Our 2015 LCS Brand Power Rankings
The 2015 League of Legends season ready to go, with Riot Games preparing to launch the 2015 of its League Championship Series in the U.S. and Europe on Jan. 22. This year, things are looking a little different at the top of the scene, however. New ownership regulations have forced some teams to change their names, and these new brands are causing quite the stir.
Some of the names in the LCS have the weight of a decade of history behind them. Others, including a few that were created a mere days ago, lack both history and a certain sense of, well, good taste—to put it mildly.
With this nominal shakeup, it's time to take a hard look at whose winning and losing in the all-important battle for best team-name in League of Legends. We asked our esports team to lay down the judgement on each of the league's name and logo (where applicable). For brevity's sake, we kept to four responses for each entry, but expect to see appearances from Ferguson Mitchell, Samuel Lingle, Ian Barker, William Turton, Jared Wynne, Callum Leslie, and Thomas Watts.
Behold, the Daily Dot's 2015 brand power rankings.
1. Copenhagen Wolves - 63/70
Ferguson (10/10): This is how you name a team. Sounds professional, has an animal name, which is never a mistake, and shouts out to the team’s origins. I would feel comfortable wearing one of their shirts literally anywhere, it’s completely neutral and has an awesome wolf on it. This could be an NFL team and you wouldn't know the difference.
Ian (10/10): A strong classic mascot marries a sense of place and has a baby. That baby is “Copenhagen Wolves.” This could just as easily be kick-ass title of a Danish soccer side. The trademark howl only helps their case.
Samuel (8/10): A callback to traditional sports naming scheme. And why mess with something that works? Save for the part where the team doesn't actually play home games in Copenhagen, which is why they lose points.
2. Team Liquid - 62/70
Ian (9/10): Team Liquid has always had one of my favorite names. Crisp white jackets and powerful pony logo aside, it’s a name that just speaks to finesse and deft execution. And, for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about the Water Temple every time I hear it…
William (10/10): Liquid has branding down to a science. Have you seen those jackets?
Callum (9/10): Liquid really is the branding isn't it? Established, instructive, clean. Just lovely.
Samuel (7/10): In the next generation of Pokémon, Team Liquid will attempt to revive the legendary horse pokémon Nony to revive the one true game. Imagine Machamp’s APM. But seriously—the name itself isn’t great, the horse has nothing to do with liquid, but their branding is great. The package works because they've been at it for so long.
3. Fnatic - 55/70
Ian (8/10): Maybe it’s their association as one of the oldest and most storied organizations in esports. Maybe it’s their color scheme. I don’t know. All I know is that Fnatic has never struck me as anything other than a solid name for an esports team.
Jared (9/10): They took a risk with the purposeful misspelling and it works. I dedicate these points in the name of Harley “dsn” Orvall’s AWP, may it rest in peace.
Samuel (8/10): A strong, single-word name with a unique color scheme and style. It’s recognizable because it’s lacking a letter yet still speaks to the craze of sports fandom.
Ferguson (6/10): Missing an “a” makes all the difference. I get that this team name was made in a different time, but I can’t help but feel like this brand needs to grow up and embrace proper vowel usage. The logo makes you think that they’re called “FiC,” which they aren't in any context.
4. SK Gaming - 52/70
Samuel (7/10): The legendary Schroet Kommando, founded in 1997, rebranded before it was cool. The original professional esports team, their brand is forever associated with the sport itself. Their logo is simple and recognizable. The name—now an acronym with no official meaning—is at least more international than the original German.
Ferguson (6/10): SK is another old brand that nobody quite understands. It’s not memorable, it’s awkward to say, and ultimately clashes with the Korean SK Telecom teams. Logo is post-modern trash.
Jared (10/10): These points are given in honor of Emil “Heaton” Christensen and Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson.
T-5. Counter Logic Gaming - 47+?/70Ferguson (8/10): Unique name with a great acronym. But, it is the longest of the bunch, and shortening to the acronym makes fans more familiar with CLG than the appreciable Counter Logic-element.
Ian (7/10): While it sounds like an 80’s sci-fi movie title about unrealistically attractive computer hackers, the acronym “CLG” has some strength to it. Paired with a dark color scheme and some eponymous administrative and in-game behavior, the name is nothing if not accurate.
William (10/10): Somehow, someway, whoever named this team managed to pick a name that would perfectly describe their roster decisions for years to come. Brilliant.
Thomas (?/10): This rating had to be given back due to numerous fines over the past year.
T-5. Unicorns of Love - 47/10 or 41/70Ferguson (11/10): A great name that is instantly memorable and hilarious. Obviously completely immature, but I could see them keeping the name and adopting an aggressive rebrand to be completely tongue-in-cheek. This is the kind of name that makes grabby headlines and demands attention.
Ian (9/10 or 3/10): Feel free to direct any hate at my Twitter, but I stand by my score. Unicorns of Love is the kind of thing that embarrasses your opponents when you’re winning. If UoL takes home the title, then they get a 9/10 for trouncing more serious-sounding, self-important opposition. Otherwise the whole squad comes across sounding like bronies who should spend less time on their Rainbow Dash fan-fic and more time practicing Zed.
