Week 3 Power Rankings
Week 3 has come to a close. To say the least, this week has been chaotic. Several teams have undergone major roster changes, bringing in fresh new faces and ushering in the return of some players out for blood. A five-way tie has been broken and rebuilt as 3 new ties, but at the end of the week, who showed signs of life as we approach the conclusion of the first half of matches? I’m here again to offer a subjective look on the current state of affairs, and give a look into what’s to come as Week 4 looms just over the corner.
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 weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.
10. Furious Gentz (0-6) [-1]
Eyes were on the Gentz going into the third week; new captain SCommander took the helm with newcomer Songless in tow, looking to take a crack at the upper tier of teams and make a name for the winless team as a fierce contender. To his dismay, his fire was put out very quickly by Red Dusk Esports, who took the team out in a convincing 2-0. Their second match was against SKIZM e-sports, who were on a backpedal of their own going into week 3, giving the Gentz an opportunity to slide into their first win. Game 1 saw the wind knocked out of their sails, their aggressive in-your-face comp outpaced and outplayed by the notoriously aggressive Gødyr and co. Game 2 drew back the aggression in favor of a team composition that put the two newcomers in the limelight, with impressive results. Songless shined through numerous fights on his tried and true Morgana mid lane, finding a plethora of multi-man ultimates that bolstered the defensive core built around SCommander’s Ashe pick to outlast and eventually run over SKIZM’s wild aggression. Game 3 saw nearly a similar composition brought together, now with SCommander on Tristana. The game was moving steadily in their favor, but a crack in their armor ended up bringing them crumbling down; Joestir had met his demise early at the hand of v19torn’s Gnar. A slow snowball out of control left the team scrambling out of fights to deal with him, and eventually led to their defeat. Rather than take their losses sitting down, SCommander quickly brought the hand of reform, shuffling the team once more as he looks to build an all-star roster from the ground up. The absolute test of this shuffle lies ahead; the Gentz’ week 4 pits them against Purple Cobras and White Lotus. Look to see big things from new starting jungle and support Prophetikos and C9 5moothie, and look to see a big :Wut: from the newly acquired top laner Super Scyther.
9. Elyon Gaming (0-6) [+1]
I write with a bit of my foot in my mouth as I move on to Elyon Gaming, who did make adjustments across their roster going into week 3, despite my anticipations. Jerd was moved to the support role, ushering in the addition of Big Brain Mid to the mid lane, as Wranor was brought into the top lane to round out the team with existing members Hotty Williams and C9 5neaky. Their first match pit them against No F’s Given, another partially restructured team looking to continue their climb. The first game out of the gates sent a message to everyone that Elyon Gaming had shown up to play; No F’s Given took the win after a 35 minute fight to the finish with both teams taking out 8 towers and being a kill behind at 29 to 30. Game 2 saw a handful of comfort picks fall into Elyon’s hands, as Big Brain Mid made sure to strike fear into his opponents on Zed. Hotty Williams was in equal form, taking to early aggression on Pantheon and leading the team to a crushing victory. They rode their high into game 3, drawing a Zed ban and keeping their Varus and Pantheon picks to stylize their early aggression. Aggressive they were, they dominated the early game and found an overwhelming 10,000 gold lead over NFG, putting them on the heels and threatening to end the game swiftly. Unfortunately, time took its course, and between immaculate play from their newcomer RW Arrow as well as the global taunt from Super Scyther’s Teemo, No F’s Given pulled out the win that day. Regardless, Elyon Gaming picked themselves up and solidified that their roster was ready to compete.Their next set was against Red Dusk esports, already on a tear and looking to add another tally to the wall. A double emergency sub situation left the game banless on both ends, and Elyon reminded Red Dusk what happens when a certain middle with a large brain has access to a knife hand ninja. Big Brain Mid’s Zed tore a hole through game 1, leaning their momentum for the first time this season. Unfortunately, Red Dusk’s mid laner in KTA MID took to the challenge, using their draft to take Zed away from Elyon both rounds and turn the tables on them, leading to one crushing win over the other. Regardless, going into week 4 Elyon has a better mindset to collect and move forward, taking a game from two of the top teams this week. The team will have to build some more coherency over the coming weeks, as their next stop puts them against SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras.
