LPL Power Rankings (Week 0.5) – Early Skirmishes Prove Predictable

INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 03: Supporters watch the Finals match of 2018 The League of Legends World Championship at Incheon Munhak Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 03: Supporters watch the Finals match of 2018 The League of Legends World Championship at Incheon Munhak Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) /
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#15 – Oh My God (0-0) (Last Week – #15)

16th of January: vs Invictus Gaming in Chengdu.
21th of January: vs Bilibili Gaming in Chengdu.

Oh My God (OMG) have yet to play so they haven’t had a chance to prove my initial ranking wrong yet. It’s a team of mostly rookies and players with questionable records, their mid laner Xie “icon” Tian-Yu is a talent and one of their new junglers, Zhou “l3est16” Zhi-Li has quite a bit of hype around him so there is a small bit of potential there. They face an almost impossible task in beating the world champions, Invictus Gaming. Bilibili also looks quite a bit stronger than OMG so there is little hope of a victory there either.

#14 – Vici Gaming (0-0) (Last Week – #14)

16th of January: vs Suning Gaming in Shanghai.

Vici Gaming (VG) has been an awful team for quite a while now and since they’ve retained a lot of their roster from last season, it doesn’t look like their fortunes will improve any time soon. They managed to win the National Electronic Sports Open (NESO) but their quality of competition was poor, to say the least. Suning Gaming will crush Vici unless something magical happens for them.

#13 – LGD Gaming (0-1) (Last Week – #13)

15th of January: Defeated by Bilibili Gaming 2-0. (MVPs: BLG Metoer, BLG Kuro)
22nd of January: vs Royal Never Give Up in Beijing.

LGD Gaming (LGD) was embarrassingly bad against BLG. In both matches, they barely put up a fight as BLG controlled every objective and dictated the pace of the game right from the start. It’s a tragedy that Kramer ended up on this roster, if they don’t improve quickly they’ll remain at the bottom of the table forever more. We won’t see the fruits of their practice this week regardless as they don’t have a hope of beating RNG no matter how fast they improve.

#12 – Snake Esports (0-0) (Last Week – #12)

18th of January: vs EDG in Chongqing.
20th of January: vs FunPlus Phoenix in Chongqing.
22nd of January: vs SinoDragon Gaming in Chongqing.

Snake may suffer fatigue in the coming week as they have three games in just five days. Lucky for them, they don’t have to leave their home venue of Chongqing. As always, Snake has Lê “SofM” Quang Duy and Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun who are both fantastic players but the rest of the roster remains a problem, as they’ve picked up rookies and inexperienced players to fill the gaps and this usually isn’t a winning formula. I expect Snake to remain competitive against EDG and FPX but I don’t see them winning either of those games. However, SinoDragon is a beatable opponent and they looked poor against EDG which should drive this Snake roster onwards. There is always the danger that their matches against EDG and FPX knock their confidence, however.

#11 – Victory 5 (0-0) (Last Week – #11)

18th of January: vs Topsports Gaming in Shanghai.

Victory 5 is one of our newest teams in the LPL. They are owned by the son of a Macau casino mogul but the investment in their roster doesn’t exactly reflect that. They’ve done very well to pick up former LGD top laner Lim “Jinoo” Jin-woo who can be a star player for them and former BLG support Yun “Road” Han-gil can bring some quality to the side as well. The rest of their roster are no slouches either but they’ll have to prove they can work as a cohesive unit. Beating Topsports is going to be a tall order as they look very strong this split, despite their loss to Invictus.

#10 – SinoDragon Gaming (0-1) (Last Week – #10)

15th of January: Defeated by Edward Gaming 2-0. (MVPs: EDG iBoy, EDG Haro)
19th of January: vs Team WE in Xi’an.
22nd of January: vs Snake Esports in Chongqing.

SinoDragon is the other new team in the LPL this split. Unlike Victory 5, SinoDragon Gaming (SDG) came through China’s developmental league. “Came through” is an understatement actually as they dominated their region of the league and took first place in the playoffs as well. They’ve kept the same dominant roster from this dominant run. Although they are all rookies, they are the best calibre of rookies available which is why they occupy the number ten spot on these rankings. Despite their developmental heroics, SDG struggled heavily against EDG. They looked clueless when playing from behind and EDG completely controlled them in both games, jungler Wang “Xiaopeng” Peng looked completely lost at times playing against Haro. Team WE and Snake will be their true tests, beating EDG was always going to be unlikely but if they pick up victories against WE and Snake then they will cement themselves as a mid-tier side rather than one at the bottom.

#9 – Team WE (0-0) (Last Week – #9)

19th of January: vs SinoDragon Gaming in Xi’an

Team WE (WE) have run into some trouble in recent years, they were once one of the best teams in China but recently they’ve been struggling for a while. Their new roster gives WE fans hope, they’ve maintained the players that brought WE to it’s most recent heights and also have acquired some talented rookies. They will be facing SDG in their home stadium in Xi’an, this game should be a competitive one with Team WE slightly favoured. It is a game which may dictate what kind of season Team WE will have, if they can beat SDG then they prove that they mean business this split and can contest for a playoff spot but if they lose then things may start to look dire for the former elites.