2018 Rift Rivals: which region will be the greatest above all?

The 2018 Rift Rivals is a LoL tournament that is seperated into 5 different international groups, each composed of 2 or 3 regions. The top 2-4 teams from the Spring split are chosen as representatives for each region. The Asian regional tournament, which is composed of the LCK, LPL and LMS, will be held for 4 days starting on July 5th (KST) at the Dalian Sports Center Stadium.

The following is Global Inven’s power ranking on the teams that are participating in the  2018 LCK/LPL/LMS Rift Rivals.


1. Royal Never Give Up (RNG)

Summer Record: 5W 1L

Their previous match against ‘Invictus Gaming vs RNG’ was indeed an important match; RNG were the victors and are now ranked first-place in the LPL. As the champions of the 2018 MSI, they proved once again that they are the ‘champions of the LPL’.  

With the drastic change in the meta, there was some speculation about how the ‘Uzi-reliant’ RNG would perform. However, RNG stuck to choosing traditional ADCs and performed very well in the Summer split.

If RNG manages to show the same performance they did in the LPL, it would definitely silence the skeptics.



2. Kingzone DragonX (KZ)

Summer Record: 6W 2L

Although KZ is one of the strongest teams in Korea, their performance in international tournaments failed to live up to the strength they showed in the LCK. As a matter of fact, KZ had a hard time in the LCK, having been swept in the match against Griffin.

However, KZ is still a team that carries high expectations. Kim “Khan” Dong-ha is still delivering dominant performance similar to what he’s shown in the Spring split, and Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong remains one of the best mid laners in the LCK. It is said that Bdd is eager to go against RNG, the team he lost to in the previous MSI. Currently, KZ is on a winning streak in the LCK and seems to have a positive atmosphere.

“There are no other goals aside from winning the whole thing” said Khan when speaking about Rift Rivals. It will be interesting to see whether KZ will successfully carry out their revenge.



3. Afreeca Freecs (AFs)

Summer Record: 6W 2L

AFs is the team that showed the most flexibility in the LCK when it came to picks/bans and strategies. This team became so much stronger after the 8.11 patch, which brought a dramatic change to the current meta. In their last match against the Worlds champion team, Gen.G, they managed to defeat them 2:0.

The team’s overall performance and each players’ individual dominance in laning is what makes this team stick out as one of the top teams participating in the Rift Rivals. The Asian Games international team’s top laner, Kim “Kiin” Gi-in has been dominating every top lane matchup. Their support, Park “TusiN” Jong-ik is well known for his aggressive team calls and has also been giving solid performance in teamfights.

Although this Rift Rivals is the AFs’ first international tournament as a team, players such as Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng, Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun, and Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon are veterans that already have a lot of international stage experience. Many teams crumble under the pressure of the international stage, but we’ll likely see AFs perform as well as ever.



4. Invictus Gaming (IG)

Summer Record: 5W 1L

Before losing against RNG, IG seemed to be the strongest team in the LPL. RNG and IG have been the clear top 2 teams in the LPL. If you consider IG’s previous 14 consecutive wins in the Spring split plus their 5 consecutive victories coming into the Summer split however, IG may seem like the team that had the most impact in China this year.

However, the team isn’t without their own weaknesses. The players on the team who are valued for their hyper-carry abilities seem to be showing unstable performances as of late. Their top laner, Lee “Duke” Ho-seong is not seen as a quality player, and the team seems to underperform when Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok does not start. Also, IG’s strongest competitor Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-bo sometimes gets killed in unusual situations.

The players also lack experience in international tournaments. Excluding Duke and Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, this Rift Rivals competition will be the first international tournament for the IG players. The team’s performance for this Rift Rivals likely hinges on whether the less-experienced players can stand the pressure and deliver the same performance they have in previous tournaments.



5. Flash Wolves (FW)


Summer Record: 3W 0L

FW is still the heavy favorites of the LMS. They’ve won 5 consecutive championships and are still dominating the league with a 3-0 record this summer. Another factor that makes their fans expect so much from them is their strong performance against LCK teams.

Their roster has gone through positive changes, and their prowess has been rising steadily. FW will be doing their best to maintain the pride of the LMS. Top laner Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang has become the best top laner in the LMS, and Jungler Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin is a hot prospect that even players from other regions are keeping an eye on.



6. EDward Gaming (EDG)

Summer Record: 5W 1L

Over the past few years, the stronger teams performing in the LPL have successfully added  the “LCK style macro” to their playstyle. A good example would be EDG and RNG. After naming Jeong “NoFe” No-cheol as their head coach, EDG’s knowledge on the LCK style macro is now greater than ever.

