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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#8 – Bilibili Gaming (1-0) (Last Week – #8)

15th of January: Defeated LGD Gaming 2-0. (MVPs: BLG Metoer, BLG Kuro)

Bilibili is coming off a disappointing Summer split and they want to change that. Their Korean acquisitions, Kang “ADD” Geon-mo and Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng are going to be their biggest assets in their quest to secure a playoff spot. Surprisingly, rookie jungler Zeng “Metoer” Guo-Hao has also shown his talent in BLG’s comprehensive victory over LGD, earning the MVP for game one thanks to his intelligent ganking and aggressive engages. They have yet to be tested, and won’t be for the remainder of week one but they’ve definitely proven they are capable of beating a lower-tier team such like LGD.

#7 – FunPlus Phoenix (1-0) (Last Week – #7)

14th of January: Defeated Rogue Warriors 2-0. (MVPs: FPX Doinb, FPX GimGoon)
20th of January: vs Snake Esports in Chongqing.

FunPlus Phoenix looks like they will remain a playoff team this split. They retained most of the roster that allowed them to achieve that feat last split and have even added some upgrades, particularly their new mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang. Doinb proved that FPX’s investment was correct by earning himself the MVP for their first game against his former team, Rogue Warriors. GimGoon also impressed with his Urgot play in that series, proving too much for RW’s backline on multiple occasions which won him the MVP award for game two. Their victory over RW doesn’t prove much as RW are one of the worst teams, if not the worst team in the LPL this split. Their game against Snake will be more of a test, if they can beat Snake in Chongqing then they will have set themselves up for success this split.

#6 – Topsports Gaming (0-1) (Last Week – #6)

14th of January: Defeated by Invictus Gaming. (MVPs: IG Ning x2)
18th of January: vs Victory 5 in Shanghai.

Tosports Gaming’s loss against Invictus Gaming does not take them out of the conversation for being a top team in the LPL. They looked competitive against the world champions and they really showed their bite in mid-game teamfights. Korean ADC Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook was particularly impressive as he and support Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun went toe-to-toe with IG’s bottom lane. LokeN was also a force to be reckoned with in teamfights, his second game on Ezreal was an incredibly impressive display despite the loss. TOP will have to regain their prestige with a crushing win over Victory 5, which they are more than capable of.

#5 – Edward Gaming (1-0) (Last Week – #5)

15th of January: Defeated SinoDragon Gaming 2-0. (MVPs: EDG iBoy, EDG Haro)
18th of January: vs Snake Esports in Chongqing.

Edward Gaming is looking to earn themselves another shot at Worlds this year and their victory over SDG has got them off to a fantastic start. They’ve maintained essentially the same roster and this proved a good strategy on Tuesday as they completely dictated both games against SDG. They had impeccable objective control throughout and completely outclassed the LPL newcomers on a macro level. Even subbing out game one MVP, Hu “iBoy” Xian-Zhao, for substitute Wang “Hope” Jie did not affect their dominance. They can keep this momentum going by making Snake their next victims in Chongqing.

#4 – JD Gaming (0-0) (Last Week – #4)

19th of January: vs Rogue Warriors in Beijing.

This JD Gaming roster looks very scary which is why they occupy the number four spot without even playing a game. Two world-class acquisitions in the jungle with Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun and Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh as well as retaining star solo laners Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran and Zeng “YaGao” Qi. They have an easy start to the season as they face rookie squad Rogue Warriors, anything less than a crushing victory will be a failure for this roster.

#3 – Suning Gaming (0-0) (Last Week – #3)

16th of January: vs Vici Gaming in Shanghai.
20th of January: vs Royal Never Give Up in Beijing.

It’s the same story for this Suning Gaming roster which is being called a “super team” by many before even playing an LPL game. Their Taiwanese imports Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh from the Flash Wolves are incredible players who everyone will be familiar with because of their heroics at international events. In addition, they’ve also picked up Han “Smlz” Jin from Rogue Warriors who is one of the best ADCs in China. Vici Gaming should prove no test for Suning, their real test of strength comes when they face current champions Royal Never Give Up in Beijing. If Suning can beat RNG then all the hype will be proven correct and they can start to challenge for the LPL title.

#2 – Royal Never Give Up (0-0) (Last Week – #2)

20th of January: vs Suning Gaming in Beijing.
22nd of January: vs LGD Gaming in Beijing.

The current champions were on course for a golden year in 2018, both LPL splits, MSI, Rift Rivals and the majority of their roster won gold in the Asian Games. However, on the grandest stage of them all, the world championship, they faltered against a resilient G2 Esports. They had to watch as their domestic rivals Invictus Gaming went on and won the whole tournament. Now, they face the prospect of having to prove themselves once more as the kings of the LPL by overcoming Invictus Gaming again. In terms of their upcoming matchups, they face Suning Gaming in their first game of the season which will be a very interesting game. If RNG wins, they establish themselves as the primary rivals to IG’s expected dominance but if they lose then they may find themselves no longer at the top of the LPL totem pole. Their game two days later against LGD will be a much less enlightening affair as RNG should roll over them without issue.

#1 – Invictus Gaming (1-0) (Last Week – #1)

14th of January: Defeated Topsports Gaming 2-0. (MVPs: Ning x2)
16th of January: vs Oh My God in Chengdu.
21st of January: vs Rogue Warriors in Shanghai.

Invictus Gaming is almost indisputably the current best team in the world. Fresh off their World Championship victory and more recently their Demacia Cup win, IG is looking to earn themselves their first LPL title. With the best solo laners in the world, Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and Song “Rookie” Eui-jin and the best jungler in the world, worlds finals MVP Gao “Ning” Zhen-Ning, it would be heresy to say that they are not the favourites for the league title. They started their campaign off with what could have been a significant test against TOP but Ning, who won both MVPs for the series, led his team to an easier than expected victory. IG opted not to use TheShy in this series and instead used two-time world champion Lee “Duke” Ho-seong instead which didn’t affect their stellar performance. After seeing what they did to TOP, I shudder to think about how heavily they will stomp their next opponents in OMG and RW, two of the worst teams in the league. Invictus Gaming will have to wait a bit longer to face their rivals RNG and the up-and-coming challengers SNG.

dark. Next. League of Legends 2019: LCK Preview

There are some exciting games coming up in the next week. The match of the week is, of course, Royal Never Give Up vs Suning Gaming which will be taking place on Sunday at 11am CST. This game will be broadcast in English as well so make sure to tune in to see two of the best teams in the world right now face off. Who has impressed you so far in the LPL, and who are you excited to see play?

The LPL is broadcast in English on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is broadcast solely in Chinese on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. You can catch either language stream on Twitch, Huya or Douyu every day.