In the aftermath of Rift Rivals, Unicorns of Love has released a statement on Facebook touching on the results of the event and looking forward to the future. UoL’s statement shows maturity in the organization and bodes well for their potential for progress approaching the World Championships.
Rift Rivals was by all accounts a very one-sided affair. The EU LCS finished with a troubling 6-15 record, including being swept by the NA LCS Champion Team SoloMid 3-0 in the Finals.
Though the Unicorns of Love did not provide the greatest of performances, they still finished the group stage with a 3-3 record that placed them at the top of the European teams.
Reflecting on the event, the Unicorns’ Head Coach, Fabian “Sheepy” Mallant and Team Manager, Romain “Khagneur” Bigeard, were quick to admit the failures of their team and the region as a whole:
We failed, we all failed : Fnatic LoL Team, G2 Esports, Unicorns Of Love.
Maybe Europe was over-confident? Maybe NA was super-ready?
Bjergsen was too strong. MikeYeung was too strong. We sucked.
It’s important to acknowledge how strong they were. This game is fair: we lost because of us.
This is the reality to face if you want to be able to say: “we won because of us”.
The team’s message to their fans has highlighted a few key points that hint the Unicorns of Love are on the right path to improve, despite their inconsistent performance at Rift Rivals.
Too often, the community will undervalue the importance of admitting mistakes and conceding when another team was better. By recognizing your mistakes, you allow yourself the opportunity to correct them and move forwards.
The Unicorns of Love critically recognize the role that over-confidence and ill-preparation could have played in the results at Rift Rivals. Europe entered the tournament as clear favorites, and many of the players and organizations appeared almost cocky about their matchup with NA in the weeks leading up to the event.
Underestimating your opponent can lead to catastrophic results, and even though the EU LCS has not had the greatest head-to-head results versus their NA rivals as of late, they still very much underplayed the strength of the NA region entering the event.
At Rift Rivals, it was clear that NA had both a better read on the latest patch and crisper macro play in the early and mid game, allowing them to create insurmountable advantages for most of the tournament.
Sheepy and Khagneur also point out the importance of learning now at Rift Rivals, while there is still time to prepare for the World Championships:
Luckily, this tournament was just for meme and glory: we did not lose any “seeding points” for international events, the money prize-pool was small, and it was in Berlin so we did not have to travel around.
It’s better to lose now than getting crushed during Worlds Group Stage.
For the EU LCS, Rift Rivals should be a wake-up call. Fortunately, the loss at Rift Rivals only will cost the EU LCS pride and bragging rights, both of which can easily be regained through a strong performance at the World Championships.
With just a few months to correct their mistakes, they still will need to make significant changes if they want to catch not only North America, but Korea, China, and Taiwan as well.
To summarize their Facebook post, Sheepy and Khagneur ended with the importance of their mindset and their actions in the next few weeks:
Time to go back to LCS with a new mindset: yes we are good, but we are far from the best. Really far. Reaaaally far.
Good news: we know how to get back on track. Can we work as efficient as we would like to? The next weeks will tell us about it.
Unicorns of Love showed at Rift Rivals that they have the potential to be the best team from the EU LCS. With strong team fighting and a dominant solo laner in Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss, Unicorns of Love are well positioned to play a major role for the EU LCS at the World Championships.
As their recent Facebook post has shown, they have recognized their numerous mistakes at Rift Rivals and the amount of work that will be necessary moving forward, a clear step in the right direction.