The global League of Legends scene has changed immensely in just two months, with the offseason bringing about countless roster alterations across the world. Since EDward Gaming claimed the Summoner’s Cup just over two months ago, the landscape of international League has certainly shifted. Whether those shifts have crossed international boundaries or not, it’s evident every region in the professional League scene has felt the rippling effects of a vivid offseason.
From legendary players switching teams to established veterans creating superstar-packed lineups, the 2022 season is already shaping up to be one of the most competitive campaigns League has ever seen. High-octane, world-title-contending rosters are being assembled in every region across the globe.
To celebrate the beginning of the 2022 pro League season, we asked our team of League writers to assess the dozens of teams participating in competitive play across the world. We’ve ranked the teams of the world across all regions based on the strengths of their rosters, their previous recorded results, and the state of the global professional climate. As a result of our assessment, we’ve come to a consensus and have ranked the top 10 pro League teams in the world ahead of the 2022 season.
|4)||Royal Never Give Up||LPL|
Top Esports failed to meet expectations in 2021. The favorites to win Worlds 2020 and dominate the LPL made only one change a year ago that, on paper, was supposed to strengthen their weakest link in the support role. Now, the squad is looking ahead after an even bigger roster overhaul.
Veterans Zoom and Tian joined the starting lineup and should no doubt elevate the level of TES’ gameplay. The team’s major elements are once again knight and JackeyLove. Both are some of the LPL’s most prominent players in their roles. The mid laner ended LPL Spring and Summer 2021 regular seasons in the top five in terms of K/DA ratio, (6.9 and 6.3). The marksman, on the other hand, had the highest damage to champions per minute in both regular splits (623 and 676). With experienced backup, they ought to have the space to once again make TES a top contender in China and the rest of the world, just like in Demacia Cup 2021, which was claimed by the organization.
9) Bilibili Gaming
When the transfer madness was going wild in the offseason, no one expected the name of Bilibili Gaming to come out as one of the winners in the end. The organization hugely invested in its League roster by bringing a mixture of new blood and one of the most established names in the game’s history.
Bilibili invested in the top lane with lots of potential. FoFo ended his 2021 season in Rare Atom with 5.1 K/DA across 94 games, while Breathe’s time with Team WE proved he’s a solid top laner (165 gold difference at 10 minutes and 62.8 percent kill participation). The biggest stars of the team—and highly likely that of the LPL as well—could be the team’s new bot lane. Uzi, one of the world’s most renowned marksmen, and Crisp, 2019 world champion, are names that speak for themselves. They’re joining forces to guide the other three to becoming the best in the world in their roles, and to make Bilibili a team only a few have the courage to face on the international stage.
8) Team Vitality
If teams like Cloud9 and MAD Lions—who were relatively weaker on paper than this season’s Vitality squad—reached the top eight at Worlds last season, there’s good logic behind the belief that Vitality could be a top-eight team this season. Vitality’s European “fab five” are practical shoe-ins to run the table in a weakened LEC, but international success is still the most prominent goal for a team lined with historically triumphant veterans. With the most proven roster in the west, Vitality has the pedigree to stand tall right alongside the best teams in the world. Among the five of them, Perkz, Alphari, and Carzzy all led three separate teams to Worlds as recently as last year. Wherever they go, it’s obvious success follows.
7) Weibo Gaming
Remember when the team then known as Suning Gaming made their run to the 2020 World Finals? You’re seemingly in a minority, then. Did Suning catch some lightning in a bottle during that run? Sure. But if best-of-fives are the arbiters of truth that they’re regarded as, then beating the second and first seeds from the deepest region in the world as the three-seed can’t be an accident. The only difference between 2020 and 2021 for Suning was the absence of one of the greatest supports to ever do it in SwordArt. But in 2022, Huanfeng has his wingman back. And if the tried-and-true pair of a rookie ADC and a veteran support helped take Suning to a world final in 2020, then a more battle-hardened version of that, plus the same roster (other than replacing Bin for TheShy), should rightfully set the bar very high for Weibo Gaming in 2022.
