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League of Legends global power rankings through Aug. 8

SKT T1's Bae "Bang" Jun-sik plays AD Carry for SK Telecom T1. Riot Games

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Welcome back to our League of Legends global power rankings. Every week, we look at each team in the five major regions and rank the teams according to how they are performing.

The NA LCS, LMS and LCK are heading into playoffs. The EU LCS is entering Week 10 of competition. The LPL is entering Week 9. The +/- indicates the change since the previous ranking.

Nos. 1-10: World contenders

Nos. 11-20: Playoff contenders

Nos. 21-30: Middle of the pack

Nos. 31-40: Struggling

Nos. 41-50: Bottom of the barrel

World contenders

1. Longzhu Gaming

Record: 14-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +2

Last week, Longzhu Gaming had seemingly thrown away its golden opportunity to make its first final in domestic competition history. A devastating KT loss forced LZ to hope for rival SKT to then defeat Rolster -- and for the Dragons to rebound in the final game of the regular season to regain their spot. SKT did its usual job of taking care of KT, and Longzhu ran around Samsung to a score of 2-0 and auto-qualified for the LCK final, the biggest win in the organization's five-year history. On top of it all, mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong won co-MVP honors for the season, winning the biggest individual prize in Korean League of Legends when just a season ago he was sitting on Longzhu's bench watching his team fail for the umpteenth time. The doom and gloom for Incredible Miracle/Longzhu is over; now, with three weeks to prepare for the final, a battle for the LCK crown and a spot at Worlds awaits.

2. SK Telecom T1

Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +2

Oh hey look, SKT wasn't dead after all. KT Rolster was an inch from winning its first regular season in the LCK and advancing onward to the final, and there was SKT, ready and willing to be the storm cloud over KT's successful season. SKT finished the season on a streak of strong wins, and it now enters its first wild-card match in LCK playoff history, needing to beat the only team in the world with a winning record over the org, Afreeca Freecs, to have the honor of facing off against Samsung, KT and Longzhu in succession to win its seventh domestic title. To be frank, even with a murderer's row of teams ahead of them, four of the best clubs in the world, you still wouldn't doubt someone who said a rejuvenated T1 was the favorite heading into the postseason as a 4-seed.

3. KT Rolster

Record: 14-4 | League: LCK | +/-: -2

There are two KT Rolsters: the KT Rolster that charges in confidently after weeks of success and the one that crumbles after facing SK Telecom T1. While KT took the top spot on the list last week after an impressive win over the now first-place team Longzhu, it faltered against SKT to fall down this week.

Although one might fault SKT jitters in part for KT's fall, it has shown awkward drafting and midgame macro even in its win over Longzhu. That makes it hard to give KT the benefit of the doubt to stay in the top two.

4. Samsung Galaxy

Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: -2

Samsung Galaxy's game plan going into the gauntlet is simple: Beat the team that challenges its claim to the final gauntlet matchup, then defeat the two playoff teams it has a losing record against. Although Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong and his teammates have proved their ability to dispatch SK Telecom T1 and Afreeca Freecs, their most complex task would be to repeat their performance against KT Rolster and Longzhu, the latter of which has been the strongest Korean team since SKT T1's slump.

5. Afreeca Freecs

Record: 10-8 | League: LCK | +/-: --

Afreeca finished fifth again. This has happened more times than any other team in our rankings except for possibly SKT at No. 1 and Fireball at No. 50. The last three seasons the Freecs went into the LCK playoffs, it left the bracket as the first team eliminated, finishing in fifth place three times in a row. What do we have this season? Afreeca is fifth, and the back-to-back world champion SKT is its opponent in the best-of-three elimination match that has vexed the Freecs time and time again. It'll be up to co-LCK MVP Lee "Kuro" Seo-haeng and the rest of the Freecs to stop the fifth-place curse and stick the dagger in the heart of SKT once and for all.

