The task of ranking the top teams across worldwide competition is a tough and subjective one, especially in a relatively young esport, but is imperative in understanding the flow of the scene. Storylines crafted by wins and losses can often get lost in a sea of results, and a history of rankings helps map out teams’ journeys through peaks and troughs.
This series of our rankings uses data from May to the present, encapsulating the majority of APEX Season 3 along with other tournaments happening in the East. The last month has seen essentially no games played in the West due to the World Cup group stages, but removing the matches in April from the equation does change the layout of the top ten.
In addition, this month we are integrating the Chinese scene into our World Rankings for the first time. After the consistent performances of LGD in the OWPS Spring, MY's stellar performance against the Korean teams in the Nexus Cup Summer, and to a lesser extent China's perform in the World Cup, it's clear that the region can finally hang with the rest of the world after being utterly dominated throughout 2016.
The top ten may look broadly similar this month due to the lack of matches played, but with APEX Season 4 underway and Contenders Season One about to kick off, expect the World Rankings to look dramatically different when we return in September.
The format of our rankings looks back at the evidence to analyse tournament finishes, teams beaten, and the context of the matches. There is a large emphasis on recent games and teams beaten, while offline matches and larger tournaments carry more weight - though in regions where those opportunities don’t exist, reasonable comparisons must be made.
This is not a ranking of the best teams over the last two months, nor is it a list of those on a current hot streak. The over.gg World Rankings aims to use the evidence from the last two months to determine who can reliably be called the current best teams in the world.
1st: Lunatic-Hai [-]
- 0-1 in APEX Season 4
- 1st APEX Season 3
Overall record: 6W - 2L (Map record: 23W - 11L)
After two consecutive APEX victories and reports that they will represent Seoul in the Overwatch League, Lunatic-Hai's goal is to stretch out their period of dominance. They already own the title of the best team of all time in Overwatch, overtaking Rogue and EnVyUs after their now eight month spree at the world number one spot.
An epic final saw them overcome Kongdoo Panthera to keep their place on top of the world, dominating on Escort and Hybrid maps. At various points they were a hair's breadth from failing to defend their trophy but, as with their run in APEX Season 2, it seems that they can always find a way to claw back into the match.
Their first outing in APEX Season 4 has just seen them lost a series to MVP Space, a result that nobody would have predicted given the enormous gap between the two teams in previous seasons. Failing to react and deal with the incredible Doomfist coming out from OneFact, often paired with PharMercy, and a smidgen of hubris, adding Leetaejun into the starting lineup to give him practice against the weakest team on paper, cost them their first game of the season.\
It is by no means enough to rock Lunatic-Hai from their spot on top of the world. This upset will certainly give teams food for thought however, proving that meta shifts and new heroes can open up opportunities to take down titans. Lunatic-Hai should still be able to make playoffs against RunAway and Meta Athena; they have shown across previous seasons to have a singular ability to craft and reshape their style.
With the new meta change and the incredible consistency it requires to win back-to-back championships, it would be almost unreasonable to expect Lunatic-Hai to take a third APEX title. Nevertheless they appear once again to be the favourites. At some point they will falter and be eliminated. The question is how far they can stack their trophy cabinet before that day comes.
2nd: Kongdoo Panthera [-]
- 1-0 in APEX Season 4
- 2nd APEX Season 3
Overall record: 5W - 2L (Map record: 21W - 11L)
Kongdoo Panthera were agonisingly close to winning APEX Season 3. Their sheer muscle and ability to crush on Control maps gave them the first map win, and both teams were unbelievably clutch on Assault maps. The latter were impossible to separate, with ties broken on Control to give Panthera another two map wins.
Unfortunately they could not go toe-to-toe with Lunatic-Hai on Escort portions of maps, dominated by superior engage/disengage tactics and ultimate economy. Despite staying ahead for the majority of the final, Lunatic-Hai stole the trophy away from Rascal and birdring in the last moments.
For APEX Season 4, Kongdoo Panthera have made significant additions and improvements to their roster. The most notable is Bdosin, the standout Zenyatta player who made his name with wNv.KR, who should add some serious star power to their backline if integrated properly. The second notable name is Curious, another former player from wNv.KR who will have the unenviable task of attempting to fill for Rascal or birdring.
Kongdoo Panthera do not have an OWL spot currently and teams across the globe are actively trying to recruit Koreans for their top teams. Panthera players are likely to be first priority for OWL teams and the organisation will struggle to hold onto these star players without the financial backing. It seems eminently possible that Panthera will have players poached throughout APEX Season 4 as the OWL contract window closes.
