Welcome to the Rift Rivals Recap for the Grand Finals! It was a tremendous battle between Oceania and Southeast Asia, and here’s where I’ll be recapping the games from today, so if you can’t watch the epic matches going down live, here’s a place for you to catch up! Thanks to all of you who’ve been reading all week, and until next time!
The Rift Rivals Grand Finals format is a blind relay, where each time simultaneously picks a team to go out and they don’t know who they are playing until they step onto the stage. The first three games have to include each team at least once, but games four and five can be anyone’s game.
Game 1 – Mineski vs Dire Wolves
The first game of the Grand Finals demonstrated two different strategies from the two regions, with the OPL putting their best foot forward in their champion Dire Wolves while SEA put forward their third seed in Mineski who had still arguably looked very good in their two games against Legacy and Unsold Stuff Gaming. Mineski came out swinging, aggressive play all over the board until they finally got the kill they wanted onto k1ng for First Blood, following up minutes later to send Cupcake to the grey screen. Next up was the Rift Herald, and whilst it was traded for the Mountain Drake, a massive chunk of damage onto Triple gave Mineski mid-priority and down went first turret as well as a kill onto k1ng.
Multiple turrets and kills went down, with Mineski still in the lead but the Wolfpack remaining on their tail until the 22 minute mark where SEA’s third seed won a fantastic fight to take the Baron as well and cement their 5k gold lead. Again and again Mineski pounded the base, and finally found the fight they were looking for. With a phenomenal initiation from Hamezz, Mineski steamrolled over the Wolfpack and took the game, incidentally ending the Dire Wolves’ undefeated run this year.
Game 2 – Ascension Gaming vs Legacy Esports
The next game was the reverse of Game 1 as Oceania’s third seed went up against SEA’s first seed in Ascension Gaming. WIth a gold-funnelling strat from Delpain and G4, G4’s Irelia was very strong heading into the lane against Claire’s Zoe. However, Mimic’s Aatrox was incredibly strong, enabling him to take first turret against Rockky’s Darius, with the Rift Herald following minutes later. After securing the Mountain Drake, Legacy rotated through the map as they dropped the Herald in the midlane to take that turret before moving top and killing Rockky for First Blood.
The teamfight in the toplane at 15 minutes yielded two kills for Legacy, only losing Claire in the process, and moved to take the toplane inhibitor turret, taking it down successfully before retreating. As Ascension took themselves the botlane inner, Legacy moved upwards before doubling back to pop Delpain and taking the ensuing teamfight to grow their lead to 5k before 20 minutes. With the game slipping away, Ascension made their move and were punished as Mimic unleashed once more on the Aatrox, however Baron wasn’t on the cards. They kept fighting and kept winning, but not enough that they could take down the worm outright. Shockingly, after the fights consistently went Legacy’s way, Ascension started winning fights and stopped Legacy in their tracks. The fights went back and forward, but Claire on Zoe stepped up and won a 1v4 as he killed two of them and slept another before stealing the Elder Dragon on the way to acing Ascension and equalising the series 1-1.
Game 3 – Kuala Lumpur Hunters vs Chiefs Esports Club
The last compulsory team game was the battle of the second seeds as Chiefs went up against KL Hunters. Swip3rR took his Kled once again and Babip ganked super early to give him First Blood against Shiro’s Rumble. With Malzahar’s outplay button, QaspieL on Xin Zhao took the kill onto ry0ma’s Irelia to even up the kill count. Fights around the map gave kills to each team, with Chiefs having a slight gold lead. However, as the Hunters tried to make a play, the Chiefs shut them down as they started an extended fight and almost aced the SEA’s second seed.
Both teams danced around the Baron for an inordinate amount of time, occasionally peeling off for a small skirmish as the gold lead slowly grew for the Chiefs. As the game closed in on 30 minutes, Destiny unleashed onto KLH and it was simply cleanup duty as they killed 2 members of the Hunters and took out the rest of them when they unsuccessfully attempted to contest the Baron. After laying siege to KLH’s base multiple times, the Chiefs won a teamfight off the back of their retreat and returned of the scene of the crime to take the third game and push Oceania to match point
Game 4 – Mineski vs Chiefs Esports Club
Oceania’s first crack at taking the title would be through the Chiefs Esports Club as they took on third seed Mineski, and it didn’t start right for Oceania as Jjun’s Xin Zhao joined the Vladimir + Gragas botlane to kill Raes’ Swain before minions even arrived. Kills bounced between each of the teams, and by 10 minutes the Chiefs were ahead by only 1k, but first turret and Rift Herald began to add to that. A cross-map battle gave more turrets and kills to the Chiefs, and they next moved to take the Ocean Drake at 15 minutes and took an Ace to boot thanks to Swip3rR’s playoff buff on Dr. Mundo.
— The Chiefs Esports Club (@ChiefsESC) July 5, 2018
A breakout fight just before the Baron spawned was completely taken over by the Chiefs as Swip3rR ran past 3 turrets to chase down his final kills, and with a gold lead totalling 9k, every second meant the game was slipping away. Finally deciding to go to the Baron, with Swip3rR running interference, ryoma peeled off to pick up the first Pentakill of Rift Rivals on Irelia as their gold lead continued to snowball to 13k at the 27 minute mark. The game was at the end as the Chiefs ran in and won Rift Rivals for Oceania!
Thanks for tuning into RespawnNinja’s Rift Rivals coverage! We’ll be back next week with OPL, so if you enjoyed this definitely read up on our weekly instalments on the Oceanic Pro League. We’ll see you next time!