Our top 10 this week remained largely unchanged, though there was some shuffling among the three Chinese teams, three European teams, three Korean teams and one North American team. Gen.G cracked the top 10 for the first time this summer, replacing fellow LCK team Sandbox Gaming, which fell out of the top 10 after three straight weeks at No. 8.
With the playoffs looming across all regions, teams have a few weeks left to get on a roll. Korea's SK Telecom T1 edged up to No. 11, and reigning world champions Invictus Gaming climbed to No. 12. At the other end of the spectrum, Korea's Jin Air Green Wings fell for the fifth straight week and are now at No. 51, and North America's Echo Fox continued to fall and find themselves last in our rankings at No. 53.
1. G2 Esports
Record: 9-1 | League: LEC | +/-: --
G2 Esports are here to stay at the top of the power rankings, unless the overloaded Patch 9.14 throws them off balance. Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski's play gets credit for cementing G2's status at the top: 5/0/14 on Jarvan IV against Excel Esports and 4/0/5 against the stalwart Splyce.
G2's flex parade was on full display: Bot lane Yasuo and support Gragas were a nightmare for Splyce, and so were top lane Karma and mid Akali for Excel. Although Patch 9.14's changes to draft priority might limit their arsenal, G2 will find creative meta-bending flex picks, but one has to wonder how fast they will be. Too slow, and they might fall behind on the meta and concede their Week 6 game to Origen.
-- Adel Chouadria
2. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 7-1 | League: LPL | +/-: +1
Another weak, another placement for RNG on top. FPX might have the better record, but the quality of wins are in RNG's favor. Against both EDward Gaming and Victory Five, RNG exhibited consistent early game plans that made for smooth midgame transitions. Jian "Uzi" Zi-hao hasn't been the star of RNG this year, and that tends to be the case when the team looks its strongest. Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-hao has put on a clinic recently, with both Irelia top and Rumble mid, showing that he can still carry games under the right circumstances. A balanced RNG is the scariest team in the world.
-- Xander Torres
3. FunPlus Phoenix
Record: 8-1 | League: LPL | +/-: -1
Much like Top Esports, FPX suffers from a lack of diversity in its play. Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang manages his lane, Gao "Tian" Tian-lang uses the strong side of the map to get an advantage, and FPX finds teamfights through mid lane. It's a tried and true formula, but once the teams are able to challenge that "perfect" early game, FPX tends to fall apart. A loss to Invictus Gaming recently isn't the absolute worst -- iG is still talented -- but it's another example of chaos wrecking an otherwise stable team identity.
4. Damwon Gaming
Record: 8-3 | League: LCK | +/-: +3
I have started so many of these blurbs with a question such as, "Is FPX the best team in the world?" And the answer was probably not. But as long as they kept winning, they were No. 1.
This week's question is: "Is Damwon Gaming the best team in South Korea right now?"
The answer is a bit nebulous. There are teams with better game plans (Gen.G), teams that have showcased stronger coordination (Sandbox Gaming) and teams that have shown a better understanding of fundamentals and how to play to their specific strengths (Kingzone). What Damwon do have is talented solo laners in Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon and Heo "ShowMaker" Su along with a strong understanding of fundamentals and how they want to play the game. Previously, when Damwon struggled, it seemed to be due to a lack of understanding of what to do next in the mid or late game. Now, the team is much more decisive, which recently led to a dominant 2-0 victory over their old Challengers Korea rival, Griffin.
-- Emily Rand
5. Kingzone DragonX
Record: 8-4 | League: LCK | +/-: -1
Kingzone DragonX, I believed in you, and you let me down. There has certainly been some ire at the perceived lack of movement from LCK teams above the likes of LPL teams such as FunPlus Phoenix after Rift Rivals, and of all teams, Kingzone had the greatest chance to move into one of those top spots, given their Rift Rivals performance and flex picks that the team was dabbling in. The vast majority of games coming out of the LPL and LCK were quite messy this past week, and the consistency we wanted from Kingzone was lacking, not only in their match against Gen.G but in a shaky 2-1 victory over Hanwha Life Esports. Going forward, a continuing shift toward playing around the bottom side of the map should suit Kingzone well. They just need to shore up their execution with games against the Afreeca Freecs, SK Telecom T1 and Sandbox Gaming over the next two weeks.
