What exactly defines greatness? How important is sustained dominance over seasons versus of few moments of unimaginable brilliance in the sun? How do you compare, say, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods? Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell?
In other words, what are the measuring sticks by which we gauge the greatest American sportspeople?
Yes. It’s difficult to compare between eras, weight one sport versus another. And certainly, true “greatness” in sport is transcendent. In other words, the greatest athletes mean something culturally and resonate not only beyond the world of their specific sport, but beyond the sports world in general.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
"It's actually easier than I expected, I'm not gonna lie. I thought Rekkles and Jesiz were going to be better, but they're pretty awful in lane."
Not A Serious Tournament Anyway
So what if NA loses? This isn't a serious tournament anyway, Riot are only doing this for fun and the NA LCS teams were gracious to attend, just wait for the real international events to see which region is better. 'EU performed better than NA at the past two tournaments?' - they don't count.
Luka “PerkZ” Perković
"I think NA will not win a game at Rift Rivals."
Here in Los Angeles, our players are used to sunny weather and air-conditioning, which we can adjust. Even though it's the middle of their summer, Berlin is going to be a climate shock for NA pros. If their mechanics seem off, it'll be because their hands are too cold in the studio.
CLICKON eSport’s Rift Rivals Predicitions
With Rift Rivals approaching, CLICKON makes our predictions for how the tournament will play out.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
"Is it really sOAZ if he doesn't rage quit a game?"
Home Soil Advantage
Without even having to leave their gaming houses, for the EU teams, Rift Rivals will just be like another week of LCS. Their fans will be there supporting them vocally and they'll be fighting fresh. How can Team SoloMid be expected to perform without rows of fans bleating 'T-S-M'!?
Martin “Rekkles” Larsson
(On Doublelift) "He always talked trash about me in the past, so I think it would be good to show him how the game is actually supposed to be played."
5th: Unicorns of Love
If Unicorns of Love's most recent series against the previously winless Ninjas in Pyjamas had been a best of one, they would have lost. This is a troubling sign for the team as they enter a double round robin first stage where each match will play out like a best of one. Still, Unicorns of Love can not be discounted, as they continue to display excellent team fighting and creative strategies. If mid laner Exileh is able to hold his own against a stacked field at the tournament, Unicorns could easily shoot up the standings.
So, while it’s tough to define all the ingredients and the ratios in the cocktail of greatness, we can all great that statistical excellence, consistent superiority to the best of one’s peers, and resonance/perception are all key. And bully for a diehard competitive streak, as the desire to beat another person in an otherwise meaningless contest is at the very essence of sport.