1. G2 Esports
Record: 4-0 | League: LEC | +/-: --
The G2 Esports hype train is at full speed after two more victories in Week 2. Against SK Gaming, they showcased patience and solid understanding of their team composition despite their opponents' best effort at thwarting them during the laning phase. In contrast, they cruised against Team Vitality off the back of a Pyke-Yuumi bot lane -- yes, you read that right.
G2 have a test ahead of them in Week 3 as they face fellow undefeated and first-place team Fnatic. Unless the changes in Patch 9.12 revolutionize the way the game is played, and/or they showcase creativity over good form, Rasmus "Caps" Winther might score another win against his former team.
-- Adel Chouadria
2. Royal Never Give Up
Record: 4-0 | League: LPL | +/-: --
It was another perfect week for RNG. After an easy 2-0 victory over Vici Gaming, RNG improved to 4-0 and sit at the top of the LoL Pro League alongside undefeated teams, FunPlus Phoenix, LNG Esports and Top Esports. Despite RNG's easy schedule, the general domination in their wins is what is encouraging for the future. Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan had the opportunity to flex with his AP Gragas and barely missed a beat, continually proving why he is the best jungler in the world. Last split, it felt as if the team lived and died by Karsa's impact on the bot lane, but now it's the icing on top of a stable team identity enhanced by an increasingly late-game carry-focused meta.
-- Xander Torres
3. FunPlus Phoenix
Record: 5-0 | League: LPL | +/-: --
It's easy to reiterate FunPlus Phoenix's surprising flexibility within the parameters they set for themselves based on playstyle. Due to Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang's once-eccentric champion pool becoming surprisingly meta over the past year, FPX can prioritize certain flex champions for top, mid and sometimes jungle, depending on the champion itself, to flex between Doinb, top laner Kim "GimGoon" Han-saem and jungler Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang. You could argue that maybe their opponents shouldn't give them both Sylas and Aatrox, but even without unexpected help, FPX draft what they want for how they want to play and even flex their players between lanes. Another underrated key to FPX's success is their willingness to seek advantages, even when in a deficit, and immediately act on those opportunities. This was most recently apparent in their series against LGD Gaming (which was closer than expected) with timely picks and Baron calls that swung Game 3 in their favor.
-- Emily Rand
4. Top Esports
Record: 3-0 | League: LPL | +/-: +3
Speaking of flexibility, we've seen Top Esports similarly take advantage of the current meta, swapping top laner Bai "369" Jia-Hao and mid laner Zhuo "Knight9" Ding between lanes and also using certain champions in draft that can be swapped between the two.
There's little denying the power of this lineup. Before the spring split, Top Esports were one of the most hyped LPL teams, especially after a strong Demacia Cup showing at the beginning of the year. This summer, Top looks to come into their own and become a potential world championship contender for China as this roster was built to do. Top have had an easy schedule thus far, but an upcoming match against Invictus Gaming (even with iG's recent woes) should give a better idea of their current strength.
5. Kingzone DragonX
Record: 3-1 | League: LCK | +/-: --
When you play the way Kingzone does, there are going to be matches in which you look less than world class. Through the first quarter of the summer split, KZ has shown a willingness to experiment and push the tempo even when it might not be optimal. They met their match against the Afreeca Freecs in their first loss of the season, but in the grand scheme of things, a few losses domestically could pay big dividends come time for the world championships. South Korean teams such as KZ need to adapt if they want to have any chance at recovering the Summoner's Cup from Chinese and European teams, and KZ seems up to the task.
6. Afreeca Freecs
Record: 3-1 | League: LCK | +/-: +9
Once known as the team that practiced the most, Afreeca has changed up their philosophy after almost falling into relegations the last split. The Freecs were a top team in South Korea in 2018 but seemed to be burned out by the time world quarterfinals came around. With a more focused practice schedule that values quality over quantity, the Freecs have put themselves in a position to make another run for worlds. The solo lanes are starting to round into elite form, and as long as their new way of practicing continues to bear fruit, Afreeca might be even stronger going into international competition than it was last year.
7. EDward Gaming
Record: 3-1 | League: LPL | +/-: -1
EDward Gaming suffered a rough loss to Invictus Gaming this past week, despite a strong Game 1 in the series. We're still looking at the mid-jungle combination of Lee "Scout" Ye-chan and rookie jungler Zhao "Jiejie" Li-Jie as the key to any continuing success for EDG. The two looked great in Game 1 against iG, but Jiejie is still prone (like many rookie junglers) to taking greedier paths that will eventually be punished.
With upcoming matches against Team WE and Rogue Warriors, EDG have a bit of a lighter schedule this week. It won't be a test of strength as much as it will be a test of recovering from the iG loss and beating teams that they should be able to beat.
8. Sandbox Gaming
Record: 3-1 | League: LCK | +/-: +11
It has been almost a year since Sandbox Gaming entered our lives, and we still don't know where they really fit in this world. When they came into the LCK, they were a cute story, picking up some early season wins and were expected to fall away as the season went on. Although they lost in the playoffs to Damwon Gaming, they made the playoffs. And when they were expected to be exposed in the summer after a season of data for teams to study, they did the exact opposite, looking cleaner than they did in their successful rookie split. Worlds should still be a longshot for Sandbox, and yet, here we are, a few months away from the biggest event of the year, and they're still improving week by week. Maybe it's time to start believing?
Record: 4-0 | League: LEC | +/-: --
Fnatic's start is mildly surprising, as they position themselves firmly at No. 2 in Europe after their second straight 2-0 week. Armed with a combination of great macro, smart early and mid-game map movements to exploit matchups, they have been a treat to watch.
Fnatic drove Origen into a corner through smart drafting and snowballing, although they trod a fine line on the latter. Their overzealousness during tower dives was not punished given the team composition and macro advantages they had secured, but G2 will not leave such moves unopposed. In fact, G2 and Fnatic will face off in Week 3, with the matchup probably revealing more about Fnatic than G2.
10. LNG Esports
Record: 3-0 | League: LPL | +/-: -2
Previously known as Snake Esports, every fan is trying to keep their expectations in check when it comes to LNG. Top laner Li "Flandre" Xuan-Jun and Vietnamese jungler Lê "Sofm" Quang Duy have consistently shown why they can be one of the hottest carry duos in the LPL. Unfortunately, these players, and LNG in general, have also been known to be consistent in the worst way: strong at the start, only to sputter when it matters most. LNG's schedule softens up with Team WE, LGD Gaming and Rogue Warriors on the horizon, but be sure to watch out for the quality of its wins and consistency of its carries.