The North American teams have gone head-to-head for 4 games each, and there have been some surprises! I’m back with Power Rankings! For information on methodology, see here!
Using this system, I have the following Power Rankings:
Of course, we can’t have ties, so step two is tie arbitration. This process is easy: C9 beat TSM in a head-to-head match, so they get 1st place, while TSM gets 2nd place. CLG beat CST in a head-to-head match, so they get 4th place while CST gets 5th. Finally, XDG faced a much harder schedule than EG, and beat EG in the head-to-head, which breaks the tie in their favor.
However, I’ve also made a few manual adjustments, due to preference and instinct:
To be honest, Dignitas’ victory over C9 feels a bit like a fluke, especially since it came on blue side, which is running a 69% win rate in North America.
As well, CLG has had a surprisingly good showing, given that they are running their mid in the jungle and their owner in mid. Once they have a full roster, it’s hard not to imagine them performing even a bit more strongly.
It’s hard for me to put two of my favorite teams (EG/XDG) so low down, so I’ll be keeping an eye on power rankings. For now, however, I’m leaving them there. But CST had both of its wins against the bottom 2 ranked teams, and CRS had 1 win against one bottom 2 team and the other against CST. I foresee potential for variability. Everything below spot 3 seems up in the air at this point.
With so few games, it’s easier to see the North American Scene as much closer to a Tier System than a straight up power ranking.
C9 was extremely dominant last split due to unorthodox compositions, but the international scene has made the meta even more fixed. If they will suffer, it will be because of enforced orthodoxy. However, after their creative Teemo pick, it’s hard to see that being a concern.
TSM looks like a whole new team with Bjergsen leading them. Bjergsen has dominated mid with a combined 30-8-16 for a KDA of 5.75, second only to CST’s Shiphtur, who has only died twice in a combined 18-2-9 for a KDA of 13.5.
Who did I think would be the #3 spot? XDG or EG. But CLG has looked extremely strong, and that without their full roster. They may even be able to compete for the #2 spot!
All of these teams have their strengths and weaknesses. But roster changes aside, they’re all teams who were around last season (albeit in the EU in EG’s case), so they all have the potential and the experience. They also all have adapting to do.
Curse has been a perennially disappointing team, but has stuck around.
Coast had an extremely strong spring split in Season 3, followed by a weak summer split.
Dignitas has looked weaker and weaker in the NA with each season, but their victory against Cloud9 makes them only the third NA team to ever beat them in an important match.
XDG took second place and did not hold a losing record vs any team — Cloud9 included — last split. One of their losses thus far was to C9, and they are still adjusting to the swap of their jungle and ADC. They have the potential, they just need the execution to work out.
EG is the most untested of the teams, but their bot lane and jungler have been strong together for years.
I don’t feel that any team seems a level below the others, so I’m leaving Relegation Tier open until we have a bit more data.
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.
You can see his other work here: