In the aftermath of North America’s victory over their European rivals, NA LCS fans and representatives were understandably vocal in their dominance. But after assessing the nationalities of the Rift Rivals 2017 competitors, perhaps it is the European region who should feel a greater sense of pride.
The inaugural Rift Rivals event was a resounding success. For the first time since the Battle of the Atlantic in 2013, European and North American fans’ appetite to discover which region was superior was finally satisfied.
The bragging rights belonged to Europe heading into the tournament, following G2 eSports heroics and Team SoloMid’s contrasting failure at the Mid-Season Invitational. That narrative would soon be turned on its head as the top three teams from each respective region squared up in Berlin.
An overall record of 22-7 (76% win rate), clearly established the NA LCS was as the stronger league… though whether North America can claim to be the stronger region remains a point of contention.
The influx of top European talent to the NA LCS has prevailed as a failsafe counter-argument to the claim that North America reigns supreme.
NA’s dependance on overseas talent to fill out its rosters’ primary carry positions continues to undermine any claim to regional dominance: Of the 31 players who competed at Rift Rivals 2017 for example, less than 30% actually came from North America.
North America may have walked away from Rift Rivals as victors, but a glance at the nationalities of the tournaments competitors has reiterated the issues with developing home grown talent existent within NA:
The EU/NA LCS Player Nationalities Of Rift Rivals 2017
Denmark (7 Players)
G2 Zven, TSM Svenskeren, TSM Bjergsen, C9 Jensen, FNC Broxah, FNC Caps, FNC Jesiz. Denmark was the most represented nation at Rift Rivals, with three of the tournaments stand-out NA LCS performers hailing from the European birthing grounds.
South Korea (6 Players)
C9 Ray, C9 Impact, P1 Ryu, P1 Arrow, G2 Expect, G2 Trick. Korea provided its fair share of talent to Rift Rivals, majoritively to NA. Curiously, the Koreans were considered to be amongst the biggest underperformers at the event.
United States (6 Players)
TSM Hauntzer, TSM Doublelift, P1 MikeYeung, P1 Xpecial, C9 Contractz, C9 Sneaky. Having witnessed the dominant performances produced by P1 MikeYeung, the NA LCS has seen the benefit of developing homegrown talent, rather than importing.
Canada (3 Players)
TSM Biofrost, C9 Smoothie, P1 Zig. Three of the NA LCS's brightest talents herald from Canada, proudly donning the maple flag during regional finals.
Spain (2 Players)
G2 Mithy, UOL Samux. Spain was only one player short of Canada's representation at Rift Rivals, UOL Samux's strong AD carry performances were a rare highlight for EU fans.
Croatia (1 Player)
G2 Perkz. The mid laner was one of the tournaments key protagonists due to his taste for trash talk.
France (1 Player)
FNC SoaZ. The top laner grabbed headlines at Rift Rivals for rage quitting during a Fnatic defeat.
Germany (1 Player)
UOL Exileh. Despite the tournament being held in Berlin, Exileh was the only German talent on display at Rift Rivals.
Bulgaria (1 Player)
UOL Hylissang. The support has long since been considered on of Europe's best; one of eSports' few Bulgarian competitors.
Hungary (1 Player)
UOL Vizicsacsi. One of the Unicorns of Love's strongest performers at Rift Rivals, Vizicsacsi frequently outplayed his NA LCS lane opponents.
Sweden (1 Player)
FNC Rekkles. Fnatic's captain came under fire during Rift Rivals for failing to live up to expectations.
Romania (1 Player)
UOL Xerxe. Completing the Unicorns of Love's diverse, all-European lineup, the jungler has continued the trend for strong European jungle talent.