If Kongdoo Panthera can keep up their performance, integrate Bdosin in and roll with the punches, they should have another chance to dethrone Lunatic-Hai - right before they go and represent their country in the Overwatch League.
3rd: Afreeca Freecs Blue [-]
- 1-0 in APEX Season 4
- 2-1 in Bigfile Battleroyal
- 3rd APEX Season 3
Overall record: 8W - 2L (Map record: 30W - 9L)
Afreeca Freecs Blue stay in third place this month, partly due to a lack of games from those breathing down their neck. They finished in bronze at APEX Season 3 and have started well in Season 4, but they have few wins over top tier teams.
AF.Blue will be hard pressed to stay in world number three and place as highly in APEX without DongHyun and especially Mano, as he was a truly talented tank whose aggression powered the team’s style.
Their replacements, Kalios and Brek, have a lot of pressure to perform. Brek in particular is a tank with little experience at the top level, having played on weak APEX teams throughout his tenure in Korean Overwatch. AF.Blue have clearly seen potential in these two players, but they will face stiffer competition this season overall in APEX playoffs.
Their recent loss to Meta Athena, albeit not in a large or particularly serious tournament, is nevertheless worrying. AF.Blue have landed the easiest group in APEX Season 4 and seem a lock to progress to playoffs, but once there the real challenge begins.
4th: Rogue [-]
- 1st BEAT Invitational Season 2
- 1st TaKeOver 2
- 9th/12th APEX Season 3
Overall record: 11W - 2L (Map record: 35W - 17L)
With their dominant pre-APEX record in North America wiped from the relevant time period, Rogue still have a strong case to be rated highly but are only marginally ahead of EnVyUs. They edge the rankings this month based on teams beaten, having taken down two of our top ten consistently with a 3-0 record against eUnited and a 2-0 record against Immortals.
In APEX, despite falling in groups it is now undeniable that they were in with the two best teams in the world. The lamentable seeding seemed evident at the time and APEX has borne out this theory; though Rogue’s performance against the two was admirable they did fall in groups and are likely to pay the price for that in the next month.
Rogue’s record is now reduced to battering Western teams - which they appear to take pleasure in doing with frightening consistency. Contenders offers them another opportunity to wreak some more havoc in North America, but now serious competition is on the horizon with EnVyUs’ return.
The meta also appears to be slowly pushing against them. Though the tide is not fast, it seems to be moving inexorably away from their patented triple dps, and they are certainly mortal with NiCO or aKm on D.Va. Should the meta change to Reinhardt, PharMercy, or Doomfist, Rogue are likely to struggle further.
Contenders is far more competitive that any tournament Rogue have played on NA soil. With Immortals and EnVyUs both seemingly at APEX level of ability, it seems impossible that Rogue will escape contenders with their unbeaten record in the West intact.
The sheer fact it remains now is mind-blowing.
5th: EnVyUs [+1]
- 4th APEX Season 3
Overall record: 5W - 3L (Map record: 18W - 14L)
EnVyUs finished fourth in APEX Season 3 but it was a messy run. Their players were worn down by months of play from Korean hotels and still managed to showcase a strategic style that utilised their pieces well, but they still had close wins against tier two teams in Korea and didn’t seem on the level of the upper echelons.
If EnVyUs can rediscover their motivation now that they are back in the US, the team could easily dominate Contenders and unleash EFFECT on unsuspecting North American teams. Their goal over the next two months is to climb back to the top of their region - a region that has been looking decidedly French at the peak recently.
Immortals and Rogue should certainly be on the rough level of EnVyUs and series between the three of them will make for some incredible games. Contenders should be a serious elite battle for the throne of North America as they take each other on for the first time in any tournament.
The true new kings of NA will be decided.
6th: Luxury Watch Blue [-1]
- 5th/6th APEX Season 3
Overall record: 3W - 2L (Map record: 10W - 8L)
With APEX Season 2 results now taken out of the equation, Luxury Watch Blue loses a strong finish from their record and is overtaken by EnVyUs.
Luxury Watch Blue have made some of the biggest changes moving into APEX Season 4. Both supports have been changed out, refreshing arguably the weakest point of LW Blue in the past. Gambler and Luna have both parted ways to make room for Sylph and either Pine or JJoNak.
With Mano also on the roster, presumably starting given his desire to move away from AF.Blue, and partnered with Fl0w3r and Saebyeolbe, the roster looks formidable on paper.
Luxury Watch Blue’s supports are a true unknown as yet, but the rest of the team have shown incredible performances in the past. LW Blue remain the most meta resistant team in APEX. It’s a pity for LW Blue that the meta has been primarily Winston dive since APEX Season 2.
