Here in our LoL Worlds 2018 main event power rankings, we break down how all of the teams remaining in the tournament stack up against each other.
In case you missed out, the 2018 League of Legends World Championship kicked off last week. We were treated to an explosive Play-In stage that showcased the strength of the teams from up-and-coming regions, as well as from the third seeds of the major regions.
With Edward Gaming, Cloud9, G-Rex, and G2 Esports advancing to the Group Stage, we’re down to sixteen teams vying for the Summoner’s Cup.
Earlier, we decided to rank the twenty-four teams playing in the tournament, and now that we’ve seen a little more of how teams have grasped the meta of patch 8.19, in addition to how the Play-In teams have provided us with a general viewpoint of how strong the recent additions are, we’re going to do it again. Albeit, this time, with more detail.
Below is our LoL Worlds 2018 main event power rankings.
1. KT Rolster
The overall star power and the capability of this team to play multiple styles without swapping out members is fearsome: preparation against this team might be difficult. The team usually plays around the unmatched pathing of jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin, and his capability to play around tempo. If there’s one jungler that the rest of the world is watching in order for them to learn more about being in the jungle, it’s Score.
What we need to remember is that KT rolster is a team that is strongest when they have lane priority — unleashing Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong after destroying the bottom lane turret is something that has given KT so much success over the course of this season. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho has been solid on both tanks and carries so far this year, and Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon is showing a lot of aggression and capacity to put the team on his back, despite this being his rookie year. Kim “Deft” Hyu-kyu has been the team’s late-game insurance policy on picks like Kai’sa and Varus.
A former problem for the team has been their incapacity to possess any semblance of synergy in their team fighting, but as the year progressed we have seen this to finally be remedied. They are also capable of stretching the capabilities of any team composition in the clutch, as we saw in this summer’s LCK grand final.
You never know with KT Rolster, but this time all the cards are in their favour.
2. Royal Never Give Up
What is there to say about Royal Never Give Up? This is a team that has won all the tournaments that they have participated in heading into the LoL Worlds 2018 main event.
It’s safe to say that they are hungry to complete the sweep and win that world championship.
Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao is the primary carry of the team, and it is the team’s signature playstyle to let Uzi scale into the late game in champions like Vayne, Kai’sa and the Varus. Uzi in a late game team fight just simply takes over the game. We know this much after seeing his performance at the Mid-Season Invitational. Their combination of the distinct LPL aggression and the LCK-inspired macro play from the LCK is a sight to behold, and they might usher in a different style of play as we stay longer in an age where there are fewer wards available.
The team is capable of switching between two different types of play from the jungle: with Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan, a control-oriented style of jungle play is favoured where the enemy jungler is starved out of resources. With Liu “Mlxg” Shi-Yu, the resources are sacked to provide more support towards the lanes in the form of ganking. Yan “Letme” Jun-ze is often on tank duty such as Urgot, Sion, or Ornn in order to initiate fights and protect Uzi, while Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao is often on picks that can influence side lanes such as Galio or even Ryze.
RNG’s difference with KT Rolster is that their solo laners often take some time in trying to figure out their strengths in international tournaments, which may lead to some losses over the course of Worlds.
3. Afreeca Freecs
Arguably the best team in the world when it comes to preparation, Afreeca Freecs can blow away their opposition if they come into the LoL Worlds 2018 main event with a similar form in their LCK Summer Playoffs run.
The Afreeca Freecs do not have the flashiest players and the most popular personalities in the league, but they have the cunning and the hard work that goes along with it: by pioneering the ten-man rosters in the post-sister team era, they have been able to scrim internally, have additional practice, and hide vital strategies.
The player that people will look at will most likely be Kim “Kiin” Gi-in. This is his first real international tournament with the Afreeca Freecs, and he must prove himself as one of the best top laners in the world. He was the South Korean representative in the Asian Games League of Legends Exhibition, and now he must test his skills against the best of the rest of the world.
4. Gen G
The reigning world champions have not had a good year. Having finished 5th in both splits of the 2018 season, this did not at all look like the team that emerged victorious in the world championship just a year ago.
Lee “Crown” Min-ho has been exhibiting some issues regarding his champion pool and is always expected to fall back on his Malzahar pick. As a result, Song “Fly” Yong-jun stepped in for most of the summer. It appeared that the team had a solid seven-man roster as they rotated between two junglers as well between Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong and Kang “Haru” Min-seung. However, the roster rule for Worlds allowed teams to bring only one substitute. They had to make a choice. As Crown was the only mid laner capable of bringing out Haru’s true potential as an aggressive jungler, and having two junglers was advantageous strategically, Fly was left behind.
