Excuse the lateness of this week's League of Legends LCS power rankings. I was too busy crying myself to sleep after Europe had four big upset matches and my power rankings went up in flames. Nevertheless, even as the EU LCS is starting up as I write this, the teams must be placed in an order. The power rankings must go on. I just might need a few breaks to get ahold of myself doing the EU rankings.
This week's biggest loser is absolutely Fnatic, who goes 0-2 playing against their new rivals ROCCAT and then Alliance of all teams. Expect to see their losses reflected on this week's power rankings. On the other side of the ocean, team Dignitas also fell apart going 1-2 for the week with losses to both Curse and XDG. Sure, Saint Vicious' return to competitive play might throw you for a loop, but XDG? Argh.
Winners for the week gets spread around a bit more. Both ROCCAT and Alliance have perfect weeks in Europe, each taking down top contenders. Certainly the Supa Hot Crew will feel like winners after beating Gambit Gaming. They still lost to Millenium the day before, however. In North America Counter Logic Gaming now has their first-string jungler Dexter, but Team SoloMid and Cloud 9 continue to build a new wave of momentum.
Let's sift through the ashes of EU. I fear we may not like what we find.
1.) Gambit Gaming (7-3, 1-1, +0) and Team SoloMid (9-1, 2-0, +0)
- Gambit Gaming - Well now, I doubt anyone expected Gambit Gaming to lose a game to Supa Hot Crew, but that they did. Still, we've decided not to punish Gambit for it, because as far as we can tell there are still no other teams as threatening as them in any given week. Why'd they lose then? In standard Gambit fashion, they beat themselves. Alex Ich's Lulu mid was a very poor decision, essentially removing Alex's aggression and carrying power from the game. Then he lost anyway. Follow that up with a Diamond Eve jungle that made no impact anywhere else and Gambit lost this game in champions select. They still destroyed the Copenhagen wolves on the back of a 7-0 Genja though. Dang Gambit can be scary.
- Team SoloMid - Yawn. Team SoloMid beat both Evil Geniuses and Curse this week. The Evil Geniuses match was a bit interesting, because Bjergson got a bit bodied by Pobelter, but of all people Dyrus carried the game going 10/0 on Shyvana. The Curse match was much less eventful. Much. Team SoloMid's still the team to beat in NA.
2.) ROCCAT (9-3, 2-0, +1) and Cloud 9 (8-2, 2-0, +0)
- ROCCAT - Yes, ROCCAT has secured rank two after defeating Fnatic and having a perfect week four in general. Not only did they beat Fnatic, but also a Millenium team who was high off their big tournament victory in Sao Paulo. Fear this team if they get Pantheon, as they'll put together a team that can kill anyone on the map at any time. In their victory over Fnatic, however, they won purely on solid team-fighting and overall map control. If you want to dethrone Fnatic, that's how you do it.
- Cloud 9 - Yawn. Cloud 9 beat both XDG and Team Coast this week. A bit of a weaker schedule than Team SoloMid's matches, but they won both games quite persuasively. Perhaps the biggest issue with Cloud 9 as it stands right now is Hai's mid-lane. Typically Hai is either carrying or involved in a lot of the plays for his team, but since week one Hai has looked... unsure. I think the assassin nerfs hit his game very hard. Meteos and Sneaky sill carrying like bosses.
3.) Fnatic (7-3, 0-2, -1) and Counter Logic Gaming (5-5, 1-0, +1)
- Fnatic - Where, oh where, did it all go wrong for Fnatic. They ended the week 2-0 with losses to both ROCCAT and Alliance, bringing their loss streak up to three games. To be honest, individually Fnatic looks as strong as ever. Xpeke especially still looks like the best mid-laner in EU. It's the team's failure to execute plans early, whether that be pushing towers or taking buffs and dragon, that prove its weakness. This early lack of execution results in piss-poor team-fights mid-late that lose Fnatic games. They could have fallen farther, but for this week we'll say they are just in a slump.
- Counter Logic Gaming - Hot and cold week for Counter Logic Gaming. They finally got their jungler, Dexter, over from EU and he played in his first game! Sadly, it was their ownly game this week. Still, with Link back at mid and Dexter in the jungle the team does, surprisingly, look better than ever. CLG beat Evil Geniuses, which isn't a huge accomplishment, but they won and didn't lose which is more than Dignitas was able to do this week.
4.) Supa Hot Crew (4-6,1-1, +0) and Curse (4-6, 1-1, +2)
- Supa Hot Crew - These guys, they have so much talent, but they can't bring the consistency game to game. This week they beat freaking Gambit Gaming. They beat Gambit! Yet they also lost persuasively to a Millenium team that simply doesn't look great. One of these days they'll put it all together and then they'll join ROCCAT, Fnatic and Gambit at the top. Or it'll all fall apart before then. My recommendation for their opponents? Shut down Mr RalleZ hard, and don't let Moopz get Kayle.