6) LNG Esports
LNG’s 2021 campaign came to an end in the most dramatic fashion possible, with a last-minute teamfight against MAD Lions during a do-or-die tiebreaker game of Worlds’ group stage turning the tide of their season in its fleeting moments. LNG had held a lead in that game for 45 of the 46 minutes played, and it’s not unreasonable to claim that in countless alternate universes, they hold onto that lead and advance to the quarterfinals. Results aside, LNG added more security to its budding core of players with the signings of former JD Gaming support Lvmao and former FunPlus Phoenix mid laner Doinb. If they just missed out on a top-eight finish in 2021, then the arrivals of two of pro League’s top individual talents should all but cement LNG’s place in the upper echelon of the competitive scene in 2022.
5) DWG KIA
The former world champion organization DWG KIA is bringing on some new promising faces that have the potential to give the team a second world title this year—something the squad almost grasped in 2021. Though most of the team remains unchanged, the massive changes to the bot lane stand out following the loss of both BeryL and Ghost to other squads. In their place are deokdam and Kellin, both joining from Nongshim RedForce—a team that rose to great success in 2021, winning battles against LCK behemoths like DWG KIA. Though we don’t yet know how this new bot lane will synergize with the rest of the squad, knowing they found success together previously offers a lot of hope for fans waiting for DWG KIA to once again hold the Summoner’s Cup.
4) Royal Never Give Up
Royal Never Give Up stormed back from the dregs of 2020 and the post-Uzi hangover. In 2021, the organization captured its second MSI title with yet another win over an LCK titan. In 2018, when they won their first title, Xiaohu was the team’s mid laner. He’s back in the saddle, and the team has brought in 2020 world finalist Bin from Suning (now Weibo) to replace him. This team will be as high-octane as ever, if maybe ever so slightly less versatile. Former mid laner Cryin was a standout player, but if there was a weak spot for the team, he was it. Like EDG, RNG won’t try to mess too much with a good lineup. If Bin can recapture his 2020 form and the rest of the team’s consistency carries over from 2021 to rise above the constant chaos of the LPL, RNG will be poised for another very good year.
Once more T1, is stepping up to the plate of not only the most prevalent teams in the LCK, but in the world. This iteration of the T1 roster maintains the look and feel that enabled them to succeed in 2021, with Zeus, Oner, Faker, Gumayusi, and Keria all rejoining the three-time world champion team. With the major changes shaking up the rosters of some of the most notable LCK teams this year, T1 is pressing on with a roster advanced far in the LCK last year, as well as at Worlds. Though the LCK competition remains fierce, particularly at the top, T1 has the tools to cement a spot as a driving force in professional League of Legends yet again.
The church of Chovy has finally found its way to the promised land, and its followers are now clothed in the black and gold robes of Gen.G. This organization has always been a top contender in Korea, but it never truly had an X-factor that could push them past second place. But now, it picked up one of the best players in the world. How’s that for an X-factor? Throughout his time with Hanwha Life Esports, we were watching “the Chovy Show” after he had to drag his team to victory on multiple occasions. But now, the protagonist might have found perfect co-stars to share the weight of responsibilities, with veteran star jungler Peanut, longtime Gen.G AD carry Ruler, Doran, and Lehands as solid, reliable pieces for success.
1) EDward Gaming
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. After finally winning the Summoner’s Cup, EDward Gaming fans should be happy to know the team has stuck with its 2021 roster for the upcoming year. We’ve seen many League teams get too ambitious when it comes to finding more success, and they end up making changes for the sake of change. But EDG has the best roster in the game, as proven by the new hardware in their trophy case. Now, it is time to prove the last year wasn’t a fluke, and that they’re here to stay at the mountain top in one of the most competitive regions in the world.
Correction Jan. 9 10:56am CT: We incorrectly stated T1 are the two-time world champions instead of three-time. We regret this error.
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