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Every week, we look at each team in the five major regions and rank the teams according to how they are performing. Coming off the Lunar New Year, all regions are back in action, and there's been some shake ups in the middle of the rankings.
Nos. 1-10: World contenders
Nos. 11-20: Playoff contenders
Nos. 21-30: Middle of the pack
Nos. 31-40: Struggling
Nos. 41-52: Bottom of the barrel
1. Kingzone DragonX
Record: 8-2 | League: LCK | +/-: --
The best team in South Korea ran into more than a few problems last week. It began with a 1-2 series loss to bbq Olivers where star top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha had to leave after Game 1 due to breathing problems and ended with a messy series against the Afreeca Freecs. This doesn't take away from bbq's intelligent Game 1 plan and victory, but it does -- much like KZ's one other series loss to KSV Esports in Week 1 -- cast a shadow of doubt over the loss as a whole. Khan draws an enormous amount of pressure and is a crucial part of KZ's gameplan. What keeps KZ at the top for now is the team's prior consistency and KT's inconsistent level of play from series to series. Going forward, look for more teams to try and attack the Kingzone bottom side much like bbq's Kim "Trick" Gang-yun did with his Game 1 Skarner pick.
2. KT Rolster
Record: 8-2 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
There's a valid argument to put KT Rolster over Kingzone DragonX after this week, but Kingzone remain the more consistent team, for now. For every dominant teamfight, KT have an ill-advised base dive or dragon fight that unnecessarily sets the team behind or halts an early snowball. The five members of KT are moving more cohesively, which is a marked improvement from last year or even the very beginning of this split. To top it all off, AD carry Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu and support Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong have been performing well both in and out of lane. If KT can continue to move as a unit, and Kingzone's struggles become more than an off-week, we could be looking at a new number one.
3. Afreeca Freecs
Record: 6-4 | League: LCK | +/-: -1
The lunar new year's break was not kind to the Freecs, who came back to the LCK looking uncoordinated. Previously, we've given the Freecs credit for coming up with and executing strong gameplans tailored to opponents with a surprising amount of flexibility. This week we saw what happens when these gameplans aren't cohesive (and Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon plays jungle Poppy). Afreeca is still a team that values creativity and remains flexible in draft and execution. Hopefully for the Freecs, both are more coherent in the coming week.
4. EDward Gaming
Record: 6-1 | League: LPL | +/-: --
With no matches before or after the Lunar New Year in Week 4 of the LPL, it's been three weeks since we've seen EDward Gaming in action. EDG has remained the top-rated LPL team through Snake's rise and slight fall this past week, along with Invictus Gaming's energetic case to be the best team in the LPL. What makes EDG so strong is that they know how to draw up a gameplan, execute it, and if the players fumble the execution -- like they did in the top lane in Game 2 against Suning Gaming -- they know how to regroup and play as correctly as possible to get a victory. This team is coming together nicely, with a stronger topside to complement the crushing power of Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao and Tian "Meiko" Ye.
5. Invictus Gaming
Record: 6-1 | League: LPL | +/-: +2
Invictus Gaming is a team that can carry from any lane with a jungler in Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning. Additionally, mid laner Song "Rookie" Eui-jin ho is near-impossible to take out of the game. After two sweeps over Oh My God and Snake Esports, it's also the team with the strongest winrate in the LPL. Previously, our misgivings with iG were that the team was a bit too aggressive at times, overextending with members getting carried away with in-game leads. Yet this didn't get the best of iG when the team 2-0'd Snake, showcasing a bit of newfound maturity and understanding, especially when sieging against Snake's composition in Game 2.
6. Jin Air Green Wings
Record: 4-6 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
If this were a tier list, not an individual team power ranking, the Jin Air Green Wings, SK Telecom T1, and ROX Tigers would all be in the same tier. Each team has specific weaknesses that keep them from breaking into the top tier, but they also have team-specific strengths that make them a formidable threat. What places the Green Wings above the rest is not only its 2-0 win over the Freecs, but a near victory over KT Rolster. This week, Jin Air showed us what the team can do when it has a stronger mid lane presence from Lee "Grace" Chan-ju and the result is a formidable early jungle/mid 2 vs. 2 with Eom "UmTi" Seong-hyeon that further aids how Jin Air wants to play around team fighting with AD carry Park "Teddy" Jin-seong, who continues to be outstanding.