Samuel (1/10): Rainbow Dash isn’t a unicorn, Ian. She’s a pegasus.
7. Cloud9 - 46/70Samuel (8/10): Hai Lam wanted a name that spoke towards a positive attitude, something seemingly rare in esports, and landed on one that works. The clean and recognizable logo works well, even if its a bit saccharine.
Jared (2/10): Seemed like a solid name until it became clear that there was no space between “Cloud” and “9.” I give it one-and-a-half misused semicolons out of five.
William (9/10): The logo is a cloud made out of three 9’s. Revolutionary.
8. Team Coast - 45/70
Callum (8/10): Short and to the point with a nice thematic logo. Deducted a point for the logo being uninspired.
Ian (7/10): As much as I want to hate this name, there’s something appropriate about the imagery. Swooping logo, fluid motion, and a sort of “cool factor” make the name acceptable in my book. Then again, I just used the phrase “cool factor” so perhaps it’s best if I don’t comment on matters of taste.
Samuel (3/10): No one likes the “team” thing. Their logo is a blue copy of the Carolina Hurricanes, but more bland. It’s not a terrible effort, but below average at best.
9. Team Dignitas - 42/62
Ferguson (4/10): Sounds Latin, and shares a name with a Swiss assisted-suicide organization, and starts with Team, but also a solid brand with a rich background. If I owned this team, the first thing I’d do is just rename it to “Dignitas.”
Samuel (6/10): It is Latin, you uneducated pleb. It basically means the end total of your reputation accumulated through your life. Which has nothing to do with aliens. I’m not sure why the logo is an alien. Alienware isn’t even their title sponsor.
William (6/10): It’s okay, but they really missed an opportunity for ODEE to be head cheerleader and mascot.
Jared (0/2): In honor of the team’s performance at IEM Cologne.
T-10. Winterfox - 40/70Ian (10/10): I love foxes. I love winter. Winterfox sounds like the name of a James Bond movie. It’s sharp, strong, eludes to the team’s prowess, and strongly branded. No complaints, next subject.
Ferguson (7/10): Rolls off the tongue, is unique, and has an animal in it so automatically gets an upgrade. But then you remember that vile, legendary Livejournal troll by the same name.
William (5/10): Foxes are cool, but winter is not. I had to wear four layers of clothes today to keep my body from shutting down. Winter sucks. Springfox would be much better.
Thomas (2/10): How will a winterfox effectively compete in the Summer Split? Poor timing, or massive rebranding required.
T-10. Gambit Gaming - 40/70
Ferguson (7/10): It’s a good name marred with the loss of Moscow 5, which is ultimately better. As a backup brand, Gambit is all well and good, though undirected. The logo is solid, but could also be used for literally anything else.
Ian (8/10): I’ll agree with Ferg, Moscow 5 was a much better name. But as far as re-brandings go, Gambit is up there. Strong identity, makes me think of X-Men, and suggests that any opponents are in for a whole bag of tricks. I can’t think of a better name for a team that’s featured Darien and Diamondprox in its history.
William (3/10): Has anyone ever found it odd that Gambit randomly has a Pringles sponsorship? What are Pringles up to? I don’t trust that Pringles mascot, and I don’t think he’s a big esports fan either.
Callum (4/10): Without the context of a Russian-themed name it just looks weird and communist.
12. Gravity - 33/70
At the time of publishing this article, Gravity does not have a website, a Twitter account, or a logo. Eight teams still did worse.
Callum (5/10): I liked the Curse branding, and it's sad to see that gone from the LCS. Lack of a logo makes it harder to truly judge the branding, but the name is cute.
Samuel (4/10): I’m all about Gravity. It’s my favorite fundamental force. But this is one of those cliched team names a 12-year-old thinks is cool, like choosing a random Latin word for conquest or victory. +1 point for Gravity Cop. I’d watch that show.
Ferguson (5/10): From what I’ve deduced, this is neither the Romanian team of the same name, nor the StarCraft 2-focused Team Gravity also based in North America. Generic, unmemorable, and ripe for puns if they end up at the bottom of the rankings.
William (9/10): Clearly, as my colleagues have missed, this team name is a homage to the great Sir Isaac Newton, an avid LoL player.
13. MeetYourMakers - 31/70Ian (2/10): The MYM recipe: 1 cup Little League team name (selected by the kids), 2 cups cringeworthy teen-demon logo, and just a dash of never-achieved-much-success-in-anything. About as intimidating as a pillowcase full of My Chemical Romance albums.
Samuel (4/10): One of the old iconic esports organizations that just doesn’t hit the mark. The whole symmetry of MYM or mYm or however you prefer to do it is cool, but the name itself and lack of spacing in the name is as ludicrous as the weird emo devil that represents them.
