With the 2021 Lol World Championship coming soon, Inven surveyed Korean League of Legends experts, including former and current coaches, players, commentators, and more, to make the Worlds 2021 Power Ranking. The ranking is based on the average ranking from the surveyees.
DWG KIA, FPX, and EDG were the top 3 teams as expected, and T1 was the runner-up. LCK and LPL had the highest average ranking (4.75), and LCS had the lowest average of the four major leagues. Rogue was the lowest-ranked team out of the 14 major league teams.
1. DWG KIA
The defending champions got the most votes from the experts. DWG KIA had the most 1st place votes, and the lowest score they got was 2nd place.
When DWG KIA was in a downfall during the Summer split, the head coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun found a creative way out by swapping lanes. In the end, they made a comeback to win another LCK Championship title. Yang "Daeny" Dae-in, who led DAMWON to 2020 World Champions as the head coach, came back to the team as an analyst during the Summer split and had been showing a great synergy with the team.
Following the 2020 World Champions, 2019 World Champions FPX ranked 2nd place. They got the second-most 1st place votes after DWG KIA.
FPX is LPL's second seed. They had to give the first seed to EDG for losing the Finals 3:1. Regardless, the experts evaluated FPX to be as strong as EDG, if not stronger, because of FPX's Summer split regular season score (13-3) and the outstanding performance each player showed by the end of the Summer split.
EDG is back to Worlds after three years of absence and was ranked 3rd place. Surprisingly, none of the experts gave 1st place votes to EDG, which has LPL's first seed.
In the last game of the LPL Summer split regular season, EDG lost to FPX 1:2 and finished 2nd place. However, they made a fantastic comeback in the Finals to gain the first seed. The Korean duo — Lee "Scout" Ye-chan and Park "Viper" Do-hyeon — carried the team to the Championship title in the finals. Viper showed crushing mechanics throughout the Summer split and was selected in the LPL first team.
T1 was ranked relatively high for LCK's third seed team. They surpassed RNG by a slight difference.
A lot of attention is drawn to T1 as they consist of GOAT Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and the new faces. Although Park "Teddy" Jin-seong is also in the team, Lee "Gumayusi" Min-hyeong is expected to play more games than Teddy. Most of the new faces have only about a year of experience. The key would be how well the new faces will adapt to the big stage, as only Ryu "Keria" Min-seok has played in Worlds before. At least, they've been showing the qualities as big game hunters in LCK.
RNG, LPL's third seed, has taken 5th place. RNG won the 2021 LPL Spring split and 2021 MSI but could not stop FPX and EDG in the Summer split.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of RNG is Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao. Xiao is a veteran franchise star that has been playing in RNG since 2015. He was once LPL's best mid laner and reached Worlds with Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao. Xiaohu changed his position to top laner this year and is enjoying his second prime days as the best LPL top laner.
Gen.G got 6th place despite getting LCK's second seed. This was not a surprise as they were struggling in Round 2 of the Summer split.
Gen.G has been on an eight-win streak at the beginning of the Summer split. However, they went through a big slump after losing to DWG KIA in the last game of Round 1. Fortunately, they made enough wins in Round 1 to finish 2nd place in the regular season and 3rd place in the playoffs. Although they took the second seed thanks to the championship points they earned in the Spring split, Gen.G has to recover their play levels to perform well in Worlds.
7. MAD Lions
Korean experts were not hopeful about LEC teams. To start with, LEC's first seed MAD Lions is in 7th place.
MAD Lions climbed up to the top with Rogue after G2, and Fnatic's dominance in LEC ended. Looking back to the 2021 season, MAD Lions finished 3rd place in the regular season but became more vital in Bo5's, winning the LEC Championship title in the playoffs. Although they were humiliated for losing in the play-in stages last year, there are higher hopes this year because they played a decent game against DWG KIA in the semifinals of MSI 2021.
8. Hanwha Life Esports
Hanwha Life Esports made a miracle run into Worlds and got 8th place in the power ranking. This is the first Worlds they qualified to since Hanwha took over the team.
Hanwha Life Esports aimed for the top by signing Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon and Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu. However, the reality was brutal. Breakdown in the top and jungle landed Hanwha Life Esports into 8th place in the Summer split. There was a lot of criticism on the players and coaches as Chovy was still showing off the Chovy-level of plays. Fortunately, Chovy and Deft carried the team to the World Championship. Now, the world is looking at the power of the Church of Chovy.
