Who says you can't be surprised anymore? G2 Esports took not one, but two losses, there are three-way ties in both the LEC and LCS, DragonX remains the only unbeaten team in the LCK. Well, maybe that last isn't so much a surprise given who they've faced, but for now, they sit atop our League of Legends global power rankings.
China's League of Legends Pro League remains on hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak. We will focus on the LCK, League Championship Series and League European Championship an will add in the LPL once play resumes.
How we rank: We had our panelists and writers submit a ranking of No. 1 through 10 for each team, with 10 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest. We then averaged the scores to create our initial list and looked at the teams' schedules, wins, losses and overall performance for the week.
Region: LCK | Record: 4-0 | Change: +2
On paper, DragonX's skill is obvious. Bot laner Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu is enough to turn any team into a playoff team and with this DragonX lineup he's on the perfect mix of experienced players alongside rookies Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok. This is a team that, alongside the Afreeca Freecs, is willing to try a variety of champions and compositions which makes them an interesting watch in addition to their players' remarkable mechanical talent.
In particular, Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon was a player who has always had strong mechanics, but Griffin played around him and strong matchups for him without Chovy doing much outside of lane. That changed at this past world championship, and Chovy's transformation from mechanical wunderkind to a well-rounded, peerless mid laner is well underway with DragonX. Here he's playing much more attention to his team's side lanes, and coordinating with them early rather than waiting to group for 5 on 5s as he did on Griffin. Here's to the new and improved Chovy, even if it means he's playing the occasional Ziggs.
-- Emily Rand
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2. G2 Esports
Region: LEC | Record: 6-2 | Change: -1
Welcome to G2's Bizarre Adventure.
In previous weeks, G2 Esports' players worried more about the number of pushups they would perform if every player died at least once (or make their coaches perform them should they go deathless). However, a 0-2 week 4 shifts the focus towards fixing their porous early-game play, as it cost them greatly against Misfits Gaming and then-winless FC Schalke 04 Esports.
Although their loss to Misfits Gaming could be chalked down to a disastrous draft and the emergence of Rasmus "Caps" Winther's bad alter ego Craps, they showed brilliant macro amid desperate attempts to prevent their defeat to Schalke 04 -- but it was ultimately useless against Schalke 04's barrage of team fights.
Although there is a sense of urgency after an 0-2 weekend, and as they are tied with Fnatic and Origen in the standings, there is no need for alarm yet. However, they need to provide solutions to their early-game flaws as quickly as possible.
-- Adel Chouadria
3. T1 Esports
Region: LCK | Record: 3-1 | Change: +3
Kim "Clid" Tae-min left T1 Esports in the offseason, signing with Gen. G Esports and noting he felt more comfortable personality-wise with the starting-five his new team had acquired. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and Park "Teddy" Jin-seong, the one-two punch of T1, wanted to make sure Clid knows he made a mistake in who he chose in the offseason. In one of the better matches so far in a lackluster start to the LCK season, T1 toppled Clid and Gen.G in a close 2-1 series, both teams still on track to contend for a domestic title this season. It seems as if T1 has decided to run with rookie Kim "Canna" Chang-dong as their starting top laner, and he's played better since an uneasy KeSPA Cup and debut.
We know Faker and Teddy can win championships. How far this team can go will come down to Canna's development and Lee "Effort" Sang-ho, who had a disappointing world championship in Europe. While he probably never got as much credit he deserved, former T1 support and two-time world champion Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan was the type of player that could have four poor games but then come up with a game-saving play when his team needed him the most. Effort needs to step up in those types of situations if T1 wants to win an international title, and he did just that against Gen. G, brushing off some earlier mistakes to come up big to pull his team over the line.
-- Tyler Erzberger
Region: LCK | Record: 3-1 | Change: -2
After overhauling their roster except for the key player Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk for two years in a row, Gen.G Esports maintains the playstyle it showcased at the 2017 World Championship. The team continues to play around the bot lane, funneling resources to Ruler and giving him the responsibility to deal damage at the late stage of the game. This strategy, however, failed when T1 outplayed them during objective teamfights and Ruler underperformed.
I'd personally like to see Gen.G diversify their win conditions and different solo laners, such as the mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong and top laner Kim "Rascal" Kwang-hee, be the center of the games in turns. The individual talents are there for Gen.G, they simply need to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of League of Legends meta.
-- Ashley Kang
Region: LEC | Record: 6-2 | Change: +3
Few teams made better use of the bleeding edge meta than Origen last weekend, their creative picks fueling two quality wins that counterbalanced a surprise loss to Misfits Gaming. Jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir terrorized MAD Lions with an 8-0-4 Karthus while wearing Ornn's upgraded Rabadon's Deathcrown. Then, mid laner Erlend "Nukeduck" Våtevik Holm proved Soraka is just as disgusting mid as she is anywhere else in a deathless, 15-assist showcase against Excel Esports. Fittingly, that game was punctuated by top laner Barney "Alphari" Morris' staggering triple kill while bathed in Ardent Censer healing, the latest example of why Soraka should stay banned for the next few weeks.
