As China’s League of Legends Pro League enters, League Champions Korea leaves.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to several adjustments in international play, including the LPL returning in an online-only format early Monday and the LCK closing its doors for the time being. This was the last week of LCK play until further notice by Riot Korea, and when the league will return and in what format remains to be seen.
After this week, the global power rankings will include the LPL, League European Championship and League Championship Series. For now, the LCK remains, and its final week of play before this hiatus led to a shift at the top of the ladder.
How we rank: We had our panelists and writers submit a ranking of No. 1 through 10 for each team, with 10 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest. We then averaged the scores to create our initial list and looked at the teams’ schedules, wins, losses and overall performance for the week.
Last week’s League of Legends power rankings put T1 Esports at No. 1.
Region: LCK | Record: 8-1 | Change: +1
Since their loss to T1 in Week 2, Gen.G have beyond a shadow of a doubt proved that they are the team to beat in South Korea. For me, this starts with jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min. People are probably sick of hearing me talk about how good Clid is, but I love how he fits with this team, particularly with mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong.
Gen.G only had one match this week in light of the LCK break that began at the firm cutoff at the end of the first round robin. Those who watched that game might be wondering why I’m saying Gen.G look so strong, especially after all manner of missteps from the team in Game 1 against Sandbox(despite a Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk’s pentakill to end the game). What was more interesting was Gen.G’s Game 2 draft pivot to mid Sett, Bard support and Sejuani jungle, which allowed for Gen.G’s classic front-to-back 5-on-5s.
— Emily Rand
2. G2 Esports
Region: LEC | Record: 11-3 | Change: +2
New champion tech? Must be G2 Esports.
The LEC’s No. 1 team passed a stern weekend test in style, overcoming Origen and Fnatic with their trademark flair for the unexpected. Against Origen, mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković debuted his hipster Ekko — a fringe pick in the West despite plenty of play in the LCK — to limited effect, though his fancy footwork in the late game kept Origen top laner Barney “Alphari” Morris occupied long enough for G2 to secure Elder Dragon, win the ensuing 4-on-4 teamfight and ultimately break the Nexus.
But it was top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen’s Janna pick that drew headlines during a possible finals preview versus Fnatic. Like Sona and Soraka before her, Wunder exploited Janna’s ability to harass enemies from range, support item gold generation and disgusting teamfight healing to stymie Fnatic in a back-and-forth contest. Patch 10.5’s support item changes will probably invalidate enchanter top compositions, forcing Wunder to reach deeper into his pocket for entertaining-yet-somehow-meta picks.
G2 shouldn’t have a problem amusing fans; the game’s singular creative maestros are fully recovered from a rough patch and poised to delight down the homestretch. Only Rogue, Misfits Gaming, Excel Esports and FC Schalke 04 stand between G2 and a top playoff seed, but if Fnatic and Origen can’t stop G2, who can?
— Miles Yim
3. T1 Esports
Region: LCK | Record: 7-2 | Change: -2
No matter if T1 are on top of the world or struggling at the bottom of the standings as they did throughout the majority of their 2018 campaign, the Afreeca Freecs just have their number. The Freecs have been a thorn in the side of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok throughout his career, and that continued with another frustrating loss to end the first half of the LCK regular season.
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The team’s topside of the map duo of Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan and Kim “Canna” Chang-dong were outmatched by their more dynamic Afreeca counterparts. For the majority of the season, the two have been able to get away with nondescript early-games. It’s been OK if T1 enter the 15-minute mark of a map at a gold deficit because when it comes to the meat and potatoes of South Korean League of Legends, around 30-to-35 minutes, that’s where they’ve been able to fall back upon the late-game win conditions known as Faker and Park “Teddy” Jin-seong.
T1 will need to fix their early-game struggles if they really want to be a threat to Gen.G or any of the top international squads. It’s OK to have a counter-punching style — T1 won three titles playing that way — but you need to have a fastball up your sleeve for special occasions. Right now, T1 know how to navigate difficult matchups, but they’re not knocking many teams out in the first round.
— Tyler Erzberger
Region: LEC | Record: 10-4 | Change: -1
Fnatic vs. G2 Esports was the match of the week for Week 7 of the LEC, as both powerhouse teams looked to solidify themselves at the top of the European standings. After a bloody clash with some of the finest mechanical prowess displayed from both teams, G2 Esports emerged as the victor in the latest iteration of this European rivalry, through a clutch Baron secure from G2 jungler Marcin “Jankos” “Jankowski” and a surprise Janna top from Wunder that challenged Fnatic at late-game confrontations.
Regardless of the result, it is great to see two equally competitive teams in a single league continuously challenging each other. Fnatic will now have the rest of the LEC regular split to bulk up their performance for the playoffs and continue developing the already great synergy they’ve built up in the first seven weeks of the split. I’d love to see Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau continue to bring diverse picks into the top lane, ranging from his signature Gangplank to more supportive top champions, even perhaps pull out a Kalista top that’s been making noise in solo queue.
— Ashley Kang
Region: LCK | Record: 7-2 | Change: +1
Following their smooth thumpings over Griffin and Damwon Gaming, it is safe to say that coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho’s faith in young talents Choi “Doran” Hyeong-joon and Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon has been rewarded.
As a team, DragonX displayed great meta understanding and the willingness to bend it. In came Kennen top against Aatrox, a winning Soraka-Rumble solo lane swap and the return of the 2018 world championship’s flavorful Ornn/Nocturne duo. But for all the praise given for the team’s creativity, Pyosik and Doran’s growth may lift DragonX to an even higher level.
With Doran being as comfortable onstage as he has been as of late, and with Pyosik spicing things up (as shown in the fourth minute of DragonX’s second game against Damwon), improvement would likely mean an LCK title. However, their story will have to wait until teams get the go-ahead for the regular season to resume.
