LoL Worlds: ranking all winning teams based off their dominance

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A question that has often intrigued and puzzled LoL fans across the globe. Which World Championship winning team was the most dominant? If we run down the list of all teams that won Worlds, realistically there are only two to three options at first glance. That is however not entirely fair as all teams deserve a chance to at least be looked at. With that in mind, we here at DraftBuff have collected some statistics to provide facts to the table. However, as with every sport and esport, facts only show one half of the coin. We will also take a look at each team’s playstyle, rosters and the manner in which they would win games. For the actual data, please scroll down to the bottom of the article. Without further ado, here is our ranking!

9. Fnatic (2011)

xPeke (Top) / Cyanide (Jungle) / Shushei (Mid) / LamiaZealot (AD) / Mellisan (Support) / Wewillfailer (Sub)

Photo courtesy of Fnatic

Unfortunately for Fnatic, their Worlds win is considered by most fans as the least impressive as significant for several reasons. Not only was LoL still in its infant stages but the World Championship was so small that it was dubbed as taking place in “Phreak’s Basement”. It also didn’t include any South Korean or Chinese and consisted mainly of European and North American ones. There was also no clear meta at the time and for the most part teams were allowed to play what they wanted. While it does remain a historical achievement, Fnatic’s 2011 Worlds run simply cannot measure up to any other team’s run. Statistically the event was so far ago that data for it is very scarce and hard to find, so most of it wasn’t able to be found. We do however know that Fnatic had an 8-5 record which is the weakest of all other teams that have won Worlds so far. This is mainly due to their struggles in the Group Stage and barely making it into the Knockout Sage.

8. Taipei Assassins (2012)

Stanley (Top) / Lilballz (Jungle) / Toyz (Mid) / bebe (AD) / MiSTakE (Support)

Photo courtesy of Newtalk

Although TPA’s 2012 run is for the most part more respected by fans and analysts, partly because TPA wasn’t even seen as a potential winner, they run into the same problem as Fnatic. Lack of traceable data as well as their run taking place in LoL’s early years leads to their low ranking on this list. TPA does have the lowest number of games for any World Champion, having only played 9 games in total. Their record of 7-2 however is the second lowest with only Fnatic’s 2011 record being worse. And considering the fact that there was a meta formed in 2012 and TPA’s run was considered an upset where they would beat several tournament favorites, they are by default more dominant than Fnatic was in their run.

7. SK Telecom T1 (2016)

Duke (Top) / Bengi (Jungle) / Blank (Jungle) / Faker (Mid) / Bang (AD) / Wolf (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

One of the weirder Worlds runs, SKT was considered a potential candidate in 2016 but wasn’t really considered a heavy favorite. The stats heavily back this up as they are to date the weakest World Champions not counting Fnatic or TPA. Their 14-6 game record is overall weaker than TPA’s win record, while their gold differentials are only better than Samsung Galaxy’s 2017 run (again excluding TPA and Fnatic due to lack of data). Although not the best team in terms of Objective and Vision Control, they are in the upper echelon for both. Their Vision denial did remain splendid however.

In terms of their roster, the SKT 2016 line-up was a mixed bag. Faker was still considered by many as the best mid laner and player in the world. The bot lane of Bang and Wolf was regarded as one of the best and most consistent in the world as well. While Duke in the Top Lane wasn’t outright considered the best Top Laner at the event, he was in the upper half within his role and was a strong player. The question mark came in the jungle where there was a lot of inconsistency with Bengi and Blank sharing a lot of stage games. The manner in which this SKT line-up won games was also not the greatest. They would often have questionable early games which would drag out quite a few of their matches. For the most part their playstyle would revolve around their solo lanes gaining leads in the early game while the bottom lane would farm up and scale for late game. While not the flashiest playstyle, it was effective as despite their clear weaknesses as a team, they were able to ultimately win the event.

6. Samsung Galaxy (2017)

CuVee (Top) / Ambition (Jungle) / Crown (Mid) / Ruler (AD) / CoreJJ (Support) / Haru (Sub)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

One would assume that to be a World Championship winning team, you must dominate your opponents. This was not the case for Samsung Galaxy. To date the team boasts the worst gold differentials of any team (excluding Fnatic and TPA due to lack of data) that has won Worlds. Their average game time while not the worst is nothing noteworthy either. Although for the most part their Objective and Vision Control were both good, their lack of focus on Dragon was something to take note of.

Overall the SSG roster was a strong one but individually the players weren’t considered the best. The only exception possibly being Ambition in the jungle as he was highly respected all across the world for his immaculate and clean play. Despite not being considered the best, the roster did have strong individual players, although Crown was somewhat of a question mark and this affected the team’s playstyle. They would often be slightly handicapped by their reliance on Malzahar and doing their best to find a comfort champion for Crown. Nevertheless assuming Crown did fine in lane and nothing terribly wrong would happen, Samsung Galaxy would simply out teamfight their opponents in the mid to late game. With Ambition as the linchpin of the squad, it’s no wonder that while they weren’t flashy or explosive, Samsung Galaxy was effective and very methodical.

