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Week five was an odd one in League of Legends. Upsets, surprises, base races ... it seemingly had it all. Reflected in that? A new king in our power rankings.
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: 8-1 | League: LPL | +/-: +1
Both the top of China's LoL Pro League and the top of South Korea's LoL Champions Korea are in flux, with a cluster of teams in each region all making their individual cases as the default best. This week, thanks to Royal Never Give Up's slide without AD carry Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao and continuing parity at the top of both regions, Invictus Gaming emerge as the best team for now with wins over Team WE and an improved Topsports Gaming in the second week of interconference play.
Record: 9-3 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
Tied with Griffin in series record, although slightly behind them in game win percentage is the reigning world champion, Gen.G. Due to Gen.G's struggles in 2018 LoL Champions Korea Spring it's sometimes easy to forget that one iteration of this roster won the Summoner's Cup. "Play our game" is something a lot of players say when they feel like their team wasn't able to execute their team's specific style. When Gen.G are able to play its game -- one of traditional AD carries for Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk at a more measured pace -- it is one of, if not the, best team in the world. Gen.G also deserves credit this split thus far for knowing when to swap between the team's two junglers, Kang "Haru" Min-seung and Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong.
Record: 9-3 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
This past week of 2018 LCK was the worst week in Griffin's LCK history. The team went 1-2, losing to both the Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster. The only reason Griffin is moving up is thanks to EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up losses. That being said, "worst in the team's LCK history" is relative to the strongest start from a promoted team that we've seen since the 2015 ROX Tigers, and the situations are not comparable. Griffin is a team of rookies that has improved throughout a highly-competitive season. The most concerning thing that Griffin will have to address is how the team lost in teamfights to KT. Teamfights are Griffin's bread and butter, and the team frequently uses teamfights to take objectives and pressure opponents. Studying how KT pulled the team apart in fights will serve Griffin well moving forward, especially with two strong opponents next week in Kingzone DragonX and Gen.G.
4. KT Rolster
Record: 8-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +4
Due to the relative parity in the LCK, KT Rolster's two victories shot them up two spots in the standings. Both victories were shaky in a way that only KT can be. Much has been made of this roster's individual talent, and KT has a strong understanding of early objective control, even if its vision doesn't always match. Yet, this roster iteration of KT has always lacked discipline, and this appears in moments like KT's decision-making when taking the baron, regardless of how good the team's setup is. On a more positive note, KT as a team seem to have stronger synergy than this roster has ever had. Against Griffin, KT used mid laner Son "Ucal" Woo-hyeon's Ryze ultimate to intelligently out-teamfight Griffin, shutting Griffin down where they are strongest. With games against Gen.G, Kingzone DragonX, and bbq Olivers, KT could make a giant step forward towards clinching a playoff spot next week if the team can be consistent, but KT's lack of discipline is still a problem.
5. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 7-3 | League: LPL | +/-: -4
With Uzi out for another week, and despite the versatility shown last week, Royal Never Give Up slipped. Fortunately for RNG, they weren't the only top team that slipped, with EDG also taking an unexpected loss to BLG in the first matches of Week 6. RNG was not the best team in China or the world this past week, but it will take a few more losses and continued improvement from Rogue Warriors and JD Gaming, the latter of which also started Week 6 with a loss, to drop them down further in the rankings. Uzi's absence doesn't necessarily explain RNG losing Barons that they shouldn't have or misplaying around objectives, although his voice is surely missed in comms.
6. EDward Gaming
Record: 7-3 | League: LPL | +/-: -3
There's still a strong case to keep EDward Gaming in the top five, which speaks to the volatility of the standings in China and South Korea right now. Both regions have parity with their top teams, leading to a lot of fluctuating in a power ranking like this. If EDG had lost to Bilibili Gaming 1-2 instead of being swept, maybe they would still be in the top five. Yet, this is the week of Ryze ultimate play, and BLG's Li "Mole" Hao-Yan ended the upset against EDG with style by Realm Warping the team onto EDG's nexus. Bot laner Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao and Tian "Meiko" Ye's Morgana Shen lane was shut down by BLG, stymying an EDG staple: strong bot lane control and trading up in turrets. EDG have tried these Kindred compositions around jungler Chen "Haro" Wen-Lin against Suning Gaming and Vici Gaming, but for two of those three games, EDG also drafted a traditional AD carry for iBoy. Haro's performance against Suning was strong, and EDG need to find that coordination and map pressure again.
