There are two constants so far in our League of Legends global power rankings: China continues to score highly and no one can topple Top Esports.
We're also rolling out a more transparent and updated ranking system to better illustrate what the rankings mean. Take a look!
How we rank: We weigh the teams' strength of schedule, wins, losses and overall performance for the week and have our panelists submit a ranking of 1 through 10 for each team, with 10 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest. We then average the scores to create our initial ranking and discuss any changes needed.
There are five overall tiers. Here's what they mean:
Tier 1: No. 1-10 -- These are world championship quarterfinalist (and beyond) contenders. The farther down you go in the top 10 the less likely that team could win it all, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Tier 2: No. 11-20 -- These are the teams we'd expect to make it to the world championship group stage, with a possibility for quarterfinals. They are likely strong regional contenders in their respective leagues.
Tier 3: No. 21-30 -- It's a long shot, so don't expect to see these teams in the quarterfinals, but a few will make it to groups at worlds. They are likely middle of the pack in their region.
Tier 4: No. 31-40 -- These teams have a tough road ahead of them if they want to see anything postseason related.
Tier 5: No. 41-47 -- Luckily relegation isn't a thing anymore.
1. TOP Esports
Region: LPL | Record: 7-0 | Change: --
If I was lazier, I would just copy and paste something from my LoL Pro League weekly column about how no team in the LPL is looking like they could beat Top Esports in a best-of-five. Take a regular-season series, maybe, since it's difficult to go undefeated in a league with so much talent and so many teams, but not stay consistently good enough to beat the firepower that Top Esports has. This past week, Top Esports only faced one opponent -- LNG Esports, who are hardly a top-tier team -- but they smashed them convincingly. It bears repeating that support Liang "yuyanjia" Jia-Yuan has looked more comfortable with the team, but this week I also wanted to focus on top laner Bai "369" Jia-Hao who has recently taken up the mantle of the LPL's best top laner. 369's aggression, teamfight targeting, and willingness to teleport bot lane creating advantageous skirmishes for Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-bo were on full display against LNG this past week.
-- Emily Rand
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Region: LCK | Record: 6-0 | Change: --
Undefeated teams sit atop three of the four major regions' standings. In South Korea's LoL Champions Korea that team is DragonX, who have stayed ahead of LCK favorites T1 and Gen.G (both of whom they beat in Week 1) and are now 6-0. After what was a comparatively easier week with games against Team Dynamics (who pushed them but weren't strong enough to get a game win) and SeolHaeOne Price (who are now 1-5).
Unlike Top Esports in the LPL or Cloud9 in the LCS, DragonX don't have the same perceived dominion over the standings as their undefeated major region counterparts and perhaps it's because some of their wins still look really messy. However, you can still be a top-tier team and be messy -- just look at nearly any LPL squad. One of the things I want to highlight about DragonX this week is that while I may not agree with the narrative that all LCK teams and the region itself are looking more proactive lately, DragonX are.
3. FunPlus Phoenix
Region: LPL | Record: 5-2 | Change: +7
There are three LPL teams in this top ten where the question is of whether they're "back" and the first one up is the reigning world championship squad of FunPlus Phoenix, who are coming off of a strong week with wins over Victory Five and Royal Never Give Up. In both 2-1 victories, they seemed to bend but not break, an FPX regular-season tradition that has continued from last year into this one, even with the introduction of Kim "Khan" Dong-ha.
One of the more frustrating things about ranking LPL teams against each other is that they often play fast and loose, making myriad mistakes while simultaneously executing coordinated teamfights or intelligent objective trades. They give up a lot and they take even more. FPX will always be one of these teams that -- due to their specific playstyle and how little it sometimes allows for deviation -- sometimes looks worse than they are.
4. Invictus Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 5-3 | Change: +12
Speaking of LPL teams that may or may not be back, who may or may not have the ability to contend for a title: here's Invictus Gaming! iG are one of the more frustrating and endearing LPL squads and have been since their inception. More recently, since 2018, they've been a team that won by snowballing their insanely talented solo laners alongside a strong bot lane to back it up. When Ding "Puff" Wang and Su "Southwind" Zhi-Lin joined from Vici Gaming, they seemed to slot right into the iG system.
Yet, while Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok has stolen the show with myriad deaths in the top lane, it's also Puff and Southwind's struggles that have stood out on this team during summer. At the beginning of the split, this team was only grabbing wins due to the Herculean efforts of Song "Rookie" Eui-jin. Now they look at bit closer to their regular iG form, where anyone can carry and anyone can die.