6. Immortals

Record: 14-4 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +3

Immortals might be the most successful regular-season LCS team of all time. In four splits, the team has had only one stumble, the previous spring split, when the team failed to make the playoffs for the only time in the org's history; the other three seasons, the team has been almost unbeatable, being TSM's top rival for the throne of North America. The only issue? Immortals have never made a final. The club took home two bronzes last year, and it ended on the worst note possible when the team failed to qualify for Worlds at the end of the qualification stage. This year, it's final or bust for IMT; anything else and it'll be another battle in the Regional Qualifiers to qualify for the World Championships.

7. EDward Gaming

Record: 9-3 | League: LPL | +/-: +4

Placing EDward Gaming so high up in the Top 10 always leaves a sour taste. Poor performances at World Championships two years running combined with an overall roster talent downgrade only makes it feel more awkward.

With rough showings by teams rated fifth to 10th in the previous week and Team WE plummeting in draft priority understanding and in execution, this gave EDG an opening to surge. With great hesitation, we raised it in the standings. In its favor, Hu "iBoy" Xianzhao has taken over the starting AD carry position as a rookie in a meta that favors bold, forward plays. He's allegedly been warming EDward Gaming's bench for years, taking in experience from a team known for highlighting and setting up talented AD carries for success. Tank picks have also fallen into Ming "Clearlove" Kai's corner, and Lee "Scout" Yechan has become a star since we last saw him on the international stage.

But with EDG, there's always a grimace that accompanies setting it at No. 7.

8. Team SoloMid

Record: 14-4 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +2

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team SoloMid is supposed to be a really high-quality set, right? It's been a while since Team SoloMid had an unconvincing finish like that in a regular season. Its draft priority, however, has improved a lot, and the flair of the team's Maokai and high-speed AD carry compositions really showcased the talent on the roster.

Going into playoffs, it feels less secure in execution than Immortals, but it also might be polishing rough edges. With time to simmer before playoffs, it's hard to not to predict a rise in our rankings from TSM.

9. Flash Wolves

Record: 11-4 | League: LMS | +/-: -1

Flash Wolves had to play four best-of-threes to end the Summer Split and even played a tiebreaker with Raise Gaming to take first this season. The current meta might be known for tanks, scaling and all-mid strategy, but Flash Wolves have stuck to their guns and continue to draft for snowball victories. Flash Wolves look in form and are set to take yet another title in Taiwan.

10. Team WE

Record: 7-4 | League: LPL | +/-: -4

WE took a heavy hit after a disastrous set against Invictus Gaming. The end of this split feels somewhat reminiscent of its struggles at the end of the spring split. With a convincing rise to the top of its group, it found itself in danger of having EDward Gaming usurp its position. The talent of Rookie and his rookies make Invictus Gaming an unexpected threat coming out of Group A, and iG and RNG, the hard-hitting early game teams, have unsettled WE the most.

Su "xiye" Hanwei has lost mid control most often in this series, cementing RNG's Li "xiaohu" Yuanhao as the better of 2014 and 2015's prodigy mid laners for the time being. It's still expected that WE's overall sense of jungle control and teamplay will keep it in good stead to remain in the Top 10.


Playoff contenders

11. G2 Esports

Record: 8-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +2

Although G2 Esports relies on Fnatic to lose two games this week to claim the top spot in Group A, the team has a legitimate claim at the European crown. Its understanding of the meta and objective control are comparable to its state during the Mid-Season Invitational, although compositions have changed a lot since then. As players work on their flaws, so does the team in a macro sense, delivering performances such as its matchup versus Misfits, where Ki "Expect" Dae-han and his teammates parlayed skirmishes into systematic objective takedowns without conceding much in return.

12. Jin Air Green Wings

Record: 8-10 | League: LCK | +/-: -5

It's too depressing to talk about Jin Air. Longzhu's long dry spell is over, and that means only one thing: Jin Air is the new laughingstock of the Korean league and the oldest team in the league that hasn't made a domestic final. Maybe next year, Jin Air. Maybe next year.