6. Top Esports
Record: 7-2 | League: LPL | +/-: -1
When Top Esports first entered the LPL with their revamped 2019 roster in spring, they were a team designed to be a title contender. Top laner Bai "369" Jia-Hao had just turned 17 years-old and began lighting his opponents almost immediately. Mid laner Zhuo "Knight9" Ding was out of contract disputes with Suning and back on the rift. The future for Top looked bright. This summer has been a bit slower for Top, and recently, after an unsuccessful Rift Rivals event, the team committed to an almost entirely different lineup, bringing in last year's starting top laner Xiong "Moyu" Hui-Dong, former King of Future jungler Mao "AKi" An and bot laner turned support Zhang "QiuQiu" Ming, while support Nam "Ben" Dong-hyun is inactive. Although TOP rightfully earned a reputation for being a bloody team at times, they weren't as proactive as other LPL teams, and now without stronger teamfighting and skirmishing to fall back on, TOP looked a bit lost. Another series like their latest against Suning, and they'll easily fall out of the top 10.
Record: 8-2 | League: LEC | +/-: -1
Martin "Rekkles" Larsson's absence in Fnatic's first game of the week has been food for thought. As he watched on the sideline, his teammates decisively lost to Rogue in the early game, despite the efforts of Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov and Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau. Upon Rekkles' return, Fnatic fans cheered and were relieved as they witnessed their team annihilating SK Gaming.
Fnatic's creative Level 1 strategies and their solid understanding of the game are key strengths they can leverage to reach the LEC finals should they stabilize through Patch 9.14's changes. However, their strongest competition, Splyce, is close.
Record: 8-4 | League: LCK | +/-: +8
When Gen.G pulled out Lux mid for Song "Fly" Yong-jun and Volibear support for Kim "Life" Jeong-min in Week 5, we weren't certain how long they could keep up a winning streak. It was an excellent strategy against Griffin, especially with a pushing bot lane pick such as Kalista for Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk. A recent meta shift toward more bot-lane-focused compositions has suited Gen.G well, and they have been picking smartly around comfort champions such as Kennen or Camille for Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin and the aforementioned Lux, along with Taliyah and even a Veigar for Fly. Gen.G might not be the best team in South Korea, and their wins might not always look pretty, but they've certainly been the most prepared to meet their opponents the past two weeks.
Record: 7-3 | League: LPL | +/-: --
Through brilliant macro play and consistent micro, Splyce have remained in the top 10, despite their one-sided defeat against G2 Esports. After all, how can you judge them for meeting their match in Jankos when they so handily defeated Misfits Gaming (Essence Reaver bug controversy aside)? Maybe a single Marek "Humanoid" Brázda misplay. That's about it.
Although they are currently in Europe's top three, the next few weeks will test their staying power. In fact, their Week 6 opponents, the methodical Schalke 04 and the chaotic Team Vitality, will test their ability to adapt to a new patch. Should they pass, their status among Europe's elite will be ensured heading into the playoffs.
10. Team Liquid
Record: 11-3 | League: LCS | +/-: --
Surprising virtually no one, Team Liquid became the first LCS team to qualify for playoffs last weekend with wins over Clutch Gaming and Golden Guardians. In both games, Liquid ran out to early leads mostly manufactured through AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng and support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in's bot lane. The veteran duo badly outplayed their opposites, keying a pair of blowouts that ended under 29 minutes. Liquid's speed was true to form -- they lead LCS both in average gold difference, at 15 minutes (1,552 gold), and shortest average game time (32.2 minutes), per Oracle's Elixir.
Despite being the clear class of the region, TL have not secured the postseason's top seed or the valuable semifinal-opponent selection that accompanies it. A difficult upcoming schedule that includes OpTic Gaming, Team SoloMid and Cloud9 -- who won the last time they met -- will determine where Liquid begin their playoff run for an unprecedented LCS four-peat.
-- Miles Yim