8. Impulse (3-3) [-1]
Impulse showed quite the signs of life this week, starting off strong with a 2-0 over Full Send Gaming. u SawCon brought two incredibly strong performances from his trademark junglers, and the pejiMenos bot lane delivered yet again, both on the aggressive Kai’Sa/Nami lane and the silent farming Jinx/Janna lane. Taking a blow to the previously 3-1 team left them in high spirits, and going in against Team Phoenix Rising looked like the backdrop to a sweep for the week. Surprisingly, they were put in their place. The Phoenixes rose and washed away Impulse from the get-go, dominating a game 1 win that left them on the back pedal with most of their key champions banned away. Game 2 saw a major improvement on the side of Impulse, bringing in different picks for a much scrappier composition, with u SawCon on Kindred jungle and peji bringing a fierce Vel’Koz support to compliment Menoz on Swain in the bot lane. A 44 minute slog ended up with a victory for Team Phoenix Rising, though, with Impulse short only 2 kills. Despite the fall, Impulse has remained quiet throughout. Their roster appears finalized now, confident that they will work out the kinks with who they have and no more changes need to be made. I share this confidence — despite their placement sitting at 8th place — and expect to see Impulse making waves off of their strong showing this week. Their competition is no slouch, as they face off against White Lotus and No F’s Given. If anything, it’s been shown that the bottom of the barrel is doing much more than scraping by. Impulse will leave their mark in the coming weeks, for better or for worse.
7. Team Phoenix Rising (3-3) [+1]
Team Phoenix Rising made an interesting rise this week. Their first set against White Lotus saw the debut of sub Aleskander along with CanadianChamp and Sprinkle m Silly swapping roles to jungle and support, respectively. The shake up fell flat on its face in game 1, receiving a sound thrashing from the top team that would have convinced anyone a quick 2-0 was on the way. Some internal adjustments were made, and the sub mid laner made an outstanding performance on Syndra, alongside Sprinkle m silly busting out an unconventional full AP Malphite support, absolutely breaking open the defensive core White Lotus built around their star ADC and taking the win in game 2 with several clutch pick offs. Both champions were banned away from the team going into game 3, forcing them into a new gameplan as they had shown an adaptation to White Lotus’ style and focus of play. Unfortunately, it was Fresh Burger in the top lane that proved overwhelming for the team, effectively countering Kaze64 in the top lane on Irelia and snowballing into an unstoppable force that the team couldn’t cleanly pick off in fights. Despite putting up a good showing in the first half of the game, they were eventually broken open and beaten in a 1-2 loss. Another team to take a game off of White Lotus, the Phoenixes joined the ranks of the few that showed signs of life to take a swing at the top contenders. Their next match put them against Impulse, a team fresh off of a win against Full Send Gaming, who had already handed TPR a loss in week 1. The statistics suggested that Impulse was looking to push ahead to 4-2, but they were given more than a run for their money. Aleskander and Kaze64 returned to top and mid lane respectively, picking apart the main champion picks from Impulse’s mid and bot laners to take game 1 in clean fashion, equipped with new starting support Darquesse as the classic Xayah/Rakan duo put on a show, running a combined KDA of 12/4/29 with Neutrinx. Conversely, game 2 saw incredible performances from the solo laners, with Kaze64 dominating on Zed and Aleskander barreling into teamfights on a very polished Ornn. With that win under their belt, TPR has shown their versatility across all lanes to take a game and run with it. The team looks to continue to adapt and rise above as they head into week 4, with No F’s Given and Red Dusk esports at the summit. Any team that can take a swing at White Lotus has shown to be volatile, and this team’s fire hasn’t been put out just yet.
