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League of Legends / Article

Five things we learned from Rift Rivals

The land of the free became the land of 1-3 as the LEC's finest (as well as G2 and Origen) took down the top LCS teams at Rift Rivals 2019.

It was an eventful trip to Los Angeles which saw our young-gun jungler make his debut, our other jungler embraced his passion outside of League of Legends and of course we battered our North American counterparts in a few games. Whether you missed the games or were hoping to relive the event while the LEC is on a break, we've got you covered with this Rift Rivals recap.

Don't trust G2 to win you a final

They say if you want something done right, do it yourself and that is exactly the attitude our LoL side took in the Rift Rivals grand finale. We got the ball rolling with a nice simple win against Cloud9 so sadly that victory didn't feel so sweet considering Zach "Sneaky" Scuderi was too ill to play (or maybe was secretly working on his next cosplay, who knows).

Our job was done, it should be an easy 3-0 win for Europe, or at least we thought. G2 were rolled over by Team Liquid after Rasmus "Caps" Winther had "one of those games" that Fnatic fans will remember. That's why we stepped up to plate once again for the match against Team SoloMid which ended up being an easy 25-minute affair. Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen maintained his undefeated streak at the tournament and we brought a second Rift Rivals trophy home to Europe.

The six-star general did not have five-star performance

Before the tournament officially got underway there was a show match between some of the most famous faces in American and European League of Legends history including our very own coach Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool who returned to the top-lane.

YoungBuck started off well as his lane opponent Marcus "Dyrus" Hill was being camped once again - some things never change. However, NA know how to play a clown fiesta and took their consolation show match win while our coach finished with a shocking KDA of 2/10/3. We agree with this tweet.

Dan the Man to FeelsDanMan

With Rift Rivals having a more relaxed atmosphere around it this year, we decided it was a good time to give our sixth-man Daniel "Dan" Hockley his debut. It was a baptism of fire for the jungler as his first start came against LCS champions Team Liquid however, the Englishman handled the heat exceptionally well - especially for someone with red hair. Dan was relentless in his pathing, repeatedly ganking the bot-lane a to shut down Peter "Doublelift" Peng and get Martin "Rekkles" Larsson ahead. It was a flawless strategy as the Swede took over the game and put Fnatic on the board.

Dan's second game however, didn't go quite as well. TSM found a way to shut him down, leaving the jungler with no kills and seven deaths. Still, Dan was able to show his talent on an international stage and after a glimpse at his ability we know he'll perform when called upon again.

Broxah's international curling tour

Seeing as he was sharing matches, Broxah had plenty of free time to explore his other passion in life - curling. The Danish beast has developed an appreciation for curling over the years so we brought the icey sport to sunny LA with a table version of curling at the Rift rivals tailgate party.

The curling party became so popular that even Cloud9 couldn't resist popping down for a few games while simultaneously bringing our Twitter love affair into real life. Word of the curling party spread fast that the official United States of America curling team even wanted to get involved.

Time to get him on some real curling ice! Are you in?
— USA Curling (@usacurl) July 3, 2019

Nemesis is the final boss

North America are usually well-known for their "one-trick ponies" but Europe even outclassed them in that area at Rift Rivals. Many people were excited to see how Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg would stack up against Europe's mids. Did he get destroyed? Yes.

Tim "Nemesis" Lipovsek was well prepared for his first international showing as he spent time practising with Veigar one-trick Veigar_V2 to have a counter-pick ready for NA's pocket pick of Azir. It worked a treat as Fnatic breezed past TSM to secure Europe the trophy. Nobody should be surprised though, as soon as Bjergsen built Luden's Echo on Azir we knew it was over.