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And here we are. The final League of Legends Global Power Rankings of the regular split. We've seen a lot of changes this summer based on the chaotic meta at the start, but things seem to have leveled off. Let's see how everyone ended up in the end.
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. Invictus Gaming
Record: 14-1 | League: LPL | +/-: --
We want to stress that Invictus Gaming still have flaws, but that's become increasingly difficult over the past few weeks when the team covers said flaws so well with strong, focused drafts and mid laner Song "Rookie" Eui-jin. Rookie is mentioned frequently, if not every week, in these small paragraphs because regardless of jungler Gao "Ning" Zhen-Ning's mistakes, which iG top laner starts, or the occasional teamfight positioning error from bot laner Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, Rookie is consistently stellar. iG's series against Royal Never Give Up was no exception for Rookie, who is quietly making a case for himself as the best mid laner in the world right now. That being said, iG's later-game teamfighting and JackeyLove's positioning looked much improved against RNG.
2. KT Rolster
Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
If you've been reading these blurbs at all you know that we're pretty loathe to rank KT Rolster highly due to its inconsistency. This week, our last of the Global Power Rankings grind, we were presented with a conundrum. Not only did KT manage to claim the first-place spot in the standings, earning an automatic bye to the 2018 LoL Champions Korea Summer Finals, but we also agreed that KT would beat our other first-place contender, Invictus Gaming, in a head-to-head. Yet, iG is ranked ahead of KT. This is a power rankings challenge where we had to put iG ahead due to the team's consistency and recent victory over Royal Never Give Up, despite misgivings with iG generally and against KT specifically. Still, congrats KT. We didn't think you would actually do it, but all the best in the upcoming finals.
3. Kingzone DragonX
Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +2
Yes, Griffin is second in the upcoming gauntlet, but Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong and Kingzone DragonX have looked much improved in the back half of the split. Kingzone found its groove playing more traditional bot lanes in similar fashion to Gen.G, especially with Kim "PraY" Jong-in on his signature Ashe. However, the real story of how Kingzone managed to claim a higher seed in the playoff gauntlet than the team's middling performances would suggest is owed to Bdd. Bdd has played 20 champions this split, flexing into whatever position or style Kingzone needed. While Bdd has claimed the top spot for the MVP award previously, this is his true MVP season.
4. Rogue Warriors
Record: 12-3 | League: LPL | +/-: --
Just behind Invictus Gaming's Rookie in the LoL Pro League MVP standings is Rogue Warriors mid laner Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang. Like Rookie, we've mentioned Doinb in these short description paragraphs before, but he also bares mentioning again. Without Doinb, this Rogue Warriors team doesn't work. Doinb creates pressure, making jungler Sung "Flawless" Yeon-jun look much more impressive than his pathing and decision-making often suggests. Then there are Rogue Warriors' teamfights, which are some of the most explosive in the region. We're looking forward to seeing this team, which has already qualified for at least a quarterfinals seed in the bracket due to lack of competition in the West Region, in the upcoming playoffs.
Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
Griffin took care of business in the final week by sweeping bbq Olivers in the team's final series. This team deserves credit for its consistency, something that top teams with some of the most veteran LCK players on their rosters -- cough, KT and Kingzone, cough -- struggle to find. The six members of Griffin stuck to what worked best for them, Park "Viper" Do-hyeon made a case for himself as the best bot laner in the region (notice we didn't say AD carry here, because that likely belongs to Gen.G's Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk) and Griffin showed enough flexibility in champion choices not only to stay relevant all split, but to stay at the top of the standings, often with sole-possession of first place. This is near-unheard of for a rookie team, and to do so in such a volatile meta deserves recognition. What Griffin need to improve if they want to make a serious run at the summer title is the team's early-game passivity. Even if jungler Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong has strong pathing performances, the team is all-too-content to farm and scale. This won't work against finalist KT, which has already been proven in Griffin's two regular-season losses to to KT.
6. Flash Wolves
Record: 13-0 | League: LMS | +/-: +1
Flash Wolves has the LMS in the palm of its hand and that comes as no surprise at this point. Flash Wolves is 13-0 -- with a 26-3 game record -- and will most likely secure the 14-0 record in its match against G-Rex soon. Two of those game losses came recently, but largely occurred due to Yu "MMD" Li-Hong and Liu "ShiauC" Chia-Hao receiving starts against weaker opponents. Flash Wolves is set for the World Championship no matter what so the team has bigger fish to fry come October.
