Welcome back to another week of Upcomer’s League of Legends Global Power Rankings. As the road to Iceland and the Mid-Season Invitational peeks over the horizon, the Chinese League of Legends Pro League maintains its status as the gold standard. While DWG KIA are on the verge of starting their own dynasty in South Korea, the LPL has six world-class squads squaring off in an explosive battle royale to see which will get the first class ticket to Reykjavík for MSI.
Over in the West, teams are fighting a war of attrition, with Cloud9 separating themselves from the pack in North America and MAD Lions striking down four-time (in a row) European champions G2 Esports on their quest for an inaugural domestic crown.
Record: 14-2 (29-8)
Results this week: —
Movement this week: +1
With DWG KIA dropping down a couple of slots after their series against Hanwha Life Esports, Royal Never Give Up have found themselves in the top spot without even playing a match. Their regular season placement earned them a triple playoff bye, so they’ll play their first post season match against FPX in Round 4 of the LPL playoffs on Wednesday. They’ll be the favorites, but FPX is already climbing this list. So if RNG want to hold their top spot and continue with their season, they’ll need to be free from rust and match their Spring Split form.
— Parkes Ousley
Record: 13-3 (28-8)
Results this week: —
Movement this week: +1
Like RNG, EDward Gaming also slotted up one position on the ranking without having played since last week. They earned a triple bye of their own for their second place finish in the regular season and will play Thursday against the winner of Top Esports and Suning. And with Suning’s current 6-0 playoff run, EDG will have a strong opponent guaranteed.
3. DWG KIA
Record: 17-2 (36-10)
Results this week: 3-0 win against Hanwha Life Esports
Movement this week: -2
DWG KIA dropped two spots this week as their 3-0 series against Hanwha Life Esports looked less than inspiring. The League of Legends Champions Korea regular season champions were slow out of the gate in the playoffs and, barring a few fights toward the end of each game, might’ve had a five-game series on their hands. DWG had the lowest early game rating in the playoffs at 29.3 and were down an average of 1600 gold in their first series, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
The team may have been testing new champions against an inferior opponent, though. Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun played two new bot lane picks, and Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee one-upped his lane partner with three. Regardless, the dip in form was noticeable and prompts a drop in the global rankings.
— Declan McLaughlin
4. Top Esports
Record: 12-4 (25-10)
Top Esports are the last of the teams to receive enough LPL playoff byes to have played zero matches since last week’s ranking. Though they’ve only lost one series since the beginning of February, TES have to face a battering ram in Suning, who have just finished two clean sweeps in their last series. If Top manage to beat SN, they will have another match just 48 hours later against EDG. This is an important week for the region, but especially for Top who still have something to prove after being knocked out by Suning at Worlds just six months ago.
Record: 14-5 (32-15)
Results: 3-0 against T1
Gen.G are looking hotter than ever after a satisfying playoff win against rivals T1, which knocked them out of the postseason and our League of Legends power rankings for the week. The matchup was expected to be much closer as T1 ramped up toward the end of the season, but Gen.G made quick work of the lineup in a 3-0 sweep.
As the team’s most powerful and consistent weapon, it’s no surprise that ADC Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk put on a show, and his 11/1/14 kill/death/assist record speaks to that. This weekend, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong was the star of the show, and it’s about time. Last week, we called out that the mid laner’s play was looking lackluster in comparison to what we’ve come to expect from him. He crucially neutralized Faker in lane with safe, reliable control mage picks and clutched out neutral objective plays throughout the series.
Bdd now has the highest KDA out of all mids in playoffs at 13.5 and the second highest kill participation of all mids in playoffs at 81.8%, according to Oracle’s Elixir. If Bdd and Gen.G continue to build off of the controlled play they showed against T1, they could pose a legitimate threat to DK in the finals.
— Nick Ray
Record: 13-5 (30-13)
Results: 3-1 win against Rare Atom, 3-1 win against JD Gaming
Funplus Phoenix made a significant jump in our League of Legends power rankings after defeating JD Gaming 3-1 in the LPL playoffs. FPX entered the match warm after their series against Rare Atom in the second round of playoffs. That extra stage time seemingly paid off against JDG, who hadn’t played an official match since March 23 before last night.
