Written by Frank 'Riot Mirhi' Fields and Taylor 'Riot RoboTayCo' Cocke on LoLeSports.com
With Worlds on the horizon, Power Rankings is going to take a hiatus for a while. I know, I know, it's tragic. Not being able to argue about who's best and having to see it on the Field (of Justice) is such a drag. But you know what... we'll do one more.
Our prompt for this was simple: If the teams played a round-robin at Worlds, who would be the winner? Who would have the best records?
With that, we bring you Power Rankings: Worlds Edition.
Editors Note: The panel for these rankings were a mix of Rioters, content producers, casters, and third party journalists.
The biggest underdogs of the bunch, KaBuM! e-Sports has the potential to surprise everyone. The Brazilian wildcards play an intensely aggressive style that resemble Chinese squads, but with a chaotic twist. They revel in shocking, messy teamfights, and may be able to catch their enemies off guard. That style can also bite back, however, losing sure wins with sloppy maneuvering.
15. DARK PASSAGE
The Turkish stars of Dark Passage may seem like newcomers to many fans, but they’ve been a consistent force in their home country since the beginning of Season 3. Top laner fabFabulous and the crazy talented mid laner Naru form the core of the squad, but neither has seen serious international play before the tournament. There will be nervous jitters among them. It’s up to them how much that will affect their play.
14. AHQ ESPORTS CLUB
Westdoor is tired of living under TPA’s shadow. As one of the most talented mid laners in Southeast Asia, he and his squad have consistently played second fiddle to TPA. And for good reason - they simply can’t seem to catch them in the standings. Now, they have a chance to prove they can compete with the best in the world. We’ll just have to see if they can put that chip on their shoulder to good use.
When LMQ burst into the NA LCS with an explosive 4-0 Super Week, the region stood up and took notice. The newcomers looked to be a brand new LCS powerhouse, and had the skills to back it up. From there, they proved it, remaining in the top 2 for 10 of 11 weeks in the regular season, easily securing a spot in the playoffs. The fact that they were only dropped there by a TSM team on a rampage implies that LMQ still has plenty to show at Worlds - particularly from talented mid laner XiaoWeiXiao.
12. SK GAMING
If SK Gaming gets a lead, it’s incredibly difficult to wrestle it from their grasps. Unfortunately, attaining that lead has proved rather difficult as their laning phase tends to be inconsistent at best. They’ll struggle against many of the strong early game teams that are making their ways to Seoul, but if they can stave off the aggression, they might just be able to take a few victories.
11. TAIPEI ASSASSINS
The kings of Southeast Asia are back for another shot at the Worlds stage. They may be underdogs right now, but consider this: No one expected them to do much at the 2012 World Championships, either. With jungler Winds calling the shots and veteran AD carry bebe coming out of the bottom lane, TPA is a team that has the potential to surprise unsuspecting opposing squads.
For the first time in the history of the EU LCS, Fnatic doesn’t reign supreme. They’ll be coming into the World Championship Tournament as the second European seed, and likely with a massive chip on their shoulder. With their tendency to show up when games really matter, however, it’s hard to count out xPeke and crew.
9. TEAM SOLOMID
Talk about a hot streak. At the NA LCS Summer Playoffs, TSM made a run to be remembered. They brought down both LMQ and Cloud9 in back to back best-of-fives, and looked to be living up to the potential that their highly talented lineup had within them all season. If Bjergsen plays to his full capabilities and Dyrus shows up like he did in the playoffs, TSM may finally have their moment on the international stage.
I know what you're thinking. "But TSM beat C9 in Playoffs! Clearly they're better!" Well... yes and no. Team SoloMid clearly defeated Cloud9 and were the better team on that day, but overwhelmingly, we believe that Cloud9 matches up better against international teams than TSM does - although only slightly so. It may not be that Cloud9 is worse, but that NA LCS competition has gotten better, and with it, so has Cloud9. What Cloud9 will need to do in order to succeed is Balls and Meteos playing at their peaks, otherwise they may not survive long.
OMG would ultimately be higher, if they didn't have a few key issues. While no one can deny they have among the best top, mid and junglers of any team at Worlds, their issues at support have caused trouble for San, who is otherwise an elite ADC. Separately, the team has issues with teamwork and coordination in several instances. Overall, they are an extremely talented team, but not the juggernauts they were a year ago.
6. STAR HORN ROYAL CLUB
In a familiar position, OMG is edged out by Star Horn Royal Club. While OMG was able to defeat Royal in the LPL Summer Playoffs, partially due to Royal's lack of practice because of visa issues, they fell twice to Royal in the LPL Regionals. Uzi and Zero have become an elite level bot lane, despite language barriers and InSec is having a rebirth in China. While Corn and Cola may not be World class solo laners like some of the teams above them, they still are talented, and Royal's teamwork has been incredibly strong since their struggles in LPL playoffs.
Alliance is a team most are rating very highly, but are thus far unproven on the international stage. While they are not thought of as being strong at every position like the teams above them, they have great teamwork and objective control. The key to Alliance winning will be consistently strong performances by Froggen, and Shook and Tabzz playing up to their competition.
4. EDWARD GAMING
Edward Gaming is regarded by many to be the best hope for a non-Korean team to win Worlds. They are strong at every position, have likely the best ADC in the World, solid players at every position, world class team work, objective and vision control... They have everything a great team has. So what's the downside? We've not seen them play against Korean or Western teams, and its hard to know how they will interact with other styles. If EDG plays up to the level we think they are capable, other teams need to beware.
3. NAJIN WHITE SHIELD
Shield is the hottest team coming into Worlds. They blitzed Korean Regionals with a 9-1 record, blowing out the entire KT Rolster organization, as well as defending champions SK Telecom T1 K. Like all elite Korean teams they have few weaknesses in their teamwork and objective control, but they come up short in player quality compared to the Samsung teams on this list. Watch is the only player on this team with international experience, but I wouldn't expect that to stop Shield from performing.
2. SAMSUNG WHITE
Some people believe White is a better team than Blue, but the problem is that White hasn't been able to beat Blue in any of their encounters in 2014. White is a complete team, world class at every position, with by far the best support player in the World. They control the early game with jungle pressure and strong laning, and Imp takes over the late game, if it gets to that point. The only Kryptonite for White is their sister team...
1. SAMSUNG BLUE
Samsung Blue is perfect. With top players at every position (one can argue best player at every position), mechanical skill above any other, great team work, coordination, strategic play and adaptation, it's no wonder why most consider them to be the best team in the world. The only team to get the best of Blue was the unrelenting aggression of KaKaO and the KT Rolster Arrows, and that was one of the closest series in recent memory. Any loss that Samsung Blue suffers will be a substantial upset.
Frank 'Riot Mirhi' Fields is a Senior Web Content Coordinator for Riot Games. You'll find him in solo queue on Ahri trying to DFG charm his way back into Diamond, or on Twitter where he'd love to talk to you about esports.
Taylor 'Riot RoboTayCo' Cocke is a Web Content Coordinator for Riot Games. He only goes all-in, preferably on Leona or Alistar. You can follow him on Twitter, where he will talk your head off about supporting and bands no one has ever heard of.