LNG took 9th place in the power ranking after a miracle run to take LPL's fourth seed. Starting from 8th place in the regular season, they climbed up to 4th place in the playoffs and beat Rare Atom and Team WE to reach Worlds.
Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong was the power house of LNG. He was voted in LPL's first seed despite LNG finishing 8th place. Thanks to Tarzan, LNG is going to their first Worlds.
10. 100 Thieves
LCS's first seed, 100 Thieves, got 10th place, barely marking their name in the top 10. NA still has a lot to prove.
After finishing 4th in the Spring split, 100 Thieves signed Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu as the head coach. Is it because of him? 100 Thieves finished 2nd in the Summer split and destroyed Team Liquid 3:0 to win the LCS Championship title.
11. PSG Talon
PSG Talon, the team that has been showing up on every international tournament since the foundation in 2020, got 11th place. PSG Talon had shown performance exceeding the expectations in Worlds 2020 and MSI 2021.
Worlds 2020 was a dramatic story for PSG Talon. A team member couldn't make it to the play-in stages due to visa issues. A replacement player showed a fantastic performance to make it to the group stages. Although they couldn't make it out of the group stages, they beat JD Gaming to finish 3rd. They made it to the semifinals at MSI despite Wong "Unified" Chun Kit could not participate. Now that every team member is participating in Worlds, how well would PSG Talon perform?
G2 is gone, and only Fnatic survived. Fnatic made a comeback in the Summer split playoffs to take LEC's second seed and got 12th place in the power rankings.
Fnatic's first spring after losing their franchise star Martin "Rekkles" Larsson was very cold. They barely made it to the playoffs with a .500 win rate but finished 5th. The summer split was expected to be about the same because they finished the regular season in 5th place. However, they made a winning streak to make it to the Finals. They finished as the runner-up and got LEC's second seed. It's their fifth consecutive world and ninth Worlds ever, which is the most in history.
LCS's third seed, C9, took 13th place. Their average ranking was not much different from the second seed Team Liquid.
After signing Luka "Perkz" Perković, C9 started the season with 1st place in the Spring split and winning the Mid-Season Showdown. However, they lost to PSG Talon in MSI, failing to make it to the semifinals. LCS's reputation became even worse. They finished the Summer split as the 4th place after TSM and Evil Geniuses. Fortunately, they beat TSM in the Championships to take the last ticket to Worlds.
14. Team Liquid
Team Liquid made it to four consecutive World Championships. However, there aren't high expectations for Team Liquid. They got 14th place in the power ranking.
Team Liquid has been consistently going to Worlds since 2018. However, they never made it out of the group stage, finishing 3-3 and 3rd in the group for all three worlds. This year, they are in Group D with MAD Lions and Gen.G, which might be the group they can finally make out of the group stage.
Rogue got 15th place in the power ranking. Unfortunately, they were drawn into the group of death again.
Rogue is walking on the same path as if they see Deja vu. They finished the Summer split regular season as the 1st place but couldn't win at the playoffs, getting the third seed. This third seed snowballed into a disaster. Last year, they were in the same group with DAMWON and JD Gaming. This year, they are in the same group as DWG KIA and FPX. Not even the play-in stages started yet, but Rogue's destiny seems to be decided.
16. DetonatioN FocusMe
As VCS couldn't make it to the World Championship again, there are a lot of debates on which team will be the last team to make it out of the play-in stage. Korean experts chose DetonatioN FocusMe as 16th place.
DetonatioN FocusMe is the traditional powerhouse of LJL. They won 12 Championships and made it to the World Championship three times. After failing to qualify to Worlds last year, they signed Lee "Aria" Ga-eul to leap forward again. Although they didn't make it to Rumble Stage in MSI 2021, they showed their potential by making a push against DWG KIA and beating C9. There are high hopes for DetonatioN FocusMe as Mun "Steal" Geon-yeong became a local player and Yang "Gaeng" Gwang-woo joined on the journey to Worlds.
17 ~ 22
Teams from 17th to 22nd are expected not to make it to the group stages.
Unicorns Of Love and Beyond Gaming lost to DetonatioN Focus Me slightly, getting 17th and 18th place. Infinity Esports, Galatasaray Esports, RED Canids, and PEACE did not get much attention.