- Curse - Who is that support player?! Saint Vicious has taken over for Zekent as support on Curse and the results have had immediate effect. Curse rolled in and bodied Dignitas, setting them on a week four spiral. Is curse necessarily better skill wise? No, but with Saint's shot calling and aggressive determination, Curse can finally make the plays they've been scared to do all season. They're definitely not good enough to beat TSM or Cloud 9 yet, but they can certainly compete.
5.) Alliance (4-6, 2-0, +3) and Dignitas (5-2, 1-2, -1)
- Alliance - I'm getting pretty tired of these games, Alliance. Either you're good or you're bad. Please make your decision before next week. I'm only bumping you up three spots in the power rankings this week instead of four. I hope that's a lesson learned. Seriously though, these guys can play. If they get out of early game without falling behind, then fear their team-fighting and excellent objective farming. They may not often win matchups, but their experience wins them games.
- Dignitas - After week three off, Dignitas came back in shambles. Not only did they lose to a newly revitalized Curse, but also to an XDG that's on the verge of throwing in the towel this split. To me, there's one specific reason. In their win, Qtpie played Jinx, in their losses he played Lucien -- and did quite poor. Maybe teams are just figuring out that Dignitas' bot lane is their key to success, or maybe Qtpie is rebelling against his carrying role and this is the effect. Week five will be interesting.
6.) SK Gaming (4-6, 0-1, -1) and Evil Geniuses (3-7, 0-2, -1)
- SK Gaming - In week three SK Gaming proved they could contend with the best when they wanted to. In week four SK Gaming didn't have the opportunity to maintain that momentum with only one game. Worse yet, they tripped over the Copenhagen Wolves of all teams, going 0-1 for the week. It was actually a rather close game, but SK's kills were spread too thin and no one was able to carry a team-fight. That, and I'm really unpersuaded that Wukong fits into the meta right now.
- Evil Geniuses - Two tough games for Evil Geniuses this week, first against Team SoloMid riding a huge wave of momentum and second against a reinvigorated Counter Logic Gaming. Surprisingly, their better game was against SoloMid where a Fizz played by Pobelter was going wild. In tandem with a Pantheon jungle EG pushed TSM to the wire, but Yellowpete's Urgot just could not carry his own weight. The follow-up CLG game was much less impressive.
7.) Millenium (3-7, 1-2, -1) and XDG (3-7, 1-1, +1)
- Millenium - Millenium's record has yet to prove they deserve to be anywhere except the bottom of the list. Still, when I see these guys play I don't see the worst team in the EU. I see a competent team that will punish opponents for mistakes, but has a hard time carrying against the high skill levels of certain players on other teams. Supa Hot Crew played sloppy against Millenium and so they were punished for it. I think that makes them better than last place. I could be wrong though.
- XDG - XDG is struggling, which is a step above previous weeks where they looked dead in the water. Today they managed to catch a Dignitas suddenly unsure of themselves and took quick advantage. While they still had an unsurprising loss to Cloud 9, perhaps a second day victory is just what XDG needed to regain some confidence. Let's see if that translates into wins.
8.) Copenhagen Wolves (4-6, 1-1, -1) and Team Coast (2-8, 0-2, -1)
- Copenhagen Wolves - Like Millenium, I think the Copenhagen Wolves have the potential to win any game they really dedicate themselves to. However, unlike Millenium I think the Copenhagen Wolves look absolutely bottom of the barrel in many of their games. After losing to Gambit Gaming they came back and defeated a sloppy SK team, but neither games looked particularly impressive for the Wolves. I hope they don't become this season's first team to give up.
- Team Coast - What can you say about Team Coast? They started out the season looking extremely competitive. Shiphtur looked unstoppable at time. Now though, they seem completely out of place. Their bans are sloppy, their picks suspect, and rarely does it seem like they have a goal in a game versus the slight hope that they'll win their lanes and thus win the game. There are many things Team Coast needs to work on, but it probably starts with showing a little initiative.
EU LCS: Four of the eight games this week were upsets, but oddly enough a majority of those games make a lot of sense. Supa Hot Crew and ROCCAT deserve a lot more credit for the quality of their gameplay then they seem to be receiving, and the more we see of Fnatic the less focused they seem on teamwork. The results of the week were simple small adjustments to better place teams at their correct ranks. Well, except for Alliance, who seems caught in some sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fiasco.
NA LCS: Two big changes in the NA LCS this week, as Curse' support Zekent was benched in favor of coach Saint Vicious, and Counter Logic Gaming's European jungle Dexter finally arrived after Visa issues the first weeks. Both team immediately looked stronger, but the true realization of that strength may not come until weeks from now when the teams are experienced with their new teammates. Cloud 9 and Team SoloMid still stand tall, but there are growing threats they need to watch for.
The final thought today is that we'll be seeing less dramatic shifting in the power rankings going forward. Each team has proved their worth by now and while some upsets are well earned, others are recognizable flukes this far in the season. Each league's leaders are apparent, just as each league's losers are. We may already be seeing the battle for lower playoff positions beginning as we speak.
Follow Rory Young on Twitter @bluexy or read his news, reviews and features every day here at Neoseeker.