The biggest rivalry in all of League of Legends isn’t between two teams, it’s between two regions; North America versus Europe. During regular season play you can expect jabs thrown at the opposing region by casters, players, and fans. The relationship between North America and Europe is akin to the volatile relationship shared between brothers. During the regular season it’s all about teasing the region that didn’t live up to standards the season previous. When it really matters, at Worlds, the regions band together against the juggernaut Asian teams, cheering for any foreign team to successfully complete an upset. And then the cycle resets when the new season begins again.
We have to wait for Worlds, IEMs, or MSIs to see how these regions truly stack up against each other. Until then we can dream. Here are the biggest NA LCS vs. EU LCS match-ups that I want to see this season:
G2 vs Immortals
I imagine this game would have a lot of team fights like this.
What could be more exciting than two teams who love to scrap? This heavyweight match up would put a lot of pressure on superstar junglers Trick and ReignOver, who would likely determine the fate of this game. G2 has an advantage in the mid lane with Perkz being the favorite over Pobelter, but then you have an equally mismatched top lane with Huni facing off against Kikis, who wasn’t a top lane player until the beginning of the split! The bottom lane would likely be a close battle. Emperor’s mechanics have been hyped up for a long time now, but his chemistry with support Hybrid has been questionable at times. WildTurtle and Adrian probably can’t match those mechanics, but they have the superior synergy.
Winner: Immortals. Although Immortals did look beatable in their recent win over Renegades, the natural synergy they’ve demonstrated this season would conquer the mechanical advantage G2 has over them.
Vitality vs Counter Logic Gaming
These teams are almost identical to each other. Carry top laners, team focused mid laners and AD carries, and a shot calling support. The biggest difference comes in their respective junglers. Xmithie continues the CLG trend of being team focused, while Shook is much more aggressive and ganks frequently. This is another match up where the European team is at a mechanical advantage. This time the advantage is too much for the North American team. The 2v2 of Cabochard and Shook is too strong for Darshan and Xmithie to handle.
Winner: Vitality. The stronger top lane/jungler duo in addition to Vitality’s consistently strong pick and ban phase would be enough to take down CLG.
Cloud 9 vs H2K
An example of Hai’s legendary shot calling. Headphone users warning: lots of the loud screaming you expect on Sneaky’s stream.
A Cloud 9 team lead by a legendary shot caller against a disciplined H2K roster that adheres to a pre-determined plan drafted up by coach pr0lly. This game would be a clinic on League of Legends strategy. H2K are the clear favorites with a large advantage in every lane except mid. The only way Cloud 9 wins this game is if they are able to win by a strategic play that throws H2K off their own game plan. Cassiopeia top?
Winner: H2K. They are the better team. Cloud 9 always comes out strong as the underdog and they shouldn’t be ruled out, but H2K certainly has the better odds in this match-up.
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TSM vs Unicorns of Love
Steelback has shown enormous improvement since we last saw him in the LCS. Here he is demolishing his former team, Fnatic.
TSM is under performing and Unicorns of Love are over performing. TSM is a super team consisting of all-star caliber players in each role. Unicorns of Love are a group of misfit players that other organizations chose to replace. These two teams could not be more different, and that’s what makes this match-up exciting.
Winner: If this game took place today, you would have to give Unicorns of Love the better odds. This is a team that continues to perform despite forced roster swaps no matter who they are up against. They never look outclassed on Summoner’s Rift. TSM’s roster is certainly capable, but potential doesn’t win games. If this game took place at the end of the split; you have to think TSM will have synergized enough as a team to become the favorite.
NA Vs. EU: 2016 Spring Split
At this current point in time it’s easy to acknowledge that the EU LCS is the tougher league.
In North America, the standings are much more defined. Your top teams are IMT, CLG, C9, and TSM. The middle of the pack is Echo Fox, Team Liquid, and NRG Esports, with Dignitas, Renegades, and Team Impulse sitting at the bottom.
In Europe things are more fluid. You’ve got G2, H2K, VIT, and UOL leading the way, but FNC and OG are only a 2-0 week away from being top-tier worthy. ROC and EL find themselves in the middle, with GIA and SPY being the bottom tier teams.
It’s fun to imagine how many great match-ups we’d be able to see if the two leagues merged. I aired out my wishlist in this article, and hope that at least a couple of these pan out at a future international event.