LW Blue have the pieces and APEX Season 4 is their platform. The questions remains: can they string together a coherent gameplay and execute?
7th: Immortals [-]
- 2nd BEAT Invitational Season 2
- 1st Contenders Season Zero NA
- 1st Contenders Season Zero NA Qualifiers Day 2
- 9th/16th Contenders Season Zero NA Qualifiers Day 1
- 7th/8th Overwatch Monthly Melee May
- 5th/8th CyberPowerPC Spring $5K Invitational
Overall record: 24W - 1D - 7L (71W - 25L)
Immortals have rapidly improved since adding Kariv and Fate to the roster, developing their team as they head towards competition in the Overwatch League. They have not played any games since our last month’s rankings, and remain comfortably in the seventh position.
Immortals not only dominated the tier two North American competition - which is looking fierce in itself with FaZe, Kungarna, and FNRGFE - but then brought that performance against Rogue and pushed them to the limits.
Judging by their form throughout Contenders Season Zero and then their games in the BEAT Invitiational, Immortals should be a strong favourite to make playoffs in Contenders Season One and could quite possibly take games from the gods of NA, Rogue and EnVyUs.
As Immortals also ramp up to the Overwatch League signing window, there is a strong possibility that their roster actively improves as Contenders goes on. Immortals will be looking to sign players to the bench or even make improvements to future-proof their lineup, and Contenders is the perfect proving ground.
8th: eUnited [-]
- 1st Contenders Season Zero EU
- 1st Contenders Season Zero EU Qualifier Day 1
- 2nd TaKeOver 2
Overall record: 19W - 2D - 3L (61W - 16L)
eUnited remain the strongest team in Europe by a considerable margin. They dominated domestic European teams at TaKeOver 2, not dropping a single map, and then blasted their way through Contenders Season Zero.
As with every team heading into Contenders Season One, it is hard to predict how a potential meta shift could affect competition. The addition of Doomfist and experimentation with tank-heavy anti-dive compositions around the world could throw a wrench in their plans.
After the roster shuffle in Europe, Misfits’ new roster with Logix, CWoosH and Zuppehw might potentially contest them for the top spot. Cloud9 have an outside chance at developing and challenging them. eUnited are a known quantity; they are the team to beat.
9th: LGD [NEW]
- 3-0 in Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Summer
- Did not qualify for Nexus Cup 2017 Summer
- 2nd Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Spring
Overall record: 14W - 2L (Map record: 34W - 11L)
LGD did not win the largest tournament in China this spring. The team that did, 1246, are nowhere to be seen on our world rankings, despite two Chinese teams making the list in ninth and tenth.
LGD beat both 1246 and MY to the ninth spot this month based on their phenomenally consistent record throughout the Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Spring. They were unbeaten throughout the season until the Grand Final, plowing through the competition until 1246 went on their own miracle playoff run from seventh to first.
Their wins over every team in China, most of the time appearing to be considerably stronger than their opponents, make LGD a strong contender for the best Chinese team currently.
With the Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Summer currently running in Week 2, LGD find themselves 3-0 with a revenge win over 1246 2-0.
10th: Miraculous Youngster [NEW]
- 3-0 in Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Summer
- 1st Nexus Cup 2017 Summer
- Qualified for Nexus Cup 2017 Summer
- 5th Overwatch Premier Series 2017 Spring
Overall record: 14W - 5L (Map record: 33W - 17L)
The team that is right behind them in China - or possibly just edging ahead based on current form - is Miraculous Youngster. Though MY finished in fifth place for OWPS Spring, their performance in the Nexus Cup against Korean competition was incredible and they have started OWPS Summer with wins over three strong teams.
MY are most well-known for crushing RunAway along with every other Korean team in the Nexus Cup with their anti-dive composition. Utilising Reinhardt and Zarya, often alongside Reaper and McCree, MY have crafted a style that allows them to shred tanks that want to engage.
MY were previously a strong contender for the top team in China prior to OWPS Spring, but issues including roster problems resulted in them slumping during the season. They now appear to be on top form and are one of the favourites to take OWPS Summer in first place.
After over a year of being Korea’s whipping boy, China has developed its new talent and is now on the world stage to compete.
During this period the new results were from:
- APEX Season 4
- APEX Season 3
- Overwatch Premier Series: Summer
- Bigfile Battleroyal
- Nexus Cup 2017 Summer
- Overwatch Premier Series: Spring
Special thanks to urns for creating our series banner!