Even the LMS analysts had no hope for the region.

Most teams braced themselves for a 0-8 finish in the Group Stage. Imagine their surprise when M17 took a game off OMG, who had a 6-0 standing for LPL.

M17 after earning LMS their first win of the competition

In a way, M17’s Day 1 win gave LMS the hope to do well, riding on the wave of their victory to try even harder than they ever had before.

As Day 2 approached, all LMS teams entered with renewed vigor, ready to strike at the teams that were in their way. With Thresh as their common factor, J Team, Flash Wolves, and even AHQ lay the Death Sentence on their foes EDG, WE and KT respectively. This brought the LMS scoreline to 4-4, significantly better than LPL’s 2-6.

FoFo before an interview for taking a win off EDG

Heading into Day 3, LMS fought their hardest as a group, with Flash Wolves taking a convincing win against OMG and AHQ finally beating EDG since S4 in a 62 minute game. JT and M17 also tried their hardest but were ultimately outclassed by WE and RNG.

AN looking at his own Damage Dealt after a 62 minute game against EDG

Eventually, it was time for the final showdown between Flash Wolves and World Elite. And while Flash Wolves tried their hardest, their draft and unfamiliarity with Zac cost them their early advantage and allowed Mystic’s Kog’Maw to scale. Also, earlier in the week, Maple was hospitalized for around 10 hours to treat a mild case of appendicitis.

Flash Wolves after their dominating win against OMG

Even though LMS bowed out early in the tournament, they have achieved more than what was expected of them considering the shaky start they had in the Summer Split.

Rift Rivals will serve to be a valuable lesson to all teams involved and will hopefully make the region much stronger than it was just a week prior.

In the words of Jordan Corby, M17’s coach, “LMS is a region with low player base, almost no imports, and very low financial stability. I think the region has punched above its weight.”