League of Legends: Global Team Tier List for The Week of 2/22

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

After the initial response to yesterday’s world player rankings, it seems only fitting to use this data to project out the teams in the four major regions. Looking at the quality of players on each team, as well as their quality of competition and some other team-wide metrics, we have the first-ever global team tier list, as of February 22.

While a team’s positioning within a tier is relevant (the team listed first is the top team in that tier), these teams in one tier are all relatively close in terms of skill. The global team tier list is structured so as to rate the tiers by projected finish at Worlds 2021 if it took place now. However,  because we are only evaluating teams in the four major regions – LCS, LEC, LPL, LCK – these should not be taken as gospel of where a team will finish at the end of the year (mainly because we’re not going to have eight LPL teams at Worlds).

Tier 1 – Worlds Contenders

1. FunPlus Phoenix
2. EDward Gaming
3. G2 Esports

If your team is in this top tier, congratulations. These four teams, as of this week, are the best in the world in terms of their current performance. Now that might change as other teams improve or they decline, but right now if I had to pick a team that could win Worlds if it happened tomorrow, one of these four would be safe picks.

Our global team tier list looks which pro teams have a shot to win or make Worlds 2021!

Tier 2 – Outside Contenders

5. MAD Lions
6. Team Liquid
7. Rogue
8. Rare Atom

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These teams aren’t quite good enough to be serious contenders. However, they are talented enough and their flaws are small enough that, if they got some lucky breaks or the meta shifted to favor them, they could become a favored team to win Worlds.

Tier 3 – Group Stage

9. Team WE
10. Invictus Gaming
11. T1
12. Fnatic
13. Top Esports
14. Hanwha Life Esports
15. Gen.G
16. Victory Five

If Worlds didn’t have wildcard and region restrictions, these teams could easily make it into the group stage. With a little luck, some of the top teams could even squeak out into the quarterfinal round. However, there are some very glaring deficiencies that would need to be corrected in order to go much further.

Tier 4 – Maybe a Worlds Run

17. JD Gaming
18. Bilibili Gaming
19. Misfits
20. LNG Esports
21. Schalke 04
22. Cloud9
23. eStar
24. Suning
25. Dignitas
26. 100 Thieves
27. Evil Geniuses
28. SK Gaming
29. RNG
30. DRX
31. TSM
32. TT Gaming

These teams are going to struggle to even make Worlds 2021. It’s not outside the questin that they could make it into the tournament, but don’t expect them to do too much when they get there.

Tier 5 – Trash

33. KT Rolster
34. Afreeca Freecs
35. CLG
36. Oh My God
37. Rogue Warriors
38. NS Redforce
39. Immortals
40. Team Vitality
41. FlyQuest
42. Astralis
43. Liiv SANDBOX
44. Excel
45. Fredit BRION
46. LGD Gaming
47. Golden Guardians

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A Worlds run is not happening for these teams. Even if they have significant improvements and/or undergo huge roster changes, the deficit in talent between these teams and even the Tier 4 teams is large enough that it won’t matter. If you’re a fan of a team in this tier, 2021 is going to be a rough year for you.