It’s hard to believe a whole competitive year in League of Legends has already gone by. It feels like just yesterday, teams and players were preparing for battle in the spring, and suddenly we’re back, talking about the 2022 World Championship. For 120 of the best players in the world, nine months of hard work, struggles, and triumphs have led to this moment.
From North America’s new young stars to Europe’s established veteran squads, South Korea’s powerhouses, China’s juggernauts, and everywhere in between, squads from around the globe have gathered to battle for one of the most coveted prizes in esports: the Summoner’s Cup.
Worlds will always offer storylines that will last a lifetime, and this group of teams promises to bring something memorable. But before the start of the tournament, here are Dot Esports’ full 24-team power rankings for Worlds 2022.
The last time Isurus attended Worlds was in 2019, where they took games off Hong Kong Attitude and DetonatioN FocusMe. But the competition has gotten even fiercer this time around—too much so for a miracle run.
23) Istanbul Wildcats
The Wildcats are making their third international appearance in the last two years. Across that stretch, they’re 2-10 in their matches, and we don’t expect much else out of them at Worlds.
Brazilian League has been slowly but surely trending in the right direction since a forgettable performance by INTZ at Worlds 2020. LOUD is the third franchise to represent Brazil in international competition since then.
Best known as the reigning VALORANT world champions, the “Brazilian FaZe Clan” joined the CBLOL when the league was franchised in 2021 and only this split captured a domestic title in League. Top laner Robo and mid laner tinowns won their fourth and third titles, respectively, and are back on the world stage after they headlined the paiN Gaming roster that went 2-4 at MSI 2021 and was a respawned inhibitor away from beating MAD Lions. Despite the many exciting storylines surrounding the banner org and over 20 combined years of professional League experience outside of 18-year-old AD carry Brance, who is going to Worlds after just his first split, it would be an upset to see LOUD finish top two in Group A, let alone qualify for groups.
21) Beyond Gaming
Beyond Gaming’s debut at Worlds 2021 was marred by mid laner Maoan’s match-fixing scandal. Going into the tournament this year, the PCS Summer Split runners-up will be looking to rectify their mistakes. Although the team had a strong midseason during the PCS Spring Split, they only earned a fifth-sixth finish. During the Summer Split, they broke PSG Talon’s hopes of making it to Worlds 2022 before themselves falling short in front of CTBC Flying Oyster in the grand finals. The team has a steep road ahead in the play-in stage. Paired with heavyweights like Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, and DetonatioN FocusMe, Beyond Gaming need to pull off unlikely upsets if they want to advance into groups.
20) Chiefs Esports Club
Just one game separated the near-perfect Chiefs from a spot at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year, and the LCO superteam’s determination to prove Oceania’s might only grew as they watched ORDER in South Korea playing out “their journey.” The Chiefs righted those wrongs in LCO 2022 Split Two with a 27-1 run through the regular season and playoffs, and are eager to show the rest of the play-in challengers why many in Australia consider this League lineup to be the best the underdog region has ever sent internationally. With Group A’s major region teams Fnatic and Evil Geniuses plagued by pre-tourney problems and squad changes, this campaign could align perfectly for OCE’s champions.
19) Saigon Buffalo
We’ve already seen Saigon Buffalo earlier this year at the Mid-Season Invitational, where the VCS team advanced to the rumble stage after finishing 4-2 in their group, proving they’re a team to watch out for. Compared to MSI, however, the competition of the minor regions has heightened, so SGB might struggle to replicate those results. Nevertheless, they’re coming off of a positive Summer Split, having finished in second. The bot lane of Shogun and Taki have acted as the core of this team, and SGB will likely play through them during the tournament as well. Now that the team also resolved their visa issues, SGB will be ready to fight.
18) CTBC Flying Oyster
Flying Oyster is made up of PCS veterans from Worlds-qualifying teams past, including members of 2019 J-Team and 2020 Machi Esports. With experience across the board, they could be a dark horse that disrupts the path for teams who may have an “easy” way out of groups. Most of these players—including Koala, Gemini, and Mission—have played spoiler at Worlds before, and they’ll probably end up stealing a game or two again.
