In the LEC's clean sweep of the LCS at day 1 of Rift Rivals 2019: NA vs. EU, Fnatic took the lion's share of the glory. Team Liquid looked outmatched against Fnatic, despite substitute Jungler Daniel "Dan" Hockley getting his first start of the year. Cloud9 fell even easier, as Fnatic closed out the day by defeating NA's international darlings in a sub-25 minute victory.
Fnatic look every bit as dominant as they have in the 2019 LEC Summer Split, and one of the biggest reasons is the resurgence of Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau. The young Top Laner fell into a bit of a sophomor slump this past spring, but has been absolutely on fire since for the past month.
In a post-Rift Rivals interview with Nick Geracie, Bwipo attributed his return to form to a healthier work/life balance. "The big problem was that on an emotional level, when I was doing poorly, I needed something to rely on," said Bwipo. "I didn't have that last year up until the 2018 World Championship, which is when I met my girlfriend...Even if I'm not performing well or my team is doing bad, I can still smile for a different reason."
Bwipo is missing home and the love of his life, but it's certainly not stopping him from torching other North American Top Laners. Fnatic face TSM in the final game of Rift Rivals day 2.