Every week, Tyler "Fionn" Erzberger and James "Obscurica" Chen collaborate and deliberate on the power rankings for League of Legends. Here's how it shook down through Week 7.
Nos. 1-0 - 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
1. ROX Tigers
Record: 9-0 | League: LCK | +/-: --
We're going to be up front with you, dear readers. Outside of the ROX Tigers and the woeful Cougars from the LMS, the discussion for second through 49th place is chaos. Korea is a dogfight between five different teams for the second spot, QG dropped its first match this past weekend, Immortals finally lost, Europe has rosters changing every three minutes (thanks, Giants), and Taiwan is still reminding us that the Taipei Assassins were the last non-Korean team to win the Summoner's Cup. That being said, we can all agree -- sit down, AHQ fan who thinks they should be first -- the Tigers are the best team in the world. Undefeated in the region that has won the last three world championships. The runner-up of last season's Worlds with an even better roster that has fixed the most glaring problems from 2015. They're exciting, fast-paced, and a band of five players that love playing the game together. You can't ask for more from the best team in the world after the first quarter of the 2016 season. Okay, are we done with agreeing with each other? Here's the rest of the rankings!
2. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: +10
Royal didn't give up -- pause for laughter -- in its marquee matchup last week against the previously unbeaten Qiao Gu Reapers and won confidently 2-0. RNG is currently firing on all cylinders. Mata is back to the 2014 Mata that was the most dominant support in the game's history. Looper is back under the wing of Mata and is playing exceptionally. And Mlxg, the team's stalwart jungler, is finally on a top team that allows people to see how good he's been for more than the past year. Should Royal be ranked second in the world? When trying to figure out who to put behind the Tigers, I came to the realization that I'm going to trust Mata over everyone else. Now watch Royal get steamrolled at IEM Katowice this weekend.
Record: 8-1-0 | League: LMS | +/-: --
They bleed! Multiple weeks of visible complacency finally bit the LMS front-liners where it hurts: a 1-1 trade against the 1-1 kings of Hong Kong Esports! That still leaves them with a huge lead over everybody, but no longer a comfortable one. Now they have to actually fight.
4. Team Vitality
Record: 11-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +2
Vitality might still be tied for first with H2K and G2, but the comparative quality of their matchups speak for themselves. Whereas chinks were exposed in G2 and H2K's armor this week, Vitality's victories were relatively drama-free.
5. Jin Air Green Wings
Record: 6-3 | League: LCK | +/-: --
Did not play in Week 7. We almost put them in second place without playing once this week. That's how topsy-turvy all the regions currently are except for Tigers' victory parade over the rest of South Korea.
6. KT Rolster
Record: 6-3 | League: LCK | +/-: +7
KT were seemingly on the downturn these past few weeks after a blistering start, but they've salvaged their first half of the split with a close win over a difficult Longzhu Gaming squad. Ssumday, Score, Arrow, and even the returning Hachani have been solid these first nine matches, but it's going to be up to Fly to be more influential in Rolster's games if they want to make a return trip back to the grand finals.
Record: 13-1 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -3
Along with ahq and Qiao Gu, the Immortals have finally bled. CLG's devastatingly effective map control strategy worked even against the Immortals, finally putting an end to Huni and Reignover's record-setting regular-season win streak ... and then the Immortals ended Echo Fox's own ascendance, because even with one loss they're still the best team in North America.
8. Qiao Gu Reapers
Record: 8-1 | League: LPL | +/-: -6
The Reapers are undoubtedly a talented team. Swift, their ace jungler, quite possibly could be the one of the most gifted players in terms of pure raw skill in the world. But when Swift is bad, he's really bad, and QG have shown they are slow on the uptake when it comes to patch changes and overall macro play. They're fun to watch and can overpower teams through pure technique, yet they are going to have difficulties facing teams with better lane swapping, management of the map, and shot-calling.
9. Samsung Galaxy
Record: 6-3 | League: LCK | +/-: -2
Did not play in Week 7. Mata sends his regards from RNG as he jumps over his old organization in the rankings.
10. Counter Logic Gaming
Record: 10-4 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +4
The Darshan Splitpush Strategy has not yet found its ceiling, knocking down even the Immortals in an exciting blow-for-blow game. Though players might get outgunned on the individual performance level, CLG's macro strategy can now be claimed as the best in North America.
