The new European “super” team played in their first League of Legends tournament today, cruising to victory in this month’s Solomid invitational, a low-level pro tournament series, under the moniker Rest in Pepperonis (RIP).
The squad, filled with former League Championship Series (LCS) players, had little competition from the Challenger level field, but still pulled in $1,200 for their effort.
“Rest in Pepperonis” was a phrase uttered by support Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez during Ninjas in Pyjama’s (NiP) League Championship Series relegation match against Millenium. Rodriguez used it to memorialize the death of his mid laner Erland “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm to a tower after a successful dive. The team seems to have adopted it in lieu of an official roster and organization.
But the tag RIP is also a play on words, an homage to the three former NiP players and, perhaps, a grim evaluation of the team's failed Challenger bid. For fans, it may be a different kind of death knell: seeing RIP Alex Ich in-game and on a Challenger team signifies the end of the LCS career of one of League’s greatest superstars.
Former Gambit Gaming mid laner Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin has indeed switched to the top lane, though his champion pool remained familiar. In the first game against Mousesports, he pulled out his signature Kha’Zix, rarely seen in the top lane, and posted a team leading 8/1/5 KDA mark.
RIP nearly fell in the first map of the final series against Invaders, suffering disaster during an aggressive level one invade that saw RIP lose three players. Invaders took a huge lead and even secured a 15 minute Baron, giving them a lead so insurmountable many teams would have surrendered.
But RIP managed to swing the game their way in just a few minutes.
A fateful Baron battle at the 24 minute mark saw RIP’s marksman Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek exit with a quadra kill on Twitch. RIP still faced a six thousand gold deficit after taking Baron, but they secured another team fight win as Invaders extended to greedily grab an inhibitor turret. RIP would push back and ended the game at the 28 minute mark.
The team was a bit sloppy at times, but they could afford to be, playing an aggressive style because they simply outskilled their opponents. It was a perfect environment for young jungle phenom Tri Tin “k0u” Lam to shine, making plays around the map at a frenetic pace. In the second game of the final series Lam posted an 11/2/7 KDA on Nocturne and showcased solid synergy with top laner Ichetovkin throughout the tournament.
While the future of RIP is up in the air, the tournament showed that yes, they are a thing, and not some myth. And they’re pretty good, too. If not yet "super."
Photo via Gamepedia