7. Afreeca Freecs
Record: 10-8 | League: LCK | +/-: +7
It was a bit of a shock to see how easily the Afreeca Freecs defeated Gen.G in the first round of the 2018 LCK Summer playoff gauntlet. Afreeca was always capable of this. The team certainly has the talent in every position and coach Choi "iloveoov" Yeon-sung's coaching style and drafts have been fantastic for this team in the past. Yet, Afreeca struggled after Rift Rivals, failing to find a play style that worked well for them as the meta shifted again. Against Gen.G, Afreeca mercilessly attacked Gen.G in the draft. Top laner Kim "Kiin" Gi-in had his chance to shine with an impressive Quinn performance, and iloveoov once again made the most of Afreeca's flexibility. We're still a bit worried about the lack of Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon's early pressure in a winning jungle matchup, but the next round of the gauntlet just became a lot more exciting thanks to what Afreeca showed on Sunday.
Record: 13-5 | League: LCK | +/-: -6
Despite Gen.G's loss to the Afreeca Freecs in the first round of the playoff gauntlet, we think Gen.G is still one of the best teams in South Korea. Gen.G's stubborn adherence to bot lane AD carries for Ruler, excellent Tahm Kench play from Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in, and the return of mid laner Song "Fly" Yong-jun from his lackluster performance in North America last split. Gen.G was a bit limited by individual players' champion pools, but the team made it work and stuck to its own style, which earned them a well-deserved spot in playoffs. Now we wait to see if the reigning world champions can make yet another run through the regional qualifier to attend a third World Championship together.
9. JD Gaming
Record: 12-3 | League: LPL | +/-: --
Despite a surprising loss to Suning Gaming this week, JD Gaming is still one of the best teams in the East Region with only three series losses and a guaranteed playoff spot. Now JDG works towards claiming a bye, progressing beyond the first round of the bracket where the team lost last split to Bilibili Gaming. JDG's early game and mid game still need better decision-making and execution, especially since the team often tries to force plays and skirmishes when it would be better to back off or regroup due to item timings, vision, or minion waves. Now that JDG has established itself as a good team in China, it needs to work on these smaller execution details in order to become a legitimate playoff contender.
10. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 12-5 | League: LPL | +/-: -4
With a jam-packed schedule thanks to the upcoming Asian Games -- where bot laner Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, support Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming, jungler Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu, and top laner Yan "Letme" Jun-Ze will all represent China -- Royal Never Give Up has not looked at its best. The team's overreliance on scaling drafts, especially for Uzi, has led to a return of RNG's passive, and highly-exploitable, early game. More surprising was how iG was able to exploit some of RNG's teamfight aggression with stronger Teleport timings and flanks. It's difficult to count RNG out. This is still one of the best teams in China, and the world, and will likely become an even more formidable opponent. Yet, RNG's return to some of the team's more egregious early game errors that we saw in spring and during the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational group stage has not been reassuring to watch.
Record: 12-4 | League: EU LCS | +/-: --
Martin "Rekkles" Larsson is back and Fnatic looked plenty comfortable playing with its legendary AD carry back down bot lane. His Ezreal play did not have too much bearing on the game's result, but Rasmus "Caps" Winther's Akali debut was another story. The assassin made a big splash in Fnatic's victory and was very similar in impact to Caps' Wukong this week as well. Fnatic's continued priority of the 5v5 deathball is fallible, but it's a strong identity that is keeping Europe's king strong.
15. Suning Gaming
Record: 8-7 | League: LPL | +/-: +5
We thought Suning Gaming was on its way out. With the rise of JD Gaming in the East Region and LGD Gaming making a last-minute push for their own playoff spot, Suning seemed well out of contention to do much of anything in playoffs even if the team made it. That changed this week, with Suning coming together to defeat RNG in an unlikely 2-0 victory followed by a 2-1 win over e-commerce brother JDG. Suning's mid-game still needs a lot of work -- RNG nearly came back against Suning even after Suning destroyed Uzi's Vayne bot lane -- so it's still difficult to see them making a strong run. However, we're glad to see the fight back in Suning. This team had a rough cross-conference stretch, but two key East Region victories should go far for this team.