— Adel Chouadria
6. Afreeca Freecs
Region: LCK | Record: 6-3 | Change: +2
Despite playing a single series this week, Afreeca Freecs sent a strong message to the LCK’s top three teams.
Empowered by Kim “Kiin” Gi-in’s daring Akali play, they snatched a narrow 2-1 victory over T1. Overlooked in the victory, it seems, were Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok’s proactivity during the early-game and Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun’s consistently scorching performances. After a somewhat rocky early season, Afreeca started showing signs of improvement — enough to turn the LCK into a four-team affair in the second half of the split.
Region: LEC | Record: 10-4 | Change: —
Three words describe Origen as they continue to reaffirm themselves as a top-three team in the LEC: consistent, reliable and disciplined.
Origen’s playstyle is very by-the-book. They play through the strength of their individual laners, activated by the team’s exceptional jungler, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir, in order to achieve the most obvious given win condition.
Origen have defeated teams lower in the standings with ease, notably taking down the up-and-coming Misfits on Day 2 of the LEC’s Week 7. However, Origen struggled when facing teams that can outpace the team’s individual laners like Fnatic or teams with a more chaotic, creative playstyle such as G2.
Origen will now have to go through that next step of evolution in order to contest the top teams in the LEC. I’d like to see Origen become more proactive in diversifying their win conditions and get better at improvising when unexpected situations arise in-game.
Region: LCS | Record: 12-1 | Change: -3
I knew it was over when they lost their mid turret last week against Dignitas.
Cloud9 won, crushing their opponent in the process, but that was the first time C9’s roster looked human all season. That vulnerability carried over to their Week 7 matchup against TSM, where Cloud9 not only lost a mid turret but the entire game.
Although the leaders of North America look mortal, that loss could serve them well as we shift into the playoffs with an opportunity to earn a Mid-Season Invitational berth (if it’s not canceled due to coronavirus). C9 were outfought and outplayed by a team strong enough, on paper, to match C9 in a best-of-five series, so difficult matches and being pushed by a talented team can only result in a better C9 down the road.
While there won’t be a perfect split in their future, come the playoffs or maybe even an MSI group stage, the North American frontrunners might be thankful for their loss to TSM.
A team’s true skill and mettle are truly tested after a loss, and with former leader Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi gone, how C9 respond in their upcoming games will be a sign of how far this starting five can actually go.
Region: LEC | Record: 9-5 | Change: +1
Rogue picked up a pair of crucial victories this weekend as they jostled for LEC playoff positioning, beating woeful Team Vitality before blasting MAD Lions in a battle of 8-5 teams. During the latter win, you could almost feel Rogue venting their frustration over a split’s worth of inconsistent results, smashing MAD Lions with 20 kills to two in just over 28 minutes. Finally, Rogue were able to effectively convert early game advantages into an unstoppable mid-game snowball, resisting the familiar temptation to fumble away a lead.
At 9-5 with four regular season games left, Rogue will likely need two wins at minimum to secure a playoff berth. It’s possible, though Rogue’s remaining schedule is tricky to gauge. They’ll play powerhouses G2 Esports and Fnatic next week, then face relative lightweights SK Gaming and FC Schalke 04. While doubtful, stealing a Week 8 win from either Fnatic or G2 would solidify Rogue’s postseason hopes, but odds are they won’t be assured a spot until the end of Week 9.
Region: LEC | Record: 9-5 | Change: +1
It’s surprising to me to see Misfits up so high after a 1-1 week. This is the level where things get really murky across the board in both LEC and LCK; I suppose it’s a bit easier to believe in Misfits than, say, KT Rolster or Damwon Gaming at the moment, so take from that what you will. (From my perspective, KT are currently on a win streak and Misfits have had three straight weeks of 1-1 performances, which puts a damper on my opinion of the LEC squad).
This past week, Misfits won an important match against Excel to further secure their position in the LEC playoff race, but Misfits also lost an important match with future playoff implications to Origen. That’s about where Misfits should be. When we talked about Misfits previously, we talked about how amazing it was that they were tied for first place with the likes of G2 (who they beat in Week 4) and Fnatic (who beat Misfits in Week 6). This is less of a downward spiral for Misfits and more natural course-correction, especially with G2 rising once again.
The rest of the world
11. Mad Lions
Region: LEC | Record: 8-6 | Change: +1
12. Team SoloMid
Region: LCS | Record: 8-6 | Change: +3
Region: LCK | Record: 4-5 | Change: +1
Region: LCS | Record: 8-6 | Change: -6
15. KT Rolster
Region: LCK | Record: 4-5 | Change: +3
16. Team Liquid
Region: LCS | Record: 6-7 | Change: -3
Region: LCK | Record: 3-6 | Change: —
18. Excel Esports
Region: LEC | Record: 7-7 | Change: -2
19. Evil Geniuses
Region: LCS | Record: 7-7 | Change: +3
Region: LCK | Record: 2-7 | Change: +1
21. 100 Thieves
Region: LCS | Record: 7-7 | Change: +4
22. Golden Guardians
Region: LCS | Record: 6-7 | Change: +1
Region: LCK | Record: 2-7 | Change: -4
24. FC Schalke 04
Region: LEC | Record: 3-11 | Change: +2
25. APK Prince
Region: LCK | Record: 2-7 | Change: +3
Region: LCS | Record: 6-7 | Change: -6
27. Counter Logic Gaming
Region: LCS | Record: 3-11 | Change: —
Region: LCS | Record: 5-9 | Change: -4
29. SK Gaming
Region: LEC | Record: 2-12 | Change: —
30. Team Vitality
Region: LEC | Record: 1-13 | Change: —