17) DetonatioN FocusMe
The ever-present Japanese League champions have become international veterans over the last half-decade. Since shaking off the long-standing hoodoo against regional arch-rivals Rampage in the summer of 2018, DetonationN FocusMe have attended eight of the past nine international tournaments as the LJL representatives. Their shining moment came at Worlds last year when they beat Cloud9 to finish in first place in the play-in groups. A brutal 0-6 run in the main stage sent them packing, though, and MSI coughed up a similar tough result. DFM dutifully returned to the LJL, went 19-2 in the regular season, beat Sengoku Gaming twice in the playoffs, and now return to Worlds with a point to prove after their 2021 lashing.
16) GAM Esports
GAM Esports are a team with tons of question marks. We haven’t seen them play in almost two years and they skipped MSI in favor of the South-East Asian Games, which they ended up winning. Despite not playing internationally, the team has remained a dominant presence domestically, having won both VCS Spring and Summer Splits, and look a tier above the competition. Saigon Buffalo were the only team that could come close, but even they lost 3-0 in the finals. GAM are not only strong in teamfights but they can also count on one of the most proactive and mechanically gifted junglers in Levi. As one of the few players who was imported both to North America and China, he will be the key to GAM’s potential success at Worlds.
15) MAD Lions
After spending most of the 2022 Summer Split at the top of the standings, MAD Lions stunned European fans by failing to win a single series in both the upper and lower bracket of the playoffs. Even still, they qualified for Worlds because the region was given four seeds at the tournament but are now our lowest-ranked major-region team. During the regular season, MAD boasted the highest average gold difference at 15 minutes in the league, according to League stats database Oracle’s Elixir. During the postseason, however, MAD were dominated by both Rogue and Fnatic in the early game. They’ll need to use the play-ins to regroup and refocus their efforts early, while also cleaning up their iconic late-game teamfighting.
The fun never stops for Fnatic—if you have a twisted definition of fun. Upset and Hylissang caught COVID and won’t be in Mexico City for the start of the play-in stage, or at all, assuming the team can survive until they can head over with BEAN and Rhuckz, the Fnatic TQ bottom lane, holding it down in their stead. It’s giving Worlds 2021 vibes for Fnatic fans, but there are differences. First, this absence is shrouded in a lot less controversy than last year’s, and unlike last year, BEAN is playing with a support who has been his bottom lane partner for a run of four consecutive splits that also included an LVP title and an EU Masters quarterfinal appearance. On top of all that, if Fnatic can make the run they did in the LEC playoffs after the abysmal way they ended their regular season, clearly the League gods want this team to win despite all wisdom to the contrary.
13) Evil Geniuses
If this was four months ago, Evil Geniuses would easily be shaping up to be one of the biggest hopes for North America at the World Championship. Their spring campaign—and eventual title—set them up as LCS darlings for the 2022 season with young domestic duo Jojopyun and Danny propped up as the future of the League region. Fortunes have changed for the team, though. EG barely scrapped into the third LCS slot for this mainstay event and are set to be without Danny for play-ins at the very least (Academy ADC Kaori is taking his place). Don’t rule them out, though—Impact and Vulcan have plenty of international experience and LCS MVP Inspired has it in him to kick it with the world’s best. Add in their 2022 Mid-Season Invitational experience (they were eliminated in the semifinals) and EG are certainly a dark horse to watch in play-ins. Their main Group A rivals, Fnatic, are hamstrung with COVID-19 woes and dogged by rumors they haven’t been scrimming in the lead-up to the championship, leaving EG with an ever-growing chance to make it straight to groups in first place.
