With the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship finished, it’s time for Average Gatsby to reevaluate which North American teams are on top. Like the European editions of Power Rankings, I decided to add in a few up and coming teams who haven’t gotten the spotlight that most of the teams currently in the top eight have. Since the IntelEM World Championship was the most recent Challenger Circuit event, I weighed that event more heavily than any other event.
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 3rd
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 2nd at the IntelEM World Championship
As the top performing North American team at IntelEM Hanover and second place finisher overall, Dignitas has reassumed their throne as the top North American team, a title they haven’t held since their victory at IPL 3. With IPL 4 just around the corner, Dignitas looks like a clear frontrunner going into that event. A tip for teams up against Dignitas: Beware of MVP of Hanover Voyboy’s Lee Sin.
2. Counter Logic Gaming
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 1st
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 3rd at the IntelEM World Championship
Counter Logic Gaming put on an impressive performance at the IntelEM World Championship, narrowly losing to Moscow Five in the semifinals. The team has been living together and competing in the Korean Champions tournament and although they’ve had some mixed results online, CLG has always performed well at live events and will be contenders at IPL 4.
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 5th
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 5th at the IntelEM World Championship
Though the match wasn’t streamed, Curse vs. Moscow Five in the group stage at the IntelEM World Championship was the closest Moscow Five ever came to defeat in the tournament. With star player Pobelter able to attend IPL 4, Curse might finally be in a position to take a top three spot at a Challenger Circuit event.
4. Team SoloMid
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 2nd
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 7th at the IntelEM World Championship
After their crushing defeat in the group stage at the IntelEM World Championship and the departure of The Rain Man from the team, things looked bleak for Team SoloMid fans. However, with the addition of their new coach and Dyrus replacing The Rain Man, the team looks strong in practice. Team SoloMid will have to prove the changes have been worth it at IPL 4.
5. V8 eSports
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 6th
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 7th at IntelEM New York
V8 eSports put on an impressive performance during the IPL 4 qualifiers, taking first place over Against All Authority and earning the 5th seed in the tournament. V8 has been competing online fairly regularly and might be in a position for an upset at IPL 4.
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 4th
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 2nd at MLG Providence
While the recent roster change to Team SoloMid might help the team, Epik’s roster changes don’t look like much of an improvement, having at best mixed results in recent practice matches. With ClakeyD and Mashme replacing Dan Dinh and Dyrus only a few weeks before IPL 4, the team will have put in serious practice to get ready for that event.
7. mTw.NA (formerly A Picture of a Goose)
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 6th
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: Qualified for IntelEM Kiev (Could not attend)
The team formerly known as Goose missed out on both the IntelEM World Championship and IPL 4, but they haven’t slowed down their relentless quest for number one on the North American Ranked Teams ladder and playing in online tournaments. Now that the team has got a sponsor in mTw, they’ll have better chances of making it to future live events regardless of location.
8. Team Legion (Formerly RFLX)
- Current Challenger Circuit Rank: 9th
- Most Recent Challenger Circuit Result: 4th at MLG Providence
Another missing Challenger Circuit team from IPL 4, Team LGN has nonetheless continued to perform well in online events. Their recent Prized Event victories include the most recent go4lol and the NESL Premier League Qualifying finals, so it seems like only a matter of time before Legion makes it to another Challenger Circuit event.
Up and Comers:
4Not: The addition of Dan Dinh to the team appears to have produced some positive results, in addition to a significant boost in popularity for this long-running but relatively unknown team.
Choppa in Da Car: Choppa has been quietly winning Prized Events for a long time, but with their recent impressive performances during the IPL Killing Spree, this team might be on the verge of a breakout.
Monomaniac eSports: Monomaniac looked extremely strong in their games against Moscow Five in the IPL 4 qualifiers, but with their recent roster changes, as well as getting crushed by Curse in the 3rd/4th place match, their win against Moscow Five may have been more determined by unequal ping than anything else.
With seven North American teams headed to IPL 4, all eyes will be watching to find the best in the region. The action starts April 6th, so be sure to check out the League of Legends competitive site for the latest updates and live coverage from the event.
Agree? Disagree? As always, let us know who you think the best teams in North America are on the forums.