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LCS 2022 Season Power Rankings

Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

14th Jan 2022 18:20

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The 2022 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) offseason is done and dusted and although not quite as historic as the previous year’s, this one still had its own pizzazz, bringing in a tonne of new and recognisable faces while keeping some of the tried and true. Not only that, but the LCS Lock In tournament and the new format - with some small alterations - are here to stay, making this upcoming season exciting.

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With that in mind, here are our LCS 2022 power rankings based solely on the rosters going into the season.

10. Dignitas 

For a team that attempted an All-American roster in 2021, Dignitas weren’t half bad. At first, it looked dire for the organisation’s first-ever Lock In tournament but an impressive turnaround after week 2 of the spring spilt led to them turning some heads. Ultimately though, it wasn’t enough. 

The team decided to throw that All-American approach out the window and kept what many thought were their best performers in top laner Aaron "FakeGod" Lee and ADC Toan "Neo" Tran and added some pickups. Former PSG Talon jungler, Kim "River" Dong-woo, former SK Gaming mid-laner Ersin "Blue" Goren and a known quantity in the support role, Vincent "Biofrost" Wang are joining the team.

In reality, this roster is a mish-mash of what worked last season in FakeGod and Neo, plus three players that come from different directions, making this an underwhelming roster. With his Worlds experience in hand, River has a chance to cause some waves in NA, Biofrost can hang at least a mid-tier level, but the main concern is Blue with his lacklustre LEC performances. Add the fact that even though FakeGod is a serviceable top laner, he’s not one to take over games. 

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A talented team on paper depending on who is asked, but glaring concerns in the solo lanes.

9. Counter Logic Gaming

It’s great to see that an organisation that fielded five tenured and experienced players and got less than expected results is changing it up completely. In what could be seen as a complete 180 to their roster last year, they’ve thrown out the old, literally, and have gone with the somewhat new.

First in the top lane, Thomas "Jenkins" Tran. He impressed the league after he filled in for now-former Team Liquid top laner, Barney "Alphari" Morris and took it in stride. To give him some ganks is jungler, Juan Arturo "Contractz" Garcia, one of the original strong up and coming NA talents that showed his worth during his brief stay at Evil Geniuses last year. This was followed up by mid-laner Palafox "Palafox" Palafox, ADC Fatih "Luger" Guven and support Philippe "Poome" LLavoie-Giguere. A top mid-lane prospect that wasn’t able to perform when given the LCS chance, and the 100 Thieves Academy duo, one of the best duos in the scene.

Overall, maybe not as stacked talent-wise as Dignitas, but the potential is there.

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8. FlyQuest

Prior to the 2021 season, FlyQuest were on everyone’s radar as a team that could be a solid middle of the pack team. The likes of jungler Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas - who came off of an impressive Worlds performance - and others like the aforementioned Palafox were the roster with perhaps some of the most potential outside of the big dynasty organisations. 

Unfortunately for them, it didn’t pan out but now they have a clearer sense of direction going into the 2022 season. They’ve kept top laner Colin "Kumo" Zhao who had a solid showing in his few games last year and have Josedeodo take another crack at the LCS. They’ve rounded out the roster with mid-laner Loic "toucouille" Dubois, ADC Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen and long-time support, Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black.

Out of all of the members in this roster, toucouille stands out the most due to LCS fans not really knowing him. As a former LFL representative, he played well albeit with a struggling team. This might be the chance for him to find a more stable footing in a new league. This bottom lane duo though is definitely their strong point as when they teamed together, Johnsun looked like one of the better ADCs in the league making this a solid reunion.

In a sense, this should be the bottom lane’s show with the rest of the team acting as the supporting cast.

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7. Immortals 

As a team that lacked all the identity in the world last year, Immortals was due to make some direction finding changes. And although time will tell if that’s proven to be true, this roster is certainly a good start.

A top-laner who’s slowly improving in Mohamed "Revenge" Kaddoura, a jungler who many expected more of in Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir in the 2021 season and a support that many had decently placed high hopes last year in Mitchell "Destiny" Shaw remained from the 2021 roster. They’ve now added some experienced heavy hitters that could help elevate this team in mid-laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage and ADC Jason "WildTurtle" Tran. 

On paper, this talent blows can and should perform better than the three teams below it, but in practice, this might change. Revenge will be Revenge with his carry performance here and there, Xerxe might still struggle with his champion pool and time will tell if Destiny picks up the pace but the onus is on PowerOfEvil and WildTurtle to carry but can they do it consistently is the question.

Better on paper than FlyQuest, Counter Logic Gaming and Dignitas but they have to show it.

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6. Cloud9

In what was undoubtedly the biggest shift in the offseason for an organisation, Cloud9 have a lot to prove in the 2022 season. A team that participated in two of the three finals during the 2021 season, won one of them, qualified for MSI and made the deepest run at Worlds out of any North American team has swapped their top laner to mid and kept their former MVP jungler, while replacing everyone else. 