12) 100 Thieves
100 Thieves took advantage of a golden opportunity to beat EG in their first series without Danny in the LCS playoffs. The next day, they were swept by Cloud9. It was a fast finals and C9 were far and away the better team on the day. But the Thieves had good early games against a team that matched perfectly with the meta and looked absolutely unstoppable in C9. 100 Thieves had won nine of their final 10 LCS regular season games and reverse swept Team Liquid earlier in the playoffs to boot. At one point, this was the best team in North America, and this roster still has a very high floor. It’s the same one that went 3-3 in a group at Worlds last year with potentially two of the best teams in the tournament in EDward Gaming and T1, and have been together for two years. They can turn it on when they want to, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they make it out of groups—unlikely though it may be.
DRX qualifying for Worlds 2022 is a conundrum. While their LCK Spring Split performance was average, they fell off more during the Summer Split. Throughout the year, the team was plagued with inconsistency and players often failed to translate early-game advantages into victories. But it seems like DRX has been addressing these issues lately. The team beat both KT Rolster and Liiv SANDBOX in the regional finals (both performed way better than them in the regular season and playoffs of the Summer Split) and qualified for the 2022 World Championship. The team needs to maintain their newfound groove if they want to advance from the play-ins to the group stage and beyond.
10) G2 Esports
Believe it or not, G2 are actually competing in an esports event this month. Despite off-stage controversy surrounding the organization, the players on G2 currently make up a top-10 team in the world. Although they were swept out of the LEC Summer Split playoffs in their final round, G2 still enter Worlds as one of the stronger teams attending the tournament. The EU runners-up made a deep run at MSI earlier this year, taking games off RNG and T1 while winning all eight of their matches against North America’s EG at the tournament. With an already-solid showing on the international stage this year, and a resurgent second half to boot, G2 are one of the hottest teams in the world. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 matches and could easily carry that momentum into one of the strongest groups at Worlds.
Only three things in life are guaranteed: Death, taxes, and C9 being the best shot for North America at Worlds. After so many years as the LCS dark horse from the regional gauntlet or from the play-in stage, C9 come into this tournament as the strongest representative from the region. One of the biggest players to watch on the roster will be the team’s rookie AD carry sensation Berserker, who will be making his international debut after lighting up the LCS with explosive performances throughout the playoffs. He was a monster this postseason, dealing 30.1 percent of his team’s total damage while racking up 36.9 percent of his team’s kills, according to Oracle’s Elixir. If this 19-year-old rookie can make the same splash that Fudge did at MSI last year, C9 could make a run to remember this October.
After being the third seed for two consecutive years, Rogue will return to this year’s Worlds as the LEC champions. Their dominant series against G2 proved to fans that they are going to be the front runners and the main hope for EU fans at the international tournament. What’s special about this year’s Rogue is that they don’t seem to have weak links. Comp and Trymbi continue their run as one of, if not, the best bot lane of the LEC. Larssen and Odoamne have never been so consistent and Malrang couldn’t have done a better job in inheriting Inspired’s spot. Rogue are not only a team made of five strong players, but they have also found a playstyle that fits greatly with their own strengths. If they can keep this up, Rogue might make a deeper run than expected.
7) DWG KIA
DWG KIA might be the most difficult team to read at the 2022 World Championship. The talent on the roster is undeniable. The top side of Nuguri, Canyon, and ShowMaker still elicits a quickening of the pulse on name value alone. The last the world saw of Nuguri on the international stage, he was a part of one of the most epic meltdowns in Worlds history in 2021 when he and the rest of a championship-caliber FPX roster bombed out in the group stage. After taking a split off, he has returned to the DK lineup and looked, simply put, fine. That’s been the case for the rest of the roster as well—at least by their own lofty standards. But the fact of the matter is, despite all the swaps in the top lane and support, the floor for this team is high, and the ceiling could even be the title. But probably not.
6) Royal Never Give Up
It’s a strange thing to be ranking the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational champions and LPL Spring Split victors outside of our top five in these Worlds power rankings, but RNG have slipped considerably since they defeated T1 in a five-game battle in South Korea last May. After their spring heights, though, RNG slipped to a shared-fifth placing in the LPL Summer Split playoffs and had to fight their way through the qualifying gauntlet, a trial they barely survived. Though some may point the finger at Breathe, who replaced Bin in the top lane in a blockbuster Bilibili-RNG trade, the new pickup stood out in the qualifying gauntlet to take his new team to Worlds—a victory that snapped a long-running curse for the 21-year-old. With RNG now having time to steady the ship, expect the international League juggernaut to click into high gear through their Group B play-ins battle (a stacked group, to be sure) and into the main stage proper at Worlds.
