With the hype surrounding the official start of the LoL 2017 World Championship reaching its boiling point, we will give you one final dose of pre-worlds team power rankings. With 24 teams in total, gauging each team’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to each other is a fickle task. Nevertheless, here are Esportsranks’ final, official LoL 2017 World Championship team power rankings.
1. Longzhu Gaming
Longzhu Gaming seems to have hit the perfect combination of raw talent and team synergy this summer. This otherwise decent bottom half tier team received a gargantuan bump in LoL 2017 World Championship team power rankings. This marked increase of competitiveness was preceded by the addition of the top lane monster called Khan back in May.
This veteran player had a notable carrier over in China, playing for teams such as Team WE and Newbee. However, it wasn’t until this year, when he signed up with Longzhu Gaming, that he really found the team capable of upsetting the status quo.
They proved their worth over in Korea, placing higher in the Group Phase and convincingly defeating SKT T1 in the finals. The time is now for these new Korean overlords to upset the status quo and establish their own legacy.
2. SKT T1
It’s really weird placing reigning, three times world champions in the second place. Yet, that’s exactly where they’ve been this season in Korean LCK.
Much can be said about this team, yet very few words can adequately describe it. SKT T1 is THE team that literally every other LoL team dreams of defeating. Bonus points if it’s a non-Korean team. It happens, but those occasions are very rare.
As we know, this year that feat was successfully undertaken locally by Longzhu Gaming. There was the element of controversy surrounding one of their teammates, Bang, so that could’ve thrown the entire team off a bit. Nevertheless, they got soundly beaten in the finals, looking very beatable in the process.
However, SKT T1 has that almost magical power when performing on the international stage. They seem untouchable, almost mythical. The aura of invincibility is certainly a psychological factor when playing against this monstrosity.
Can Faker, Bang and the rest of the power squad get a fourth one on the shelf? We’ll see next month, so stay tuned!
3. Samsung Galaxy
Giving the third spot to yet another Korean team might look to be too much at first sight. But, there’s a good reason. Samsung Galaxy certainly deserves a top 3 spot in LoL 2017 World Championship team power rankings.
Let’s put it this way. In a parallel universe where Longzhu Gaming doesn’t exist, SKT T1 would reign supreme over the rest this year as well. Samsung Galaxy would be right behind them.
The results speak for themselves. This year, Samsung Galaxy placed third in the group, just a nudge above SKT T1. Then, in the playoffs, SKT T1 mopped the floor with them with a quick and clean 3-0 sweep in Round 2.
But then, in the Regional Qualifiers, they won the war of attrition against Afreeca Freecs, followed by a murderous 3-0 sweep against a behemoth team that is kt Rolster. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Even if you can somehow discount all of that, Samsung Galaxy has a long history in the LoL World Championship power rankings. With slight variations in “colour” (Samsung Galaxy Blue and 2014 champs Samsung Galaxy White in 2014) and “chemistry” (Samsung Galaxy Ozone in 2013), obviously.
Last year, the current, “vanilla” version of Samsung Galaxy came really close to winning the title of world championship. Obviously, SKT T1 was there to steal the show once again.
Unfortunately, this year they have yet another beast at the top – Longzhu Gaming. On the bright side, while they realistically only have to worry about a couple of teams, the rest of the world can only cry in desperation with 3 Korean monsters fighting for the throne.
4. EDward Gaming
Edward Gaming is one of the staple Chinese teams on the international scene. Dating back to 2014, they never missed worlds. Yet, they never went past quarterfinals either. First, they narrowly lost against their countrymen Star Horn Royal Club in 2014. The, they got swept by EU’s Fnatic in 2015. Finally, they got dominated 3 to 1 by Korean ROX Tigers last year.
Locally, they were always at or near the very top of the rankings. With a slew of championship titles, 4th place in 2015 summer playoffs was their worst result so far. The history and legacy are certainly on their side, but this year they face a prospect of 24 teams in the mix. While they’ve secured their spot in the group phase, there are some hungry killers in the line.
Cloud9 is a shell of their old selves compared to last year, ROX Tigers haven’t even qualified, Fnatic is a mix of raw rookie talent and seasoned veterans, and they seem to be on par with their countrymen Royal Never Give Up.
At this point, it looks like the only ones to mess up their plans more seriously are TSM, Flash Wolves and maybe their regional rivals, Team WE. However, Team WE first has to go through the play-ins, which is not really a walk in the park considering how many different teams, playstyles and other variables await for them there.
We’ll see how it goes, but for now, EDG has an edge.
5. Royal Never Give Up
Really, the only reason to place RNG below EDG is the most recent Bo5 between these two in the LPL finals. EDG pulled of an epic reverse sweep after getting down 0-2 in the first two games. The dramatic fashion goes to show how close these two teams are to each other.
