Week 2 Power Rankings
The dust has settled on Week 2, and the standings alone don't do enough justice to the tales being told in these match scores. Tied scores across the board — including a five way tie in the middle — offers some room to speculate on the current state of our tournament's teams going into Week 3, as well as some expectations of what's to come for the GamesXP Championship.
Note: Regardless of objective standings based on record, this article will attempt to rank the 10 teams based on their performance and potential taking the 2 weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.
10. Elyon Gaming (0-4)
The first 0-4 team sitting in the standings is Elyon Gaming. Despite their shortcomings, the team has stayed together. To their credit, 2 of their matches were against the top 3 teams in the standings right now, and against the top team they managed to turn up the gas on the offensive before superior macro play turned out to be their downfall. Regardless, the Elyon Gaming crew has shown their ability to fight as a scrappy team. Their picks and comps lend themselves to an all-out aggression, and their coherency as a team shows when they make moves together. Their downfall thusfar, as evidenced by the teams they currently hold losses to, is in their individual play. The bot lane duo of C9 5moothie and 5neaky [as well as sub support paullyyy] have held their own respectably in 2v2 situations, and Jerd has flashes of brilliance when bringing in their quick-to-react jungler Hotty Williams into the mix. I'm very willing to say this team is down but not out, and as the old saying goes: the team that sticks together makes picks together. Contary to the other team at the bottom shaking up their roster, look to see Elyon Gaming stay five strong and make the proper adjustments to let their aggression run wild as they take on their own pair of 2-2 record teams this week: Red Dusk Esports and No F's Given.
9. Furious Gentz (0-4)
The Gentz have certainly seen better days. A string of 2-0 losses for the early part of the season to teams high and low in the standings leaves them in a questionable zone, but their most recent glimmer was a 1-2 loss to No F's Given. However, the potential coherency of the team is being shaken up before it can manifest, as the team is undergoing a roster change to 3/5 of its members. The two new recruits, Blutrünstigen and Songless, put a lot on their plate as they join the team in the bot lane and mid lane role respectively. Simultaneously, ImaSealeo is being moved to support. A roster shuffle and addition of new talent could be just the breath of fresh air this team needs to get themselves moving, but now is as good of a time as any for the rebuilt lanes to take on their week 3 opponents: Red Dusk Esports and SKIZM e-sports, both currently holding a 2-2 record. Keep an eye on this team making fresh moves from the bottom up.
8. Team Phoenix Rising (2-2)
The first team of the five way split for 8th to 4th place is Team Phoenix Rising. While their losses were both to the very strong 3-1 teams in Full Send Gaming and Purple Cobras, their only wins thus far are the pair of currently 0-4 teams, Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming, while dropping a game in their win against the latter. Still, the team has never suffered very destructive losses across the board, and after a rather sudden full roster swap, the team has rebounded nicely. Especially so, as there's something to be said about bot laner Neutrinx and his incredible consistency from game to game — win or lose. His bot lane duo with captain CanadianChamp has been remarkable in each series to pull clearly far ahead or keep an even pace in the worst of situations. Look for them to make waves as they head into week 3, as the gunslinger and his crew look to scrap when they take on their score rival in Impulse, as well as the monstrous White Lotus.
7. Impulse (2-2)
The next team on the 2-2 tightrope is Impulse. Much to the likeness of their name, their plays and roster swaps have been impulsive between weeks. After back to back crushing losses to SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras in Week 1, the team immediately looked to make adjustments to their roster and patch up their wounds. As the captain of his own frontline, bot laner Menoz has adjusted his team, including a move for eboy Wonder from the support role to the mid lane and bringing the fiery aggression of Diamondtooez to the jungle. We've yet to see the full fruition of their fire, though, as their only two wins thus far are to the two bottom teams, Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming. It is for this reason that they find themselves at only 7th on this list, but their dominant performances in both of those sets show the team's renewed fire for competition could see a sudden stake out for the top spot once again. We'll see this week for sure, as the 3-1 Full Send Gaming is on their hit list.