While the defending champions are not clear favourites to go back-to-back as we head into the LoL Worlds 2018 main event, they remain potential contenders that should not be taken lightly.
Fnatic took the EU LCS by storm this year. The star power on this team is one of the best ever assembled in the West. Paul “sOAZ” Boyer is a rock in the top lane and is vital in the communications and general shot-calling in the team, while Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau provides some more aggression from the top lane if the need for it exists. Martin “Rekkles” Larsson is a serviceable bottom laner when on champions like Sivir, Kai’sa and Tristana, and his lane partner in Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov has been exemplary on aggressive supports that focus on initiation.
The highlight of the team for this year, however, is Rasmus “Caps” Winther.
He is mechanically gifted and can be the deciding factor in turning games over when they are relatively equal. We have already seen him take some of the best mid laners in the world in this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, and we might see more of that this time. His champion pool also contains a wide array of champions that seem to be out of the ordinary, like Wukong and the Vayne. Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen usually plays towards his lane, and the resources poured into Caps are never wasted.
If Fnatic plays their measured but aggressive type of play, we may see them go deep at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event.
6. Invictus Gaming
We have seen Invictus Gaming go to great heights before, but we have also seen them go to some really deep lows. They have gone 18-1 in the regular season matches of both splits this year, but they were unable to take the LPL championship. This is a team that wins by sheer mechanical ability alone— they rely on getting lane priority in the drafting phase, and expand the advantages that they get from there.
However, the worse tendencies of this team showed up when it mattered the most. They have been exposed to rely absolutely on the talent in the roster. This much is evidenced by the fact that after Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok’s injury in the spring, his potential to carry seems to have lessened by a wide margin. In addition, Song “Rookie” Eui-jin appears to struggle to keep the team in matches that they are losing. The team fighting and individual decision making from this team also do not look to be at a functional level as a team. If they are forced into team fighting scenarios, chances are they will end up exposed.
Showing up huge at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event could heal the wounds of letting the LPL Championship slip away from their fingers.
7. Flash Wolves
The Flash Wolves are undoubtedly the best team in the world when it comes to the best of one format. Even with a relatively younger roster, they shocked us all at the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year. This squad always surprises everybody when the least is expected of them, and this might be another one of those instances— despite the strong appearances, there are a few things that may make us doubt them. First, they fell off after the first round robin in the MSI group stages, and they lost to a weaker SK Telecom T1 in Rift Rivals.
The Flash Wolves have one of the best support players in the world in Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh, and it is his shot-calling and communication prowess that is able to put the team in the kind of success that they have been enjoying this year. His coordination with Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin has been exemplary. Their early game pressure is always formidable, especially in a best of one format.
8. Edward Gaming
Edward Gaming has been one of the historic organizations from the LPL. This year, after falling to Royal Never Give Up in the Spring, they have considerably struggled. In the summer, they suffered their worst playoff finish in the history of the organization after being eliminated in the quarterfinal.
EDG has a robust early game that can take enemies by surprise. Tian “Meiko” Ye has shown a capability to command the team to set up multiple plays across the map at the same time. However, he is usually limited by having to play an initiation-oriented champion. Also, once the game moves into the middle and later stages, Edward Gaming just appears to look lost. They usually appear to be disconnected from one another. Their aggression does not appear to be aligned as a team, and they end up giving up deaths and objectives to the enemy because of this.
Address these issues and you’re looking at potentially one of the best teams at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event.
9. Team Liquid
Team Liquid is a North American team that has adopted the Korean style of play well. The only true carry of the team, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, displays proficiency in late game hypercarries such as Kai’sa. While their solo lanes do not appear to have had very impressive performances across the season, how the team dedicates its resources towards Doublelift shows their mastery of their style of play. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero shows the intelligence in pathing depending on the needs of the team, and is one of, if not the best Western jungler.
Better competition at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event might expose their one-track thinking, but if Team Liquid can impose their games on other teams, it doesn’t matter if the other team knows what Team Liquid plans on doing if they can’t stop them from executing.
10. G2 Esports
G2 Esports began their Worlds journey with a loss to the TCL’s Supermassive.
While people may think that their bottom lane is their weakness, it actually is not by a lot. Their bottom lane struggles when they do not have lane priority, but it is a greater problem in terms of allocation of attention from the jungle. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski often prioritizes the team’s solo laners.
