Note: the following article reflects the writer’s personal opinions, not those of Break the Game’s staff, therefore it should not be taken as factual.
Often times in competitive League of Legends, the teams that win the most get talked about the most. The ones that don’t win are easily forgotten. But among them are teams that might not be remembered too well by most fans, but they were actually good despite not getting great results. Here is my list of Top 5 teams that are rarely talked about but they were actually good during their prime (this list is in no particular order):
1. NaJin Black Sword
Easily my first pick for this list, NaJin Black Sword is never mentioned anymore which is a real shame. In Season 3, they were the team that finished 1st in the Korean Circuit Points standings which meant they went to Worlds as Korea’s 1st seed. SK Telecom T1 suffered only one loss against non-Korean teams at the Season 3 World Championship to OMG. But aside from that one loss, the only team that challenged SKT during that tournament was in-fact NaJin Black Sword. They were able to bring them to five games and despite losing 2-3, NaJin deserves more respect than what they are given.
Often remembered with disdain because of their collapse post-Worlds, Lemondogs was a strong domestic European team in 2013. A team of young players at the time, Lemondogs finished their regular season in 1st place and managed a 2nd place finish in the playoffs, only losing to Fnatic. Despite what happened to Lemondogs after their roster disbanded, it can’t be denied that they were an underrated team that deserves to be remembered more fondly of.
3. Team Vulcun
The team also known as Vulcun Command or later on as XDG Gaming, met a depressing end when they got relegated by LMQ in 2014. The reason why I choose to use the name Team Vulcun is because they were at their best when using that name. While not necessarily a great candidate for this list, Team Vulcun is never talked about, and that makes me wonder why that is. Even though they were never a super good team, they were consistently in the Top 3 of the NA LCS throughout 2013. Not to mention at the Season 3 World Championship they were able to upset Fnatic and take a game off of them, a team that made it to the semifinals of the tournament. Compared to the level of teams we have now, Team Vulcun wasn’t that special. But at the time of their existence within the NA LCS, they were a solid Top 3 team.
4. Positive Energy
A former LPL champion, Positive Energy is an interesting team. Having relatively unknown players throughout its glory times in 2013, it also had a few familiar faces such as superstar ADC Zhu “NaMei” Jia-Wen and former Team WE top laner Peng “Aluka” Zhen-Ming. To the Chinese audience Positive Energy is not that unknown, but to western fans they are, simply because China wasn’t easily accessible to the west back in the early years of League. Being a domestically good team, Positive Energy finished 2nd place in the Spring Split of the 2013 LPL before winning the Summer Split in a thrilling five game series against OMG. Unfortunately for PE, they were unable to make it to Worlds, underperforming in the Regional Qualifiers. Had they qualified and done well at Worlds, they would have a better reputation at least within the west.
5. NaJin Sword
This squad should not be confused with NaJin Black Sword. While Black Sword is the successor, the original NaJin Sword was captained by none other than the legendary Yoon “MakNooN” Ha-woon. Despite what their domestic performance would imply, as well as their Season 2 Worlds performance, NaJin Sword was a fearsome team when they bring their A game. And the main reason for that was MakNooN’s dominance in the top lane. Sadly, that’s what made them exploitable and easily beatable. If MakNooN was shut down and unable to pressure his lane, the team would crumble.