Origen have taken flack for their plodding style, but there's a difference between aimlessness and patience. Given the precision that often underscores their choices around Summoner's Rift, Origen skew towards the latter, allowing this new roster to grow into its identity through repetition. A team that's first to three turrets 75% of the time despite a 38% first turret rate -- the largest differential in the LEC, per Oracle's Elixir -- understands how to effectively accelerate towards their win conditions.
-- Miles Yim
Region: LEC | Record: 5-3 | Change: -1
Fnatic's current state of affairs was best expressed not by their disappointing loss to MAD Lions, but in their win over a wretched Team Vitality. On the surface, Fnatic kept perfect neutral objective control and won enough mid game fights to complete the victory, yet Vitality's numerous pickoffs in the early game exposed cracks in Fnatic's façade. Sloppy moments like top laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau's dicey laning with Singed or mid laner Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek nearly feeding away his advantage with two questionable deaths will be punished by better teams than Vitality (just ask MAD Lions).
As the first LEC round robin finishes next week, it's clear that Fnatic will go as far as jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek takes them. Much of Fnatic's gameplan hinges on Selfmade being a lane presence early, reflected in his high damage per minute (286, second among LEC junglers) at the expense of his abysmal gold and experience differential at 10 minutes (-164 and -139, respectively, dead last among current LEC junglers), per Oracle's Elixir. If Selfmade can find a groove early, he can steamroll teams and buoy Fnatic back to championship levels. Their second chance against Xerxe and Origen next Sunday will be an excellent measuring tool.
Region: LCS | Record: 7-0 | Change: -2
Ranking Cloud9 is almost impossible, and there is an inherent bias when talking about North America's best team. Still, the LCS is pretty awful. A majority of the teams right now in the league look lost, and even the players themselves would agree with that statement. Team Liquid, the back-to-back-to-back-to-back league champions are 3-5 and outside of the playoff picture currently. That isn't C9's fault, though. They've destroyed every team they've played against in the LCS so far in historic fashion. They are not one level above the rest of the LCS, they're two or three. They have flaws, as does every team in our top ten, but they sit at No. 7 because it's hard to believe in a team from a region that has given us fool's gold in the past.
Until C9 goes to an international competition like the Mid-Season Invitational and carry themselves as one of the elite, they're probably not going to break into the top-three of our global power rankings. We did that in the past with 2016's Team SoloMid squad that were rumored to be one of the best in scrims at the world championship, and then they didn't even make it out of groups. C9 might deserve a higher placement than where they are, but we won't know for sure how strong they are until they play the best teams from the three other major regions.
Region: LCK | Record: 2-2 | Change: +3
What's going on with Damwon Gaming? The team that stepped onto the LoL Park stage for the LCK spring split was a shadow of the Damwon Gaming that debuted to the LCK at 2019 and went to the World Championship in the same year. The explosive skirmishes we had come to expect from Damwon Gaming went missing, and the team lost to Gen.G to find itself 2-2. Both the top laner Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon and mid laner Heo "ShowMaker" Su admitted in interviews they are not being proactive enough on stage. Perhaps the early success Damwon Gaming had seen in their first year of the LCK is now weighing down on the individual players.
Damwon Gaming did return to their late 2019 form against Sandbox Gaming, focussing on the proven win condition to let their talented top laner Nuguri collect resources and eventually carry the late game.
Region: LCK | Record: 2-2 | Change: +5
Hanwha cannot be blamed for their attempts to bend the meta this early in the season, no matter how awkward (yet entertaining) they looked at times. Indeed, as their series against DragonX showed, for every decent find (e.g.: Kang "Haru" Min-seung jungle Diana) comes a terrible experiment (see: Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin's Tryndamere).
Although they were unable to contain the superior DragonX, their macro and team fight execution remains above average as Sandbox learned the hard way. Should they aim for a higher seeding, they must fix their erratic early-game tendencies, whether it involves a lacking read on their opponents' play or botched early-game skirmishes.
Region: LEC | Record: 6-2 | Change: +8
Misfits Gaming haven't lost a match since Week 1's loss to Fnatic. While their schedule has included struggling teams at the bottom of the LEC standings like Vitality and Schalke 04, it's also included top tier teams like G2 Esports and Origen, both of which are tied with Misfits for first place at 6-2. What's most interesting to me is that Misfits seemingly entered the season with this young lineup with few expectations and it's worked. They've been given room to make mistakes, and they've made many but have improved afterwards almost every time. Just compare jungler Iván "Razork" Martín Díaz's performances in Week 1 to his Ekko performance against G2's Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski this past week. What used to be mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten and a group of perceived no-names has now become one of the most improved and interesting LEC teams to watch.