1. G2 eSports
Yet again, G2 is given our number one spot in the power rankings. It’s kind of an odd thing though; the team seems unbeatable at times and incredibly vulnerable at others. In no way can G2’s spot atop the EU LCS leaderboard rival the domination of the NA powerhouse TSM. But, when the competition is so off and on like it is in the EU this year, G2 doesn’t need to be that dominant. Maybe I’m being a little rough on G2. In no way am I trying to take away from the incredible season they’ve had so far. Zven and Mithy are dominating the bot lane and G2 has the best jungler in the league. G2 does so many things right when they need to, but it also seems like they play at the level of the competition. Take for example last week, when they tied with Giants Gaming. G2 shouldn’t be tying with a team so low in the standings. However in week 5, G2 swept Fnatic, the team that currently finds itself in second place. What does all of this mean? Well, G2 definitely has its weaknesses, but if they’re only losing to low ranked teams yet still beating the top contenders, I suppose they have a good shot of winning the entire thing this year. I mean, they probably won’t have to face a team like Giants in the finals.
It must be a surprise that Splyce ranks ahead of Fnatic in this week’s power rankings. I won’t lie, it was a tough choice, but it ultimately came down to who beat who. Splyce has been on the rise in recent weeks, and I think it shocks most viewers that they are currently ranked 3rd in the standings; Splyce is only one point behind Fnatic and four behind G2. So what exactly makes them more deserving of the number two spot over Fnatic. Well, Splyce has only lost one match out of their last eight, which was a disappointing loss to the Unicorns of Love. I’ll forgive the fact that they lost to such a low ranking team since they beat both FC Schalke and Vitality with such ease. Perhaps this is what makes Splyce the front-runner they are now; they play with such ease. The team doesn’t have any huge names like Rekkles and Yellowstar, but they don’t need them. They play as a team and dominate as a team, and no one can dispute those results. On a side note, Wunder played the newest champ Taliyah twice this week, and I love seeing new champs being utilized in team comps. When Taliyah was released, I figured it was just a matter of time before pros would start finding ways to play with her utility focused kit. Anyhow, Splyce is definitely set to challenge G2 in the upcoming weeks.
Well, the team went three out of four this week, with the loss coming from Unicorns of Love. As I explained with Splyce, I won’t judge too harshly since Unicorns of Love seem to be some sort of top-team kryptonite. I do find it odd, however, that so many of the top teams are losing to the worst teams of the league but winning/tying with the top contenders. Oh well, I suppose the top contenders are the ones who compete at the end anyways. But that brings me back to Fnatic, who I am certainly a fan of going into the next couple of weeks. Fnatic plays H2k and FC Schalke, so we are sure to find out just how good this team really is. On a negative note for the Fnatic organization, top laner Gamsu is stepping down from his position due to what seems to be some friction within the team. This is definitely a step back for Fnatic’s progress this season, but they do have ex-G2 player Kikis on the way to fill the empty position. I honestly don’t know how well he will bond with the team since he had some troubles with G2, but we’ll let the future speak for itself.
4. Giants Gaming
Yes, I’ve been very rough on Giants Gaming. And perhaps that’s uncalled for seeing as how they were the worst team in the league at one point and have now risen to fourth on the leaderboard. But forgive me because I often fall on the skeptical side of things, and part of me thinks that Giants Gaming being in the top five this season is too good to be true. I guess I need to adapt, as crazier things are happening like Splyce being a top contender and Origen being at the bottom of the league. So with that out of the way, I can talk about Giants Gaming in a way that may seem less unfair. The team has made an incredible amount of improvements from the first couple weeks of the split, and last week was most definitely their best week of the split. In my first power rankings of the year, I wrote that Giants Gaming needed to try out something fresh in team comps because going with the meta wasn’t working for them; to win, they needed to throw teams off-guard. Giants Gaming has been doing exactly that. In their sweep of H2k, they rocked champs like Olaf, Zilean, and Jax; champs that haven’t exactly seen much time in the LCS recently. Perhaps what was most interesting about this was that Olaf was played in both the top lane and in the jungle. Giants Gaming is keeping their opponents in their toes, and it’s working out for now.