5. MAD Lions
Region: LEC | Record: 7-2 | Change: -1
Ahhhh, how close were the young lions to holding first place alone in the LEC going into the break? Things looked exactly according to plan, convincingly defeating Schalke on Friday, and pulling out the 3D glasses for a post match pose on camera (Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság even did the post match interview in the glasses the entire time, earning extra points). Then Saturday rolled around and proved that every team in the LEC is beatable on any given day. On the same day the 0-8 Schalke picked up their first win of the split against Fnatic of all teams, MAD Lions fell to Misfits in around 27 minutes. Two of Misfits went deathless, former TSM botlaner Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup pulled a San Diego on Kalista, going 6/1/9. This just goes to show you that the seven lane traffic jam that is the middle of the LEC standings is dangerous for any team, anytime. It was good enough to knock MAD Lions one spot in our power rankings, and it was an impressive victory for Misfits, but realistically not a deep concern that this MAD Lions team is imploding from the top down. After a nice week off, most would expect the young cubs to roar again in the LEC instead of whimpering away.
-- Arda Ocal
Region: LCS | Record: 8-0 | Change: -1
Cloud9 fall one position in the rankings as more League Pro League teams vault after a highly-competitive week in China. Cloud9 defeated Dignitas -- who remain one of the worst teams in the world without a single win in the League Championship Series -- and Counter Logic Gaming, who are the gatekeeper for the top half of the LCS standings, in Week 4. Neither of those opponents are particularly impressive, but Cloud9 remain undefeated with Team SoloMid the only domestic opponent they have not faced yet (they'll do so this upcoming weekend). Cloud9 remains a dominant force in the LCS and presumably the world, but given the lack of international events -- and I know we're beating a dead horse here -- it's hard to tell exactly where they belong globally.
-- Jacob Wolf
7. Victory Five
Region: LPL | Record: 6-2 | Change: +11
Making their first notable power rankings appearance ever are Victory Five -- a team that had the dubious honor of not winning a single series in 2020 LPL Spring. Since spring, they changed out the entirety of their roster save mid laner Li "Mole" Hao-Yan who spent most of spring playing every single position on the map as his team's only win condition. Now with the pressure off thanks to jungler Wei "Weiwei" Bo-Han and the bottom lane of Lee "Samd" Jae-hoon and Guo "ppgod" Peng, Mole looks so much more comfortable as another carry rather than The Carry and has been playing well. Samd and ppgod have quickly become one of the most exciting bottom lanes to watch in the LPL as they draw pressure through aggressive trading and have been the main focal point of V5's success. Initially, it was difficult to gauge V5's actual strength due to their ease of schedule, but with recent performances against FPX (a close loss) and a 2-0 win over eStar, it's time to give them their due.
Region: LEC | Record: 7-2 | Change: --
Rogue went 2-0 this week, steadily gaining ground in the top ten of our power rankings. The blue hooded assassin with the orange fade had victories over Origen and SK Gaming, two teams who find themselves in the massive cauldron of seven teams that are within one win of each other. Only Rogue and MAD Lions have created any sort of separation atop the standings with identical 7-2 records. Kacper "Inspired" Słoma went deathless on the weekend on Trundle and Sett. Oskar "Vander" Bogdan took MVP honors on Saturday going 0/0/8 on Nautilus.
What impressed me the most about Rogue this weekend, however, was this story I heard from sources within the Rogue camp about their work ethic -- after the games, the team was instructed on Sunday to take a couple days off starting Monday. The LEC will be going on break this week, and the players were going to receive days of rest. However, players instead watched tape of their matches from the weekend and some VODs from different regions as well. When asked why, you were told to take time off, the response was, "you told us the next two days, it's still today for 2 hours."
Work ethic goes far in creating a winning culture, and that's one example that shows you the dedication that a team like Rogue has to win. Certainly they aren't the only team in the LEC (or even LoL worldwide) to exhibit this quality, but it goes far in imaging this Rogue team continuing to compete atop the LEC standings and continuing the charge to make it to worlds. Another 2-0 weekend in the LEC and I am ready to bump them up in the rankings.
9. Damwon Gaming
Region: LCK | Record: 5-1 | Change: +4
Speaking of "are they back" questions, we have a team from the LCK who is receiving similar discussion in DAMWON Gaming. DAMWON fell off hard in 2020 LCK Spring from their unexpectedly strong run at the 2019 World Championship, finishing with a 9-9 regular-season record and losing to DragonX in the spring playoffs. This summer, DAMWON have been on a surprising tear and this past week that included a 2-0 victory over T1.
While everyone likely wants to talk about the prowess of DAMWON's solo laners in Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon and Heo "ShowMaker" Su, it's Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee who has stolen the show by putting up strong performances as Bard or his go-to pick of Pantheon support.
10. JD Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 6-2 | Change: -1
For a team so well-known for their top side plays and more specifically, the abilities of top laner Zhang "Zoom" Xing-Ran and jungler Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok, the most consistent performer on JDG this summer has been bot laner Lee "LokeN" Dong-wook. Even with support Zuo "LvMao" Ming-Hao's struggles at the beginning of the split, LokeN has looked as good or better than he has at any other point in his career. Until recently, the rest of the team looked sluggish and out-of-sync, particularly Zoom and Kanavi who need to be performing well if the team wants to return to their spring championship form.
So now the question is: are JD Gaming back? A cursory look at last night's 2-0 win against EDG (which was full of hilarious Baron throws by both teams) says not yet, but maybe they're getting there.