Hey folks! Today we will be taking a look at the new upcoming 2017 Rift Rivals tournament that will be hosted by Riot. Despite being considered a single tournament, it will be split into five sections which are referred to as “Rifts” and will feature regional battles between the best teams in each region. Although every split has a start and end date, the earliest Rift will start on July 3rd and the final one will end on July 9th. Without further ado let’s take a look at the format, betting predictions, and which squads to look out for!
Every rift will have a set format and it’s not the same for all of them. Starting off with the Blue and Green splits, the format for both of them is simple. Each region’s top teams will face off against the other region’s top crews in a Double Round Robin. At the end of the Round Robin, the squads with the best results for each region will face off in the Finals to determine the winner of the Rift. When it comes to the Red and Yellow divisions, the format is slightly different. The group stage will consist of a single round robin with every region’s teams facing off against the other regions’ best crews.
At the end of the group stage, the winning region advances to the finals while the 2nd and 3rd places face off in a Best of 5 with the match-up being determined by the coaches for each side. The winner of that faces off against the 1st place region from the groups in the Finals to determine the winner of the Rift. And finally, the Purple one has a similar format with one difference. In the Semifinals the 2nd and 3rd place regions will face off in a Last Man Standing Gauntlet. The winner of that will advance to the Finals to determine the winner of the Rift.
Teams to look out for
As with any international event, the biggest squad to look at is и. The big question as always is whether or not someone will be able to take them down. Although the other Korean crews are strong, SKT is expected to perform the best out of all these teams. Until they are beaten by someone in an important match, SKT will always be the safest betting prediction when it comes to a big event.
For North America, it would have to be Team SoloMid. After losing to Cloud9 in Week 5 of the NA LCS, they took down the #1 squad Immortals and are going into the event with some momentum. Although they haven’t been super dominant in the summer split, they are still considered by a lot of people as the best team in NA.
Over in Europe, the hottest team heading into the Blue division is without a doubt Fnatic. Not only have they looked the best out of any European team but they are doing it with a unique playstyle that doesn’t emulate Korean crews. With G2 looking weak right now and Unicorns playing too great recently, all eyes should be on Fnatic if you’re an EU fan.
Despite WE, EDG and RNG attending 2017 Rift Rivals the team to look at will be OMG. Not only are they looking really good right now but this is also their first international event since 2014. Although in terms of individual talent OMG are arguably weaker than most squads, their teamwork and ability to step up to the level of their opponent is what might take them further than what people might expect of them.
J Team from the LMS is a crew that looked really hot in the regular season last year but similarly to Immortals of 2016, they couldn’t achieve the same results in playoffs. Now after looking hot in the regular season again, they will be attending Rift Rivals and will be looking to prove their doubters wrong.
Over in the Yellow division, it’s Lyon Gaming, RED Canids and Isurus Gaming that are the expected favorites. All three teams are coming from an MSI appearance. Although all of them ended up getting knocked out in the Play-In stage, they still showcased they had what it takes to make it to MSI, making them the strongest squads in their respective leagues.
In a similar fashion over in the Purple split the MSI teams GIGABYTE Marines, Dire Wolves and Rampage will be the crews to look at. GIGABYTE Marines especially are coming off of a big showing in the MSI group stage. Despite their performance, however, the team has lost Stark and Slay and have replaced them with Nevan and NoWay respectively. The roster retains the core of Levi and Optimus which will make them the favorites of this Rift.
Finally, in the Green division, the most notable teams are M19 and Supermassive. The crew formerly known as Albus NoX Luna will be making it back to the international stage after losing PvPStejos and Kira, two crucial members to their success in 2016. They will be looking to prove they are still a solid squad despite changes to the team. Supermassive was the team that lost to GIGABYTE Marines at MSI and barely didn’t make the Group Stage. After losing star support Dumbledoge they will also be looking to prove that the loss of their biggest star hasn’t slowed them down.
Rift Rivals Betting predictions and conclusion
Unfortunately, our predictions aren’t too insane. For the Blue Rift we are expecting Fnatic to take it home for Europe. Although the NA teams may put up a solid fight, Fnatic’s ability to push a lead and their unorthodox playstyle will get them the win. SKT is our definitive pick for the Red split for obvious reasons. Over in the Yellow division, we’ll be going with the RED Canids although Lyon Gaming may give them a run for their money. For the Purple Rift, we’re picking the GIGABYTE Marines to continue looking dominant thanks to Levi and Optimus and to also win the competition. And finally, for the Green division, we’ll be taking Supermassive. While the loss of Dumbledoge is tough for them, they have still retained most of their team and will likely do well enough to win the Rift.
In conclusion, although Rift Rivals 2017 seems like a fun tournament that will be very exciting to watch, it doesn’t seem like the most serious event and shouldn’t be taken too seriously either. Teams should use it as a way to practice and test their skills against other regions while the fans should watch it purely for entertainment purposes and banter.