On the 7th of July, NA was defeated by EU in the 2018 Rift Rivals.
The start of the final day was fantastic for NA. Echo Fox had crushed the undefeated European team, G2. With the leading score, it was up to 100 Thieves and Team Liquid to close out the series. However, 100 Thieves and Team Liquid could not keep the momentum going.
With 100 Thieves losing to Fnatic and Team Liquid losing to Splyce, it was all up to Echo Fox to tie up the series. Unfortunately, Echo Fox was not able to pull through and Fnatic aided in EU winning Rift Rivals.
Shortly after the final game, we sat down with Team Liquid’s bot lane, Doublelift and Olleh. We discussed their thoughts on EU, Heimerdinger, and Worlds. Let’s see what they have to say about EU being victorious over NA.
¤ How do you guys feel about the loss?
Doublelift: Pretty s*****.
Olleh: So bad.
Doublelift: Luckily, this tournament doesn’t matter so… It could have been a worse time.
¤ Let’s talk about the tweet you (Doublelift) made before the game. You said that “If EU has the balls, you won’t put Splyce against us.”. How do you feel now after losing to Splyce?
Doublelift: Um, yeah. I thought Splyce was a free win. I still think they are a free win. It is just that we were griefing on stage. I thought if they wanted to make it interesting, they would set up Fnatic or G2 against us. It would have been way better.
Olleh: Yeah, I agree.
¤ Was there a reason for not banning Heimerdinger?
Doublelift: I don’t feel like it is that strong. First game, Heimer had no game impact at all. He just kept dying. I think we ended up winning because Yasuo and Swain got too strong. For the second time, there was a lot to ban against Splyce. Heimer is just a whatever pick. We ended up losing to it again. Although Heimer did have a lot more game impact, we made some pretty big mistakes.
¤ Previously, Wadid stated that Team Liquid would have a tough time if they play standard bot lane. What are your thoughts on this?
Olleh: I understand why Wadid said that. In this meta in the early game, the bot duo needs to create some sort of snowball. Otherwise, you are going to lose Scuttle or Dragon. Of course, the non-ADC champions like Heimerdinger and Swain are better than traditional ADCs. We just thought that playing a traditional ADC would be enough to crush them in lane or do much better late game.
In EU, I feel like they have already figured out how to play non-ADC champions well and how to counter traditional bot lanes. They have more experience in this matchup. The EU teams are extremely good at non-Marksman champions. This is why we had difficulty against them in scrims. It was very hard for me.
¤ It seems that this meta will be relatively similar leading up to Worlds. How will you as a player and as a team prepare for Worlds?
Doublelift: As a team, we are preparing different strategies for every matchup. We try to win as fast as possible. As a player, I think pretty much the same thing. Team to player, I think our philosophies are relatively the same. Usually, the team’s philosophy comes from the coach and then the coach tells the players a lot about the way they should think about the game. Cain does a really good job of doing that. Our philosophy is always trying to improve and to learn. We try to be ready for anything.
¤ Deficio had said that EU had learned a lot from losing to NA last year at Rift Rivals. What do you think yourself or NA will take away from this defeat?
Doublelift: I remember last Rift Rivals, most of the EU players were weak individually. We won a lot mostly through pure laning and being better individual players than them. It wasn’t necessarily because we had a better understanding of the meta at the time. The only exception last year was that Fnatic kept playing weird stuff like Camille support and Kennen ADC. Rekkles was famous for that.
In this Rift Rivals, there is definitely a difference in both meta and individual skill. EU is very advanced on funnel strats. They also have a large diverse champion pool for bottom. It seems like EU can play almost every mage at bot. The other thing is, individually, I think EU players are just better right now. They just have a mechanical level that can probably match the best in the world. EU can probably go up against the LPL and the LCK. Not all their players, but definitely some of their players. Individually, they are really insane.
What we can take away from this is, we are definitely thinking about it. We are really woken up by how good they are individually but also on how creative they are.
¤ What did you guys think of Pyke? I believe in a previous interview with Olleh, he wanted to be the first NA support to use Pyke on stage.
Olleh: If you want to pick Pyke, I believe you need to be very decisive on when you can really roam. Or, you can pick Pyke in a lane that you cannot lose. As long as you go the laning phase 50-50, Pyke in the late game is really good. You can spam Q and E. No one can really catch Pyke because he is kind of safe. In team fights, a player will inevitably have low health. Pyke can then just spam ulti every single time.
The most important thing you need to consider when picking Pyke is picks/bans. When you can play Pyke, you should be able to understand how your 2v2 matchup will go. If you can freely roam, it is extremely good for Pyke. Mid and jungle will receive pressure from Pyke. The enemy support needs to follow Pyke, but Pyke is just too fast. Pyke can be mid or bot at any moment. The enemy will only be able to call “Pyke MIA”, “Pyke can go bot”, or “Pyke can go mid”. Pyke is a very annoying champion if he can freely roam.
¤ Lastly, is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Doublelift: Thank you guys for supporting us. It is really hard to take all these losses without feeling disappointed and feeling s*****. Everytime you fail and lose, you have to try to get something out of it. It feels like we are always repeating that as an American team. It really feels bad. There will be a moment when an American team, hopefully Team Liquid, will shine, and it will all be worth it.
Olleh: It feels really bad. At MSI, I lost my confidence and I was emotional. However now, I am really proud of myself that I have confidence now. After I lost to Splyce, I was not emotional. I was just looking forward to how I could do better in the next international event. I am proud of myself.