League of Legends global power rankings through Feb. 28

Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu joined EDward Gaming during the Korean Exodus of 2014-2015, but returned to South Korea in 2016 with KT Rolster. Provided by 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 them according to how they are performing.

This week's power rankings include the last time the teams played in addition to IEM Katowice. We're entering Week 6 of the LCK and NA/EU LCS. The LMS is entering Week 5, and the LPL is entering Week 4 of play. 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. KT Rolster

Record: 7-1 (14-3) | League: LCK | +/-: +1

They did it! KT finally did it! Funnily enough, MVP's ascension to one of the better teams in South Korea over the past week has a lot to do with it. Now, when compared to SKT's loss to Afreeca, a team that is sliding down the rankings, the MVP defeat doesn't look so bad. After all the changes in the offseason, the one player who stayed the same on the starting roster, captain Go "Score" Dong-bin, has been the most influential. The five-year veteran has the most MVP points in the LCK through the first half of the season. If he keeps it up, he'll win his first LCK MVP award and end teammate Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho's streak of MVP wins at two.

2. SK Telecom T1

Record: 7-1 (14-3) | League: LCK | +/-: -1

SKT started the split by clobbering bottom-tier teams in South Korea, but it's now showing that it can do just the same against stronger teams such as Longzhu Gaming and Samsung Galaxy. The surprise factor in SKT's recent games is jungler Kang "Blank" Sun-gu, who is looking good when he is on the stage this split.

3. Longzhu

Record: 6-3 (14-9) | League: LCK | +/-: +2

Longzhu Gaming is getting better every week, and though a decisive loss to SKT stings, it isn't the end of the world. Top laner Koo "Expession" Bon-taek is showing up on tanks and becoming a cornerstone for Longzhu's general dynamic. However, Song "Fly" Yong-jun was the real star recently, pulling out an unconventional Talon twice to dominate the Afreeca Freecs.

4. Samsung Galaxy

Record: 5-3 (11-8) | League: LCK | +/-: -1

Samsung is in a weird place right now. The team has started to shake up its roster after being dispatched by some of the top teams in the league, trading out jungle, AD carry and support in multiple games. Right now, Samsung is one of the best teams in the world, but the question is not if it's a top-five team but if it has enough firepower to stand with KT Rolster, SKT T1 and the fast-improving Longzhu. Samsung wants to make its first LCK final in more than two years, so experimenting with lineups seems a prudent course of action.

5. MVP

Record: 5-4 (12-11) | League: LCK | +/-: +7

Could MVP become one of the best teams in the world? The team, very much like Samsung last year, has gone through a steady progression. It was in the minor leagues last spring, got promoted in the summer and then had an optimistic first season by almost making the playoffs. MVP kept everyone intact in the offseason, and now the team is starting to blossom into a real contender. Support Jeong "Max" Jong-bin, for example, is making a case as the best support in the world for the first half of the split. Max's innovation and flair in the bottom lane has helped him accrue 500 MVP points, which puts him right behind KT's Score with a chance to overtake the jungler in the second half. If Max were to win the MVP award in the LCK, it would be the first time a support had won the honor in the long history of the league.

6. Flash Wolves

Record: 5-0 (10-1) | League: LMS | +/-: +10

You could argue that the Flash Wolves didn't go to IEM Katowice last weekend; it went to the EU LCS. While there, it showed that its domestic success in the LMS indeed had some merit after it defeated the top three European teams. Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang and Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan proved once more that they are one of the best mid-jungle duos in the world en route to the final. Perhaps the most important takeaway for Flash Wolves is that rookie Lu "Betty" Yu-Hung bounced back from his poor showing at IEM Oakland and is shaping up to be a huge upgrade over longtime AD carry Hsiung "NL" Wen-An.

7. Royal Never Give Up

Record: 4-1 (8-3) | League: LPL | +/-: +11

Royal started the year looking good, stumbled in its next match and has been on fire ever since. Recently, RNG has beaten Snake, Invictus Gaming and LGD, three teams that are fighting for a playoff spot. Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu is unmatched at the jungler role in China at the moment, and the current meta allows him to show off his full arsenal, including games on Rumble and Ivern. Mlxg is showing that he can play hard carry champions, and it's making RNG seem once again like EDward Gaming's main rival for the throne in China.

8. G2 Esports

Record: 7-0 (14-3) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -3

As of Week 5, G2 Esports is the sole undefeated team of the European LCS, following its 2-0 victory over the Unicorns of Love. However, undefeated does not mean invulnerable; this team was helpless against the LMS's Flash Wolves and had worrisome moments against the ROX Tigers. IEM has proven to be a solid testing ground for the squad away from the familiar LCS studios, as the Flash Wolves targeted its weaknesses in early-game moves and vision, with the latter a regional weakness.