Since their rough patch in 2015, where they finished 9th in the summer split and had to survive through the promotion/relegation tournament, they’ve had a major resurgence in 2016, with notable 3rd place finish at MSI and 6th place at worlds.
This year, they’ve finished 2nd in the spring and summer playoffs, coming up short against Team WE and, recently, EDward Gaming.
While they may never give up, it’s unlikely they can shake up the Koreans at the top either.
6. Flash Wolves
A team that most consistently wins games against international bullies and three-times world champions SKT T1. They had a sloppy showing last year, finishing in the last place.
However, at this year’s MSI, they’ve placed third, right behind SKT T1 and G2 Esports, which certainly helps bump them up in LoL 2017 World Championship team power rankings.
Other than that, there’s seemingly very little this team can do to meaningfully threaten the Korean domination. Sure, they can grab a game here and there, but ultimately, they will most likely have to settle somewhere in between the 5th and 8th place, if not worse.
We could certainly place TSM in the 4th spot, right after the three Koreans at the top. They’ve shown a marked improvement this year. Yet, it’s tough to not look back on their previous worlds runs and get disappointed.
Every year, this team has high hopes to finally make an impact on the international stage. Yet, they just can’t seem to adapt to the massive difference in playstyles and meta the worlds bring onto them.
With Bjergsen and Doublelift now splitting the load more evenly, it would be quite disappointing to see them eliminated early.
8. Team WE
Unfortunately, someone had to be the third Chinese seed this year. This pitiful “honour” befell Team WE. First play-in round features bunch of new wildcard teams locked in a Bo1 double round robin mayhem. It’s a situation where literally anybody can beat anybody. Every single game matters a lot more than in your usual Bo3 or Bo5 series.
Still, Team WE are one of the favourites to pass the play-in stage, with both the skills and experience on their side.
Much of 2017 NA LCS summer split was marked by Immortals. They stood at the top for the better part of the split, directly competing with TSM and CLG.
But then, in the NA LCS playoffs finals, they faced a warmed up and ready TSM. It almost went the distance in the end, ending in 3-1 win for TSM. Yet, it was clear Immortals lack that little extra umph to their play to really make a difference in those finals moments.
It also showed a potentially scary side of TSM. They can now weather the storm and adapt to the differing circumstances a bit better than before.
Both of these North American teams are capable of upsetting the Asians at the top of LoL 2017 World Championship team power rankings. We’ll see which one can adapt and overcome better.
10. G2 Esports
Sure, G2 Esports won the EU LCS once again this summer, but that doesn’t really mean a lot when you take a look at their entire season.
First of all, compared to their amazing 2017 MSI form, G2 looked burned this summer, especially during the first half of the group phase. Every time they played at least one lane and one part of their overall strategy looked wildly out of place.
Then, right after the Rift Rivals disgrace, where it really looked like they’re falling apart, they tightened up their game. With a more controlled, cool-headed approach, their playstyle was somewhat reminiscent of their glory days.
However, question marks still remain. Misfits were far from a real challenge for the throne. We missed the chance to see one final, Bo5 clash with Fnatic. That would give us a more definitive answer as to where they truly stand, at least locally.
This way, it’s anyone’s guess. One thing’s for sure though – no more screw ups allowed, the stakes are super high and every single player needs to be on point all the time!
11. ahq e-Sports
A Taiwanese team with a rich and storied track record dating back to 2012, they live in the shadows of their countrymen Flash Wolves nowadays.
If there was a team you could deem as a stereotypical, “generic” middle-of-the-pack worlds contender, ahq e-Sports would definitely be it.
Still, they’ve got experience on their side, and if you want to reach the top half of the standings, chances are you’ll have to run through them sooner or later.
The only reason we see Cloud9 here is because of their super NA LCS spring split placement, giving them enough points to get auto-seeded in the gauntlet finals. There, they faced CLG and convincingly crushed their hopes of qualifying for worlds once again.
Aside from this highlight of their summer, everything else looked damp. They got relatively easily eliminated in the quarterfinals. Their performances during the group phase looked rather mediocre too.
Nothing points to a major breakthrough from this team this year. The only thing they have on their side is experience and legacy. Will this be enough to exceed everybody’s low expectations?
13. GIGABYTE Marines
If there’s a wildcard team to mess up someone’s day, it’s GIGABYTE Marines. This Vietnam-based professional team was the best placed wildcard team at this year’s MSI. This earned them a direct seed in the group phase and unlocked an additional slot for Southeast Asia in the play-in stage.
The most notable show of strength at MSI was against TSM. They forced this respectable team to go the distance in the second round of play-in stage. Obviously, they absolutely rampaged through the first round, dispatching the rest of the wildcard teams rather easily.
If they can bring that level of play to worlds, they should be able to hope over a few obstacles
Overshadowed by Fnatic and G2 Esports during the group phase, very few people gave Misfits realistic chances to punch through Unicorns of Love and Fnatic in the EU LCS playoffs. Yet, that’s exactly what they did.
