After an exciting Mid-Season Invitational, every pro League of Legends team will finally reset to prepare for the start of the summer split. China’s Royal Never Give Up proved they earned their spot as the No. 1 team in the League of Legends power rankings with their recent MSI victory, as South Korea’s FunPlus Phoenix and China’s EDward Gaming’s overall spring split performances gained some recognition.
For the summer split, Upcomer is adding regional rankings to its weekly League of Legends power rankings to give fans a look at the best teams in North America, Europe, South Korea and China along with the global perspective. Throughout the summer split, we’ll be tracking the progress of each team and ranking them accordingly, respective to their region, while continuing to cover how teams rank on the global stage.
Although MSI showed viewers a preview of what’s to come, many teams have undergone roster and positional changes. The new season begins Friday with the start of North America’s League of Legends Championship Series.
10. Cloud9, LCS
Cloud9 made their way back onto our League of Legends power rankings, but on much worse terms than before. Following a crushing underperformance at MSI 2021, C9, and subsequently the entirety of North America, became a laughing stock of the League community.
If we look past the team’s recent international fumble, however, you’re still left with a team full of world-class players that have already proven how good they can be. There may be a short adjustment period with bot laner Calvin “K1ng” Truong stepping in for Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, but the core of the team is so strong, they probably won’t skip a beat going into summer.
The player to watch on Cloud9 this split is undoubtedly top laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami, who was one of the best performers for Cloud9 at MSI.
– Nick Ray
9. Gen.G, LCK
Gen.G maintain their top 10 status because of their performance in the League of Legends Champions Korea regular season and playoffs. The team is an international competition contender but was overshadowed by DWG KIA. They split their matches in the regular season but fell in the playoffs. DWG’s wins in that finals series were not clean by any means, but a 3-0 scoreline is still a compelling reason to put DWG KIA ahead of Gen.G, and the rest of LCK competition.
Gen.G have made no changes in between splits and still look like a solid squad. Their starting players have been together since 2019 and have maintained a consistent form since. Fans should expect Gen.G to make an appearance at the 2021 World Championships based off of their Spring Split performance, barring any internal implosions or massive meta shifts.
– Declan McLaughlin
8. JD Gaming, LPL
JD Gaming are still rocking the same starting five that they used to get to the League of Legends World Championship last year, but they are having a hard time separating themselves from the top heavy League of Legends Pro League pack.
After a 12-4 record in the regular season of the spring split, JDG got bounced quickly from the playoffs by FunPlus Phoenix. With so many other teams stealing the spotlight, JDG enter the summer split as a dark horse squad. That being said, this roster still has a ton of talent. Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran finished the spring as a second-team all-LPL top laner, and jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok showed flashes of his Spring 2020 MVP form. The rest of the roster will have to regain their 2020 form if they want to make a run for Worlds.
– Warren Younger
7. Top Esports, LPL
Top Esports haven’t missed a top 10 since the inaugural Upcomer global power rankings, and for good reason. The South Korean squad has one of the highest ceilings of any team across the globe, and they get to train in the most competitive region in the world.
Top Esports were considered one of the favorites to win the League of Legends World Championship in 2020 before being upset by another LPL representative, Suning Gaming. But while Suning lost one of their strongest players in support Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh, Top kept their core team together and made an upgrade in their own support role, replacing Liang “yuyanjia” ia-Yuan with Wang “Zhuo” Xu-Zhuo.
Led by one of the greatest junglers of all time, Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan, and with two of the most individually talented carry players in the LPL in Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo and Zhuo “knight” Ding, Top Esports are capable of beating any team they come up against. Whether they win or not is up to themselves, their preparation and their mental fortitude.
If they had attended MSI 2021, Top likely would’ve been considered favorites, and if they can make it through the gauntlet of the LPL summer split to advance to Worlds, they’ll be considered favorites again. As long as these players are on the same side of the Rift, they’ll have a fighting chance at whoever stands in their way.
– Parkes Ousley
6. PSG Talon, PCS
PSG Talon left an unforgettable impression in the minds of all MSI viewers, and as a result, they became the first team outside our four top regions to make the League of Legends global power rankings.
After not being able to travel with their star AD Carry, Wong “Unified” Chun, PSG improvised with Beyond Gaming’s Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chan. This move worked out tremendously well for the Pacific Championship Series representatives, who finished second in the group stage after only losing to Europe’s MAD Lions. They went on to defeat all the top three teams in at least one Rumble stage series. They also defeated North America’s Cloud9 in every game played against the LCS squad.
Although PSG lost to Royal Never Give Up in the semifinals of the event, they put up a good fight throughout the series and took a game off China’s representative. With their performance at the MSI, PSG silenced critics who often thought they only played well because of the low level of competition in their region. In most of the games they won at MSI, PSG stuck to their famed early game aggression style.
Heading into the PCS Summer Split with Unified back in the roster, they are clear-cut favourites to win their split and make it to Worlds, where they might once again play spoiler.