9. EDward Gaming

Record: 4-1 (8-3) | League: LPL | +/-: +4

EDG continues to be the type of team that seeks its victories in the mid-game teamfights, as evidenced by the team's pressuring QG Reapers to 5v5 around neutral objectives. EDG was also fortunate enough to receive LeBlanc twice in its series against QG, which Lee "Scout" Ye-chan played to great effect. Chen "Mouse" Yu-Hao deserves a pat on the back for his Shen play in Game 1, in which he stalled QG 1v3 after a lost teamfight.

10. bbq Olivers

Record: 4-4 (9-9) | League: LCK | +/-: +13

The saviors of deliciousness themselves, BBQ Olivers can thank the ROX Tigers for its breaking into the top 10. The Tigers, a relegation candidate in South Korea's LCK, went to the limit against the best Europe had to offer, and that continued to confirm something we've known the past four years: South Korea has the strongest league in the world, and almost any of the teams in the league can stand up to -- if not beat -- the better teams from the other major regions on any given day. The Olivers, a team on the rise in South Korea, are tighter in execution than the Tigers, and top laner Kim "Crazy" Jae-hee has established himself as one of the best top laners in the league during the first half of the split.

Playoff contenders

11. Afreeca Freecs

Record: 4-5 (10-12) | League: LCK | +/-: -2

12. Team SoloMid

Record: 8-2 (16-11) | League: NA LCS | +/-: +5

Team SoloMid ascends to the highest spot among its North American peers and just shy of the top 10 globally following its important wins over Cloud9 and FlyQuest. Cloud9, in particular, had looked like the dominant and undefeated favorite in the North American League Championship Series until the loss to Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg and crew.

Despite losing earlier games in the season, the two wins heading into the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice break were pivotal moments for the SoloMid team. It has often been the best in North America since its inception, and despite some early stumbles, it is backing to fighting for that title once again.

13. ROX Tigers

Record: 2-6 (7-14) | League: LCK | +/-: +23

In South Korea, the rebuilt ROX Tigers is not a great team. Its wins have been sloppy, and its players, when scaled against those of the other LCK teams, are pretty light. Yet at IEM Katowice, in a field against three of Europe's best teams and Taiwan's emperor in the Flash Wolves, the Tigers didn't look out of place. The squad had a hefty lead against Europe's ace G2 Esports before mid laner Son "Mickey" Young-min's devil-may-care style doomed the Tigers. Unless a miracle occurs, ROX will not make it back to the playoffs this spring, but it can take solace in that its performance at IEM Katowice showed not only how strong South Korea is as a region but how deep it is as well.

14. H2K Gaming

Record: 5-2 (12-5) | League: EU LCS | +/-: No change

H2k-Gaming is part of a pack of contenders that G2 needs to pay attention to. Alongside UoL and Misfits, it represents a threat to G2's three-peat campaign. If the squad plays with the same focus against low-ranking teams as it does against the higher-ranking ones in the LCS, H2k would become far less exploitable.

15. Cloud9

Record: 8-2 (17-8) | League: NA LCS | +/-: -5

After an 0-2 weekend, Cloud9 descends in the rankings and loses its top spot in North America. Earlier the team was near immortal, but the long series loss to Team SoloMid and the following loss to a rising Phoenix1 shows that the Cloud9 has some weaknesses.

C9 opted to skip the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship, taking the two weeks to work on domestic competition. Despite the decision coming before the pair of losses, it might prove even more beneficial as a time to reflect on what went wrong.

16. Misfits

Record: 5-1 (10-4) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

Is Misfits the real deal? We keep asking, and Misfits remains stable. Its coordination in map movements and the ability to punish seemingly benign mistakes might earn more than a second-place standing in Group A on the long run.

17. Unicorns of Love

Record: 5-1 (10-4) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -11

The Unicorns of Love is entertaining to watch, no matter how frustrating that can be to the fan base and to fans of clean League of Legends gameplay -- to which it is the perfect antithesis. The squad does not seem to care whether a move, a skirmish or a rotation is optimal; it merely cares whether it can pay dividends.

Clashes against G2 Esports stand as proof, especially the Game 2 loss in the LCS. A solid Baron call was followed by a greedy inhibitor takedown, which was then followed by a mind-wracking Nexus takedown attempt. Unclean play, yes, but one auto-attack away from efficient.

18. QG Reapers

Record: 3-0 (6-2) | League: LPL | +/-: -7

19. ahq

Record: 4-1 (9-2) | League: LMS | +/-: -1

20. Invictus Gaming

Record: 2-1 (5-2) | League: LPL | +/-: -9

Middle of the pack

21. Phoenix1

Record: 6-4 (15-8) | League: NA LCS | +/-: +3

Coming into the split, Phoenix1 had built what looked to be a competitive lineup on paper. Those thoughts were reassured, as it handed Cloud9 its second loss during the split and now sit as the third-highest North American team in our power rankings.