Record: 11-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
It's hard not to expect H2K to drop, now that FORG1VEN's announced that the Greek military has drafted him into service. It's apparent, too, in the quality of their play -- the bot lane's sufficiently shaken up that even Fnatic's taking points off of them. Trouble looms before an otherwise top-tier team.
12. G2 Esports
Record: 11-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
G2 is capable of many things, but dodging Shockwaves apparently isn't one of them! But as none of them connected against Emperor, not even Zven's Kog'maw could seal the deal.
13. Invictus Gaming
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: +3
Invictus Gaming ... are really good? They bombed out in the group stages of the world championships. They lost their star jungler, KaKAO, to a secondary league team in China. Their underperforming AD carry, Kid, moved to the jungle. This team had all the makings of a squad poised to battle its way out of being relegated. So far, however, iG has been nowhere the bottom of the table, only dropping two matches out of eight and tying Royal Never Give up in Group B.
14. Flash Wolves
Record: 5-1-2 | League: LMS | +/-: +2
Weeks upon weeks of consistent improvements produced an increasingly scary team. Maple and SwordArT, in particular, are standouts among an increasingly maturing cast. If AHQ, still reeling from their HKE split, faced them now? No telling how it might go.
15. EDward Gaming
Record: 5-3 | League: LPL | +/-: -6
EDward Gaming feels like a team that is biding its time until the calendar turns into playoff season. They've played close with a majority of the squads they've gone up against this split, and their starting mid laner, Pawn, continues to have health issues that keep him out of the starting lineup. Athena, formerly of IEM Cologne winners EVER, has played well though in the former world champion's absence.
16. Longzhu Gaming
Record: 5-4 | League: LCK | +/-: -8
Longzhu were so close -- so, so close -- to being 6-3 and the consensus second-best team in South Korea. They'd just decimated KT Rolster in the first game of their series with Longzhu's three big offseason signings of Flame, Chaser and Coco playing together beautifully. Then they played terribly in Game 2, changed lineups in Game 3, and lost that game as well to drop the entire series. When Longzhu look good, they look like a team that has the ability to raise the Summoner's Cup. When they don't, they look more like a group that has never talked to one another before loading up into the game.
17. SK Telecom T1
Record: 5-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
Did not play in Week 7.
18. Snake Esports
Record: 6-2 | League: LPL | +/-: +5
Last year's golden rookies are back as one of the top teams in China, going 2-0 this week to push them up the rankings. Snake's big win of the week was over the Pawn-less EDward Gaming, taking the game in a close 1-2 affair.
Record:9-5 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -4
Unfortunately, Hai-Tier Shotcalling went head-to-head against Darshan and was found wanting -- but it's hard to blame a team for losing to a strategy that took down the Immortals. They did, at least, slaughter Dignitas in due fashion.
20. Unicorns of Love
Record: 9-5 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
Props to Loulex for integrating into the team so successfully on such short notice. Though it was evident that UOL were struggling in the ROCCAT game, they seemingly had their issues licked by the time of the Splyce game, with Loulex's Gragas setting up fights perfectly for Fox and Steelback's sake.
Middle of the Pack
21. Taipei Assassins
Record: 5-2-2 | League: LMS | +/-: +3
Still better than anybody below the top four; still troubled. Midnight Sun was an easy matchup for the Assassins, and returning captain Bebe is a terrifying force on Kog'maw, but that set was full of weird procedural errors, like letting Midnight Sun push inhibitor turrets without anybody contesting anything.
Record: 8-6 | League: EU LCS | +/-: --
Oh look, Fnatic went 1-1 again! For the third week in a row, Fnatic sits frozen in time at the 22nd position in the Global Power Rankings. They've gone 1-1 every week this season except one round where they actually swept the competition. Everyone knows this Fnatic team is built for the end of the summer and worlds qualification, but this is the team that has made it to all six EU LCS grand finals. Will this split be where their streak finally comes to a close?