13. Hanwha Life
Record: 10-8 | League: LCK | +/-: -1
If South Korea still had a playoff bracket rather than a seeded gauntlet, Hanwha Life Esports would have made it. Twice. The tragedy of Hanwha Life is that this team has had some standout individual and team performances, but has never been able to translate that into consistency for an eventual playoff spot. Even with strong drafting and good early game performances, errors in Hanwha Life's mid-game execution cost them games and series. Bot lane Gwon "Sangyoon" Sang-yun and Kim "Key" Han-gi still made a case for themselves as one of the best-performing bot lanes in the region at times. Here's to hoping that Hanwha Life isn't too discouraged and its players can work towards stronger performances in the future.
14. EDward Gaming
Record: 9-8 | League: LPL | +/-: -4
EDward Gaming is back, a bit. With much needed wins over Team WE and Oh My God, EDG reclaimed a winning record and currently sit in second-place behind Rogue Warriors in the West Region. EDG regained its confidence through, what else, strong teamfight performances from the team's bot lane of bot laner Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao and support Tian "Meiko" Ye. Veteran jungler and Ming "ClearLove" Kai has been back in the starting lineup for his leadership qualities, and while he isn't wholly responsible for righting the EDG ship, his consistency is much appreciated, even while jungler Chen "Haro" Wen-Lin has had stronger highlight performances this split.
15. Team Liquid
Record: 11-5 | League: NA LCS | +/-: --
At this point who knows how good Team Liquid. When TL is rolling, the reigning North American champion looks like a heavyweight knockout artist. But when you see games like TL getting beat down by Cloud9 last weekend, you wonder if Liquid has steady enough legs to carry the flag of NA at Worlds.
16. G2 Esports
Record: 11-5 | League: EU LCS | +/-: --
G2 is still on a search for a new identity, but despite its slight mid-game troubles, continues to win games. Since the downfall of funnel compositions, Martin "Wunder" Hansen has become the focus of G2's victories, split pushing with ease as G2 tears its opponents apart with map pressure. Wunder's performance on carry top laners has further augmented G2's side lane control, but there are still moments where G2 mismanages mid-game teamfights. G2 is on the cusp of consistently being great, but falls just a bit short of truly hitting its potential.
17. Schalke 04
Record: 11-5 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +7
Schalke rightfully makes its debut in the top 20 after going on an absolute tear the last few weeks, beating some of the best teams Europe has to offer. Schalke's approach to the early game and the increasingly positive performances from Maurice "Amazing" Stuckenschneider are carrying this team to the top. Erlend "Nukeduck" Holm is also making it his year with a broad champion pool that has allowed Schalke to run a variety of compositions with little issue.
Record: 8-8 | League: LPL | +/-: -5
Last week we spoke of Topsports Gaming's unlikely rise through the LPL West Region, which included a victory over a stagnant EDG. This week, TOP returned to expected form a bit, meaning that the team lost to FunPlus Phoenix due to TOP's over-aggression and perhaps a bit of underestimation of FPX's talent. Jungler Xiong "Xx" Yu-Long and company invading against a stronger Level 1 team in FPX without vision was very costly for TOP, and the team continued to make some of these mistakes, especially in choosing aggressive invades or skirmishes without vision. FPX made them pay for it.
Record: 9-4 | League: LPL | +/-: +8
MAD makes its way back into the top 20 with a key win over Hong Kong Attitude this week, putting the team one win away from locking the second seed in the LMS playoffs. MAD dropped its series to G-Rex this week, but that's more of a credit to G-Rex's improvement than MAD's incompetence. As the season closes, MAD might be a world away from Flash Wolves, but Hsiao "Kongyue" Jen Tso's continued improvement as Taiwan's best jungler might just bridge that gap a bit if the two teams meet in the finals.
20. Jin Air Green Wings
Record: 4-14 | League: LCK | +/-: +2
Other than, please find bot laner Park "Teddy" Jin-seong a team, there's not a lot to say about the Jin Air Green Wings. This team looked much better towards the end of the split (arguably more cohesive than SKT in the last few weeks) but still ended with a 4-14 record, well out of playoff contention. This Jin Air team lacked veteran leadership, with jungler Eom "UmTi" Seong-hyeon without direction from former Jin Air support Kwon "Wraith" Ji-min. Teddy is a brilliant bot laner, but the rest of the Jin Air roster is fairly talented, albeit with a few champion pool issues, especially for mid laner Lee "Grace" Chan-ju. Hopefully these players will find different teams or better coordination next split.