When NA took EU down at the start of Rift Rivals 2019 in the show match, LCS fans hoped it would set the tone for the day. Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly the case.
NA's showmatch win ended up being the highlight of the day, with TSM, Team Liquid, and Cloud9 unable to take a game off of the visiting European teams in standard 5v5 play. For now, NA will have to hold onto its show match and 2v2 glory.
Team Liquid Owner and Co-CEO Steve "LiQuiD112" Arhancet got to turn back the clock. The former Support main has not played competitively in over five years, but got to dust off his skills on Lux in a relatively one-sided victory for North America.
Arhancet caught up with Lara Lunardi after the show match win to talk about his return to the professional stage and his expectations for the LCS teams at Rift Rivals. "That was a lot of fun to play," said Arhancet. "I will probably re-watch it later and enjoy it again."
Despite his admirable performance, Arhancet caught plenty of flack from TSM owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh. "Andy was not giving me a lot of confidence...He said 'Steve! You're the lowest ranked person on our team! You're going to lose us the game!"
Friendly banter and fun aside, Arhancet pointed out that the environment of Rift Rivals 2019 sported less gravity than any domestic leagues or other international tournaments. While LEC is favored in the clash, and day 1 proved that analysis on-base, Arhancet showed hope for North America that may hold up when all is said and done.
"Going into these matches, there is not as much pressure, and so I feel like our team is really going to shine...Right now, EU has our number, but time will tell."