On Wednesday, Riot Games revealed details for the upcoming Rift Rivals EU vs. NA edition. The minor cross-regional tournament has been on the esports calendar since 2017, but it’s far from the most popular event on the circuit.
And when it comes to the 2019 issue and how and where it’s schedule, one player at least is not at all excited. G2 Esports bot laner Luka “Perkz” Perković spoke on his stream about his feelings — or lack thereof — towards Rift Rivals.
“Honestly, I couldn’t care any less about Rift Rivals. I don’t think the tournament has place in such stacked season already. I think Riot should remove Rift Rivals. And the fact that we actually have to fly to NA is even worse. We already fly so much.”
Perkz makes a good point about travelling. With a very short break after the end of the LEC Spring Split in Berlin, G2 flew to the Netherlands for the finals, spending a week on the road. From there, they were on to Taipei for the MSI 2019 main event, and back to Berlin. Three weeks after the start of the LEC Summer Split, they will be Los Angeles-bound for Rift Rivals, and even though the LEC is getting a break after Rift Rivals, that’s actually more opportunities for the teams not attending to catch-up.
The event itself has had mixed success. Viewership wise, the 2018 editions for the main regions (i.e. EU-NA and CN-KR-TW), had viewership peaks between 232,000 and 273,000. The minor regions, however, couldn’t generate much interest and were cancelled by Riot Games this March.
While viewership is certainly not bad, the event itself means little to the competitors themselves. Beyond some regional pride points, a trophy co-shared between three teams doesn’t bring much.
With MSI 2019 just ending with an EU vs. NA grand final, however, Rift Rivals EU-NA could see better viewership and generate more interest overall. The event comes on stream June 24-27, from the LCS studio in Los Angeles.