4 Take-Aways from Rift Rivals 2018

Image courtesy of Riot Games

EUUPHOOOORIAAAA! FOREVER TIL THE END OF TIME!

It’s been a great day for any fans of European sports, with Football coming home, BIG going to the ESL Cologne Finals and EU triumphantly winning 3-1 over NA – with Splyce in particular pulling an amazing upset against Team Liquid after sandbagging the previous days.

So without further ado, here are 4 key take-aways from this year’s iteration of Rift Rivals, that fans of both regions should take a closer look at. Enjoy!

1) Heimerdinger Bot is here to stay 

Heimerdinger Bot was definitely one of the more weirder things to emerge from the 8.11-and-beyond meta, but what a fun-to-watch Champion the little guy has been in the past few days. From Hjarnan finally being able to show off his beloved one-trick to Kobbe stomping Doublelift, so many weird yet positively unique plays happened which involved the Donger.

Needless to say, the meme-potential has been fantastic as well:

Personally, I can’t wait to see him return on the EU LCS turf. It’s safe to say that we won’t see him much on the NA LCS stage though, as NA has proven to be

A) Negligent towards adapting and

B) Probably being scarred for life.

You thought we were meme-ing with this pick. But EU was molded by it. Hjarnan didn’t play an ADC before appearing on the EU LCS stage.

2) Dardoch deserves a spot on an EU LCS team

Echo Fox Dardoch
Image courtesy: Riot Games

Let’s be honest here, no one wants to see Dardoch going 4/1/0 again while his Mid is 0/5 and his Top is 1/5. Dardoch channeled his inner Ash Ketchum and tried his very best during the entirety of the tournament, but just like the beloved Anime character, he couldn’t pull all the weight by himself.

While we haven’t seen a US-citizen play in the EU LCS so far, maybe it’s time for that to change. He doesn’t only bring the plays, but he brings the banter as well: Just imagine, for one second, that Dardoch would play in the same league as Gilius? Absolute Madness. Make it happen.

https://twitter.com/G2Perkz/status/1015726392443457536

3) Special Jerseys are becoming a thing and it’s great

Image courtesy: Riot Games

Out of the six teams participating at this year’s edition of Rift Rivals, three teams came prepared with a brand-new jersey to present to the crowed: Team Liquid, Splyce, and Echo Fox. On top of that, G2 released a full European jersey as well, which can be ordered online to celebrate the region’s win.

Generally speaking, this is a fantastic idea to commemorate certain events, and Team Liquid in particular has been stellar about this by releasing both an exclusive kit for MSI and Rift Rivals, with both designs being fantastic. Maybe don’t overdo it though.

4) Riot’s production has once again stepped it up massively

Image courtesy of Riot Games

From a fantastic new trophy design, to great memes like the NA LCS pidgeon or Dark Dash, to the overall look and feel of Rift Rivals, Riot have put in a performance of a lifetime with this event. Despite being relatively low-key when it comes to competitive relevance, Rift Rivals was an absolute treat to watch from either fan’s perspective. Well done Riot, please, keep it up.

Free Space: EU Mids are still the Main

Image courtesy of Riot Games

If you’re a Midlane main that isn’t watching Europe more closely, you’ve made some really bad life choices my friend. Caps & Perkz were absolutely phenomenal over the course of this event, with Caps sidestepping pretty much every skillshot that his opponents were throwing at him and G2 funneling Perkz into going Supoer Saiyan… Almost all of the time.

Just a little PSA: If any North American organisation dares to take these two players away from us, I will personally fly to the States, come into your office, and give you a very angry look. You wouldn’t want that to happen. So don’t even consider doing it.

Darius Matuschak
Darius is an esports journalist trying to nurture esports culture whenever possible. He got into esports while finishing his Bachelor in Journalism, and has been a regular EU LCS attendee since January 2017.