Misfits are certainly an experienced team full of seasoned veterans. PowerOfEvil is their most notable player. The rest of the team looks well composed, the synergy is there, and everything looks great on the surface level.
Yet, the EU LCS Playoffs finals showed it’s a team that lacks that true, scary power of, say, Fnatic or TSM.
Can they connect a “miracle run” once again and potentially punch higher than the middle of the bracket? Unlikely, but weirder things happened already, so it’s all up in the air now.
Season 1 world champions have had an absolutely marvellous run through the summer group phase only to come up short in the semifinals against none other than Misfits. This mishap resulted in them having to qualify for the third seed.
Now, they’re in a similar situation as other top teams. They’ll have to be prepared to grind through a stressful Bo1 Round 1, where it’s literally a dog-eat-dog situation.
With ludicrously skilled Rekkles in charge, Caps capable of snowballing tremendously in the middle, Broxah having a dream-come-true rookie season, sOAZ dependable as ever at the top and Jesiz as a proper support player, Fnatic are natural favourites to pass this stage.
If they reach the Group Stage, they’ll have to employ a radically different approach to their clumped-up, aggressive teamfighting displayed this summer in EU LCS. This one-dimensional playstyle is too exploitable. Surely, they’re well aware of that and, hopefully, they will bring the big guns now.
16. 1907 Fenerbahçe
The Turkish league has always been one of the stronger wildcard regions. This year, a well known soccer team will have their representatives on the international LoL stage.
Fenerbahçe SK bought the spot of SuperMassive TNG and brought over two Koreans in the team. This formula seems to have worked locally, but the international stage has moved past this old gimmick long ago.
The talent is obviously there, but it’s hard to expect much from a new team like this. It’s certainly one of the most competitive wildcard teams in the play-in phase.
17. Hong Kong Attitude
The third LMS seed is also stuck in the play-in burrows. The team has been disbanded in October 2014. However, newly revitalized for this year, they’ve played consistently well enough to qualify through the regional gauntlet.
With victories over veteran teams like J Team and Raise Gaming, this team certainly possesses talent. Can this talent be utilized equally well on the international scale remains to be seen.
By virtue of coming from LMS, they could be considered somewhat favoured in the play-in phase.
18. Team oNe eSports
Brazil has historically been one of the more successful wildcard regions. However, it’s also one of the most unstable ones in terms of team longevity. Every year, we see some new names rise out to the top, only to crumble and fall back into obscurity when the next contender in line threatens to take their place.
Team oNe eSports is a newly formed team with roster consisting of some familiar names. Will they become the first Brazilian team to end the negative trend and build an international legacy of their own?
A Russian team, Gambit.CIS emerged onto the LCL scene last year, finishing 6th in the summer split. They repeated this in 2017 spring split.
Following these mediocre results, the team got a major roster overhaul in the midseason. This seems to have worked perfectly, as this new lineup secured the first spot both in the group and playoffs phase.
20. Lyon Gaming
Lyon Gaming roots date back to 2013. They established themselves as one of the top 3 Latin America North teams from the get go. This legacy has lived on to this day.
However, internationally, Lyon Gaming has never amounted to much. Their most notable result is from this year’s MSI, where they placed 9th.
21. Young Generation
Another Vietnam team to participate at this year’s worlds, Young Generation has managed to snatch a spot largely due to their countrymen GIGABYTE Marines placing the highest of all wildcard teams at 2017 MSI.
A young team indeed, they were a force to be reckoned with in Vietnam and GPL. They could be amongst those a bit more dangerous wildcards. It’s certainly not clever to underestimate a team that is second only to GIGABYTE Marines.
22. LG Dire Wolves
This Australian professional gaming organisation has consistently been amongst the top Oceanic teams since 2014.
At the end of 2016, the team has gone through a major roster transformation, which resulted in improved local performances this year.
They won both of the splits, but they only placed 10th at MSI. It’s hard to expect much from a historically weaker region anyway.
Between Rampage and Kaos Latin Gamers, the only reason to pick the former over the latter is their MSI participation.
This Japanese team also has roots dating from 2013, hovering somewhere around the top all the time. This year, they won both splits, but they were 12th at MSI.
It’s a bit weird seeing Japan this low when Korea is almost a swimming distance away (not really, but it’s close nevertheless). But, Japan is a weird country overall, so this doesn’t come out surprising at all.
24. Kaos Latin Gamers
Kaos Latin Gamers defeated spring split winners Isurus Gaming in the playoffs finals. The latter have represented Latin America South at MSI, so Kaos Latin Gamers are at least equally as good.
In other words, they’re not really that good, but alas, under these new rules, they deserved their spot, so we’ll be delighted to see them getting rekt soon enough.