League of Legends Worlds 2022: Ranking all the teams

by Nerd Street

The start of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship is fast approaching as the tournament kicks off in Mexico City on Thursday, Sept. 29. The 24 teams hail from 11 regions and are among the best teams in the world. Who is the best of the best? These rankings were created via an aggregate of rankings from our League of Legends writers. The rankings aren’t necessarily an indicator of how the teams will finish because, for example, three of the top eight teams on this list are in the same group, and only two of those teams can actually reach the top eight at Worlds. They are, however, meant to shed some light on how the teams compare to each other. Here’s how we think the teams stack up.

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24. Isurus

There aren’t high expectations for the Latin American representative at Worlds, but they’ll be competing in the play-ins in their home country, so maybe they’ll win a game or two in front of their home crowd.

23. LOUD

LOUD are not likely to pull off the Riot Games double and win League of Legends Worlds after winning VALORANT Champions, but like Isurus, maybe they can win a game or two. Brazilian fans travel well, so there should be a nice contingent in Mexico to cheer them on.

22. Istanbul Wildcats

Photo credit: Riot Games

The Istanbul Wildcats don’t get as much attention because they come from a minor region, but they dominated the Turkish scene this year winning both the spring and summer TCL splits. With some international experience after their appearance at the Mid-Season Invitational, they might be more competitive than expected during play-ins.

Read more: After another MSI appearance, Istanbul Wildcats veteran HolyPhoenix focused on return to Worlds

21. Chiefs Esports Club

Oceanic teams don’t typically do well on the international stage, but Chiefs were so dominant this year -- 19-2 in the spring with a runner-up finish in the playoffs and 21-0 in the summer with a championship -- that they shouldn’t be overlooked. With the exception of MSI earlier this year, Oceanic teams have put up a fight internationally except against Chinese and Korean teams. There aren’t any Chinese or Korean teams in their play-in group, so there’s some hope for them.

20. DetonatioN FocusMe

Photo credit: Riot Games

This is really the first team in these rankings that has a realistic shot of making it out of play-ins. At Worlds last year, DFM finished atop their play-in group and advanced to the group stage. With no Korean or Chinese teams in their group and Fnatic potentially being without their full starting roster, there’s a chance they qualify through to the group stage again.

Read more: Worlds 2022 diamonds in the rough: Wild card region players to watch

19. Beyond Gaming

This is Beyond’s second consecutive Worlds appearance as the PCS region’s second seed, though the roster is a bit different. Teams from the PCS aren’t considered “major” region teams, but they aren’t really “minor” region teams either. As the second seed from this in-between region, expectations aren’t high for Beyond, but they have the potential to make it out of play-ins if things break their way.

18. MAD Lions

MAD Lions have not won a best-of-five series this year, but to be fair, they’ve only played one all year. MAD Lions are clearly not as dangerous as they were last year when they were the top team in the LEC, but they have a shot to make it out of play-ins. They’re in a tough group with DRX and Royal Never Give, but all they have to do is finish third or fourth and they’ll have a fighting chance against the second-place team from the other play-in group. That could very well be a best-of-five rematch with Fnatic.

17. Saigon Buffalo

Photo credit: Riot Games

Saigon Buffalo did about as expected at the Mid-Season Invitational -- beating minor region teams but struggling against major region ones. They’re a contender to qualify for the main event group stage, but they’ll have to do a little better than they did at MSI and likely win a best-of-five against a major region team.

Read more: Worlds 2022: Breaking down the play-in and group stages

16. CTBC Flying Oyster

This might be Flying Oyster’s debut at Worlds as an org, but three of five members of this roster were previously at Worlds 2020. Lin "Koala" Chih-Chiang, Chen "Mission" Hsiao-Hsien and Huang "Gemini" Chu-Xuan were all on the Machi Esports team that represented the PCS as the No. 1 seed that year but didn’t make it out of groups. That’s probably the same fate that awaits this team, especially being in a group with Gen.G, but they can probably take a game or two from their other group mate, 100 Thieves.

15. Fnatic

Fnatic had two players test positive for COVID and will have an emergency sub joining the roster from their academy team, so their place in these rankings might be a bit generous. They’re one of the favorites to make it out of the play-in stage if they have their full starting roster, but if not, this could be an uncharacteristically early exit for the European titan.

14. Evil Geniuses

Photo credit: Riot Games

It’s hard to believe EG are NA’s No. 3 seed after their meteoric rise in the spring and a strong summer. They’ll have to fight their way through play-ins to reach the group stage, but they’re in a winnable play-in group where they should finish first or second. How well the team performs with Muhammed Hasan "Kaori" Şentürk at AD carry rather than Kyle “Danny” Sakmaki will determine whether they overperform their ranking here.

13. GAM Esports

One of the biggest wild cards at Worlds is how GAM will look on the international stage. They were the Vietnamese champions in the spring but went to the SEA Games rather than the Mid-Season Invitational. After winning the VCS in the summer again, they have qualified for the group stage at Worlds where they’re in a group with Rogue and Top Esports. If GAM are notably better than fellow Vietnamese team Saigon Buffalo, then Group C might be significantly tougher than it appears.

