SEA has a lot to prove this year.
With SEA’s solo carry from last year’s Rift Rivals in the Gigabyte Marines no longer being part of the region, the other nations from South-East Asia will have to dig deep and fight hard if they want to find any success in Sydney during Rift Rivals 2018.
The SEA region has always been the oddball, with the old GPL being considered more as a Champions league-esque event, which the best of the best from a number of national leagues coming together to fight it out in a short, but packed tournament to determine who will be representing the region internationally. The SEA region has had two dominant national leagues, the Taiwanese/Hong Kong/Macau LMS, and more recently the Vietnamese VCS graduate out of the region and become their own fully fledged independent regional leagues which grant their own international spots.
The new SEA tour, replacing the GPL, has not yet started, with the qualifiers for the National qualifiers currently taking place. Ascension Gaming, Kuala Lumpur Hunters, and Mineski were automatically granted spots to their respective national qualifiers, which means Rift Rivals is the first time we have seen the three SEA representatives play this split.
Mineski is a fan favourite in both the SEA region and around the world, most well known for their appearance in the group stage of the Season 3 World Championship. Mineski has been around South-East Asia and the Philippines throughout the years since, pumping out consistent highly rated results in the GPL, as well as 3 national titles in the Philippines.
The roster still retains a core of the Season 3 Worlds lineup in top laner Kaigu, mid laner Exosen and support Tgee, complemented with Korean jungler Jjun, as well as Korean bot laner Gari. they are also supported by their active 6th man in Hamezz. He is able to sub into every single role, and has brought change and thrown chaos into the game whenever he has been subbed in.
Mineski had essentially a perfect split in the Philippines, with a 7-0 regular season, in which they only dropped three games They then steamrolled through the playoffs, achieving two 3-0s on their way to claiming the Filipino championship. In the GPL they started off strong, tieing for the top of the group with a 3-1 scoreline, but were set back in the semis with a 3-1 loss to the Kuala Lumpur Hunters. They were able to redeem themselves in the minor final however, defeating the Singaporean Champion’s Sovereign in a 3-0 to claim 3rd place and the last spot at Rift Rivals for South-East Asia. They will be hoping to support their region in their bid to win and become the champions of the ocean.
Kuala Lumpur Hunters (Malaysia)
The Kuala Lumpur Hunters have been a mainstay of both the GPL and the Malaysian league, having attended all 14 seasons of the GPL, as well as winning 6 Malaysian championships in a row. The Malay lineup consists of top laner Shiro, long standing jungler QaspieL, mid laner ArrHedge, bot laner OzoraVeki, and support SOUPerior, who has recently rejoined the team after an 18 month hiatus from league.
The team has struggled to find success in the GPL throughout the years, finding it impossible to break the barrier of 3rd/4th place until this last april, where they steamrolled Mineski 3-1 in the semis, before losing 1-3 to Ascension in the final. This will be the first time that the KL hunters have competed at a Riot international event, and will want to make a great first impressions to those outside the SEA region.
Ascension Gaming (Indonesia)
Ascension Gaming are the number one representative for SEA and the back to back to back champion of Thailand. Their roster has a core of former Bangkok Titan players (yes the very same Bangkok Titans that defeated The Chiefs 3-1 at the IWC Turkey Final in 2015 to claim a place at Worlds): including mid laner G4, and bot laner Lloyd, flanked by top laner Rockky, support Rich and newly acquired starting jungler Delpain.
This roster is by far one of the strongest in both Thailand as well as South-East Asia, dropping only 3 games, 1 in Thailand and 2 in the GPL on their way to claiming the last GPL title. After a relatively poor showing at MSI, being tied for last in Group A of the Play-In stages with a record of 2-4, Ascension want to prove they have what it takes to win big internationally.
The Pacific Rift Rivals tournament between South-East Asia’s SEA Tour, Japan’s LJL and Oceania’s OPL continues with the last day of group stages tonight!
One of these regions will be eliminated at the end of the night, and with the competition being tight, everyone is still in the firing line. You can catch the action over on Twitch.