LoL Worlds Power Rankings: Comments

TheScore esports put out LoL Worlds power rankings today, which featured lists from myself, Kelsey Moser, and Emily Rand.

Power rankings are all about generating discussion, so I waded into the Reddit thread (which I won’t link for now because I don’t want to encourage vote brigading) and offered my thoughts in response to various questions and comments on my personal rankings.

Here’s a collection of some of my thoughts. (I’ll update with more as and when I post more responses.)

On ranking G2 Esports relatively low: 

“You ranked G2 quite a bit lower than Kelsey and Emily, care to expand on that one a little?”

G2 is one of several teams at Worlds this year where I don’t feel the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Great 2v2 lane, great jungling, but lots of mistakes and vulnerabilities in positioning.

I don’t think G2 were tested that much in Europe, so my faith in their international ability is affected somewhat by that. They will.need to rise to the level of their opposition.

On low rankings for the Flash Wolves and AHQ:

“Why does LMS always get downtrodden in these kinds of rankings?

I mean, LMS first seed below Cloud9?”

I’m a big proponent of giving the LMS the respect they deserve, but after watching their postseason VODs I just wasn’t that impressed. I need to see more.

Hopefully their bootcamps will be really valuable for them.

On Splyce:

“Hi! I agree with almost all your rankings but I’m surprised you ranked Splyce so highly. Care to explain why you think they are that much better than AHQ, H2K and CLG?

Also according to your rankings, do you think we will see TSM, C9, G2, and H2K ALL make it out of their respective groups?”

I personally put Splyce below CLG because of my respect for CLG’s ability to make good use of prep time, and their mental strength.

I think TSM has a good shot in a somewhat tough group. C9 se story but I’m a bit less confident for them.

G2 and H2K got relatively soft groups, so if they don’t make it out it’s on them. They should be favoured to reach QFs.

On Group D expectations:

“With tsm/ssg/rng being fairly close together on your list, how likely would you say it is that this group is going to be decided by the final games of their group on week 2, with a tiebreaker somewhere?”

A tiebreaker is very possible.

Few outcomes would surprise me for Group D. Though I don’t expect Splyce to get out of the group, I think their ability to take a few games could be crucial to the final results.

On TSM vs G2 and NA vs EU:

“Why is it accepted that TSM>G2, when EU is traditionally better at worlds, and the MSI regional EU vs NA comparison clearly doesn’t hold as G2 are universally considered better than CLG?”

G2’s team play has not looked as polished as it could be. They make some sloppy calls and individual mistakes that get covered over by skill-based play, which doesn’t hold up as well in the face of superior macro.

TSM has weaknesses, too, but their weaknesses have not really been related to their shot calling or teamwork. And in the end, teamwork usually triumphs over individual skill.

On regional strength and SKT:

Do you agree that it’s very difficult to get an accurate assessment of team strengths? […] It feels as though some of you definitely take regional strength into account. I know it’s SKT and they play in Korea, but can you explain to me why they are number 3? […] Considering SKT’s play in the last few weeks, and considering they auto qualified through points, I can’t really justify to say they are better other than distant historical knowledge.

For SKT specifically, I have a lot of respect for their ability to bootcamp before the event and make big improvements. More importantly, they–and other Korean teams–have a phenomenal ability to adapt on the fly, from day to day or game to game. Teams from other regions have not shown the same ability to adapt during an event. So even if SKT comes out a bit slow in week 1, I think they’ll be much better in week 2.

The biggest criticism levied against SKT, and deservedly so, is their weakness at jungle. Blank is not a great player, by any standard. But the thing is, Blank does have strengths, specifically his mid-game play and contributions to team fights. SKT are unlikely to get crushed so badly in the early game that they can’t shotcall and team fight their way out of it, in my opinion.

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Tim “Magic” Sevenhuysen runs, the premier source for League of Legends esports statistics, and writes for theScore esports.

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