7. SK Telecom T1
Record: 5-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +5
The progress of rookie jungler Park "Blossom" Beom-chan has not only been positive, but interesting to watch. Due to the fact that Blossom is an aggressive jungler plucked from solo queue, he brings an entirely different perspective than a veteran jungler who has been in the SK Telecom T1 system for a while (Kang "Blank" Sun-gu) or a veteran player role-swapped into the jungle position (Lee "Wolf" Jae-wan). Blossom still makes a lot of errors, and his lack of communication with Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok is still visible at times, but his willingness and trust in the team is exactly what SKT needed.
8. ROX Tigers
Record: 5-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +-2
We knew that the ROX Tigers had a ceiling with this specific group of players and while it hasn't reached it yet, the team definitely had some major setbacks this week in the series against SK Telecom T1. The Tigers' Game 2 substitutions of jungler Kim "Mightybear" Min-su and mid laner Lee "Kuzan" Seong-hyeok didn't work, especially with Kuzan on mid lane Karma. When they win, the Tigers showcase a strong understanding of how to play around different players' strengths and weaknesses. That understanding was a bit lacking this past week.
9. Snake Esports
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: -4
Things started off fairly well for Snake Esports in their highly-anticipated showdown against Invictus Gaming with jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy's strong early map control against Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning. Unfortunately for Snake, iG mid laner Song "Rookie" Eui-jin had better communication with his jungler Ning than Zeng "Guoguo" Jun-Li did with SofM and iG's jungle/mid core was a strong factor in what ultimately was a 2-0 sweep of Snake Esports, breaking the team's six-series winstreak. There's little shame in losing to iG, and although the series did point out a few weaknesses in Snake that will need to be shored up if the team wants to make a run at the LPL title, they're also weaknesses that should come with time, especially as Guoguo continues to grow into his position.
10. Echo Fox
Record: 10-2 | League: NA LCS | +/-: --
Echo Fox isn't perfect. We saw a similar version of this team in 2016 with Immortals, which also starred Huni and Adrian in the starting roster. The team was a dynamo in the regular-season, putting on unforgettable one-sided performances that made fans believe in the snowballing North American juggernaut. Come playoffs, Immortals failed to adapt, and its free-flowing way of play was nipped in the bud by a more well-rounded and structured Team SoloMid. There are definite flaws in the 10-2 Echo Fox, but that's something you can say about every team in North America at the moment. Even if the team does have a similar Immortals-like end to its season in the playoff, it will still be by far the most successful season in the organization's history.
Record: 9-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +7
Following a lengthy adaptation period to fundamental gameplay changes and roster swaps, the time has come for the true powerhouses to emerge. Unsurprisingly, Fnatic sits at the forefront of the standings and of the Power Rankings on the European side, following a seven-game win streak during which the team prevailed against Splyce and H2K-Gaming, and came back from behind against G2 Esports.
The team needs to be wary of patch changes, especially in the mid lane, as Rasmus "Caps" Winther's dominance during teamfights and roaming forays (7.66 KDA ratio during the streak, 70.4 percent kill participation ratio) has been central to its good fortune. Martin "Rekkles" Larsson (39.5 KDAR -- two deaths -- and 80.6 percent KP over the same period) continues to dazzle.
12. Rogue Warriors
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: --
The members of Rogue Warriors are still learning how the team works, and what works best, especially now that opponents have focused on banning or picking away its most successful champions. This is a true test for top laner Chen "Mouse" Yu-Hao who has only looked strong on Ornn and Gangplank. Additionally, jungler Sung "Flawless" Yeon-jun still occasionally looks slightly out-of-sync with the rest of the team, as shown in the match against BLG, where Flawless was punished for aggressive teamfight initiation without team support. Rouge still have the sheer firepower of Han "Smlz" Jin, who remains supported by both his laning partner, Liu "Killua" Dan-Yang and mid laner Kim "doinb" Tae-sang.
13. BiliBili Gaming
Record: 6-4 | League: LPL | +/-: --
What sets Bili Bili Gaming apart from its competitors is the team's superior coordination and communication. With top laner Shek "AmazingJ" Wai Ho and support Yun "Road" Han-gil initiating teamfights, the rest of BLG is more than happy to follow-up, making the team's 5 vs.5 fights incredibly strong. Even in the team's Game 1 loss to Rogue Warriors, BLG showed off its teamfighting and communication, pushing advantages as far as the team could until RW outscaled. That being said, BLG's players had more than a few questionable individual decisions, allowing mechanically superior opponents (like Rogue's Han "Smlz" Jin) to punish.
