LCS 2021: Post Lock-In Tournament Team Power Rankings

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The LCS season hasn’t even started yet, but teams have already played the equivalent of half a split’s worth of games. We’ve seen the best teams face off against each other, some even in best-of-series. With a fairly significant sample size of games, it’s time for our first power rankings of 2021.

Our power rankings are based on the elo system, where each team’s wins or losses will matter more or less depending on how difficult the opponent was. Since teams have not all played the same number of games (but all teams have played at least four) elos will be slightly inflated or lower for some teams, but these are the initial power rankings for the teams following the LCS Lock-In tournament.

10. Immortals

Elo: 251

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Even though Immortals made it out of the group stage, they did so just barely. They then proceeded to get immediately swept out of the quarterfinals by 100 Thieves. That overall record of 1-5 knocks Immortals to the bottom of the power rankings, even though they did manage to beat Dignitas in the group stage.

9. CLG

Elo: 292

A team that, ironically, did manage to beat 100 Thieves, CLG at least has the excuse of not having their full roster throughout the Lock-In tournament. However, CLG did not look incredibly impressive throughout the tournament and failed to advance out of the group stage, putting them at the bottom of the power rankings.

Here’s how the LCS teams fare in our power rankings after Lock-In.

8. Dignitas

Elo: 298

Dignitas is the team that failed to make it out of Group B, which Immortals did. However, their one win (over FlyQuest) was a higher-quality win than Immortals (who only beat Dignitas). Let’s hope the team manages to improve before Week 1 kicks off.

7. Golden Guardians

Elo: 338

Another one-win team, Golden Guardians at least managed to beat CLG in the group stage to advance and get swept aside by Evil Geniuses. Golden Guardians are basically in the same boat as Immortals, with the exception that they were in the “Group of Death” that was Group A. Group A featured the eventual Lock-In Champions (TL) and two top-five teams (TSM and 100 Thieves), while Group B only had C9 and EG.

6. FlyQuest

Elo: 366

They went 2-2 in the group stage before getting immediately swept aside by TL in the quarterfinals. Although there is no shame in getting swept by TL, the fact that they only went .500 in the easier group keeps them out of the top five. However, they do have the excuse, like CLG, of not having their full roster for the first half of group play. I’ll be interested to see how FlyQuest performs now that they have their full roster.

5. TSM

Elo: 386

While TSM’s performance is being meme’d and laughed at by many observers, they actually didn’t do horribly considering they were in the harder group (they went 2-2, losing to TL and 100 Thieves) and they managed to push Cloud9 to three games. That said, it’s quite easy to look at how they won those three games and be less than impressed. Only their Game 1 win over C9 was a good quality win, so hopefully, TSM can continue to improve entering the season.

4. Evil Geniuses

Elo: 445

A surprisingly strong performance from EG, who managed to win Group B off the back of strong performances from Impact and Jiizuke. They advanced to the semifinals (after sweeping GGS) before getting swept themselves by Team Liquid. Evil Geniuses are definitely a team to watch for this season, but they still need to prove they are in the upper echelon of teams.

3. 100 Thieves

Elo: 471

Speaking of that upper echelon, 100 Thieves is firmly in that category after winning the Group of Death with a 3-1 record (owning the tiebreaker by beating TL). They took care of Immortals 2-0 in the quarterfinals before falling to C9 3-2 in the semis. Although the pain of blowing a 2-0 series lead (again) definitely stings this team, their level of play in the Lock-In tournament proves that they are in the top-tier of teams in our power rankings.

2. Cloud9

Elo: 480

C9 managed to make it all the way to the finals, which is why they’re second on our power rankings. However, they’re much closer to third place than first place because of how much they struggled in their path to the finals. Each of their series went the full three/five games, including the TSM series which they should have easily won. I’d like to see more consistent play from this Cloud9 team once LCS play begins.

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1. Team Liquid

Elo: 527

No surprise, TL is the strongest team in the LCS by a mile. Despite finishing second in Group A, thanks to their loss to 100 Thieves, TL dominated the quarters and semifinals, not dropping a single game. They survived a scare against Cloud9 to win the LCS Lock-In title to cement their position as the (current) best team in North America.

Right now, four of the five members of C9 are graded as the best in their position (the sole exception is Santorin, who grades second behind Blaber). Three of them – Alphari, Jensen, and CoreJJ – grade above a 95 overall after the LCS Lock-In. Given the strength of this roster, we could be looking at one of the most dominant teams ever in the LCS this split.