Although T1 have fallen off considerably since their 26-match winning streak to open the season, they’ve only downgraded from a historically good team to a still-really-good team. T1 have proven throughout the season they can contend and compete in tournaments, but in recent months, winning one has been a difficult task. The team comes into Worlds with two consecutive grand final losses at MSI and the LCK Summer Split playoffs—series in which they were both swept. With several title contenders ahead of them in our rankings, T1 have an uphill climb ahead of them at Worlds. But once you start getting this high into the rankings, everyone’s a title contender when they play to their ceilings—something players like Faker, Keria, and the rest of T1’s elite roster have shown they can do time and again in 2022. If T1 play more like early-season T1 than Summer Split T1 at Worlds, they’ll likely have enough juice to lift the Summoner’s Cup instead of being potentially bounced in the semifinals for the third time in four years.
4) Edward Gaming
The current world champions had quite a rough season. Only seventh in the spring and fifth in the summer regular split, EDG looked like they weren’t even going to defend their title this year. Yet, they had a resurgence during the summer playoffs and, more importantly, during the LPL regional finals, when they beat RNG to get the last spot with direct access to the group stage. The positive thing about EDG is they can always rely on Viper, one of the strongest ADCs in the world. Whenever it comes to teamfights, you can be sure he will be there to carry it with his great positioning and mechanics. Not only that, but Jiejie and Scout have also stepped up during the last series in the LPL, so they might surprise us once again at Worlds. With the title to defend on the line, you can be sure EDG will be in the mix. While they’re not coming into the tournament as the favorites, the team has what it takes to win. Besides, they weren’t the favorites last year as well, but you know what happened…
3) Top Esports
Despite not winning the 2022 LPL Summer Split title, Top Esports are still a force to be reckoned with. The team took the top spot during the regular season of the Summer Split, which JackeyLove played a crucial part in. The ADC scored two pentakills and had the highest win rate (playing more than 10 games), according to Game of Legends. Giving him a hand was Tian, who performed phenomenally as the team’s jungler. Both of them often set the stage for Top Esports’ victory—no wonder they were picked for the LPL All-Pro First Team. Although the team needs to work on fixing a few chinks in their armor, they are still one of the favorites going into Worlds 2022. Any team that dares to underestimate Top Esports might be in for a rude awakening when JackeyLove gets his third pentakill of the year against them.
2) JD Gaming
Don’t be surprised if JD Gaming make this the bloodiest World Championship you’ve ever seen. The top seed from the LPL almost had a kill per minute during the 2022 Summer Split, racking up an astonishing 710 kills over 42 games, according to Oracle’s Elixir. The scary part is they had the fourth-lowest deaths of any team in the league, showing a surprising amount of control with their aggression. Kanavi and 369 could be the best top-jungle duo at the event, and Yagao became the perfect playmaker just in time for the playoffs. This squad is an unstoppable wave in the right form and should be the final boss for the tournament.
Gen.G look to be prime contenders for lifting the Summoner’s Cup this year. The LCK powerhouse earned their first LCK title by winning the 2022 Summer Split and are looking unstoppable. Chovy, Ruler, Peanut, and Lehends were selected for the All-LCK First Team while Doran got a spot on the All-LCK Second Team. These honors show their dominance in their respective roles, but what makes them even deadlier is their cohesiveness while playing as a team. Gen.G’s shotcalling in skirmishes and adaptability to situations have been impressive throughout the Summer Split. The team dropped only one series to T1 in the regular season. But they bounced back stronger and even got sweet revenge by destroying T1 3-0 in the grand finals. Gen.G are the perfect example of a team where one man does not carry the show but it is the sum of all five players that shine in tough situations. It feels like they might be the ones to bring the glory back to Korea this year.