23. Team SoloMid
Record: 8-6 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +3
On one hand, the Echo Fox game was pretty convincing. On the other hand, that was entirely due to Bjergsen's Shockwaves, and Team Liquid weren't making the same mistakes. TSM nearly lost a perfect game to TL, exposing fundamental weaknesses in their map control.
24. Vici Gaming
Record: 4-4 | League: LPL | +/-: +6
Is the talent-fueled Vici finally getting things together? They've won two of their last three, and the one loss was a 1-2 defeat to the QG Reapers. While it's not time yet to start talking about a possible championship run, a second-half run isn't out of the question for VG.
25. Hong Kong Esports
Record: 2-5-1 | League: LMS | +/-: --
When the map control synergy between Rokenia and Olleh is on point, they have a legitimate bid for being one of the best teams in Taiwan. When it isn't -- which is exactly every other game -- they get blown out of the water even by the rookies. Flip a coin when betting on Hong Kong.
Record: 4-1-3 | League: LMS | +/-: -5
Machi are the ultimate feast-or-famine team in Taiwan. In eight matches this season, they've either won 2-0 or lost 0-2 in seven of them. With the likes of AHQ and Flash Wolves pulling ahead in the LMS, can Machi find the wins necessary in the next few weeks to keep up?
27. Team WE
Record: 4-4 | League: LPL | +/-: -8
There was an abrupt stop in Team WE's momentum this past week. First, they dropped a series to EDward Gaming, and then they dropped back to .500 in the standings with a clear 0-2 loss to Vici Gaming. Team WE was seen as the possible surprise squad of LPL before the split started with its interesting new starting five, yet it's been the team's eternal rival, Invictus Gaming, that has been the biggest story in China.
28. Team Liquid
Record: 7-7 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +7
To call Dardoch's Lee Sin a beautiful nightmare somehow still undersells what an influence it had this week. It even managed to overshadow one of Piglet's best performances this split, adding further credence to Dardoch's reputation as this year's best rookie player.
Record: 7-7 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -2
Origen continue to be the definition of average. Not awful. Not great. Sometimes a bit above average. Sometimes a bit below average. The skill is still there in the likes of sOAZ and their ace, Zven, but nothing has really worked for consistently for last year's worlds semifinalists. The good news for OG fans is that a playoff spot can be locked up without too trouble unless a complete collapse happens in the final two weeks.
30. CJ Entus
Record: 4-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
We're finally here, folks! March has come, and that means that CJ Entus' 17-year-old prodigy, Bdd, is now of age to play professionally. His debut could come tonight when CJ Entus faces the team they already beat last week, Kongdoo Monster. With KDM and then the winless SBENU on the docket for CJ this week, Bdd and CJ could see themselves at 6-5 and in the playoff hunt with a perfect round.
31. NRG Esports
Record: 7-7 | League: NA LCS | +/-: --
Beating the Renegades doesn't really mark a halt to NRG's downward skid, especially when the Renegades nearly made off with that game until a late fight at Baron. LOD's integration with the team's going roughly.
Record: 4-4 | League: LPL | +/-: +2
We're still on the Icon train. In their only match this week in a win over Energy Pacemaker.All, OMG's dazzling rookie mid laner went 14-8-31 in three games. So they stand 4-4, have a promising crown jewel in the mid lane, and their AD carry, S1mlz, has been steady recently.
33. Afreeca Freecs
Record: 3-6 | League: LCK | +/-: -4
Did not play in Week 7.
34. Echo Fox
Record: 5-9 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -6
Now that the NA LCS has a handle on Froggen and kfo, things are going poorly for Echo Fox. Team fighting issues allowed Bjergsen to rip into them again and again with Shockwave. Improvements and adaptations have to be made --again.
Record: 2-2-5 | League: LMS | +/-: -3
XGamers had the misfortune of facing ahq immediately after that shocking 1-1 split with Hong Kong Esports, and took on the full weight of the reigning kings' displeasure. Westdoor, in particular, sliced them apart with Zed and served them like a sashimi buffet to Ziv and AN.
36. Team Impulse
Record: 5-9 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +7
TIP fell apart versus Team Liquid, but maybe that's excusable in the face of the latter's ascendancy. Proxcin and Pirean were made to look terrible, but redeemed themselves versus NRG by crushing LOD and Konkwon -- even making Impact's Tahm Kench look thin-skinned.