Record: 6-4 | League: LCK | +/-: -6
KSV Esports' only victory this past week was against Kongdoo Monster, the last-place team in the LCK. It's not the convincing win that KSV had likely hoped for, and the team still seems torn on which jungler to start: Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong or Kang "Haru" Min-seung. Lee "Crown" Min-ho still struggles at times to keep up pressure mid, and against KT Rolster, KSV's bottom lane was punished early. KSV used to be aware of where the team could concede objectives and what could be contested elsewhere but that and the team's once-stellar mid-to-late game teamfighting are still missing more often than not.
15. G2 Esports
Record: 8-4 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +15
G2 Esports has consistently shown its ability to bounce back from early-game ganks, especially when the bot lane was the target of its opponents, and has asserted its presence in team fights and skirmishes alike. Had the team not made questionable mistakes against Fnatic (to a degree where its players looked downright sloppy), it would have cemented itself as Europe's king incumbent, at least until playoff time.
The timing of the meta-game changes could not have been more awkward for a squad that thrived off jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski's proactivity in securing vision at key points in the game (1.87 wards placed per minute and 0.83 wards cleared per minute, ranking first in the EU LCS in both categories).
16. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 4-4 | League: LPL | +/-: +8
Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao is back and the superstar AD carry had a strong homecoming to the LPL with a 2-1 victory over Team WE. More interesting was the lineup surrounding Uzi, which included veteran Liu "Zz1tai" Zhi-Hao in the top lane and Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan in the jungle. Accompanied by more cohesive drafting, this Royal lineup is both entertaining and exciting to watch. Hopefully RNG's days of continuous substitutions are over, and they move forward with this lineup, which showcases some China's greatest LoL talents over the past six years.
Record: 9-3 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -8
Right when things seemed to be coming unraveled for C9, the veteran organization didn't tilt and took care of business in a game with the red-hot Clutch Gaming to keep itself in position for a first-round bye. While Echo Fox is 2-0 against Cloud9 and should finish top of the regular season standings, C9 still feels like the team in the driver's seat come playoff time. As long as future Rookie of the Split winner Licorice can hold up in the best-of-five format, C9 should be considered a heavy favorite to make its seventh NA LCS final in team history.
18. Team WE
Record: 3-4 | League: LPL | +/-: -3
Team WE is still a bit of a mess. The team's recent pickup, jungler Zhou "Magic" Jun-Xuan, was outclassed by Royal Never Give Up's Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan. WE also had to rely on support Yoon "Zero" Kyung-sup to perform a bit of team triage after RNG's perfect Game 1. Through all of Team WE's early season struggles, mid laner Su "xiye" Han-Wei has been the team's most consistent performer. In Game 2 against RNG, he showed off his more proactive side with a few flashy Ryze ultimates, exhibiting why WE has been so reliant on him.
19. JD Gaming
Record: 4-3 | League: LPL | +/-: -2
On paper, JD Gaming's match against FunPlus Phoenix didn't draw as much attention as this past week's headliners of Invictus Gaming vs Snake Esports and Royal Never Give Up vs. Team WE. Yet, JDG and FunPlus have been compared to each other since the offseason, and it was FunPlus in the West Region that was expected to have a better start to the split, especially after a Week 1 victory over Snake. Instead, the East Region's JDG stole the spotlight along with Suning as two of the LPL's rising new teams.
20. bbq Olivers
Record: 3-7 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
Despite the fact that MVP swept bbq in the final series of the week, bbq narrowly receive the Top 20 nod over MVP, thanks in large part to bbq's victory over Kingzone DragonX and MVP's loss to the ROX Tigers. bbq entered the series against KZ with a strong gameplan and, most importantly, good coordination between jungler Kim "Trick" Gang-yun and his lanes. With Trick and support Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun taking the lead on team engages, bbq becomes fearless in a way that's exciting to watch. bbq's problem has never been team firepower, especially with mid laner Kang "Tempt" Myung-gu finally coming into his own this split. Its problem has been putting it all together and transitioning through the mid game around neutral objectives. This is still a problem for bbq, but hopefully it'll stick with Trick in the jungle and give the team time to continue to grow.