Team Liquid’s Yilliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng weighed in on the NA vs EU debate following Team Liquid’s loss to G2 Esports in the MSI 2019 final.
The NA vs EU debate is the oldest rivalry in League of Legends, predating the rise of South Korea and more recently China as dominant forces in international LoL.
In the last seven years, however, that rivalry has counted only for which region can perform the best before ultimately losing to the best teams from South Korea or China, with the exception of the far less meaningful Rift Rivals in which NA and EU clash directly.
At this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, however, NA and EU met in perhaps their most meaningful head-to-head battle ever, with LCS champions Team Liquid facing LEC champions G2 Esports in the final.
Unfortunately for Team Liquid, the final was rather one-sided in favor of G2 Esports, with the European representative setting a new record for the fastest international best-of-five final win in their 3-0 sweep.
In the wake of their loss, TL star Doublelift was asked about the NA vs EU rival and his own rivalry with Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković, the former mid-laner who role-swapped to AD Carry for the start of 2019.
“Perkz played better than me today,” Doublelift admitted. “Can’t argue with results, EU is better.”
MSI wasn’t without successes for Team Liquid, however. For Doublelift, it marked the first time in his career that he’s managed to escape the group stage of an international event, a result he swiftly followed up with victory over reigning World Champions and tournament favorites Invictus Gaming in the semi-finals.
Though Team Liquid’s accomplishments were somewhat overshadowed by G2 actually taking home the trophy, the first time an EU has claimed a major international title since the Season One Championship, they were one half of a final that signified a major shift in League of Legends’ power balance.
In combination with Fnatic’s second-place finish at the 2018 World Championship – as well as Cloud9 and G2 Esports’ appearances in the semi-finals – this year’s MSI marks the first time since the ascent of South Korea in Season 3 that western teams have legitimately been able to go toe-to-toe with the best of the east.
As teams now return to their domestic leagues for the Summer Split, it very much seems that this year’s World Championship could ultimately rest in the hands of any of the major regions.