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Rift Rivals: UOL ends TSM's unbeaten run

LoL Michael “Zechs_” Radford

The second day of Rift Rivals is in the books. After a 4-2 success for North America on day one, things were much more even on day two.

Unicorns of Love and Cloud 9 started day two with an ambitious invade from the American team. UOL punished it, picking up a kill for Samux’s Twitch, only to have it equalised almost immediately. Contractz was by far the more active jungler, and three successful ganks put his team 1500 gold ahead. Towers were traded evenly, maintaining Cloud 9’s lead without really extending it. UOL made the first decisive move, though, starting up baron as it spawned, securing it and multiple kills. The game flipped completely, giving UOL several kills, turrets and even two inhibitors within the buff’s duration. The game spiralled out of control from there and UOL put their opponents out of their misery in under 27 minutes.

Phoenix 1 carried on where they left off yesterday, coming fast out of the gates against G2 esports. They were the benefactors of a bloody opening 15 minutes, taking eight kills to two and opening up a 2k gold lead. Mikeyeung led the charge of Lee Sin and when he secured a baron 22 minutes in, the game looked all but over. It didn’t take long for P1 to close out the game from there and, with three of their players going deathless, this was one of the most one-sided games of the tournament.

Fnatic capitalised heavily on an early gank in the third game of the day, immediately converting it into first tower gold. Team Solo Mid traded it back and picked up an ocean drake, but Fnatic held a small lead as the mid-game approached. The game stayed even for a long time, though TSM were able to get multiple drakes, including two infernals. The extra damage helped TSM win skirmish after skirmish, eventually taking baron of the back of pick-off kills and opening up a 5k gold lead after half an hour. The pink buff was still up when TSM ended the game.

Both Cloud 9 and G2 went into the next game with 1-2 record and neither team was able to take a firm grip on the game. C9 took the lead in a cagey game with an extra tower and a couple of kills putting them about 1k ahead 20 minutes in. The game started to get scrappy, with skirmish after skirmish letting G2 back into the game. But a pick on Trick gave C9 their cue to take a baron, reasserting their grip on the game. Contractz’ Kha’Zix was beastly, and after picking up a second baron his team were able to close out their 2nd win.

Next up, Fnatic were looking to put a stop to Europe’s capitulation but found themselves behind yet again. Phoenix 1 were up in kills, up in drakes and up in gold as the game wore on but it was a small lead. Then things got messy. Fnatic grabbed a kill and snuck a baron but gave up four kills for just one in return. P1 took the next baron after yet another skirmish went their way Then, out of nowhere, Fnatic won a miracle fight and walked down mid to end the game. It really was as abrupt as that.

Undefeated TSM were up against UOL in the final game of the day. They dominated the early game but as time wore on, the game got messy and UOL thrived in the chaos. Down 3k gold, they managed to score an ace, which turned into a baron and an even gold score. Now UOL were in the ascendancy and they wouldn’t let it slide. The next baron was the go signal for Unicorns, who secured it alongside a clean ace, which was enough to put an end to TSM’s undefeated streak.

Image courtesy of UOL Twitter.

Michael “Zechs_” Radford

Michael "Zechs" Radford is an esports veteran and has been writing about professional gaming for longer than he cares to remember. He currently lives in Leeds and is hoping his upcoming offspring will be talented enough to play esports professionally rather than just write about other people doing it.

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