7. Rogue Warriors
Record: 7-2 | League: LPL | +/-: -1
As mid laner Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang's Kled mid pick spreads across the competitive landscape, Rogue Warriors themselves had an up-and-down week. It's becoming repetitive to say, but we can't stress enough just how close some of these top Chinese and South Korean teams are in standings and performance, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For Rogue Warriors, even with the team's penchant for early teamfights, the team's vision control is often lackluster. In Rogue Warriors one game win against JDG, the team used Sivir and pushing lanes to shut down JDG and have a strong teamfight composition. Much like JDG, a lot of Rogue Warriors execution problems this past week also came down to split-second decision-making. Even in Rogue Warriors' unexpected win against RNG, many of the turning points in the game came off of poor Baron execution or decision-making from RNG, rather than Rogue Warriors executing its compositions well.
8. JD Gaming
Record: 8-2 | League: LPL | +/-: +4
Like EDG, JD Gaming kicked off 2018 LPL Summer Week 6 with an unexpected loss. This was particularly disappointing since it followed JDG's victory over fellow top LPL team, Rogue Warriors. The match against TOP was a chance for JDG to prove that it belonged in the top of the LPL alongside the likes of iG, RNG, and EDG, but JDG faltered, choosing ill-timed teamfights and turret dives. JDG is a scrappy team that likes to fight, but did so one too many times without vision or lane control, misreading their advantages and allowing TOP mid laner Lei "Corn" Wen to flank and pull of an unlikely victory. This was much more of a JDG loss than a TOP win, but it's unfortunate for JDG, who had a chance to further distance themselves from East Region powerhouse RNG during cross conference play.
9. Flash Wolves
Record: 7-0 | League: LMS | +/-: +1
Flash Wolves had itself another 2-0 weekend and is keeping its foot on the gas it guns for its fourth straight World Championship appearance. A perfect 7-0 record through the first round robin and dominant performances against MAD Team and HKA are setting up Flash Wolves to reach that goal with ease. Flash Wolves is on another level and the rest of Taiwan will have to keep climbing, grasping for second best.
10. Kingzone DragonX
Record: 8-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +1
After a poor showing at 2018 LCK-LPL-LMS Rift Rivals and a rough Week 4 loss to the Jin Air Green Wings, Kingzone DragonX continued to struggle a bit in Week 5 in the team's loss to Gen.G. Gen.G looked far more coordinated than the reigning LCK champions, which led to Kingzone's downfall. Although jungler Han "Peanut" Wang-ho has been heavily criticized for his performance as has Kim "Khan" Dong-ha for crucial teamfight misplays; however, Kingzone aren't looking awful individually, especially mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong. The team's problems are execution-based. Even with better, simpler drafts against Gen.G, Kingzone was unable to execute, especially when it came to vision control and 5v5 teamfight coordination.
11. Afreeca Freecs
Record: 7-6 | League: LCK | +/-: -2
The Afreeca Freecs, much like Kingzone DragonX, had an inconsistent week. The Freecs began Week 5 with a strong sweep of Griffin that used Lee "Spirit" Da-yoon's Kindred to counter Griffin's funnel compositions. Afreeca faltered against the bbq Olivers, and then had a close 1-2 loss to one of the best teams in Korea right now in Gen.G. With the top of the LCK so close, the Freecs are still in a strong position for playoffs thanks to the team's early start. However, a single series or even game in a series can make a large difference in the standings which means that every play and teamfight matters. Like most teams vying for playoffs Afreeca can't afford even the slightest mistakes, like top laner Kim "Kiin" Gi-in's ill-advised Darius flank against Gen.G in Game 3.
12. Snake Esports
Record: 6-3 | League: LPL | +/-: +2
Last week, we praised Snake Esports for once again recognizing the team's weaknesses and starting bot laner Wang "Light" Guang-Yu with support Hu "Maestro" Jian-Xin instead of starting both Maestro and Snake's other support Liu "Hudie" Yan-Zhu. This has allowed Snake to branch out away from funnel compositions around jungler Lê "SofM" Quang Duy. Although SofM and top laner Li "Flandre" Xuan-Jun are still focal points for Snake, Light's presence allows the team to play bruiser picks like Swain and traditional AD carries like Ashe and Varus. That being said, Snake still suffer from execution issues. Even against somewhat softer opponents like BLG and VG, Snake occasionally misplay team compositions and showcase a lack of communication, especially between SofM and his new bot laner in Light.