This series win gave us a glimpse of what a world class FPX should look like. When it came down to the wire, FPX’s wins against JDG were off the back of superior team fighting and individual performances. Jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang had a stellar series overall; mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang and bot laner Lin “Lwx” Wei-Xiang put in the work as well, boasting score lines of 13/5/35 and 23/6/18 respectively across the team’s victories.
We’ll find out whether or not this FPX lineup is the real deal next week when they face their biggest test yet: RNG.
7. JD Gaming
Record: 12-5 (25-12)
Results: 3-1 loss to FunPlus Phoenix
JDG tumbled down the rankings this week after a decisive playoff loss against FPX, but they remain in our top 10 for the week. Their split may have ended, bu reigning MVP jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok remains a consistent beacon of hope for JDG and was a key player in their Game 3 victory over FunPlus. Even in the final game, his drake control, which allowed the team to secure Mountain Soul, was the reason why they were able to stall out for as long as they did.
We won’t be seeing JDG until summer, but their loss loss against FPX was more due to their opponent’s rapid improvement; they didn’t just become a terrible team overnight.
8. Suning Gaming
Record: 12-6 (27-12)
Results: 3-0 against LNG, 3-0 against WE
Suning, one of the two new teams in this week’s League of Legends power rankings, have been on the cusp of greatness for weeks. Thanks to the way they dismantled former top ten team WE, they have finally put the world back on notice. The 2020 Worlds finalists are in good form even without their star support player Hu “Swordart” Shuo-Chieh, who went to TSM this offseason.
His replacement, Luo “ON” Wen-Jun, has looked fantastic so far, especially in the playoffs. The 17-year-old rookie put on a masterful display in Suning’s last series against WE where, across the three games, he had 29 assists to only three deaths to earn Player of the Game honors in their first match of the series. The other four members of the team are the same ones who stood on the World finals stage just a few months ago, and they are peaking at the right time.
So far, Suning have 3-0’d both of their playoff opponents, and every member on the team has picked up player of the game honors at least once (Xiang “Angel” Tao is the only member to earn it twice). With no weakness and every player in good form, their next series against TES is looking to be a good one.
9. MAD Lions
Results: 3-1 against G2
MAD Lions matched up against one of the leading League of Legends European Championship teams and completely dominated them to earn a spot in the top 10. Although G2 bot laner Martin “Rekkles” Larsson has been a boon for his team so far this season, he underperformed in this crucial series and ultimately gave MAD Lions a chance to come out on top.
Javier “Elyola” Prades outperformed G2 in the jungle, especially in Game 2, where he quickly gained control of the map and earned eight kills as Udyr. Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser also contributed to this week’s victory with his use of engage supports in lane and throughout teamfights. MAD worked together to initiate effective combos and secure a spot in the LEC final. The team ended with an impressive gold lead of 12.4K as they closed out the final game of the series 20-8 with four dragons at 32 minutes.
If MAD maintain this momentum, they’ll pose a challenge to whichever team ends up in the other LEC finals spot on April 10.
— Carolynn Soba
10. G2 Esports
Results: 1-3 against MAD Lions
G2 Esports’ loss to MAD Lions sees them drop to the bottom of the list. Their performance against MAD in the semifinals of the LEC playoffs was one to forget, as their opponents outclassed and, in some cases, out drafted them. Both G2’s Martin “Wunder” Hansen and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle found it hard to fully impact any game in the series as they struggled to match the pace of their MAD counterparts.
Even though Rasmus “Caps” Winther dealt triple the damage of anyone on his team in most fights and tried to carry the team, his performance was not enough. All of the MAD Lions beat G2 at their own proactive style of League, and it was simply too late by the time G2 woke up.
While G2 fell at the hands of MAD Lions, they still have a chance to redeem themselves next week, as they must now defeat Rogue to qualify for the finals. Going by LEC history, you can never rule out G2, as they always adapt and come back looking better. Although they faced defeat this weekend, they still remain the kings of Europe and it will take more than just one series to write them off.
— Rashidat Jimoh