While it’s undeniable that Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and Martin “Wunder” Hansen have a great carry potential, they can usually get the better end of matchups even without much attention from the jungle.
G2 Esports face a tough road ahead of them if they want to go further than the group stages of the LoL Worlds 2018 main event this year.
Cloud9 has been impressive in the regular season matches of the summer but has looked rather underwhelming in the playoffs and even in the regional qualifier. Sadly, this continued in the Play-In stage.
The team has had up and down games over their stint at Worlds so far. While they boasted a 4-0 record in the group stages of the Play-Ins, there were games that they almost lost that they were only able to turn into their favour in a late game team fight.
In the Knockout Stage, Cloud9 has exhibited a rather shockingly underwhelming performance against Gambit Esports. In the end, they were able to emerge 3-2, but they are giving viewers some cause for concern. Robert “Blaber” Huang has not appeared to find his groove since 8.16 hit in the NA LCS. Cloud9 should look to beef up their early game for them to convince viewers that the worst is generally over.
12. Phong Vu Buffalo
Phong Vu Buffalo carries with it the merciless and unrelenting style of the VCS and the Southeast Asian region in general. Their fast-paced and high kill count games are a treat to watch. They might show a third different face of the VCS, as we have already shown an unconventional playstyle from the Gigabyte Marines in last year’s Worlds, and the more standard but still highly aggressive games from Evos Esports.
Phong Vu’s aggression might have made them champions in Vietnam, but the question now, is how will they measure up against the best of the world at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event?
13. Team Vitality
Team Vitality is a team that finds its best performances when they get ahead in the early game. They will snowball the game cleanly and destroy their opposition. This happens as they like to play aggressively in the game’s earlier stages. They like to make risky plays that they usually pull off due to their mechanical prowess. The youth of this roster is apparent— they like to put on a show and they put their all in attempting to come out on top.
The youth is also apparent in the other parts of the game, however. When they are not significantly ahead in the middle and later stages of the game, the team struggles to get the elusive lead. Sometimes their plays do not work out at all. Other times they just fall flat of the expected outcome. They still need to temper a lot of their tendencies, but their aggression and willingness to stand together even in the tough games are what make this team interesting.
If nothing else, we can expect Team Vitality to surprise all of us in the Group Stages of the LoL Worlds 2018 main event, for better or for worse.
G-Rex made a bold statement in the Play-In Stage: the third seed of the League Master Series is not a pushover. They did not drop a single game in their Play-In group, and they won 3-1 against Bahcesehir Supermassive Esports. Their exemplary performance is mostly due to the surprising synergy displayed by their jungler Anson “Empt2y” Leung and Kim “Candy” Seung-ju. Candy has shown a mastery of a wide array of champions, while Empt2y has performed admirably on champions that have the capacity to initiate.
There is, however, a huge difference now that they are set to play the teams at the LoL Worlds 2018 main event.
15. MAD Team
MAD Team is a team full of fresh talent. They are eager to prove themselves as the League Master Series’ second seed, but are they the second best team in the region? MAD Team likes to play high-tempo games with opportunistic pathing from their jungler Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-tso. One has to remember, however, that such a playstyle carries a lot of risk with it. If they become a lot more controlled and calculated with their play, they will become a strong contender in the world championship.
MAD Team has a lot to prove, whether it’s their worth or the general strength of the region that they come from.
16. 100 Thieves
What is there to say about 100 Thieves?
This is a team of missed opportunities. The team usually zeroes in on getting Cody “Cody Sun” ahead. Thus they play for the later stages of the game. However, the problem is that they have a massive carry threat in the top lane with Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho. Ssumday does not even get that much attention in the drafting phase and the team often relegates him to tank duty. In addition, their main carry in Cody Sun has cost them some crucial games especially in the summer.
100 Thieves have yet to realize the true strengths of their players. If nothing else, the LoL Worlds 2018 main event should serve as a valuable but painful experience for the rest of the team.
The Group Stages are finally here, and the road just becomes tougher for all of the teams at the 2018 LoL Worlds Main Event.
From here, only eight groups will continue their journey towards the championship. Be sure to cheer your team on and help make their season be a success.
Do you agree with our power rankings for the LoL Worlds 2018 main event? Do you think KT Rolster or Royal Never Give Up will lift the Summoner’s Cup? Or will another team end up doing so? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.