A Kick to the League: How Rift Rivals were a wake up call for all regions

Today's editorial cartoon is about the conclusion of Rift Rivals, their unexpected results and increased 'hype' for the Worlds.

The Rift Rivals have concluded after what seemed like a long and eventful week. However, the hype surrounding the event have only gotten stronger due to several unexpected outcomes. The so-called ‘main’ event - NA vs EU - ended with NA rejoicing as Team SoloMid crushed Unicorns of Love 3-0. With UoL’s mascot team manager Romain “Khagneur” Bigeard letting TSM’s Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg write NA>EU on his chest as a reference to him writing EU>NA during IEM, the Rift Rivals ended with EU gracefully accepting defeat against NA...until the next tournament.

As a matter of fact, however, other regions had their share of fun too. Japan is relatively a newcomer in the scene, yet they took down the ‘Purple Rift’. The ‘Green Rift’ ended with Turkey taking down the tournament. Brazil, another newcomer that are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, triumphed in the ‘Yellow Rift’. They may have been hidden underneath the traditional powerhouses often in the international tournaments, but the taste of victory that they had in their ‘Rifts’ should be the first of more to come.

However, it wasn’t all fun and games for all regions. After the surprising defeat at the hands of LPL, LCK saw its fans being divided after the Rift Rivals. Whether it had been numerous interviews from the teams that sounded so sure that they'd win 3-0, whether it was Rift Rivals itself that forced the players to compete overseas in the middle of their regional league, or whether it was the flaming war itself that cause the community to be divided; Korean communities were in turmoil to say the least.

Either way, for a tournament that came out of nowhere, it certainly left a big impression to the participating regions. The regional tournaments have already resumed, and the World Championship is looming ahead and will serve as another chance for teams to represent their region on their own.

Among all the constructive (and sometimes destructive) criticisms, there should be no one other than the teams themselves that must have felt a strong need to work harder than ever before for the World Championship. For both the regions that tasted victory after a long silence and the regions that suffered an unexpected defeat, the upcoming World Championship will be more heated than ever.

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