League of Legends LCS power rankings Week 4: a titan falls

Jax. League of Legends.
Jax. League of Legends. /
1 of 2
Jax. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

After a crazy Week 4 of professional League of Legends where Liquid suffered their first loss, how do the LCS power rankings stack up? And what happened that allowed TSM to beat Liquid?

It was a crazy weekend of League of Legends in the pro scene, with Europe’s G2 and China’s Invictus both dropping from the ranks of the unbeaten. Then, on Sunday, Liquid joined their formerly unbeaten brothers in their fall from grace, losing their first game of the season to TSM. Did this unexpected result shake things up at the top of the LCS power rankings?

10. Clutch (2-6)

It’s honestly shocking that Clutch is last in the LCS power rankings, given the talent on their roster with Huni, Piglet, and Damonte. The problem is, unfortunately, these players seem to have a knack for underperforming. Clutch has the best “win quality” metric of any LCS team – having beaten top-half of the league teams TSM and Echo Fox – but unfortunately, they have few standout players; none of their players are outside the bottom four effectiveness in their respective position.

More from LCS

Last weekend, Clutch dropped both games against CLG and FlyQuest, both middle-of-the-pack teams. Winning either one (or ideally both) could have given Clutch a reasonable case to be in the top half of these rankings. Losing both, unfortunately, puts them dead last.

9. OpTic (2-6)

The difference between OpTic and Clutch is not that large. OpTic may be performing better as individuals, particularly their two junglers Meteos and Dardoch, but their macro is simply horrific.

According to OraclesElixir, OpTic has the best early game score of any team in the LCS, which is unsurprising considering they are the best in terms of first blood, gold difference at 15, as well as being top three in first dragon and herald take rates. However, their mid to late game is atrocious. While getting stomped by TSM and C9 in the same weekend wasn’t surprising, they haven’t played well enough the rest of the season to indicate they’re not a bottom-tier team.

8. 100 Thieves (3-5)

Just when you thought they were out, they pull you back in. After a resurgent Week 3 that brought the Thieves to an even 3-3 record, there was hope that this team would polish off FlyQuest and Echo Fox to show that they were a serious contender.

Alas, that hope is gone as the Thieves went 0-2 on the weekend. The numbers don’t lie, this team has only managed to beat teams in the bottom half of the standings all year, with their last game of the first half of the round robin coming next weekend against OpTic. They’ll fight for a playoff spot, but they don’t appear poised to make a serious run to challenge Liquid, as most predicted before the season.

7. Golden Guardians (3-5)

A very solid 1-1 weekend for the Guardians, who took down CLG on Sunday after an expected loss to the unstoppable train that was Team Liquid. While they’re on the upswing and did beat the team ranked immediately ahead of them, the Guardians still have some glaring issues.

For one, outside of Hauntzer, there is no player on this team that is playing above replacement level in his position. The other is that slow start to the year, which included a loss to 100 Thieves in Week 2’s “war of the winless.”

Had Golden Guardians beaten the inferior Thieves squad and were sitting at a 4-4 record, they’d be a top five team in the LCS power rankings by our metrics. Unfortunately, right now the Golden Guardians might be peaking but that loss to a team they should have beaten puts their ceiling at an outside the playoffs team, though they have a good chance to claw their way in.

6. CLG (4-4)

Greater than the sum of their parts, CLG are one of the best mid-to-late game teams due to their superior macro play. Unfortunately, they struggle to get any gold leads early (only their bot lane has a positive gold at 15 differential), which means they are almost always playing from behind.

Such was the problem in Sunday’s loss to Golden Guardians, in which the Guardians played to CLG’s weak side (coincidentally their strong side) in the top lane. Hauntzer got first blood, the Guardians got a Rift Herald, and they took a gold lead which they never relinquished. Although many point to their mid laner PowerofEvil as a standout MVP candidate in the first half of the year, he’s the only above-average mid who has a negative average gold differential at 15, indicating that he is contributing to some of CLG’s early game woes.