I find the case of H2k particularly curious because they’re the only team in the top half of the league that has more ties than wins. I wouldn’t necessarily count this as a negative thing since points are points in this stage of the competition, but when it gets down to playoffs, series’ are all about consistency; and H2k is having trouble with playing consistently. H2k has tied with teams like Origen and ROCCAT recently, which are the bottom two teams in the league. At one point this season, I thought H2k could challenge G2 for the championship, but now I’m not too sure. Teams like Splyce and Fnatic have risen to the occasion while H2k is slowly falling down a hole of constant defeat. Next week, the team faces both Fnatic and G2 eSports, so it’s probably one of the hardest weeks any team has had to face so far. I honestly don’t know if H2k is going to be able to step up to the plate and do anything against the top powerhouses, but it will tell us what we need to know.
6. FC Schalke
Now that we’re at the bottom half of this list, the commentary won’t be as long or as detailed. These next few teams are fighting to stay out of the bottom of the standings in addition to a low seeded playoff spot. FC Schalke is the first team of the bottom half because, well, they don’t really seem like a bottom half team to me. The EU LCS is a confusing place this year, and perhaps even somewhat of a mess. This could be due to the new ranking system, and we might have a better grip on who’s better than who if the EU LCS used series’ like the NA is currently doing. But that’s besides the point, and what we have here is a team that is still settling into the newness of the LCS. Of course, most of these players are from the same ex-LCS team, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Being part of FC Schalke has a lot of pressure seeing as how it’s one of the biggest sports groups in the world. When it comes down to performance, the team can be all over the place. They started the season out incredibly strong, but are slowly falling. By no means is FC Schalke a bad team, they’ve just had some rough patches that will probably be fixed by next year. But for this year, I don’t see them making it too far even if they do make it to the playoffs.
7. Unicorns of Love
Honestly, Team Vitality and Unicorns of Love could both be in this number seven slot. Both teams are just bad enough as to where they don’t matter in the playoff picture. The only thing these teams are worried about is staying out of contention for the Promotion series. The worst thing that could happen for the Unicorns of Love is having to play in the Challenger League, and unfortunately that’s looking like a possibility. The positive thing that Unicorns of Love has going for them is that they somehow manage to win games against the big teams like G2 and Fnatic. It’s curious that they can’t take this success into matches with Vitality or Giants, because if they could, the Unicorns of Love might actually be a contender. Unfortunately it’s too late in the year for anything dramatic to happen in the standings, so UoL are pretty much stuck where they are at.
8. Team Vitality
It feels so odd putting teams like Vitality and Unicorns of Love above Origen. It makes me sad honestly, but we’ll talk about Origen later. Team Vitality has struggled just as much as Unicorns of Love has, but in a different way. Unlike UoL, Vitality has no problem beating the bad team, but they can’t do anything against teams like G2 and Fnatic. The team has had problems all year with team fighting mechanics and map awareness, and there’s no one player on the team that really stands out in the EU LCS. Like Splyce, they have to rely on the team working together to win, but unlike Splyce, they have a hard time winning. Vitality plays ROCCAT and Unicorns of Love this week, so wins against these teams would help their case for not being the worst team in the EU LCS.
How did it get to this? How did the second place team last year end up second-to-last in the standings right now? How did the acquisition of EU LCS legend FORG1VENGRE mean defeat for a team that was favored to do so well? All of these questions run through my mind every single week, and I have no idea where to start for the answers. It just doesn’t make sense. Putting xPeke in at the beginning of the season seemed like a fix, but now the team has just reverted back to their week one ways. PowerOfEvil is playing some of the worst League I’ve ever seen him play, and it’s just sad to watch honestly. The team only has 9 points, so unless they sweep every match from now on, they’re going to face the Promotion series.
That was a fast journey to the bottom. I know in weeks three and four I was talking about the possibility of ROCCAT making it into the playoffs and even being a frontrunner. Then everything happened and now ROCCAT is at the bottom of the EU LCS. They’ve kind of had the opposite journey of Splyce; they were near the top and now they’re irrelevant. It’s sad to see a team that’s seen success struggle so much, but then again, Origen is in the same boat. Perhaps this is a new age of League of Legends and the new teams are just having their fun at the top. But then again, it is Zven and mithy who are atop of the standings board, and they’re definitely no strangers to the League.