6. Full Send Gaming (3-3) [-3]
Full Send Gaming finds themselves in a compromising position this week; they and the previous two teams all share a very similar profile: a 3-3 record, a 1-2 loss to White Lotus or Purple Cobras, and their only 3 wins consisting of Elyon Gaming, Furious Gentz, and each other. Full Send finds themselves at the bottom of a dive, losing both games this week; Impulse and No F’s Given both found a win against the team sitting content at its top 3 standing. Acquisition of new support PheenixDC looked to bolster the team’s standard play at aggression, but their first set against Impulse found them on bad footing. ChrizMeister pulled an impressive performance in the first game on Orianna, a very comfortable pick for him that’s let him flex a lot of lane dominance in the past. After a 40 minute clash, Full Send lost the first game only 3 kills down. The second game was much less favorable, as Full Send’s aggressive playmaking was shut down by Menoz’ Jinx being accompanied by a double shield comp with a brutal frontline to keep him safe. They made quick work of FSG, leaving the team on a loss going into the week. The team would look for redemption against No F’s Given, both teams 3-2 going into the showdown and looking to clutch a 4-2 finish to the week. Left Hook Larry went for his trusted Pantheon jungle pickup, finding several early kills but unable to keep the tempo moving for his team as they fell in game 1. Game 2 found a major upswing for the team, dominating a victory with more of the same picks and immaculate play that Full Send Gaming has been attributed with. Mement0 on Ornn made colossal plays this game, finding ultimates through members and outright bullet training into fights. The team looked strong going into game 3, getting several of their desired picks and finding proper bans, but the game quickly fell out of their favor from the early game, placing several kills into the hands of the quickly rising ADC prodigy RW Arrow, now on Twitch as he converted those kills to devastating teamfight power, leading to a brutal game 3 loss. Full Send finds themselves in an undesirable place going into this week; their matches this week are against Red Dusk esports and SKIZM e-sports. Taking set wins against these teams will be crucial to re-establishing the team’s strength, and the long-standing pair of ChrizMeister and Left Hook Larry will be taking the forefront of that challenge.
5. SKIZM e-sports (3-2)
SKIZM… there’s a lot to be said about this team while there’s little to be said about this week. For clarity, the match between SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras this week was agreed to be postponed to another date, leaving both teams at a 3-2 split. SKIZM has only one game to speak of this week, as a result, and it’s a thought provoking 2-1 win against Furious Gentz. Game 1 looked like a textbook performance from the team we’d seen flashes of early game dominance from, with Gødyr flexing a Nidalee jungle and keeping fresh mid laner Songless afraid to move from his tower, reigned in already by Deelun on his comfortable Ahri pick. Less comfortable picks came from the team in game 2, looking to put on a show for spectators and pull some fun picks for the team's sake. The Gentz came together with a well-rounded composition that pushed SKIZM back, fending off a debilitating loss and restoring some wind into the bottom team's sails. Game 3 saw SKIZM come back together, with Gødyr on Gragas looking to make moves on the bulky brawler.. but SKIZM found themselves backpedaling heavily for most of the game. Songless had an incredible performance on Morgana mid, pushing Deelun back and taking a couple kills of his own, looking to lead the team to decisive victory. Fortunately, v19torn ran away with the series, picking Gnar into Joestir's Trundle and carrying the team to a decisive game 3 victory, holding over 40% of the team's damage as he opened the base and took it solo after the crew lost a 4v4 teamfight. Three matches loom over the horizon to continue telling the tale of the aggressive crew, and at the end of week 4 we should get a clear vision of where SKIZM e-sports have their heads — in the game, or in the clouds.
