The last game on Day 2 of 2017 Rift Rivals: NA vs EU was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride in which Unicorns of Love gave TSM its first loss of the tournament. Though Bjergsen on Syndra looked quite formidable early to mid game, UOL’s dive heavy composition with Gnar and Vladimir shut down TSM’s carries and secured the second win of the day, bringing up the score to 2-2. UOL coach Fabian “Sheepy” Mallant was joined by Riot’s Trevor Henry for a post-match interview to talk about how the team was able to turn it around.
When asked about how they were able to bounce back from losing two games yesterday to winning two today, coach Sheepy replied, “We were caught off guard. It wasn’t our usual performance. We had all the tools we needed but didn’t capitalize on them. We talked about it, and I think Exileh made up for yesterday.”
Regarding UOL’s tendency to have messy early game to strong mid game, coach Sheepy called the team’s style of play, “Teamfight: the Movie”. He went on to explain the match against TSM involved Vladimir going all the way down to kill enemy carries and win. It was abundantly clear that the leading NA team didn’t know how to counter the strategy, evidenced by their stress on the backline.
Coach Sheepy also said that seeing today’s games, he believed his team definitely had what it took to advance to Rift Rivals finals. He then fired back at TSM by calling them a “scrappy team” and responded, “It’s not fair [to call us scrappy] for this season because we have been improving a lot, and we showed it today.” He reminded viewers that UOL is focused on the game without names affecting their plays.
He commented that the reason NA’s presence is strong at the event is perhaps NA’s strict adherence to the meta, which works well against G2 and Fnatic. Additionally, the coach added that NA may have found an answer to Fnatic’s playstyle, one that other EU teams could not do.
For the last question of the interview, he was asked which NA team he was most afraid of facing, to which he replied, “I would’ve said TSM, but I’m not as afraid of them now that we played them today. C9 didn’t seem strong when we played them, but I’d like to see a rematch against P1 since we lost to them. I love playing against Ryu because he was a good mid laner back then and still is.”