Another factor that has expectations for EDG on the rise is their solid starting laners. Lee “Scout” Yae-chan is averaging 4.7 kills per game in the LPL, which is currently the highest in the league. He was ranked 1st in the MVP awards during the Spring split and remains on top this Summer as well.

In the finals of last year’s Rift Rivals, EDG defeated SSG and led the LPL to the throne. As they have shown no signs of weakening, fans are expecting a similar performance at this year’s Rift Rivals as well.



7. kt Rolster (KT)

Summer Record: 5W 3L

Having defeated Griffin 2:0, KT created a very positive atmosphere heading into Rift Rivals. After winning their previous match against MVP, the team is currently on a 2-game winning streak.

Another advantage for KT is the fact that the players already have plenty of international stage experience. Since Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu have both experienced the LCK and the LPL, they are expected to play well against the Chinese teams.

However, KT sometimes seems to lack the right team chemistry from time to time. Also, the players have made unwise choices in the mid-game. If they manage to fix those two problems though, KT will likely have the most potential to win among the participating LCK teams.



8. Rogue Warriors (RW) 

Summer Record: 5W 1L

The Rogue Warriors were established in 2017. They improved rapidly and now are one of the best teams in the LPL. Last spring, they finished 2nd in the LPL East region with a 13-6 record and are tied for 1st (5-1) in the current season.

Although the team’s name may be unfamiliar to most LoL fans, the members’ names have significant value. Mid laner, Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang is considered one of the fiercest players in China. Che “Mouse” Yu-hao delivered some good performance in EDG and Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun is quite well known for his impressive Lee Sin. Their ADC, Han “Smlz” Jin has been getting high ratings from western fans.

However, the fact that they were shut out by EDG 0-2 just before Rift Rivals does not bode well for them. It is also unclear whether they’ll be able to deliver the same performance they’ve been giving in the LPL on the international stage.



9. Mad Team

Summer Record: 3W 0L

Mad Team is a dark horse that might spawn some unexpected results in this competition. It has been less than a year since they reached the LMS, but they’re tied for 1st with Flash Wolves in the summer season with a 3-0 record.

However, they’ve never been on an international stage. The lack of experience applies to all of the members: it’s their very first international tournament. It may not be easy to shake off the pressure and nervousness as a regional representative.



10. SKT T1

Summer Record: 3W 5L

It’s still awkward to see SKT T1 near the bottom of the power rankings, but their performance has yet to earn them a higher spot. They’re running 7th in the LCK with a 3-5 record.

SKT T1 started the split with a 4-game losing streak, revealing problems in laning, teamfights, and macro; fortunately for them, they seem to be climbing their way up, having gotten themselves a 3-1 record in their most recent four matches. Their seemingly stiff picks/bans started to be more flexible than before, so fans are hopeful that the team will perform well in Rift Rivals.

SKT T1 was always strong in international competitions. Although they’re ranked 10th in this Rift Rivals power ranking, the name SKT T1 always carries high expectations.



11. G-REX

Summer Record: 0W 3L

G-REX isn’t catching up with the rapidly changing meta. They’re trying diverse comps by using numerous champions, but their attempts seem to be driving them deeper into the void. Up to now, their record is a dreary 0-3.

With Rift Rivals ahead, G-REX acquired Oh “Raise” Ji-hwan and is looking for a change of pace. The jungle position is important in this meta, so Raise may be able to bring something new to the team. However, he’s been in the team for only a week, so it may be a bit too early for him to have turned the team around.



12. Machi E-Sports

Summer Record: 0W 3L

Machi E-Sports is ranked 12th. It seems like they weren’t able to adjust to the current meta, and are currently struggling at the bottom alongside G-REX.

The biggest weakness of Machi E-Sports is that they deliver unstable performance starting from their laning phase. In most games, they lose initiative in lane. The jungler Lee “Crash” Dong-woo, who has been tasked with solving this situation, lacks communication and teamwork so it will likely be difficult for the team to find a proper solution.

In order to deliver better performance, their highly-praised ADC Kim “Deul” Deul, needs some time to improve. However, if their laning problem isn’t solved, it is quite unlikely that they will be the winning team.

Sort by:

Comments :2

  • 0

    level 2 Genryou


    There's a mistake, EDG beat SSG in the final of the previous Rift Rivals, not SKT T1.

    • 0

      level 10 haao


      Thank you for the correction. The part you mentioned is fixed.

Insert Image

Add Quotation

Add Translate Suggestion

Language select