4. Purple Cobras (3-2) [-2]
As stated above, the Cobras sit on a 3-2 record at the end of the week, pending a rescheduled game with SKIZM e-sports and giving us a 3 game week 4. Their only game played this week is a loss, unfortunately, finding themselves soundly defeated at the hands of White Lotus. A double emergency sub situation broke out for the match, resulting in no bans for either team, and the Cobras found themselves under the heel of Fuji’s Katarina with relatively few answers. The team sparked back to life in game 2, with Tomato Farmer and sub top laner Smellfear boasting strong showings on Jhin and Renekton, but eventually fell in the 33 minute clash. With little other data brought on the team, the Cobras have been biding their time, looking to reclaim their top 3 spot going into week 4 as their gauntlet consists of SKIZM e-sports, as well as the rebuilt teams of Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming. The Cobras team remains the same, swapping out a substitute here and there for their top lane, but it stands to more than speculation that a star may soon return to his throne.
3. No F’s Given (4-2) [+3]
No F’s Given made an explosive return to the scene this week. The acquisition of RW Arrow looked to be a superstar pick for the team, proving to be both more than a Varus one trick as the name implied and the ace player for every one of their victories this week. Their first match against Full Send Gaming saw the team’s composition come to light, with game 1 packing on an impenetrable wall of crowd control behind a Kennen/Sejuani/Braum comp that let Arrow’s arrows fly free on his favored Varus pick. Game 2 went for a different approach, offering a double shield support composition for Arrow’s Lucian, eventually being run over by a much similar enemy composition from FSG, tacked on by a Miss Fortune ultimate that cleared the field of litter. Game 3 came back to more of the same, with zayfray plucking the Pantheon jungle from Left Hook Larry’s hands and bolstering another frontline composition, with Super Scyther going deathless on Malphite top and Morgana/Orianna to keep Arrow running strong on Twitch. Their next set against Elyon Gaming saw similar results, with the first game bringing a crushing victory for NFG. The team has kept a consistent grip on their multiple sources of engage to leave Arrow demolishing teams from the backline, with an impenetrable frontline that left Tristana running the game through. Game 2, however, saw the debut of Big Brain Mid on his favored assassin, Zed. As it was, no defensive formation was enough to stop the infiltration onto Arrow’s Kog’Maw as he was torn apart in game 2, along with a Pantheon pick that turned up the aggression just hard enough to throw NFG out of their comfort zone. Game 3 continued the marksman’s revolving door of carries, bringing out Ezreal for the match point. Bolstered by both clutch ultimates from JisforPenguin’s Taric and Super Scyther’s consistent pressure on a wild Teemo pick, Arrow would once again take the game in style, turning around what looked like an assured victory for Elyon and ending the game with over 53% of the team’s damage dealt to champions. There’s certainly something to be said about NFG now; they have both acquired talent and quickly adapted to building around it. Zayfray’s early game dominance on aggressive tank picks in the jungle has been drawing bans from every team they’ve played, coupling perfectly with SlibberingDingus’ repertoire of diverse utility mid laners, and JisforPenguin has been consistently highlighted for vision dominance and clutching out defensive plays needed to keep the team together. Super Scyther has been dropped from the team in favor of new top laner Inversion, so it will be interesting to see if the team’s cohesion remains as airtight as it looked this week. Regardless, keep an eye out for Arrow’s explosive performances; the carry boasts a 69/15/22 total scoreline in the four games the team won this week. Look out for the arrow to continue piercing through; Team Phoenix Rising and Impulse are in NFG’s sights next week.