5. FunPlux Phoenix (2019)

GimGoon (Top) / Tian (Jungle) / Doinb (Mid) / Lwx (AD) / Crisp (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

It is pretty crazy to think that FunPlus Phoenix is only 5th place on this ranking, but that’s how close the Top 5 are in terms of dominance. While FPX has solid objective control, average game time and gold differentials, other teams that have won Worlds simply outclass them in one way or another. FPX does have a lower win record of 14-4 which is due to the fact that their Group Stage didn’t go so smoothly and they did need time to ramp up and increase the level of their play. By the finals they were a dominant machine but in the early stages of the event, they didn’t seem like favorites at all. It should also be noted that for a team that won Worlds, FPX had terrible Vision Control.

Their playstyle is fairly simple and does give off Samsung Galaxy vibes sprinkled in with some Chinese aggression. Centered around Doinb and his shotcalling, FPX would gain leads through superior macro, a mechanically gifted bottom lane and a stable Top Laner who could play the weak side of the map. Although their roster was not considered to be made up of the best players in the role, their jungler Tian was possibly the only exception as he was both really smart as a player but also incredibly mechanically gifted. All in all while FPX is not Top 3 in this ranking, they are in some ways a stronger and better version of 2017’s Samsung Galaxy.

4. Invictus Gaming (2018)

TheShy (Top) / Duke (Top) / Ning (Jungle) / Rookie (Mid) / JackeyLove (AD) / Baolan (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Quite possibly the hardest team in this ranking to grade, Invictus Gaming is the definition of a mixed bag. Statistically their dominance may not be felt so hard. They have the fourth best record at 14-3, one of the best gold differentials and the second fastest average game time. Their Objective Control was the strongest at Worlds 2018. However similarly to FPX, their Vision Control was atrocious and even worse than FPX’s.

The interesting part when analyzing IG is that while statistically their dominance doesn’t seem as big and they did take some games to ramp up, in most of their wins they would utterly dominate opponents through sheer laning. This is especially impressive because over the years LoL has become less reliant on individual play and more reliant on team play. The fact that a team with muddled up communication (due to language barriers) and terrible vision control was able to win Worlds mainly through individual outclassing is simply put, an incredible achievement. This is the main reason why IG ranks slightly higher on this list than FPX. Both teams are polarizing but if we look at sheer dominance, IG does take the win in that regard. Their roster also was stronger on paper, having the two best solo laners at the event, one of the best jungler and one of the best AD Carries. Their only big question mark was Baolan at support but even he was able to play well and initiate incredible engages in multiple games for his team.

3. SK Telecom T1 (2013)

Impact (Top) / Bengi (Jungle) / Faker (Mid) / Piglet (AD) / PoohManDu (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

The reason why this SKT line-up is higher than both FPX and IG is simple, they were statistically better in some aspects and were able to win games in quick and dominant fashion in an era of LoL where it was very unlikely to win fast due to a slower meta. Their average game time being tied for 3rd best and their very strong gold differential per minute and objective control is a testament to that.

The roster itself was considered as being one of the strongest at the event, having players who were Top 3 in the roles. Faker had just bursted onto the scene and was hailed as a prodigy. And these assumptions were entirely spot on as he would go on to become the best overall player in LoL’s history. SKT’s 2013 playstyle was somewhat similar to IG’s playstyle, sheer domination over opponents through lane and skirmishes. The big difference however was that SKT had strong vision control and strong communication, something which IG lacked. Although not the most dominant SKT roster, the 2013 one is certainly one of the best to ever win Worlds.

2. SK Telecom T1 (2015)

MaRin (Top) / Bengi (Jungle) / Faker (Mid) / Easyhoon (Mid) / Bang (AD) / Wolf (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Although SKT in 2015 boasts the highest win record at Worlds to date, only losing one game in total, they are in 2nd place on this list simply because Samsung White outclasses them statistically. Nevertheless there is no denying that this roster will go down in history as one of the most dominant LoL has ever seen.

Not only was their line-up considered top notch but they would win a lot of their games just by being better in all aspects than the other team, not by using any “cheese” strategies or doing crazy mechanical outplays. They were simply better than any other team at the event and if it wasn’t for the KOO Tigers taking a game off of them in the finals, they would have achieved the first perfect run at Worlds.

