winning some games. Not to mention TSM and C9 are also on the upswing and have looked better as the weeks have gone by. In terms of overall performance it might be a very even event with teams trading wins left and right. However when it comes to who will win the event Fnatic is really good right now and their unique style of play is sure to catch teams that play by the book like TSM and C9 off-guard.
Although Rift Rivals can be considered a fun event, teams will be looking to showcase their region’s strength as best as they can. That will surely create some great games and good competition between the regions!