Would you believe it took only about half of the spring split for an LCS team to make it into the top 10 of the League of Legends global power rankings?
Record: 10-0 | League: LCK | +/-: --
At this point it's comical how dominant Griffin has been in what was once the strongest region in the world. Although Griffin did face some unexpected opposition from KT Rolster, the young guns continued their undefeated streak with yet another week of 2-0 sweeps. Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon's kill/death ratio might not be astronomically high these days, but he still reigns above most South Korean mid laners. Griffin and Chovy sit at the top unchallenged and it's unlikely this team will have any reason to budge until the newly minted T1 can buff out the scratches and challenge the king.
2. FunPlus Phoenix
Record: 7-0 | League: LPL | +/-: --
League of Legends doesn't take a night off. Every night, there is at least one major league playing. More often than not, it's multiple leagues. This makes the timing of the power rankings tricky, and every Monday night, we cross our fingers that our top LoL Pro League teams will "do their job" so to speak and win the games they are "supposed" to win based on standings and general performance. FunPlus Phoenix did its job Monday night -- unlike another Chinese team that fell in the standings -- by stomping Oh My God as expected with the dynamic jungle/mid duo of Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang and Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang. Due to their schedule, there was a very real possibility tossed around during the Lunar New Year break that FPX would go 7-0. The pre-break match with Suning was the only strong competition. Now, it faces iG later this week and then we'll truly see the strength of FPX. We've been keeping the team below Griffin, but if it beats iG convincingly, that position will have to be reevaluated.
3. Invictus Gaming
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: +1
The reigning world champion remains behind Griffin, but is on a positive rebound after a particularly tough loss to LGD Gaming last week. Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning continued his aggressive invades last week, but without the traditional gusto of his teammates. This week, he took over games with the help of Song "Rookie" Eui-jin and the returning AD carry Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo. With the young phenom AD carry back in the lineup, Invictus Gaming easily defeated the slipping and sliding Suning Gaming, in addition to newer LPL team SinoDragon gaming.
4. Topsports Gaming
Record: 5-1 | League: LPL | +/-: -1
The team that did not win as expected Monday night was Topsports Gaming. It should be said that SinoDragon, while occasionally boring to watch and certainly capped to some extent by its individual talent, are not a bad team. This isn't as large of an upset as Invictus Gaming losing to LGD Gaming in Week 4 (even if iG did play Chen "West" Long over Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo) but it's still unexpected, especially after Topsports stomped Game 1 by focusing top side, allowing Bai "369" Jia-Hao's Jayce and Zhuo "Knight" Ding's LeBlanc to take over the game. Games 2 and 3 weren't SinoDragon blowouts by any means, but they did point out that Topsports still has some work to do in closing out games. The team frequently gives up advantages in the mid game due to overextensions or miscalculated skirmishes. Make no mistake, Topsports is still one of the best teams in China, but to contend for the title of best, it needs to shore up these issues -- which, like many spring teams, probably will improve as the roster gains experience.
5. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 3-2 | League: LPL | +/-: --
RNG recently announced that eccentric jungler Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu will remain inactive for the rest of the split, taking a break from competitive League of Legends while he rests at home. In the grand scheme, this isn't a big deal for RNG, but it does signal a more stable commitment to Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan during the regular season. Since the Lunar New Year, RNG has remained in form, and despite a loss to Topsports this week, the strength of its opponent means that the team's power ranking placement won't suffer. Moving forward, look for convincing victories against Team WE and Victory Five, if there's any hope of RNG striking back to reign at the top of the LPL.
6. JD Gaming
Record: 4-2 | League: LPL | +/-: --
The poster from Oh My God for their series against JD Gaming showed a tube of toothpaste being squeezed indicating what the team wanted to do to JDG mid laner Zeng "YaGao" Qi (whose name means toothpaste, in case you haven't heard us affectionately call him that in these power rankings before). YaGao and JDG had the last laugh in a 2-1 victory. It's a bit surprising that JDG dropped a game in this series, but it serves as a reminder that teams can take advantage of this slightly weaker 2019 JDG lineup, especially in single games. This places JDG just outside the top teams in the LPL like iG, TOP, and FPX. There's always a chance for JDG to upset a better team, especially given its individual talent in the top and mid lanes, but as the season continues, we expect the team to hover just below the best.
7. G2 Esports
Record: 11-1 | League: LEC | +/-: --
At this point, G2 Esports might as well be the Griffin of the west. Well, let's slow things down a bit -- G2 isn't Griffin good, but it does function at a different level from its peers. Especially last week, the LEC's level of play took a nosedive while G2 comfortably sat at the top yet again. More similar to Griffin, G2 doesn't have a whole lot to prove domestically and lacks the room to rise in the weekly power rankings. However, the team does have to stay on its toes to keep pace with the best teams in China, which benefit from playing in the most competitive region.
8. SK Telecom T1
Record: 7-3 | League: LCK | +/-: +2
T1 recently dropped the label of its major South Korean conglomerate sponsor, SK Telecom, following the company's collaboration with American company Comcast, but the team is still the same. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok remains the head of his ship and commands the rest of the team as his crew, showing off solid Sylas play last week against both KT Rolster and DAMWON. While T1 ended up dropping the latter set to DAMWON, the series was relatively close and the team still looked rejuvenated when compared to series of the past. Korean teams that aren't Griffin are currently neck and neck, and for this week T1 gets the benefit of the doubt at No. 8.
Record: 6-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +13
DAMWON is young, fast, talented, and crazy. Every week it shows, for better and for worse. Last week, a convincing set against Hanwha Life Esports complemented by a strong comeback against T1, puts DAMWON into the top 10 for the very first time as the promoted Challengers Korea team continues to make waves. More than that, DAMWON made a peculiar, but significant acquisition in top laner, Lee "Flame" Ho-jong, who makes his return to South Korea since he left in 2016. While an unsigned player is usually unappealing, Flame quickly made his skill and veteran presence known by contributing greatly in DAMWON's series against T1, competing with Khan and keeping his team in the game. Moving forward, Flame might just be the type of spark plug that DAMWON needed to really be legit.
10. Team Liquid
Record: 9-1 | League: LCS | +/-: +2
North America makes its grand debut in the power rankings this week with Team Liquid, the overlord of the League Championship Series. North America's level of play leaves a lot to be desired, but Team Liquid remains at the apex of the region with a consistent mid-late game snowball approach. It's tough to best the team in both laning and teamfighting on an individual level, so it's no wonder that Team Liquid eventually found its way to the top 10. Still, poor play in both Korea and Europe gave Team Liquid the boost to perch at No. 10. Now, it's up to Team Liquid to continue dismantling the league to maintain the spot.