T1 seen during the Red Bull League of Its Own in Berlin, Germany on December 9, 2023.
© Stephanie Lindgren/Red Bull Content Pool
esports

Masterminds of the Rift: The best League of Legends teams of all time

Who's left the biggest mark on the Summoner's Rift? From T1's dominance to the rise of underdogs, dive into the epic teams that have shaped League of Legends esports history.
Written by Jack Stewart
5 min readPublished on
League of Legends (LoL) is among the most prestigious esports ever created. For the last 14 years, the game has led the way with multiple record-breaking events. While new legacies are still being built every year, these seven teams have already earned their place in history.
01

T1

The most successful team in LoL history. Winning one World Championship is an extraordinary accomplishment, but with the help of the greatest player of all time, Faker, the South Korean organisation has remarkably collected four Summoner Cups. Two of them in consecutive years, another feat no other team has accomplished.
Event winner T1 as seen at League of Legends World Championship in Seoul, South Korea on November 19, 2023.

T1 won their fourth World title last year in 2023

© SonStar/Red Bull Content Pool

It’s tough to single out one line-up as T1’s (Formerly SK Telecom T1) greatest. The Worlds wins of 2015 and 2016 both featured the same core of genius jungler Bengi, miraculous midlaner Faker plus the lethal bot lane combo of Bang and Wolf. While Duke was a superb toplaner in 2016, there was something special about prime MaRin in 2015 with his ridiculous individual talent.
02

Samsung

Another South Korean entry. We’re combining the multiple Samsung iterations into one here and in doing so have the only other organisation to win more than one Worlds trophy.
In 2014, Samsung had two very strong sister teams in Samsung White and Samsung Blue who met in a tantalising Worlds semi-final match-up. However, it was complete domination by White who won 3-0 and went on to defeat Star Horn Royal Club 3-1, largely thanks to the iconic bot lane duo of Imp and Mata.
Blue and White eventually combined into Samsung Galaxy who almost stopped SK Telecom T1’s (SKT) consecutive Worlds wins in the extremely close 3-2 final in 2016 but they would have their revenge a year later, annihilating SKT 3-0 to historically hand Faker his first Worlds final loss.
The Samsung White team as seen at the League of Legends World Championships in 2014.

Samsung White dominated Worlds 2014

© Riot Games

03

EDward Gaming

Another storied organisation, EDward Gaming (EDG) joined the LoL pro scene in 2013 and have had a major impact since then. There is a ridiculous level of competition in China yet, no organisation has matched EDG’s record of six LPL titles.
Despite their domestic dominance, EDG were known as international chokers for a long time. The organisation crashed out of Worlds at the quarter finals stage on four separate occasions and didn’t even make it past the Group Stages in 2017. The 3-0 loss to Fnatic in Worlds 2015 was a particularly bitter blow for EDG after the team won the first-ever Mid-Season Invitational earlier that year, shocking SKT 3-2 in an iconic victory.
The EDG team as seen at the League of Legends  Mid-Season Invitational in 2015.

EDG surprised everyone when they beat SKT in 2015

© Riot Games

However, against all odds EDG finally realised their true crowning moment in 2021. In a thrilling 3-2 final, the LPL team remarkably defeated favourites Dplus Kia thanks to a masterful performance from midlaner Scout - potentially one of the most underrated players in LoL history. However, even more under appreciated is legendary support Meiko who stuck with the org for an astonishing nine years and played a large role in both the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and Worlds triumphs.
04

G2 Esports

Next up is European giants G2, the region’s most successful team. Fnatic were previously the kings of European LoL and even won the first-ever Worlds back in 2011 but the esports scene has changed drastically since then. G2’s joined the EU League Championship Series (LCS), which is now the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) in 2016 and have since dominated Europe to such a degree that they recently doubled Fnatic’s European title tally with a record 14th LEC triumph.
However, G2’s greatest accomplishment came in 2019 when the organisation closed the infamous “gap” between Eastern and Western teams when they won MSI, defeating North America’s Team Liquid in what was the fastest international best-of-five ever.
G2 Esports as seen during the League of Legends World Championship Final in Paris, France on November 11, 2019.

G2 appeared in front of a partisan home crowd at the Worlds 2019 final

© Stephanie Lindgren/Red Bull Content Pool

The iconic roster of Wunder, Jankos, Caps, Perkz – who bravely roleswapped from mid to bot – and Mikyx were not only one of the strongest rosters ever formed but also one of the most innovative, constantly catching opponents off guard with unorthodox strategies such as the funnelling tactic in the Spring Playoff final and surprise picks like Pyke top. While the famous squad sadly lost the Worlds final on home soil in a 3-0 hammering at the hands of FunPlus Phoenix, G2’s heroics that year will still live on in the memories of many.
05

Cloud9

Hopping across the pond to North America, it’s Cloud9 who stand out among the rest. They may have one fewer title than Team SoloMid, who no longer compete and they may not have reached an international final like Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming have managed at MSIs. However, none have been as consistent as Cloud9.
Cloud9 wins the League of Legends League Championship Series Semi Finals in Raleigh, NC on April 09, 2023.

Cloud9 won their 6th LCS title in Spring 2023

© Jaylnn Nash/Red Bull Content Pool

The North American LCS was changed forever after Cloud9 gained promotion in Summer 2013. The famously fun-loving team of Balls, Meteos, Hai, Sneaky, and LemonNation dominated North America with a ridiculous 25-3 record before crushing TSM 3-0 in the Playoff Finals. North American teams have struggled at the World Championships yet Cloud9 have always bucked that trend. They usually became the region’s last hope internationally, reaching the quarter-finals on five separate occasions and the Worlds semi-finals in 2018 - the furthest any North American team has made it.
06

Taipei Assassins

Capping off this list is possibly the biggest upset in LoL history. The Taipei Assassins (TPA) may not have had the continued, consistent success like other teams on this list but their heroics and incredible underdog story deserve to be acknowledged. While some hardcore fans knew how good TPA were even before Worlds 2012, most fans knew very little about them and assumed they wouldn’t touch tournament favourites Azubu Frost or Moscow Five.
A member of the Taipei Assassins team as seen during a League of Legends competition in 2014.

TPA are a crucial part of LoL’s esports history

© Riot Games

While many will remember Toyz’s legendary Orianna, the true strength of TPA was their exemplary teamwork and incredible tactical knowledge. In fact, a lot of their strategies laid down the foundations for the modern macro game we still see today. Their impact on LoL esports cannot be ignored.