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These are some of the most unheard-of changes in LCS offseason history but if a team were to do it, it’d be this team. Cloud9 by virtue and by brawn has been one of, if not the most welcoming of new faces to any roster. And with the addition of top laner Park "Summit" Woo-tae, ADC Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol and dual wielding of supports in Jonah "Isles" Rosario, and Kim "Winsome" Dong-keon joining, they are looking to show why they are a paragon in the league that never settles

In the end though, out of any team, this Cloud9 has the most to prove and the most to gain out of these moves. Bringing in one or two members is normal for the organisation, but adding in four is uncharted territory. 

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5. Team SoloMid

In perhaps what is some of the most faceless Team SoloMid has ever looked at, this version of "TSM, TSM!" is a major downgrade from last year. They’ve kept top-laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon and reigning MVP, jungler Mingyi "Spica" Lu but other than that the rest of the roster just feels unknown.

Even though they’ve added former Team Liquid ADC, Edward "Tactical" Ra, who had one of the better rookie performances for an NA player at worlds 2020, he didn’t quite live up to that in the following season. They also added mid-laner Zhu "Keaiduo" Xiong from the LDL, and support Wei "Shenyi" Zi - Jie from FPX’s Academy team. 

In reality, a team like this could go higher but it also could go lower, that’s why the number five spot in the rankings suits them. It’s up to them to decide where they belong.

A solid top half of the map but a question mark on the rest of it. 

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4. Golden Guardians

This organisation that went the full-blown young North American roster route with players from Collegiate and Academy has now really turned up the gears with this new team. They’ve kept top laner Eric "Licorice" Ritchie who was a boon for them since he joined the team midseason, once again showing he’s a top tier top laner and kept their new bright spot mid-laner, Nicholas Antonio "Ablazeolive Abbot. 

That good start to any team was followed up with some ideal candidates. First, jungler Milo "Pridestalker" Wehnes has come from EU Masters and is looking to make a name for himself. Second, is a known ADC in the LCS in former TSM member, Lost "Lost" Sze Yuy Hui and a support, who is no slouch himself, in Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung.  

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Frankly, Golden Guardians could easily go in the number five spot as their talent isn’t much better than Team SoloMid’s but what makes a difference here is that all of these players are known quantities, for the most part. Add the fact that this team is going all-in with their five position-specific coaches, something special might be brewing.

All in all, known quantities in players grant them this spot.

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3. Evil Geniuses 

Although not at the top, Evil Geniuses are certainly the most exciting roster for the 2022 season. An organisation that had to quite literally build from the ground up after they took over the Echo Fox LCS spot in late 2019, was dealt the shortest end of the stick by having to bring in new players one by one. At first, not much impressing was going on but towards the end of last season, promise started to rear its head. 

They were overlooked but they managed to show that they were here to stay, add the likes of newcomer ADC, Kyle "Danny" Sakamaki who took home the Rookie of the Split award, and better overall performances from everyone on the team and teams suddenly had to worry about them.

Now there’s a blueprint, all they have left is to follow it. They did make some changes though, some very exciting ones at that. They kept stalwart top laner, Jeong "Impact" Yon-young alongside Danny and added three very potent players to round out the team.

They brought in top-tier jungler, Kacper "Inspired" Sloma from the LEC’s Rogue as well as top tier North American support, Philipe "Vulcan" Laflamme from Cloud9. But one addition took home the cake, the replacing of impressing mid - laner Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro and adding highly-touted newcomer, Joseph "jojopyun" Joon Pyun. 

Time to follow the blueprint, Evil Geniuses. Pull off your own heist ala 100 Thieves and rob other tenured organisations of their glory.

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2. 100 Thieves

The reigning LCS champions deserve some respect on their name. Not only did they earn it through their various heists since first joining the league back in 2018 but they also just have a terrific roster. 

Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT
Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT

They’ve kept all of their members from that championship-winning team and added a sixth man in the top lane. Who knows? Maybe he’s the next one up after the only remaining member of the founding team, Kim "Ssumday" Chan - ho retires. Either way, this roster is stacked, they will have only gotten better after experiencing Worlds as the first seed - showcasing some impressive stuff versus the eventual champions EDward Gaming - and are looking to win their first back-to-back.

All of their players were at least in the top three in their position and they’re gonna show why.

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1. Team Liquid

It’s been a while since a "superteam" was amongst the LCS ranks again if one doesn’t count last year’s Cloud9 and Team Liquid of course. Although there’s a very strong chance this team struggles at first, due to prolific mid-laner Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg returning to play after a one-year retirement, and Gabriel "Bwipo" Rau returning to the top lane, it still is just too good to pass up.

They’ve kept two of some of the most important members from last year’s season in jungler Lucas "Santorin" Larseen and multiple time MVP Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in and added a top tier ADC from the LEC, Steven "Hans Sama" Livt - this is a terrifying bottom lane duo.

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Out of all of the teams on this list, Team Liquid is fielding the most talented roster on paper. Questions will be raised of course, will Bjergsen return to top tier form? Will Bwipo ease in back into the top lane? Chances are answers favoring this organisation will come out.

They will struggle early on to get used to eachother, plus you add the Bjergsen and Bwipo factors of returning to their own but they will deliver. 

 

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What To Expect From The Second Lock In Tournament

Photo via Riot Games/lolesports

Written by 

André González Rodríguez

Posted 

17th Jan 2022 19:00

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