The League of Legends global power rankings roll on, even if the LEC took a week off. Still, there was some significant movement in the top of the ranks, and a few surprising victories elsewhere in the world shook things up a bit, too.
How we rank: We weigh the teams' strength of schedule, wins, losses and overall performance for the week and have our panelists submit a ranking of 1 through 10 for each team, with 10 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest. We then average the scores to create our initial ranking and discuss any changes needed.
There are five overall tiers. Here's what they mean:
Tier 1: No. 1-10 -- These are world championship quarterfinalist (and beyond) contenders. The farther down you go in the top 10 the less likely that team could win it all, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Tier 2: No. 11-20 -- These are the teams we'd expect to make it to the world championship group stage, with a possibility for quarterfinals. They are likely strong regional contenders in their respective leagues.
Tier 3: No. 21-30 -- It's a long shot, so don't expect to see these teams in the quarterfinals, but a few will make it to groups at worlds. They are likely middle of the pack in their region.
Tier 4: No. 31-40 -- These teams have a tough road ahead of them if they want to see anything postseason related.
Tier 5: No. 41-47 -- Luckily relegation isn't a thing anymore.
1. TOP Esports
Region: LPL | Record: 8-1 | Change: --
Before the team's stunning loss to Victory Five, it seemed as if Top Esports were on their way to roll through the entire LPL season without dropping a single match. Even with their fall to the unexpected title contenders in V5, Top still stands as the most complete League of Legends team in the world, boasting top-five players at their position in almost every role. The team's crown jewel, Zhuo "Knight" Ding, is putting his Mejai's Soulstealer notebook to good use as the Chinese prodigy gears up to partake in his first world championship.
-- Tyler Erzberger
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2. Victory Five
Region: LPL | Record: 8-2 | Change: +5
There's almost always a team in the LoL Pro League that rises through the standings early in the split due to schedule or the fact that opponents simply don't study or ban out their strategies. This past spring that team was eStar. In 2015, that team was Snake Esports. So when Victory Five unexpectedly rose to 4-1 after facing middling to lower-tier LPL teams, they were fully expected to drop after facing stronger counterparts.
They still haven't fallen in the standings, and last night they handed Top Esports (which is still the best team in the world) their first series loss of the summer. With every match, Victory Five is looking like a more flexible unit, led by jungler Wei "Weiwei" Bo-Han and the oppressive trading of bot lane duo Lee "Samd" Jae-hoon and Guo "ppgod" Peng. Their gauntlet of playoff-caliber teams continues next week when they face Invictus Gaming and Suning, but they've already knocked out their most formidable opponent first, proving that they can keep up with anyone in the LPL.
-- Emily Rand
3. MAD Lions
Region: LEC | Record: 7-2 | Change: +2
The MAD Lions, like the rest of Europe, were off this week. They'll look to add to their 7-2, No. 1 overall record in the LEC, playing against G2 Esports and Excel Esports this coming weekend.
Region: LCK | Record: 7-1 | Change: -2
Where do I begin with you, DragonX? One week I'm praising DragonX for their intelligent drafting and strong answers to Aphelios that make the most of their solo laners, the next week I'm heavily criticizing them for picking overly-tricky compositions that get run over by KT Rolster and top laner Song "Semb" Kyung-ho's emergency Maokai support. Then they hold off a rising DAMWON Gaming in a close 2-1 with more coordinated teamfighting and smarter engages.
Putting whatever you think about the draft duality of coach Kim "cvMax" Dae-ho, DragonX is still a team that is in flux. Top laner Choi "Doran" Hyeon-joon has been shaky, but jungler Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon has looked more coordinated with the team overall, and is making more of mid laner Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon's map pressure along with support Ryu "Keria" Min-seok's roaming. Chovy himself has continued to evolve into a more well-rounded mid laner, and DragonX's bottom lane can go up against any LCK bot lane. There's a lot to like about DragonX, but for them to hold off what are almost guaranteed mid-to-late-split pushes from the likes of Gen.G and T1, they need to be more consistent.
Region: LCS | Record: 9-1 | Change: +1
The dream of a perfect season, once more, is over. While C9 dispatched of longtime rival Team SoloMid to keep their pristine record intact, it was a reformatted 100 Thieves, led by former C9 starting jungler Juan "Contractz" Garcia, that finally upended the reigning North American champion. Although a setback for a team that went 17-1 last split and were aiming for a spotless campaign, the added pressure of being flawless is now gone from C9, allowing them to focus on what's more important -- getting ready for the playoffs and a hopeful trip to Shanghai for the League of Legends world championship.
Region: LEC | Record: 7-2 | Change: +1
Tied-for-first Rogue was off last week with the rest of the LEC, and will return next week to take on Excel and Schalke.
-- Darin Kwilinski
7. Damwon Gaming
Region: LCK | Record: 6-2 | Change: +2
Despite their 1-2 loss to DragonX, I actually see both DAMWON and DragonX as pretty much equal in terms of the two top LCK teams right now. The issue with DAMWON seems to be that when one of their solo laners in either Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon or Heo "ShowMaker" Su doesn't perform as well as expected, the entire team sometimes collapses, regardless of how well bot laner Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun plays.
More impressive was their absolute slaughter of the Afreeca Freecs, where jungler Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu put on a show. He's had a remarkably strong split thus far, especially when compared to how lackluster he looked this past spring. Both DAMWON and DragonX are good and interesting teams with the potential to be something greater and stay on top of the LCK come playoff time if they can find that consistency.
8. FunPlus Phoenix
Region: LPL | Record: 5-4 | Change: -6
Do FunPlus Phoenix still belong here after their loss to Vici Gaming where they apparently forget the existence of Elder Drake? Maybe?
Here's the thing, we all know what FPX are capable of: winning a world championship. Perhaps the more important thing to remember from their world championship run is that it wasn't always clean. Remember their Day 1 loss to J Team when everyone was calling them 2015 LGD? Pepperidge Farm remembers and so do I. FPX is never going to be a "clean" team even when they're at their best. Some worrying things from this week are how well the team fares when Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang isn't able to deal significant amounts of damage on some of the tankier choices that made his playstyle famous. In other words, he's much better in this meta on the Rumble mid or TF than Nautilus.
Despite an 0-2 week, FPX are likely an LPL playoff team, and one that could be dangerous if they shore up their mid-jungle synergy and jungle-support roams that made the team so formidable in 2019.
9. Invictus Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 7-3 | Change: -5
It has been a bumpy (but successful) summer split thus far for the 2018 world champions. After Song "Rookie" Eui-jin looked unlike himself in the spring, he's turned it around this split to look more like the world-class talisman he is, putting iG on his back in numerous matches this split to get them over the line. It also could be a redemption season for another former world champion of the 2018 roster, support Wang "Baolin" Liu-Yi, who lost his starting job to Su "Southwind" Zhi-Lin but has recently found himself back in the starting-five, 3-1 overall for the summer split.
10. JD Gaming
Region: LPL | Record: 7-2 | Change: --
It has been an awkward post-title season for the Devils of JD Gaming. Though the team is still firmly in the conversation of making the world championship and being a contender of winning it all if they do so, they've seen little fanfare following their triumph in the spring. Everything has either been about Top Esports crushing the competition or V5's ascent from winless embarrassment to legitimate contenders, leaving JD to quietly take care of business, standing at 7-2 and a game behind TES for top spot in the standings. The world can chatter about Knight or ppgod all they like, until someone eliminates JD from the upcoming summer playoffs, the Chinese championship goes through the Devils.