6. No F's Given (2-2)
No F's Given poses quite a polarizing picture in terms of their performance. Their very first game was a convincing 2-0 over Red Dusk Esports, a very strong team in their own right. Immediately after, they were soundly defeated by the likes of SKIZM e-sports. The team didn't rebound well, faced up against Purple Cobras and, despite holding their own in the first game until things fell out of their favor, they suffered an equally rough loss. They narrowly found their feet at the end of the week to clutch out a 2-1 win against bottom seed team Furious Gentz, making them the only team of the week to drop a game to the yet-to-be-remade roster. The head to head win over Red Dusk Esports is enough to merit their current placement, regardless of the situation, but the team has to rise above to exceed beyond middle of the pack. Their most recent roster movement has dropped their versatile bot laner Songless to free agency, and picked up Piercing Arrow in their place. Eyes will be on this team to perform as they play Elyon Gaming before a face-off with Full Send Gaming that will test if the first match against Red Dusk Esports was a fluke, or if this team still has an F left to give.
5. SKIZM e-sports (2-2)
No team started this tournament as explosively as SKIZM e-sports. Had I drafted a week 1 write-up, this team would have been at the top without a question. Four games played nearly under 25 minutes apiece with obscene kill disparities, winning across all lanes, against teams that would then later to stand at 2-2 in the week. SKIZM was on a warpath leading into week 2, but the wind got knocked out of their sails. Following a major under-the-hood roster swap up by the faltering Red Dusk Esports, SKIZM was looking to keep their streak running strong. After losing game 1 in an arms race to proper teamfight damage, captain Gødyr took matters into his own hands and switched off of the defensive jungler archetype to assassinate on Evelynn and bring a game 2 win for his team with a commanding 27 to 6 kill lead. Game 3 forced a shift in play after some target bans, and despite their best efforts, they were put to rest in a 37 minute fight to the finish, ending with 25 kills to Red Dusk's 26, more than speaking for itself to the closeness. To make matters worse, their chance at redemption to take down the top dog — a showdown with the then 3-0 White Lotus — was put to rest as the team ended up forfeiting the match due to unfortunate circumstances. Regardless of these setbacks, the crew that burst onto the scene is still looking to go strong into the rest of the tournament. Counting them out of the race would be short-sighted, as each of them is capable of explosive plays that set their team on a fast track to clean wins. A switch up in the bot lane and replacement of their top laner leave a few questions to be asked, but no one will doubt Gødyr and Deelun's drive to succeed.
4. Red Dusk Esports (2-2)
Red Dusk Esports defined its journey with a trial by fire to get to where they are. After being walked out of the rift by White Lotus, their first week ended with a disappointing 0-2 loss to No F's Given, featuring an absolute stomp in the first game. The second game featured an outstanding performance by at the time jungler Cleansing on Twitch that got stifled by a lack of coherent defense, sadly, to lead to their defeat. The organization responded swiftly, and one move after the other saw the top and support benched and later dropped, with the remaining members shuffled. Red Dusk would rebound with a vengeance going into week 2. Funeste is the only member that remained in his original spot at bot lane, joined by Cleansing at support now [and AstroDaAlcoholic for their next game], while Subjective Love slid up to the top lane. ISmellAPig and KTA MID joined as fresh faces to the organization, covering the jungle and mid lane roles respectively. And what a breath they were. Their match against SKIZM e-sports would have seen the newly rebuilt team — at the time 0-2 and struggling to find their footing for a win — demolished by the overly aggressive Deelun and crew. But the roster switch-up was exactly what the team needed; the newcomers performed with flying colors as their combined 11/5/22 carried the team past a demotivating game 2 loss and into the game 3 clutch win they sought to show that Red Dusk Esports was back on their feet. But just as quickly as they took the powerhouses out of their fast lane, they looked to take a one-two punch to their next opponent: Purple Cobras. Not just satisfied with rebuilding their team and taking one team off their quick path to a clean week, Red Dusk would see Cleansing back into the support role and hand the 3-0 Cobras their first loss of the season in a 2-1 clutch series. This is the team to look for when it comes to burning bridges after a sour loss, but their new roster looks solid, striking a solid blow to carve a path into the top 3 seed next week. Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming are their opponents next week, suggesting a pair of 2-0s to relax on. But if one team's full roster switch up can pull such strong results, who's to say it can't happen elsewhere?
3. Full Send Gaming (3-1)
Full Send Gaming leads us into our upper echelon of teams, defining the Top 3 to break away from the 2-2 split, but most would assume them harmless. The outside observer would say that their record is carried by their schedule — a 2-0 sweep over the three current bottom teams: Furious Gentz, Elyon Gaming, and Team Phoenix Rising — but their wins were as definitive as any of the other teams competing for the top. The difference comes in their week 2 record, as they are the first team to draw blood and take a game from the currently undefeated White Lotus. A 0-2 loss and a 1-2 loss carry the same weight, of course, but it does not go without notice when a team at the very top is shown to falter. It opens the door of possibilities, and that's what this team is looking to carry itself on. Internally, the team has swapped its roster up a number of times, moving people here and there to ensure that all avenues are being explored and each piece of the organization is being used to their optimal potential. In particular, Left Hook Larry, the long-standing jungler for the team, has delivered consistent performances on a variety of aggressive and playmaking champions. The team that people may say has slid under the radar into third place will put prove their punches aren't being pulled this week, as their opponents are a struggling No F's Given and a renewed roster looking to add pegs to their wall in Impulse.
