League of Legends: we need to bring back Battle of the Atlantic

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Over the years, the North America/Europe League of Legends rivalry has simmered, and Battle of the Atlantic was the perfect proving grounds for the best teams from each region

So EU and NA have some beef. It probably has to do with two regions whose narratives have been built on very different foundations over the years, compounded by significant cultural differences and the competition inherent in any sport. Whatever the reason, NA and EU have always had beef and will always have beef.

And we love it.

Whenever I watch international competition, in fact – be it MSI or Worlds – I have one hope burning in my heart. I don’t hold out hope that my team will beat the Koreans. Or the Chinese. Or the Taiwanese, even. Optimistic as I am, I’m not entirely delusional.

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I just want NA to crush EU.

My C9 and CLG  – and yes, even TSM – have the chance (certainly a chance, if nothing else) to wipe the smug little smirk curling across those slender European faces. And that’s enough; at least one European squad will inevitably finish higher than the best NA squad when the dust settles, but you know the saying. If you can’t beat ‘em, make ‘em bleed.

Which is why Battle of the Atlantic, for that first glorious tournament (before being mercilessly bastardized into All Stars, then Rift Rivals) was so amazing.

And why we need to bring it back.

Shortly after Worlds had ended, and as the tensions and rivalries had begun to ebb, it was announced that Riot would be sponsoring another tournament during the offseason between 2013 Summer and 2014 Spring. It was to be called the Battle of the Atlantic, and it would pit the top squads from Europe and NA against one another, sending our nationalistic glee into overdrive.

After all, both regions had just left a World Championship feeling utterly humiliated by the Korean juggernaut of SKT. EU had the questionable solace of finishing higher than NA, while NA had just kicked off their proud tradition of holding an empty bag at the end of an international competition.

In other words, NA and EU were looking to take out some aggression, and Battle of the Atlantic gave them the perfect excuse.

And that was the genius of the event; it didn’t create “superteams” from fan votes; it didn’t feature an impressive prize pool (even by Riot’s standards, the $25,000 the teams were competing for was pretty lame). No, the competition was fueled by something much more effective than either of these novelties.

Our hatred for one another, and a really, really solid format.