LoL Worlds 2021 Power Ranking

LoL Worlds 2021 Power Ranking

As the League of Legends 2021 World Championship is gearing up to kick off, it's time for one last bit of summary analysis on all of the teams. Everyone loves power rankings, and in a sea of pundits we wanted to offer you the cold, unfeeling, unbiased perspective of a quantitative model. Let's see how things shake out.

Ranking methodology

Before we get to our actual rankings, a few points about our methodology:

  • These rankings were created by simply simulating a massive group stage where each team plays each other team.
  • Thus, it creates a fair comparison of how each team stacks up against each other, but does not reflect our prediction of the final outcomes of the tournament. Tournament structure, the longer path from Play-Ins, which exact teams face each other, and other logistical nuances mean that the tournament may play out completely differently.
  • Since these are hypothetical matches, there's no such thing as side selection advantage. So, we ran our prediction for either possibility and took the average.
  • As the matches actually play out in reality, that information will get incorporated into the model, and so these matchup predictions will change (probably not by much) to make sure we always have the most accurate predictions before each match


Since we're simulating this tournament as a massive, 22-team round robin, our power ranking for each team is simply that team's expected record:

Team Name Wins Losses
Royal Never Give Up 13.1478 7.8522
PSG Talon 12.8792 8.1208
FunPlus Phoenix 12.8337 8.1663
EDward Gaming 12.762 8.238
DWG KIA 12.5215 8.4785
Gen.G 11.7756 9.2244
Fnatic 11.5449 9.4551
MAD Lions 11.3499 9.6501
Galatasaray Esports 10.7416 10.2584
LNG Esports 10.5773 10.4227
Rogue 10.561 10.439
T1 10.3867 10.6133
Cloud9 10.331 10.669
100 Thieves 10.2002 10.7998
Team Liquid 10.0343 10.9657
Hanwha Life Esports 9.5324 11.4676
DetonatioN FocusMe 9.3451 11.6549
Unicorns of Love 9.1379 11.8621
Infinity Esports 8.9996 12.0004
Beyond Gaming 8.0799 12.9201
PEACE 7.6833 13.3167
RED Canids 6.5751 14.4249

Or, if you prefer pretty graphics:

Alacrity's LoL Worlds 2021 Power Ranking

For good measure, here are a few more summary plots, showing each team's probability distribution of records in this hypothetical round robin, and our matchup table (though they may be a bit hard to read with so many teams).

Alacrity's LoL Worlds 2021 Power Ranking Record Distributions
Alacrity's LoL Worlds 2021 Power Ranking Matchups

The market

While odds markets don't supply explicit power rankings, they do offer odds on the outright winner of the whole tournament. Teams with lower odds are more likely to win in the market's view, so we can use that as a proxy for ranking:

LoL Worlds 2021 Outright Winner Odds

FPX are the market favorite, paying out 3.00 and thus implying a 33% chance of winning the whole tournament. Our model still places them highly, but the top five teams are all very close to each other and we think that FPX aren't the clear top dog.

In particular, we believe that PSG Talon are being severely underrated. Odds put them at decidedly middle-of-the-pack, while they're our sleeper pick for one of the top contenders.

It's worth noting that the odds on the market reflect each team's chances of winning Worlds - which would include their potential path to get there. Odds on Play-In teams are inflated because they have to get through to the Main Event first before even being on even footing with other teams. Our rankings don't account for this, and are simply meant to be a summary of overall team strength, so this comparison isn't exactly apples-to-apples.

Outright betting

You may have noticed in those offered odds that various teams have been lumped together into the same payout. For example, UOL, GS, and RED are all at 251. It's unlikely that any model would treat them as all being of the same exact caliber, so the takeaway here is that oddsmakers often get lazy on extremely unlikely and hard-to-predict tail event scenarios and just throw rounded numbers out.

We'd advise against actually placing bets of this nature, at least if you're looking for value. If you want to take a 250-to-1 rider on your favorite team, go for it! From an expected value perspective, however, it's a bad idea. As we just mentioned, oddsmakers throw out rounded big numbers to get your attention, but the result is an absolutely massive vig:

On a normal match, oddsmakers typically charge a vig of around 6%, which means that they're paying out 6% less than they should for a "fair" bet. Here, the vig is about 29.5%, or almost five times higher than normal! This pretty much guarantees that the EV of any one bet is negative.

In short: betting on outright winners is tempting due to the potentially huge payouts, but the value in doing so is severely stacked against you.

There will definitely be plenty of opportunity to bet on individual matches, however, so keep up with our suggested bets page to never miss a beat!

For more in-depth match analysis, discussion, and predictions, as well as quantitative betting strategy tips, subscribe to stay in the loop! You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook for quick prediction snapshots of upcoming matches. Alacrity is your fastest path from simply gambling to beating the market. Stay ahead of the game!