2. Purple Cobras (3-1)
The Purple Cobras made a tear through this league since their debut. Five members strong through their first three games, solid 2-0s and done. The 3-0 team went into their second game of week 2 against the seemingly harmless — and at the time 1-2 — Red Dusk Esports. Across the board they were the superior team. Tomato Farmer and Desolate Earth laid waste to every bot lane they'd crossed — all of them now 2-2 teams — and never held up their aggression no matter what bans were thrown their way. Frission and Friction controlled every aspect of their game together, Frission showing an incredible versatility in his champion pool, outright showing off that there's no tier of mid laner he didn't have a proficiency on. Friction had been playing aggressive, in-your-face damage junglers and outmaneuvering everyone he came across and picking off quick early kills to snowball a lead. Synchogazer had to be subbed out for the game due to other circumstances, but all in all the team came to play their standard game of League of Legends and catch up to White Lotus in the standings. But the buck stopped with Red Dusk. Game 1 saw an unfortunate debut for their sub player, WhiteBread Mr305, getting shut down early on Jinx. To boot, Friction found himself on the raw end of the relevance clock as his Pantheon pick was buried and forgotten. Game 2 saw a turnaround, with Desolate Earth finding the right Blitzcrank hooks to enable his team to run wild at all the right moments. Frission and Tomato Farmer each packed over 6.5 KDAs with over 43,000 damage to champs apiece. Game 3 had the momentum back in their favor, but Red Dusk brought all the right answers. An Alistar pick to counter the Blitzcrank and a hyper-aggression from Red Dusk's jungler, ISmellAPig, on Kayn kept the Cobras on back pedal throughout the game. A much closer 38 game, 28 to 32 in kills, but it ended with the team's first defeat of the season. Fresh with the taste of blood in their mouth, they didn't respond the way many others did after suffering a close loss; no roster members were changed. A sub was added for the future, but the organization that had dominated their previous 3 opponents and still found a crushing victory amidst their losing set was not shaken enough to bring change from the outside. Instead, they're looking forward. Perhaps with a newfound respect for their opponents in regards to outright aggression, but we will see this week if the lesson Red Dusk imprinted on them will stick. Their first matchup is with SKIZM e-sports, a team full of equal fire for aggression and early capitalization. Their second game is the showdown at the summit — a match with White Lotus. A single win separates them in record, but it's still anyone's game. Look out for the Cobras to strike again this week.
1. White Lotus (4-0)
Planting your flag at the top of the mountain inevitably involves a climb. White Lotus instead chose to trample their way to the top, leaving every one of their opponents in the dust. The single scrape in their armor came in their game against Full Send Gaming, suffering their only game loss of the season thus far, but in game 3 they immediately returned a dominant 24 to 7 kill 28 minute retaliation to send their point home — White Lotus is at the top. And despite the overwhelming disappointment of being denied the opportunity to see the quickly rising stars SKIZM e-sports take on the top seed due to an unfortunate forfeit, the team remains unfazed. The original 5 players haven't left the rift once despite having access to a full 8-man roster, showing that the team is confident that the cards they've laid on the table is all they need to take the whole pot. Naturally so, as we've seen various members of this team sweep players under the rug. Multiple players across the board are capable of playing champions that set one another up for success. So many games we've seen at least two or more of Kairos, Fuji and Fresh Burger — the jungler, mid laner, and top laner respectively — being the cornerstones of the team in their aggressive engages to give their prime bot laner Aetherial a clear opening to put out tons of uncontested damage across every single teamfight, bolstered even further by Daydreamz' reactive and turn-on-a-dime support awareness. Of course, 4 more weeks await the team looking down at their competition so declaring anything early would be foolish, but the groundwork has been laid for a championship plan. Week 3 will truly put the elites to the test; the Purple Cobras are waiting to take them out and dethrone the undefeated organization. A 2-0 this week will keep the flag of the White Lotus planted at the top of the mountain, and send a message for the rest of the season.