1. Samsung White (2014)

Looper (Top) / DanDy (Jungle) / PawN (Mid) / Imp (AD) / Mata (Support)

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Statistically speaking Samsung White is far and away the most dominant team to ever win the World Championship. They boast not only the biggest gold differential at 15 minutes but also the highest average gold differential per minute. Their average game time is also the shortest of all teams to win the event and their vision control was spectacular. The only statistic they are not the most dominant in is their total win rate. In that aspect, they are in 2nd place with a 15-2 record. However, it should be noted that one of their two losses which was to Team SoloMid is heavily considered by fans and some analysts as a fluke. Not only were Samsung White already comfortably leading 2-0 in the series but they would also draft a weak team composition which had next to no wave clear and would easily lose if put behind even just a little. Stats are stats and the record books will always show the 15-2 record, but it is worth considering that a big asterisk is attached to that record.

The eye test would pretty much follow up on the statistical look for the team. Samsung White’s roster at the time consisted of the best Jungler and Support duo at the time, who were also heavily considered the best at their role individually. Their AD Carry and Mid Laner were also considered one of the best in their roles. The only suspect role was the Top Lane occupied by Looper at the time. However even despite critics, Looper was effective at doing his job and being a great team player. Samsung White’s playstyle was fairly simple: suffocate the enemy team through Vision Control and out skirmish them all around the map. This would result in fairly quick and dominant victories as no other team at the 2014 World Championship was able to counter this playstyle, not even their sister team Samsung Blue who would lose 0-3 against them in their Semifinals match.

All in all, although the 2015 SKT roster did have a slightly higher win rate, no other team to date has been able to replicate the pure dominance and control that Samsung White displayed in their Worlds run.

Statistics:

A note that for Objective Control and Vision Control, we used stats compared to the winning Worlds team’s opposition at their respective World Championship. Comparing direct stats in this aspect would not be entirely accurate due to objectives and vision changing a lot throughout LoL’s different seasons and metas.

Fnatic (2011):

Win% – 8-5 (61.54%)

GD@15 – N/A

GDM – N/A

Average Game Duration – N/A

Objective Control – N/A

Vision Control – N/A

Notes – Struggled in Group Stage.

Taipei Assassins (2012):

Win% – 7-2 (77.78%)

GD@15 – N/A

GDM – N/A

Average Game Duration – N/A

Objective Control – N/A

Vision Control – N/A

Notes – Lesser sample size of games due to skipping the Group Stage.

SK Telecom T1 (2013):

Win% – 15-3 (83.3%)

GD@15 – N/A

GDM – 402

Average Game Duration – 31:32

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed, Towers Lost

Vision Control – N/A

Notes – Were challenged by OMG and NaJin Black Sword but dominated everyone else.

Samsung White (2014):

Win% – 15-2 (88.24%)

GD@15 – +3,125

GDM – 555

Average Game Duration – 29:13

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed, Towers Lost, Dragon %, Baron%

Vision Control – 2nd in Wards per Minute, tied for 1st in Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Did not have a match or series where they looked challenged at all. The clear best team at Worlds 2014.

SK Telecom T1 (2015):

Win% – 15-1 (93.8%)

GD@15 – +1,375

GDM – 371

Average Game Duration – 33:43

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed, Towers Lost, Dragon%, Baron%

Vision Control – Tied for 9th in Wards per Minute, 2nd in Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Not the most dominant stats but weren’t challenged either by any team. Clear best team at Worlds 2015.

SK Telecom T1 (2016):

Win% – 14-6 (70%)

GD@15 – +881

GDM – 230

Average Game Duration – 42:26

Objective Control – 2nd in Towers Killed, 2nd in Towers Lost, 2nd in Dragon%, 4th in Baron%

Vision Control – Tied for 7th in Wards per Minute, 1st in Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Had a few very close series in the Knockout Stage. Statistically not the most dominant team at the event.

Samsung Galaxy (2017):

Win% – 13-3 (81.25%)

GD@15 – +14

GDM – 190

Average Game Duration – 34:58

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed and Towers Lost, 5th in Dragon%, 1st in Baron%

Vision Control – 2nd in Wards per Minute and Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Did not have the most dominant games and had a small reliance on Malzahar as a champion.

Invictus Gaming (2018):

Win% – 14-3 (82.35%)

GD@15 – +1,205

GDM – 294

Average Game Duration – 30:05

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed, Towers Lost and Dragon%, 2nd in Baron%

Vision Control – Tied for 12th in Wards per Minute, 12th in Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Terrible Vision Control for a World Championship team but other than that fairly dominant in all other aspects. Won most games through sheer individual outclassing.

FunPlus Phoenix (2019):

Win% – 14-4 (77.78%)

GD@15 – +1,763

GDM – 251

Average Game Duration – 31:16

Objective Control – 1st in Towers Killed, Towers Lost, Dragon%, Baron%

Vision Control – 9th in Wards per Minute, 10th in Wards Cleared per Minute

Notes – Terrible Vision Control for a World Championship team but dominant in all other aspects. Struggled in the Group Stage however.

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