13. Fnatic

Record: 10-1 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

Fnatic is at the top of Group A and is guaranteed to end there unless it struggles harder than it did against Team ROCCAT in the early game, or badly enough to lose to an occasionally creative Ninjas in Pyjamas squad. Either way, the team's true test lies in the playoff semifinals against teams that are far less prone to its seek-and-destroy approach, or have better teamfighting to prevent it from recovering. Other than Fnatic, three teams can perform that feat -- and its opponent of the week, G2 Esports, is the most dangerous.

14. H2K Gaming

Record: 8-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: --

H2K Gaming won yet another bout, the outcome never in question. Against Vitality, the game plan was unveiled during the draft, whether it was its flexible composition with a Tahm Kench to open the map or a more brute force teamfighting composition. A good test for what is to come is against a seemingly reinvigorated Unicorns of Love, who are one of the toughest obstacles for H2K on the way to a third World Championship appearance.

15. Royal Never Give Up

Record: 9-4 | League: LPL | +/-: +3

Royal Never Give Up hasn't faltered since overcoming Team WE last week. Yes, Suning and Jing Dong aren't the most threatening of teams, but Royal Never Give Up's thorough smashing of both dispelled the uncomfortable sensation left behind after Suning took it down 2-1 earlier in the split. Hard engage junglers such as Maokai suit Liu "Mlxg" Shiyu's fondness for ganking, and now xiaohu and Jian "Uzi" Zihao look like contenders for best in their roles in the LPL. It feels a lot like RNG and iG are the talent-stacked teams of the split, and their sudden rise is a welcome one in time for playoffs.

16. Cloud9

Record: 12-6 | League: NA LCS | +/-: --

Cloud9 is in the unenviable position of beating a Dignitas squad that has displayed a fair command over the teamfight meta that has taken the scene by storm since patch 7.14. The high-profile quarterfinal clash will prepare Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen for the times to come. If anything, its experiments during Week 9 have been far less volatile than in the previous week, save for its attempt to pressure side lanes without thoroughly warding at crucial portions against Team EnVyUs.

17. MVP

Record: 6-12 | League: LCK | +/-: +2

MVP showed the side of Afreeca that LCK fans are all too accustomed to seeing, securing a 2-1 victory over the fifth-place LCK team. Unfortunately, that success didn't carry over when MVP played against the worst team in the LCK, Ever8 Winners. MVP didn't react well to Kim "Malrang" Geun-Seong's Jax jungle, and top laner Kang "ADD" Geon-Mo suffered for it as he managed a 1/11/3 score line for the series.

18. Team Dignitas

Record: 11-7 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -1

It's been a pleasure to see Dignitas evolve from a team that solely relies on Kim "Ssumday" Chan-Ho's laning pressure, but equally sad to see it rely on early laning pressure in general. Dignitas haven't been the most proactive team, but when a safe laning phase occurs, Dignitas does pretty well to transition into the mid game. Unfortunately for Dignitas, C9 probably won't let that happen in the playoffs.

19. ahq

Record: 9-5 | League: LMS | +/-: -4

Ahq eSports Club has benefited immensely from the meta and, although it wasn't enough to overtake Flash Wolves this week, it's plenty good for second place in Taiwan. Ahq is pretty stagnant in strategy, but it has managed to improve the way it approaches and forces teamfights around objectives. These boys like to fight, and nothing will change that.

20. OMG

Record: 9-3 | League: LPL | +/-: +3

Yes, the fourth LPL team has edged its way into the Top 20. OMG's effectiveness in using a side lane mid laner in its series against Newbee allowed it to avoid the new rising Group B contender's punishing teamfighting. For the first time since Rift Rivals, OMG gave us a sense that it might be able to adapt situationally depending upon opponent team compositions.

Of course, OMG's mid lane still lacks stability, and it relies too much on Han "SmLz" Jin's ability alone to have a consistent form to feel like a reliable team.