Read more: Worlds 2022: C9, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses carry North America’s hope

12. 100 Thieves

With such a big brand it’s hard to believe 100 Thieves are sort of flying under the radar going into Worlds. They don’t have the hype of Cloud9 of Evil Geniuses. They’ve been the most consistent North American team this year, but being runners-up in both the spring and summer doesn’t generate as much excitement or anticipation for their future prospects. It is the second consecutive Worlds for this roster though, and that years-long synergy might be the key that will unlock some good results for 100 Thieves at Worlds.

11. DRX

As the fourth seed from Korea, this team has the least amount of hype among the eight teams from Korea and China, hence their lower place in these rankings. Still, they should make it out of play-ins and make some noise in the group stage. DRX don’t have the star power or track record of fellow Korean teams DWG KIA, T1 and Gen.G, but they should not be underestimated.

10. Rogue

Photo credit: Riot Games

Rogue are finally European champions after coming close in recent years but falling short. Will that kind of breakthrough translate to the international stage? It still feels like this team is being underrated in comparison to fellow European team G2 -- e.g. these rankings. With a second straight Worlds appearance for Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu & Co. and an LEC championship, this team should be heading to Worlds with a lot of confidence and has the ability to reach the knockout stage.

Read more: Worlds 2022: Europe’s road to North America

9. G2 Esports

G2 Esports looked overmatched in the LEC summer final, but other than that, they have been the best European team all year. The spring champs and summer runners-up are a strong contender to make it to the knockout round, but they are in a tough group with the top Chinese team and the Korean third seed. This organization always does well at Worlds, and Rasmus “caPs” Winter and Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski could very well lead this team into the top eight.

8. Cloud9

Photo credit: Riot Games

This is the highest ranked Western team on this list, but there’s no guarantee they finish in the top eight once the tournament starts. The problem is they’re in a group with two teams ranked higher than them here, EDward Gaming and T1. It’ll be a tall task for C9 to make it to the knockout round, but if there’s any North American team that can do it, it’s C9, who have typically performed well at Worlds. Plus, this team looked dominant during the LCS Championship.

7. DWG KIA

Can this team reach their third straight Worlds final? The 2020 champions and 2021 runners-up enter Worlds this year as the No 3. seed from Korea and a clear tier below Gen.G and T1. Still, this is a very good team with plenty of Worlds experience for Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. They’ll have to contend with top Chinese team, JD Gaming, and perennial European contenders, G2 Esports, but DWG KIA are good enough to finish atop their group and make another run to the final. Our own Tim Lee picked them to reach the final.

Read more: Worlds 2022: The best players at each position

6. Royal Never Give Up

Photo credit: Riot Games

RNG won the Mid-Season Invitational in the spring and are looking for their first-ever Worlds title. They do have a new top laner since the spring and didn’t look as sharp during the summer, but the Chinese region is so good, that even entering as the region’s fourth seed, RNG are a threat to win it all. Of course, they do have to make it out of play-ins but that shouldn’t be a problem. Last year, a perennial Chinese contender that had never won Worlds but had won MSI finally lifted the Summoner’s Cup. Will RNG follow in their footsteps this year?

5. EDward Gaming

EDward Gaming are looking to be the first team since SK Telecom T1 in 2015 and 2016 to win Worlds in back-to-back years. They have a good shot to do so but they’ll have to get out of a tough group that includes T1 and Cloud9. It’s the same group they found themselves in 2017 when T1 and C9 finished ahead of them. Will history repeat itself? They certainly have the talent, but they’ll need to level up their play from this spring and summer.

4. T1

Photo credit: Riot Games

T1 looked like the best team in the world in the spring when they went undefeated during the LCK spring split and entered the Mid-Season Invitational in their home country as favorites. They ended up finishing second to China’s RNG, and then second in the summer to Gen.G. They’re no longer considered the top team in Korea, but this is Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and T1 at Worlds, so there’s no doubt they can win it all. Faker might be the name on this team everybody knows, but there are budding superstars across the roster, and Ryu "Keria" Min-seok might be the best support in the world.

Read more: Worlds 2022: Who’s lifting the Summoner’s Cup and more predictions

3. Top Esports

Top Esports have had a hard-luck year, finishing second in both the LPL spring and summer playoffs in two close 3-2 best-of-fives. But make no mistake, this is one of the top teams in the world and could be the one lifting the Summoner’s Cup. The individual talent on this roster is unmatched, according to our own Nick Geracie, who has four of their five starters ranked among the top three at their position at Worlds. Plus, three out of four of our analysts predicted they would reach the final in Nerd Street’s Worlds roundtable.

2. Gen.G

Photo credit: Riot Games

There’s a lot of hype around Gen.G heading into Worlds as the top Korean seed. They were runners-up to T1 in the spring playoffs and beat T1 in the summer final. Star mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon has been on a different Korean team that has been eliminated in the quarterfinals each of the past three years at Worlds. This year, it finally feels like Chovy will finish at least in the top four. Team veteran Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk is the only returning player on a star-studded roster that could very well give Gen.G their first world championship.

1. JD Gaming

Chinese teams have won Worlds in three of the past four years, so there’s no doubt the top Chinese seed is a favorite to win it all this year. JDG might not have the same pedigree as RNG or EDG or the consistency and individual talent of Top Esports, but they have the results. As champions of the LPL this summer with two best-of-five wins over Top Esports, they proved to be the best team in the best region in the world.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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