A slowly rising Invictus Gaming can be a scary thing, especially with the power of their solo laners. Meanwhlie in the LEC, MAD Lions and Rogue held onto top 10 spots despite going 1-1 on the weekend. And the LCS? Well, they have more to prove.
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: 10-2 | Change: --
A few weeks ago it appeared as if Top Esports were going to waltz into the 2020 world championship as a Goliath next to a bunch of Davids. The Mid-Season Cup champions, Top was demonstrating complete control over the League of Legends Pro League, brandishing a world-class talent at almost every starting position. Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo was untouchable and Zhuo "Knight" Ding was penning his best-selling book known as Mejai's Soulstealer. Recently, though, starting with a loss to Victory Five, TES has been shown to be mortal coming off a loss to a surging Invictus Gaming looking to be back in the form that has taken the franchise to back-to-back world championship top-four finishes. Still, even with the loss to iG, Top Esports hangs on to our top spot for at least one more week as a tantalizing upcoming match with a Suning squad on an eight-match winning streak looms.
-- Tyler Erzberger
ESPN Daily: Sign up here!
2. JD Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 11-2 | Change: +1
Towards the beginning of the year a lot of people were wondering how JD Gaming could be doing "so terribly" -- although terribly in this case was looking shaky in a few series and being obliterated by their spring finalist opponents, Top Esports. Still, there's no doubt that JDG looked uncomfortable, especially jungler Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok when compared to his monstrous spring split. Top laner Zhang "Zoom" Xing-Ran also looked a bit off when compared to his MVP spring form.
JDG's solutions as a team have come in the form of Zoom's return to form (I personally don't think he's in late spring split form yet but he looks more comfortable), continuing to focus on getting mid laner Zeng "Yagao" Qi strong picks, and Kanavi's recent foray into his own lanes rather than farming up for mid-to-late game teamfights. JDG's execution isn't always perfect, but it's nice to see them adapting and becoming a more well-rounded team before playoffs and worlds qualifications hit. Due Top Esports' latest loss to Invictus Gaming and iG's own shaky start in the first few weeks of LPL summer, JDG are currently first place in the LPL and are on a 10-series win streak.
-- Emily Rand
3. Invictus Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 11-3 | Change: +1
When people preach that hard work can always defeat pure talent, show them Invictus Gaming and shut them up. iG will never be the cleanest team in the world -- Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok doesn't care what you think of his KDA statistics -- or the most classically organized, but none of that matters when their star players are performing to their full potential. Invictus Gaming won a world title off of ridiculous individual performances, including a masterclass world finals performance by Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning, and they did the thing last year where they muscled their way all the way to the semifinals before falling to eventual winner FunPlus Phoenix. Left for dead following an abysmal Mid-Season Cup finish and a lukewarm spring split, Invictus have revived once more, back to their old tricks with new starting AD carry Ding "Puff" Wang helping Invictus topple one of the starters on that iG worlds-winning squad, Jackeylove, in the series against Top Esports.
It's time to just accept that as long as iG has TheShy and Song "Rookie" Eui-jin in their lineup, no matter how out of sorts they may seem, it only takes one match for them to reintroduce why they are arguably the greatest solo lanes duo in League of Legends history.
Region: LCK | Record: 9-1 | Change: +1
In the LoL Pro League we had Invictus Gaming going up against Top Esports, which wasn't their best match all year but a strong and entertaining battle between two of the LPL's top teams. In LoL Champions Korea we had arguably their best match all year when two of their best teams in DragonX and Gen.G met each other this past Saturday. With all of the jokes about either DragonX's Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon and Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong vacuuming up Player of the Game after Player of the Game awards, Chovy has really come into his own as an initiator for his team, especially if top laner Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon has been sent to split push. DragonX still can get a bit too cutesy with their flex picks in draft, but I continue to appreciate their creativity and the 2020 flexibility of Chovy.
Now we eagerly wait for DragonX's second match against DAMWON Gaming this Thursday.
5. DAMWON Gaming
Region: LCK | Record: 9-2 | Change: +4
DAMWON Gaming have been on a mission this season to reassert themselves in the conversation as one of the world's best teams. At the 2019 world championship, DAMWON were regarded as the scariest team early on in scrimmages, blitzing through world-class team after world-class team. As the tournament went along, though, the team's free-flowing and explosive style began to fade, the rookie-led team beginning to play a more cautious and simple style by the time the knockout rounds came along. There, the team lost in the quarterfinals to G2 Esports, a team that they had previously been terrorizing in scrimmage games, the Europeans even remarking on how DAMWON's playstyle had shifted from playing online to performing under the stage lights.
Well, DAMWON is playing more like the side that scared teams at last year's worlds, running through opponents without a second thought, averaging the fastest game times in South Korea. Not unlike Invictus, DAMWON are powered through their mechanical maestros in the solo lanes, Heo "ShowMaker" Su having the best season of his career in the mid lane and Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon leading all top laners in kills whilst keeping his death count down from previous seasons.
