Having taken sole possession of the top spot in Europe, it’s time to take a nice break with quick trip to North America for Rift Rivals where we’ll remind the LCS that we’re well ahead of them too.
Currently in the Summer Split, we are the only team in both the LEC or LCS who has remained undefeated and that’s even after we faced MSI champions G2 last week.
Following that international triumph and the general success of the LEC, there’s a feel-good vibe around Europe at the moment and we plan on adding to that by settling the deadlock and winning the third edition of Rift Rivals.
TSM or FreeSM?
They call America the land of the free which is perfectly fitting for Team SoloMid as we have no fears of facing them. Credit where credit is due, they came out on top the last time we met but a lot has changed since then.
TSM went on to get knocked of groups at Worlds that year and hadn’t been to another international event until now. Meanwhile, we performed better at that Worlds a year later went even further, becoming the first western team to attend a Worlds final since ourselves in 2011.
And TSM will be getting bad flashbacks to IEM Season 9 San Jose when they see Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov on the Rift. The Hungarian support shocked the world in 2016 when he and his newly-promoted to the EU LCS Unicorns of Love teammates defeated TSM 2-0 as Hylissang dominated on Thresh in both games.
You’ll want to keep your eye on the mid-lane too as Tim “Nemesis” Lipovsek takes on Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg - the old guard vs the new. Will everyone forget Bjergsen was once considered the best mid-laner in the west when he gets dumpstered by Nemesis? Yes.
We’re know Cloud9 very well, especially as they’re the only NA team we see at international events past groups. Unfortunately for them though, Rift Rivals is probably going to go similarly to our last meeting when we went 3-0 in last year’s Worlds semi-finals. Maybe this time we’ll go easy on them and not put Gabirel “Bwipo” Rau on Viktor.
We saw the boys in blue had a recent slip up with a loss to 100 Thieves but bounced back against CLG. It was a long flight to Los Angeles so C9 better at least put up a fight, the LEC hasn’t challenged us yet this split so someone needs to.
Team Liquid: things money can’t buy
Steve had a heavy bill in his attempts to remove Liquid’s fourth-place curse but we can tell you now, beating Invictus Gaming and playing in international finals are priceless experiences.
And there’s still some things in League of Legends that money can’t buy like an answer to Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen’s galaxy brain - it’s going to be a rough few days for Jake “Xmithie” Puchero. There’s also been a lot of talk of TL’s bot lane of legendary ADC Peter “Doublelift” Peng and World Champion Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in but those two didn’t live up to the hype at MSI. If you thought they looked bad then, wait until they face Hylissang and Martin “Rekkles” Larsson.
Ever wonder what would have happened if Team Liquid had escaped groups at Worlds last year instead of EDG? It still would have been a Fnatic win and we’ll prove that this week.