Record: 4-10 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
We now hit the part of our rankings where we start getting to the teams that are sputtering at the bottom of the standings with almost no chance of making the playoffs. Splyce sit three games behind Origen for the final postseason spot in Europe with only four games remaining. OG haven't been great this split, but the scenario of them going 0-4 and Splyce going 4-0 does not seem likely.
38. Energy Pacemaker.All
Record: 2-6 | League: LPL | +/-: --
You know we're scraping the bottom of the barrel when a team goes 0-2 in matches and still remains at its spot from last week. While they did lose both of their sets, at least EPA was able to take a game off OMG. That's something to be proud of, right? Hooray for moral victories!
Record: 3-10 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +6
They might be pretty much out of the hunt for the playoffs, but ROCCAT is keeping it interesting in the race to see which of the "Bottom 4" EU LCS teams gets saved from playing in relegations and gets another clear shot in the summer season. Splyce has stalled, Elements has fallen off completely, and Giants just brought in three new players with four games remaining. Why not ROCCAT?
40. Midnight Sun
Record: 1-2-5 | League: LMS | +/-: -1
High hopes for Kaiwing's addition to the team were quickly dashed by the likes of TPA and Flash Wolves. The problem with pulling out Leona every game is that people get used to dodging Solar Flares and punishing a binary engagement style.
Bottom of the Barrel>
41. Kongdoo Monster
Record: 1-8 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
e-mFire are now Kongdoo Monster. Their team's logo is a gigantic eyeball monster with horns on top. That's all we really have to say about them.
Record: 4-10 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -2
Elements' 4-10 record doesn't sound so bad until you learn that they started the season 3-1. Ouch. But hey, all they need is possibly one more win and they're safe from relegations.
43. Masters 3
Record: 2-6 | League: LPL | +/-: -2
Masters 3 gave Hyper Youth Gaming their first match win of the season, and they themselves are now stuck at a weak record of 2-6. Due to how shoddy Group A's bottom three teams are, though, one of M3, EPA, or LGD Gaming will be making the LPL playoffs. What a time to be alive.
44. SBENU Sonicboom
Record: 0-9 | League: LCK | +/-: +2
SBENU Sonicboom only have three map wins on the season. At least they play in the toughest league in the world. What do the teams below them have as an excuse?
45. Giants Gaming
Record: 2-12 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
Giants are changing three of five in their starting lineup heading into the final two weeks of the season. While this could be considered a risky move for most, Giants Gaming are 2-12 and need a miracle to avoid relegations. When your back is up against the wall, why not randomly bring in two Korean imports and SmittyJ formerly of Dignitas?
Record: 2-12 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +1
With Seraph's help, the Renegades were not actually the worst team this week! Just the second-worst with a huge margin between them and third-worst. Losing to Rift Herald when the Herald doesn't do critical damage is all sorts of embarrassing.
Record: 4-10 | League: NA LCS | +/-: -10
Nobody's quite sure how a three-on-zero push ends with two people getting executed by tower damage, but Dignitas found a way. Nobody's quite sure how a team with an 11-0-3 Viktor can get so thoroughly manhandled by a 1-5-11 Lissandra, but Dignitas found a way.
48. LGD Gaming
Record: 1-7 | League: LPL | +/-: --
Where do we go from here? LGD are a bad team right now. A very bad team. They have three map wins, 14 map losses, and were embarrassed in a blowout against iG in their last match. The frustrating thing about all of this is how talented the team is on paper. A team with MaRin, Weiless, Imp, and Pyl, regardless of who the jungler is, shouldn't be 1-7 in matches.
49. Hyper Youth Gaming
Record: 1-7 | League: LPL | +/-: --
HYG are now tied in record and map score with LGD Gaming. They're also only one match behind M3 and EPA from Group A as well. Unfortunately for HYG, they're in Group B, and the likelihood of them making the postseason is the same as COUGAR E-Sport making it out of the 50th spot this season.
50. COUGAR E-Sport
Record: 0-0-8 | League: LMS | +/-: --
The good news is, COUGAR's never had two players get executed by a turret or Rift Herald. The bad news is, they're still the worst team in Taiwan and the Global Power Rankings.