The League of Legends World Championship is finally here again and with it another year of power rankings to see where each team stands as we head into the group stage.
To no one’s surprise, the Korean representatives entering the tournament from the LCK once again reside at the top of the list, with a team from China’s LPL coming up right behind them. For the first time in recent memory, though, a North American team sits in the top five ready to make a run at serious contention in the 2017 tournament.
European fans are likely to be more than a little disappointing with the rankings this year as even the region’s best teams struggled to cracked our power ranking’s highest tiers.
With the Group Stage set to kick off the 2017 World Championship in just a few short hours, here’s a look at the full Rift Herald power rankings.
1. Longzhu Gaming
2. SK telecom T1
3. Samsung Galaxy
4. Royal Never Give Up
During the Summer Split, Longzhu was far and away the best team in the LCK and nothing has changed since. In fact, they’re the only team in this section of rankings that doesn’t come with a caveat. SKT are the most successful team in history with the best coach and mid laner ever, but without two good performances in a row from top laner Heo “Huni” Seong-hoon, it’s hard to give them the benefit of the doubt beyond second. Meanwhile, Samsung and RNG are mirror images of each other, with RNG playing a fantastic early game with questionable late game calls, while Samsung can be shaky during laning but makes up for it with strong decision making late.
5. Team SoloMid
6. Edward Gaming
8. Team WE
While all four of these teams are good and should be considered legitimate contenders in the tournament, they lack the ability to take over and truly control games in the way that the first four teams excel at, leaving them just a step behind the world’s best. The two North American teams in this section are marked by their consistency and overall strength of rosters, while the two Chinese teams are elevated by incredible talent and some standout performers.
9. G2 Esports
11. Flash Wolves
These are the first teams that aren’t likely to make it out of their groups. While each of the teams is good in their own right, they tend to be one dimensional and struggle to win if some specific conditions aren’t met. Cloud9 is perhaps the best example of this, as they struggle to find wins in games that mid laner Nicolaj Jensen is shut out of. Meanwhile, for G2 and Fnatic, their play around objectives isn’t quite strong enough to bail them out if they lose laning phase.
13. GIGABYTE Marines
15. ahq e-Sports Club
16. 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor
These are the teams that just don’t quite measure up to their competitors at Worlds. It’s not that they are bad, just that the other teams are quite a bit better. The one exception to that is the GIGABYTE Marines who have the chance to come into the tournament and surprise everyone. Their fairly unconventional style, mixed with their early game strength could create the perfect balance needed for them to pull off a few shocking upsets against Immortals and Fnatic.