2. Red Dusk Esports (4-2) [+2]
Red Dusk Esports continues their ascension to the top, securing the second place spot with a 4-2 record and favorable results from last week over both teams in the 3-2 spot. While their victories over Elyon Gaming and Furious Gentz were all but expected this week, they were not without putting in effort. Their first match with Furious Gentz came and went quietly, a quick 2-0 as KTA MID left Songless their favored Morgana pick and beat it outright, alongside sub top laner plx fix the game for crushing victories across the board. Moving swiftly to their set with Elyon Gaming, things took a turn downhill. Once again, a situation with emergency sub players on both teams left their match without bans, opening game 1 to Big Brain Mid making moves on Zed, ripping holes through the Red Dusk team and taking a destructive victory that saw KTA on his worst performance to date. The rebound came quickly, though, with RDE making the smart play to secure the Zed in both rotations and put KTA on the assassin to turn the tables on Elyon. Game 2 was an incredible success, with KTA running rampant on the pick and Funeste having an equally dominant performance on Kai’Sa, pushing Elyon back and leaving the team behind in single digit kills. Emergency sub Micháel G pulled a great performance out on Hecarim jungle in game 3, leading several dangerous charges to pull the team ahead early while the same picks controlled the pace of the game, with KTA on a breakthrough in his Zed play. They swiftly shut down the idea of Elyon taking their first game in a 25 minute win, adapting quickly to the situation and remaining headstrong. With this week over, Red Dusk has established that changing the playing field doesn’t change what they’ve built — a team of fundamentally strong players that all hold their own and come together as a unit when push comes to shove. Full Send Gaming and Team Phoenix Rising are looking to take a crack at the team next week, but Red Dusk Esports looks to be on the right track heading into the second half of the season.
1. White Lotus (6-0)
Amidst the chaos of roster swaps and substitutions, one thing holds true: White Lotus remains at the top. Remaining a pillar of consistency continues through this week, with a victory over the at the time second place team Purple Cobras and knocking down another contender in Team Phoenix Rising. The set with Purple Cobras was unexpectedly short, with a banless draft due to emergency subs letting Fuji run wild on a Katarina pick that went unchecked and absolutely dominated the game from the get-go, stealing the show with 50% of the team’s damage dealt to champs and solidly adding another pick to the laundry list that is White Lotus’ bag of threats. Game 2 came with more reserve, as the Cobras came to play and saw strong showings from their bot and jungle. The star of the show, however, was the substitute top laner for White Lotus, as Phynn delivered an insane performance on Gangplank, running through the game with a 17/5/4 to lead the team to a wild victory, crushing the #2 team’s hopes of making their mark. To contrast, their set with Team Phoenix Rising brought a lot of the team’s strategies into the limelight. Game 1 came and went as anyone would have expected, with the entire team making light work of the rising team and only dropping 3 kills to them in a 22 minute stomp. Game 2 saw a shuffle among the TPR roster, and alongside some properly placed bans, White Lotus was cornered between a rock and a hard place — Aetherial was put in a position to solo carry, and nothing but a Zilean ult could save him from the long ranged onslaught of clutch Syndra stun combos and an unexpected AP Malphite support barreling into him threatening one shots from every angle. Even pulling ahead with a 14/11/7 KDA, Aetherial could not get past the team’s laser-point focus on him the entire game, and the team dropped their second game of the season. Both picks received proper respect in the ban phase, and Fresh Burger saw his tried and true Darius off of the banlist to quickly pick it up. This would prove fatal for the Phoenixes, as the top laner came back into form with aggressive dominance, keeping TPR’s Kaze64 under his boot with an Irelia pick that was paramount to their game 2 success with sudden explosive dive power, reduced to a flea under Burger’s axe. Fuji also had something to say about the matter, proving that utility mids were a luxury for the other team to see as he had a breakout performance on Zoe, clenching a game 3 win and taking the set to maintain their perfect record. Just as quickly as anyone could assume that Aetherial was the backbone of the team, the laners come to bat. White Lotus is a team that accurately adapts to the situations they’re given, and their success attributes heavily to the consistent core of Kairos and Daydreamz on caretaker duty — protecting and enabling any of the three carries on the team to pop off for a breakout performance. Impulse and Furious Gentz are the next pair to make a claim at denting the seemingly invincible team of 5. While a victory for either team would appear to be a long shot in the eyes of most observers, the tight-knit White Lotus are still on guard to the ever-shifting roster changes and new talent rising to make a claim for their throne.