6. MAD Lions
Region: LEC | Record: 10-3 | Change: -4
This was a wacky week in the LEC for the two top placed teams. For MAD Lions, it was a convincing win against faltering Fnatic on Friday (with Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság crushing on Ezreal going 7/0/9), followed by a lopsided defeat at the hands of SK Gaming. Both SK and Fnatic are in the "middle of the LEC" soup of teams battling for playoff positioning (even the former lowly Schalke are clawing up out of the LEC basement to contend with impressive wins). For MAD Lions, this was a weekend to create separation from that soup, but instead started to cast a little doubt as to how dominant this team truly is. If this weekend proved anything, it's that any LEC team can beat any LEC team, and there is no one like a dominant C9 in sprint split LCS type position (that G2 used to occupy in Europe). All is not lost for the young cubs, but more victories would suit them nicely, especially going up against two sub .500 teams in Week 7.
-- Arda Ocal
Region: LCK | Record: 9-3 | Change: +1
Game 1 of the DragonX-Gen.G series was a back-and-forth game that was one Chovy Galio play away from a Gen.G victory and a possible 2-0. Game 2 of the DragonX-Gen.G series came down to another situation where a fight around bot side river is used to give time to a split-pushing Camille, this time to Gen.G's Kim "Rascal" Kwang-hee rather than DragonX's Doran. Game 3 was much more in DragonX's favor but it's worth reminding readers that these two teams are side-by-side in skill. A few different choices in game or draft adjustments and this was a close Gen.G win instead of a DragonX win. While T1 have floundered somewhat mid-season, Gen.G are still one of the best teams in the league, especially when jungler Kim "Clid" Tae-min and Bdd are working in tandem.
8. Victory Five
Region: LPL | Record: 8-4 | Change: -3
These two next weeks will determine whether the fairytale of Victory Five is something real that could continue on all the way to the world championship or if it will be a similar story to eStar, where a fun story went sideways before the playoffs even started. V5 shot up our rankings after being the first team to knock down the seemingly unstoppable TES but have fallen with back-to-back losses to the two hottest teams in the LPL, Invictus Gaming and Suning. Their next four matches? Team WE (8-4), JD Gaming (11-2), EDward Gaming (4-8) and a rolling Rogue Warriors (4-8) squad on a four-match winning run. It's not an easy run of games, especially their first two, which could send V5 tumbling down even further in our rankings with losses. If V5 can take three out of the next four, though, I think V5 can continue being looked upon as a legitimate contender to make the world championship. Don't give up on Guo "ppgod" Peng just yet, folks.
Region: LEC | Record: 10-3 | Change: -2
I've been pointing to this past weekend's schedule for weeks now as the one that could turn the tide for Rogue in the Power Rankings. A 2-0 Week 6 would have vaulted them up the power rankings in my humble opinion.
And it almost happened. An expected victory over Misfits on Friday was merely an appetizer to the game of the week in the LEC for many, Rogue vs G2. Rogue completely swapped the script, starting with lanes: Top laner Finn "Finn" Wiestål went Bot lane for the first part of the game, while Steven "Hans Sama" Liv and Oscar "Vander" Bogdan went top. They threw G2 off, played more aggressive than usual and amassed a lead. Just when it looked like Rogue was in firm control and on the doorstep to victory, G2 stole Baron and the tides were turned. G2 pulled off the impressive comeback and took the Nexus. Rogue were left disappointed, game in hand, slipped away. After the match, I spoke with G2 top laner Martin "Wunder" Nordahl who said despite the impressive start in this game, he and G2 would not be afraid of Rogue in a best-of-five playoff situation.
Though this loss will certainly sting for Rogue, it's not an indictment on the entire season; an opportunity to learn from mistakes and bounce back. It does however stifle the upward trajectory on these Power Rankings, even if slightly. Rogue faced 3rd place Fnatic and 4th place SK Gaming next week, in two more solid tests.
Region: LPL | Record: 10-3 | Change: --
Suning cracks into the top ten without the on-paper firepower of a Top Esports or Invictus Gaming but a few familiar faces who are performing really well, like jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy who looks completely at home in this meta.
Bot laner Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng is making a name for himself as one of the strongest bot laners in the league alongside veteran support Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh. Huanfeng's performance against Victory Five was a large factor in Suning's somewhat surprising win, and SwordArt has been a staple of some of the more pick-oriented compositions on Bard, Nautilus, and his signature Thresh.
Is Suning a top ten team in the world? That's honestly debatable because even in some of their wins they lack in-game pizazz and manage to capitalize on opponents' mistakes (hello Victory Five). Yet, they're currently on an eight-game win streak and fourth overall in the LPL.