Ferguson (4/10): It’s definitely not the worst team name, though the missing spaces are cause for concern. I dread a future WhereEverybodyWritesThingsLikeThis. Also Supa Hot Crew was my favorite name last year and the world is just a little colder now that they’re gone.
William (6/10): Ferg is right, I thought this team name was a Jaden Smith tweet when I first saw it.
Jared (0/10): One point for every appropriate spacing element.
14. H2k-Gaming - 30/70
Samuel (2/10): A name seemingly drawn from the glory days when teams were more commonly associated with in-game tags than actual names. I’m all for old school, but c’mon. A dash? What does H2k even stand for?
Ian (8/10): Going with my gut again, H2K has always struck a positive chord with me. It suggests some cryptic combination of strength and technicality that’s hard to capture without venturing into the campy. I don’t know what it means, and I don’t think I ever will. The mystery is too good to let go.
Ferguson (3/10): Ultimately, people will think this is a joke on Y2K, and we all know how that ended. Also, I have no idea what that logo is but it looks like it belongs on a sign next to the highway.
T-15. Team SoloMid - 29/70
Ian (3/10): I’m putting my foot down here. Calling a team, “Team Solomid” is like calling a basketball team, “Team Point Guard.” It was a bit coy and clever when the game was getting started, but now it just sounds like a holdover from a time when “Rock Solid” was an acceptable moniker.
Samuel (4/10): The name isn’t great, but understandable considering it was built off Reginald’s guide business. The logo and colors are Yankee-esque, a perfect fit for the team’s owner. But the brand itself is woefully underutilized—the biggest name in League doesn’t live up to its own hype.
Ferguson (5/10): I’m torn because, while the name is unique and completely nails the game they play, it has a capital letter right in the middle, a capital sin that pains me to write every single damn time. Should’ve called themselves Solo Mid Gaming (SMG) and had submachine guns everywhere on their branding.
Thomas (10/10): TSM’s massive fanbase bribed me, friends.
T-15. Team Impulse - 29/70
Ian (8/10): I love esports team names that invoke the cerebral nature of digital competition. Anything expressing fluidity, quick-wittedness, and cunning is going to get my vote. “Team Impulse” may skirt the line in this category, but as soon as you use it in casual conversation, you know they got it right.
Callum (4/10): I'm really not a fan of inaccurate acronyms, it's lazy and silly. The logo is dull and doesn't give me any sense of a theme or philosophy.
Thomas (5/10): This reeks of “quick, copyright something since we’re out of ideas.” Or a decision made on impulse.
Ferguson (6/10): I kinda like the new name, and despite the "Team," upgrading from an acronym is always a good thing. Unfortunately, the new acronym, TiP, is kinda bland and just begs for jokes about “penetration.”
17. Team ROCCAT - 27/70
Ian (4/10): I really want to like this name, particularly with a strong logo and striking jerseys. But the truth is, landing half way between “rocket” and “cat” makes it hard to take the name seriously, particularly in all-caps.
Samuel (6/10): This is why esports exists. So many people didn’t even realize ROCCAT was a peripheral company before being exposed to this brand. The lion logo is also a plus.
William (6/10): I didn't know that ROCCAT made peripherals, but now I do. I probably won’t buy them though.
Thomas (2/10): CAPITALIZATION IS OVERUSED AND SILLY.
18. Team 8 - 26/70
Ian (4/10): They’re either acknowledging their inevitable end-of-season placement or Teams 1-7 were reserved for the Bible camp olympics across the lake. Come on guys.
Ferguson (2/10): Team 8? 8 what? 8th place? 8 Mile Drive? Literally makes no sense, especially now that the NALCS fits ten teams.
Samuel (1/10): TeamATE, Ferg. Get it together. The play on words is the only thing that keeps this ahead of the tier with all the names that capitalize letters at random.
Jared (8/10): Get it? Do you get it? See what I did there?
Ferguson, revised (0/10): If I wanted puns, I’d hire Phreak to follow me around all day.
19. Giants Gaming - 25/70
Samuel (5/10): Isn’t it supposed to be GIANTS! Gaming? Puny humans and their lower case letters.
Ian (5/10): This falls on the weaker side of sports tropes. “Hey, guys! What sounds intimidating but lacks any distinctive character?” And “Giants” was born
Thomas (3/10): A predominantly Spanish team...Giants. I’m not seeing the connection.
Jared (2/10): Sounds like they’re compensating for something.
20. Elements - 12/70
Samuel (2/10): One of those corny, touchy-feely names that tries to make some kind of weird statement about the team concept. Obvious Captain Planet jokes aside, the logo looks more like one for a student’s personal web design company than a sports team.
Ferguson (2/10): Elements is not only generic and uninspiring, but commits a cardinal sin in that it’s boring. Alliance at least sounded team-y. Elements sounds more like the name of a yoga studio.
Ian (3/10): Is this a cologne by Parks and Recreation’s Dennis Feinstein? I’m pretty sure there’s a place called “Elements” near my house that sells wheatgrass and ethically manufactured candles.
William (1/10): Through a drunken stupor and self loathing, Elements enters the battlefield!
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr