Worlds 2022 Group Stage is finally here and is looking to be one of the most competitive stages of Worlds to date. Each group has multiple teams that can viably compete for a knockout stage position and with that, I thought it would be good to make a tier list for the expectations of what each team should be going for in Worlds.
Tier 1- Favorites to Win Worlds
These teams are the best of the best and should be seen as the clear favorites to win their group and advance to win Worlds.
After T1 completed an undefeated split and was deemed the most dominant team in LCK, Gen.G said to hell with that and came out to absolutely stomp all of Korea. They would end up losing only six games throughout both the regular season and playoffs two less than T1 had in their historic spring split. A singular series lost to T1 is the only blemish on a nearly perfect split. With Peanut showing to be back in form and the powerful carries of Chovy and Ruler this team has looked unstoppable all summer with very few signs of slowing down into Worlds being my favorite to win the whole thing.
In China, two teams really stood out above the rest of the pack and showed how tight the race for the top spot in the LPL was. The team that came out on top would be none other than JDG. This team has the strongest top half of the map in the world with Kanavi being one of the best junglers in the world and 369 is in my opinion the best top laner in the world. They don’t have the same win conditions as the other top teams lacking a star in the ADC they make up for it from a much-improved support player in Missing. This team has incredible talent that can absolutely take over a game and bring China another Worlds title.
While TES didn’t win the LPL in the summer it could not have been any closer with the game going all five games with JDG edging them out in the end. With that being said TES might be the more overall talent team. Tian has been the best juggler in the world winning LPL’s MVP for the summer split and carrying Top to a 14-2 record. Jackeylove was another All-Pro spot for ADC while Knight their mid-laner and Mark their support would win 2nd and 3rd teams respectively. This team is not short on talent that can take over a game at any time and should definitely be seen at the same level as both JDG and Gen.G as a favorite to win the whole thing.
Tier 2- Should make Knockout with a Chance of a Title
These teams are strong and should make it out of their groups and if they perform to their utmost potential can have a shot at winning worlds but are not favored over any of the teams listed above.
They were supposed to be the best team ever assembled after their historic spring split. They faltered at MSI and then stumbled in the summer. This team is still one of the most talented teams in the world with players top to bottom that at peak level are the best in the world. The issue is they haven’t been playing like it. Gumayusi has looked like a shell of his spring self with Keria struggling to pick up the pieces that Guma leaves behind. That being said Zeus has looked like one of the best players in the world and if this team performs to their ability they can win another championship. Even if they struggle however they should be able to win their group or at least advance to the knockout stage.
The reigning World Champions have had a much rougher 2022 finishing 7th in spring and 5th in summer. This roster is still incredibly talented and has performed well winning three best-of-fives in the LPL playoffs including a strong victory over RNG. Their only loss in the LPL playoffs was to TES which is not something to be ashamed of. Viper is still one of the elite ADCs in the world and Scout continues to cement himself as one of the best Midlanders in LPL history. This team can compete and will compete for a world title even if it takes huge step up performances for them to do so.
Tier 3- Competitive in Groups no Guarantees
These teams are good and should be competitive in making it to the next stage but nothing is a sure thing for them.
In my opinion, C9 is the unluckiest team at Worlds. They came in as the number one seed out of North America and yet they have the hardest group to get out of. I see C9 on the same level as the bottom attending teams from the LCK and LPL and would have them advancing in any other group. Berserker is looking like the best-performing ADC NA has ever sent and is at the same level as LCK and LPL players. They have the talent but have to really step up to take a spot from either EDG or T1.
Damwon Gaming Kia
Damwon should make it out of groups based purely on the incredible talent that this team has. They were less than spectacular throughout the year with disappointing results in both splits. They readded star top laner Nuguri but they had worse results over the year. A strong performance in the regional qualifiers got them to this spot but there hasn’t been much to make me super confident that they can do much more than make it out of their group.
It would be super surprised if RNG didn’t make it out of groups and have the easiest group possible. While Gen.G is by far the best team the other two teams shouldn’t pose any issues to RNG no matter how much weaker they look than during MSI. This shouldn’t be overlooked they were not dominant in Play-ins or during the season and I don’t see them doing much more than making the knockout stage. That being said they have the talent to go further and surprise the world again.
I can say I was shocked they beat RNG because if you watched any LCK, DRX was a mess of a team for the entire summer split. They have stepped up their game since the end of the playoffs with a strong performance in the qualifier and the play-ins make me more confident in them making it out of groups. This team still has a lot of weaknesses starting with their jungler Pyosik who was one of the worst junglers in the LCK but has looked better so far. They don’t have nearly as much talent as the other teams in this group with only Deft being a player who has ever really been a star with flashes from Zeken. They can still get out of groups but aren’t really slated to do much more.
Rogue is the last team that I would put into this group. They have shown that they can step up to the occasion in their huge performances in the LEC playoffs. They have a super strong bought lane and top lane and have a good shot at taking down DRX. They have a good team and a weaker group that can lead to a knockout stage appearance for them. Comp playing at the same level he did in the playoffs will make them a true competitor in their group.
This team, of course, has the talent it’s G2 but they have shown to struggle a lot throughout the year. Gaps and Jankos have been huge in the LEC but a bad performance in the finals finds them in a much harder group. They can take down Damwon but it really can be a talent gap, top to bottom as the strongest players on Damwon matchup well against G2’s strongest players. That being said they can do it and have done it in the past so it feels criminal to not put them into this tier.
Tier 4- They Might be able to surprise the world.
These teams really don’t pose much of a threat but have the ability to surprise everyone and make it out of groups.
They looked pretty good in play-ins but they were there for a reason. This team has not proven to be an incredibly imposing force and is in the group of death. It would take a miracle but there always is a chance that they play perfectly and surprise the world to make it out of groups.
I think EG has a good Popoff chance even higher than Fnatic to surprise the world. Jojopyun is actually really good and they have shown that the team can all show up at the biggest times. While I think not having Danny will be detrimental they really could shock the world and find their way out of groups.
Tier 5- I mean they made worlds
They are the second seed at worlds but I can’t see them doing much damage at worlds. Everything that 100 thieves does well is something that eastern teams will be able to tear apart. They aren’t particularly strong in any one lane and my expectations for them are incredibly low.
CTBC and Gambyte both come from second-tier leagues and really could be wildcards in this event. It is pretty unknown how they will perform against the other major regions and while the expectations are low they can both be wildcards in ruining another team’s chance of advancing.