The Rift Rivals Event Pits the Best NA Teams against the Europeans
It is time for the second most important League of Legends event of the year, as the Rift Rivals tournament begins on Thursday evening. The best three North American teams will play against three top opponents from Europe, for their region and a share of the guaranteed prize pool. The Rift Rivals NA vs EU begins with the group stage, during which each team plays three matches against a squad from the opposing region. During the entire competition all the matches are played in a best of one format.
At the end of the group stage, the Rift Rivals tournament continues with the finals, which is a relay race. At this point, every team has to play at least a game in the best-of-five series, with the better performing region from the group stage having a slight advantage. They will counter pick teams for the opening three games, while the final rounds two teams from Europe and North America will be selected simultaneously. The Rift Rivals schedule for 2019 will include a total of 14 games, so punters have multiple betting opportunities at leading bookmakers.
Europe is Heavily Favourite in Rift Rivals Round 1
On Thursday night, the Rift Rivals begins with four matches and for the first time in many years, European teams are the big favorites. Fnatic are the only ones to play two games in the opening ground, as the Rift Rivals schedule pits them against the leaders of the North American region. In their first game, Fnatic play against Team Liquid, the strongest squad fielded by the Americans. Even so, Rivalry expects the Europeans to prevail in this best of one series and offers odds of 7/10 on their triumph. Team Liquid lost just two games in the LCS Summer 2019 season and gets tempting odds of 11/10 to cause an upset.
Fnatic will have another opportunity at giving the European region an early lead in the Rift Rivals NA vs EU, later on Thursday. That’s when they play against Cloud9, one of the four teams in North America with five victories and three defeats. This time, the same bookmaker offers odds of 3/5 on Fnatic while pricing Cloud9 at 13/10. These guys are immensely talented but they are underdogs for a good reason, since they have struggled in recent weeks. There is, however, no better opportunity to return to form than by winning the first match at the Rift Rivals 2019, against an accomplished opponent.
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Fnatic will play two matches for the Europeans on the opening day of the Rift Rivals, but it is actually G2 Esports that play the first match. They are overwhelming favorites in every single game at the tournament and no other game is as lopsided as the opening one against Cloud9. Their perfect streak has ended abruptly last weekend when they lost to their archrivals in the LEC Summer 2019 season, but they are still a force to be reckoned with. ArcaneBet only offers odds of 1/4 on G2 Esports to defeat Cloud9, while punters who were bold enough as to bet on the underdogs will be paid at 5/2.
The most balanced match of the day is the one between Team SoloMid and Origen, with a slight edge for the Europeans. Origen are actually fourth in the domestic championship, behind Splyce, but they will represent the continent at the Rift Rivals NA vs EU. Recent results are rather disappointing, but even so, the odds don’t exceed 3/4 on them to win the third match of the day. North American fans willing to take a leap of faith with Team SoloMid will double their profits if their favourites find a way to win.
G2 Esports Carry the Flag for Europe on Day 2
The Rift Rivals schedule gets busier on Friday evening, when four games are scheduled. G2 Esports play twice against Team SoloMid and Team Liquid and each time they are heavy favorites, with odds of 3/10 at Pinnacle Sports. The reigning Midseason Invitational champions have the more experience roster and an excellent track record against North American opponents. This explains why Team SoloMid and Team Liquid get odds of 2/1 to prevail and aren’t expected to shift the balance of power in the Rift Rivals 2019.
On the second day of the League of Legends Rift Rivals, some of the more balanced games are scheduled and both of them involve Origen. In the first match, they play against Cloud 9 and once again they get similar esports odds as they did on day one. Punters should wait until for that result, to see if it’s worth backing the favorites at 7/10 or take their chances with Cloud 9 at 11/10. The most balanced match at the Rift Rivals NA vs EU pits Origen against Team Liquid and each team gets identical odds of 9/10. This match looks like the perfect coin flip and it is the only one where the North Americans could be favourites.
The League of Legends Rift Rivals group stage concludes with a match between Team SoloMid and Fnatic. At this point in the competition, Europe should be so far ahead that the outcome of this match shouldn’t really matter. This means that punters could take a leap of faith with the North Americans, especially if the odds hold at 13/10. Fnatic are not the kind of team to crack under pressure, but they do have a hard time focusing when they are far ahead. There’s a good chance for the Europeans to already think about the Rift Rivals 2019 playoffs and pay less attention to the final match in the group stage.