13. Suning Gaming
Record: 4-5 | League: LPL | +/-: +4
Another power ranking blurb, another up-and-down week for a team, this time China's Suning Gaming. Suning beat the team that they were supposed to beat (Oh My God) but lost to the team that they were predicted to lose to (EDG) so its week wasn't as shocking as a lot of the other upsets we saw in the LPL this past week. Now Suning have to worry about BLG, who pulled off an unexpected victory over EDG using cross conference play to make its own run for Suning's position in the standings. With games against FunPlus Phoenix and a flailing Team WE, Suning will have to continue to integrate new mid laner Xiang "Angel" Tao onto the team, who already looks a bit better with the team than Huang "fenfen" Chen.
Record: 9-1 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -1
Misfits dropped its first game this against a revitalized Fnatic with sophisticated wave management. As far as losses go, it is a pretty light one and doesn't indicate that Misfits is slipping in the way that G2 Esports has. The 9-1 record speaks for itself in this situation, but next week will be important for evaluating Misfits' ability to bounce back.
Record: 7-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: +3
Fnatic rise to second in Europe after a strong showing last week against the Unicorns of Love and the immaculate Misfits. A stronger focus on sidewave control from Gabriel "Bwipo" Rau made all the difference in snowballing leass. Fnatic still feels a bit raw and perhaps less-scary without Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, but there is no doubt that the team can be at the top without him.
16. G2 Esports
Record: 7-3 | League: EU LCS | +/-: -3
G2 slips to third in Europe, but that is largely an indicator of Fnatic's recent rise and Misfits' general tear throughout the Summer Split. G2 mastered the funnel comp earlier in the split and the team looks brilliant when Luka "Perkz" Perkovic picks up Smite, but the general G2 approach has been apprehensive without it. A harsh loss against Roccat last week hurts G2, but a decent win over Vitality keeps it closer to the top. EU is close and G2 is still part of the cluster.
17. 100 Thieves
Record: 6-4 | League: NA LCS | +/-: +15
100 Thieves -- Nothing summarizes the North American LCS better right now than the 100 Thieves last game against FlyQuest. Through the first 95% of the game, it was an easy victory for the Thieves. The sun was out in Los Angeles, the birds were singing, and in the sea of murkiness, 100T was the one team NA could rely on. That's until everything went upside down and a base race left 100T stunned, a series of errors and needless deaths coupled with bad decision making letting FLY steal a win to tie 100T in the standings at 6-4.
Yes, the best team in NA right now is 6-4 and just lost in an embarrassing game it should have won. Oh, and don't even know if its new jungler can do anything well other than funneling resources into a Xayah on Rakan. This is the current state of North American League of Legends.
18. SK Telecom
Record: 5-7 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
SK Telecom T1 are back! Sort of. It was a shock to see mid laner Choi "Pirean" Jun-sik seated in Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's chair, especially in such a crucial matchup against Hanwha Life, one of the teams that SKT would be looking to knock out of playoff contention if SKT can make that miracle run. Yet, we liked SKT's general approach to the game compositionally: choosing easy-to-execute champion picks and compositions with traditional AD carries. SKT didn't look great against Hanwha, but due to the volatility not just in South Korea and China, but around the world, SKT's 2-1 rise this past week was enough to boost them into the top 20 for now.
19. Hanwha Life
Record: 6-6 | League: LCK | +/-: -12
This past week was not kind to Hanwha Life Esports, who dropped out of the top five with an 0-2 week. While Hanwha's loss to Griffin wasn't too surprising, the team's 0-2 loss to SK Telecom T1 without Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok was. SKT was able to be more proactive, previously a trait that top laner Heo "Lindarang" Man-heung and jungler Yoon "SeongHwan" Seong-hwan had brought to Hanwha's early game. Bot laner Gwon "Sangyoon" Sang-yun and Kim "Key" Han-gi are still one of the better bot lanes in South Korea, showing strong adaptation in the new meta since 8.11, but this week, Hanwha feel completely flat. With so much parity and seven teams jockeying for five playoff spots, Hanwha can't afford another week like Week 5.
20. Hong Kong Attitude
Record: 4-3 | League: LMS | +/-: +15
HKA break into the top 20 for the first time this year after a clinical 2-0 victory over MAD Team and solid set against Flash Wolves. Hong Kong Attitude still stands out as a "win lane, win game" type of team, but its neutral objective game is leveling up week by week. Jeon "erssu" Ik-Soo continues to make the difference with his splitpush oriented picks and strong wave control.