– Rashidat Jimoh
5. MAD Lions, LEC
MAD Lions headed into MSI to represent Europe, prove themselves on an international stage and make up for their Worlds 2020 performance. They did exactly that.
While MAD fell to DWG KIA in the semifinals, the Europeans pushed the 2020 world champions to a Game 5 and showed that they can go head-to-head with the best teams in the world.
With more international experience under their belt, no roster or coaching staff changes and a resurgent bot lane, MAD Lions are poised to repeat their spring success in the League European Championship summer split. However, MAD must ensure that they can continue to maintain early game advantages and improve their overall macro.
4. DWG KIA, LCK
DWG KIA overtook the rest of the LCK field in the Spring Split thanks to superior teamfighting and creative drafts. The defending world champions would consistently win fights down gold and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu continued to hold down other junglers in the league on his way to an MVP award.
But the South Korean first seed looked mortal at the Mid-Season Invitational. The team dropped seven games in their journey to a second-place finish, including one loss to Cloud9, two to MAD and four to the eventual champions, RNG. That loss total is more than their LCK regular season and playoff records combined.
This is not the DWG KIA of 2020 and we haven’t treated them like it. They were not consistently on top of our rankings and not our top rated squad going into MSI. That honor went to RNG, who were the eventual champions for the mid-season tournament.
DWG KIA do have time to improve and return to the top of the LCK, but an evolution in play may be needed to conquer the World’s stage once again. For now, as the battle for Worlds revs up, the LCK — and the rest of the world — should be wary of the LPL squads, who are all around the same level as the RNG team that triumphed over South Korea’s first seed at MSI.
3. EDward Gaming, LPL
After a disappointing end to their spring split, EDward Gaming are looking to make a run for the LPL title in the summer.
LPL first-team All-Pro mid laner, Lee “Scout” Ye-chan, and fellow first-team selection AD carry Park “Viper” Do-hyeon, will likely continue their dominance over the rest of the league. The rest of the roster, however, will have to step up if EDG want to go to Worlds as the No. 1 seed. Support Tian “Meiko” Ye and jungler Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie looked very good in the spring, but the X-factor will be veteran top laner Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun. The EDG shotcaller disappeared in the playoffs when his team needed him the most. If he can return to form, and if the rest of the roster can play at their peaks, then EDG have what it takes to reclaim the title as best team in the region and best team in the world.
2. FunPlus Phoenix, LPL
FunPlus Phoenix’s spring split will remain a big “what if” for the 2019 world champions. Having bested RNG once in playoffs and staying competitive with them in the spring final, would they have been able to add an MSI win to their trophy case in a different world?
There is an incredibly strong likelihood. South Korean hopefuls DWG KIA didn’t give the dominant performance everyone expected from them in Iceland; RNG were by far the best team at the tournament. If FPX, a team close to their level, were to have gone, they just as easily could have cleaned up.
With their roster intact, and star top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon entering summer after an impeccable individual performance in the spring playoffs, FPX will be a scary team. As split-pushing champions like Viego and Gwen creep their way into the meta, FPX’s rough-and-tumble play style will be rewarded.
1. Royal Never Give Up, LPL
Royal Never Give Anyone Else a Moment in the Spotlight will keep their spot at the top of our League of Legends global power rankings. The team enters the LPL summer split coming off their second MSI title in the last three years.
RNG now hold two of the last three MSI trophies, with three new players representing the team in this year’s victory (four if you count the single game Yang “Xiaobai” Zhong-He subbed in). Top laner Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao and support Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming led the team as the only two remaining members from their 2018 MSI run.
Going into summer, RNG made no changes to their starting roster, only shuffling around a couple of substitutes. And while some of the LPL rosters found significant upgrades, none come close to challenging the RNG crew.
Despite winning MSI and topping our power rankings, however, RNG proved they’re not infallible, dropping games to nearly every team they faced throughout the event. There is more work to be done for the Chinese org if they’re planning to attempt a Grand Slam in 2021, which would require both an LPL summer title and winning the League of Legends World Championship. RNG fell flat in 2018, upset by a spry G2 Esports in the Worlds quarterfinals, but they’ve got a much more flexible style now three years later. The only question is, can they keep it up?
League of Legends regional power rankings
- Team liquid
- 100 Thieves
- Evil Geniuses
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Golden Guardians
- MAD Lions
- G2 Esports
- Schalke 04
- Team Vitality
- Excel Esports
- SK Gaming
- DWG KIA
- Hanwha Life Esports
- NS Redforce
- KT Rolster
- Liiv SANDBOX
- Afreeca Freecs
- Fredit BRION
- Royal Never Give Up
- FunPlus Phoenix
- EDward Gaming
- Top Esports
- Team WE
- JD Gaming
- Rare Atom
- Invictus Gaming
- LNG Esports
- LGD Gaming
- Bilibili Gaming
- ThunderTalk Gaming
- Victory Five
- Ultra Prime
- Rogue Warriors