Rift Rivals LCK-LPL-LMS-VCS preview

Rift Rivals LCK-LPL-LMS-VCS preview
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Rift Rivals gets under way for the Asian teams on Thursday with this being one of the most anticipated events of the year.

With multiple teams arriving in Seoul in poor form, it will be fascinating to see if they can use this event as an opportunity to build momentum.

In contrast to many of their rivals, Griffin are clearly a team in form at the moment but they will be wary of teams throwing caution to the wind.

LCK looking to bounce back

The LCK has, in previous years, been regarded as the best league in the world. However, after its teams’ struggles on the international stage continued into 2019, there is massive pressure for this region to perform.

SK telecom T1 have long been the team looked upon to carry Korea’s hopes internationally, but they have had prolonged issues that have plagued them following the Mid Season Invitational and they now have a surprisingly-poor 3-5 record in the Summer season.

Faker remains one of the best players in the world, however, and SKT are the type of team capable of flicking a switch and becoming brilliant once again. Teddy has been one of the players at maintaining his peak level and he will certainly be tested against some stiff competition here.

Griffin lack experience

In terms of current form for the LCK the weight of pressure falls on Griffin, although they lack international experience. Here they have a chance to finally prove themselves against competition from around the world.

With their only loss in the Summer season having come against the other 7-1 squad, SANDBOX Gaming, Griffin have been a model of consistency in the regular season ever since their addition to the LCK.

Tarzan is respected around the world for his play in the Jungle, and with Trundle becoming a more and more popular pick, the sky appears to be the limit for both Tarzan and Griffin as a whole.

The Bottom side of Viper and Lehends has incredibly high mechanical skill combined with a willingness to innovate new picks before teams have time to adapt.

Rookie return could be key

Invictus Gaming have been far from their 2018 world champion selves of late, albeit with specific circumstances being a massive factor.

Rookie had to step away earlier in the current split due to a health issue in the family, with Forge taking his place. The latest word is that Rookie will be returning to the fold for Rift Rivals and it will be instructive to see if he is straight back up to speed. With Rookie’s status as one of the top players in the world, his return could have a massive impact.

With a 4-3 record in the LPL Summer season that includes a recent loss to the previously 2-3 JD Gaming, there is major concern about what IG will be able to show at Rift Rivals.

Given the shifts in the Top side between TheShy and Duke, players such as Ning and JackeyLove will be called upon to bring back the fire within IG and to help propel the LPL back to the brilliance it displayed throughout 2018.

Flash Wolves arrive in a funk

For the LMS/VCS, the Flash Wolves enter at a surprisingly low point with a 1-5 mark in their Summer season – their only victory coming against another one-win team in Alpha Esports.

This follows a dominant showing in the Spring finals that saw the Wolves sweep MAD Team 3-0.

The shining stars of this squad in the Spring were Top-laner Hanabi and Bottom-laner Betty, but they have yet to deliver Summer positive results as the LMS nears the halfway point.

While dominant within the LMS over many years, Flash Wolves have also always had a knack for making noise in international events, in particular against the LCK sides, and they will be looking to find that type of success once again here.