A win over Team Envy means very little, but a win over Cloud9 bodes well for the firebirds. Since the win over Cloud9 was a convincing 2-0, even with former Cloud9 jungler William "Meteos" Hartman filling in for Rami "Inori" Charagh in his time of personal absence, it's hard to argue that Phoenix1 struggled with adaptation. Rise, rise, you phoenix.

22. Team WE

Record: 3-2 (7-6) | League: LPL | +/-: +13

23. Kongdoo Monster

Record: 1-8 (4-17) | League: LCK | +/-: +15

24. J Team

Record: 4-1 (8-4) | League: LMS | +/-: +3

25. Newbee

Record: 2-3 (6-7) | League: LPL | +/-: +3

26. Splyce

Record: 4-3 (9-7) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

27. Fnatic

Record: 4-3 (10-9) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

28. Jin Air Green Wings

Record: 1-7 (5-14) | League: LCK | +/-: +4

29. FlyQuest

Record: 6-4 (15-9) | League: NA LCS | +/-: -19

A loss to Team SoloMid is acceptable. A loss to Team Dignitas is suspect. After the latter struggled for the majority of the first half of the season, Dig toppled the FlyQuest squad, which takes a significant dip in the power rankings as a result. Although Hai "Hai" Du Lam and Galen "Moon" Holgate have shined in the beginning of the season, their weekend ended poorly on an 0-2, and unlike with their former Cloud9 brethren, one of those was to a significantly lesser team.

30. Counter Logic Gaming

Record: 5-5 (12-13) | League: NA LCS | +/-: +1


31. Immortals

Record: 5-5 (12-13) | League: NA LCS | +/-: -1

32. LGD Gaming

Record: 2-3 (5-6) | League: LPL | +/-: +7

33. Hong Kong eSports

Record: 2-3 (4-7) | League: LMS | +/-: -3

HKE wasn't the strongest team at IEM Katowice, but it might get the most out of it. Hsu "Nestea" Bao-Yuan and Wong "Gemini" Ho Chin were treated to their first international competition and looked decent in matches against M19 and H2K. Lam "Gear" Kwok Wa also showed that he can still be a dangerous mid laner, even internationally.

34. Vici Gaming

Record: 2-3 (6-7) | League: LPL | +/-: -1

35. Team Dignitas

Record: 4-6 (11-14) | League: NA LCS | +/-: +7

Team Dignitas took wins against FlyQuest and Team Liquid, and the former has looked very good throughout the first four weeks. Team Dignitas' talent was never doubted, but it recently made a significant coaching change, dropping its two former South Korean pro team coaches and hiring former assistant coach David "Cop" Roberson in a head-coach position.

It's hard to say how much credit Cop should get in his first matches with Dig, but they were clearly successes. Now Team Dignitas has had two weeks to work on its teamwork before returning to the North American LCS stage, which will allow the scene to home in on how impactful Cop is.

36. Echo Fox

Record: 4-6 (10-14) | League: NA LCS | +/-: -15

37. OMG

Record: 2-3 (4-7) | League: LPL | +/-: +3

38. Snake Esports

Record: 2-3 (4-7) | League: LPL | +/-: -18

39. I May

Record: 2-3 (4-7) | League: LPL | +/-: -16

40. Giants Gaming

Record: 1-5 (4-11) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -4

Giants Gaming is in an odd and undesirable spot. Despite showing promise beyond of a non-Korean Challenger squad not named Schalke 04, the lack of coordination down the stretch against better LCS squads leaves it one game away from relegation. As it stands, teams ranked underneath Giants would potentially be ranked underneath Schalke 04.

Bottom of the barrel

41. Team Liquid

Record: 2-8 (9-17) | League: NA LCS | +/-: -4

Team Liquid will reportedly be making two moves with its lineup, both of which deserve pause: 2013 World Champion AD carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin will move to the team's mid lane, and former mid lane substitute Jung "Youngbin" Young-bin will take up the vacant AD carry role. Everything else remains the same.

This move looks like a make-it-or-break-it move, as the team (holding a 2-8 set record) is tied for last alongside Team EnVyUs. Things couldn't get much worse, so change had to come. The question on everyone's minds: Are these the right moves?

42. Machi

Record: 2-3 (5-7) | League: LMS | +/-: -1

43. Team EnVyUs

Record: 2-8 (5-16) | League: NA LCS | +/-: +1

44. Vitality

Record: 1-5 (4-10) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

45. Fireball

Record: 2-3 (7-6) | League: LMS | +/-: +1


Record: 0-6 (2-12) | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1

47. Wayi Spider

Record: 0-6 (1-12) | League: LMS | +/-: +2

48. Extreme Gamers

Record: 1-3 (2-7) | League: LMS | +/-: No change

49. Game Talents

Record: 1-4 (3-8) | League: LPL | +/-: -2

50. Origen

Record: 0-6 (0-12) | League: EU LCS | +/-: No change