Content of the article: "Crowdsourced 2020 Worlds Power Rankings: The Results!"
A couple days ago, I posted a quick and simple survey asking people to choose which of two Worlds teams they thought would win in a head-to-head matchup. It was a great success, with almost a million results and even briefly causing my website to crash. And since people want to see the numbers, here is Reddit's Worlds power rankings:
|Unicorns of Love||3.000|
I use a method known as Maximum Likelihood to turn all of the raw data into a rating and then I took the natural log of the numbers to produce a more human-readable result. The absolute number doesn't matter as much as the difference between the two. For instance, the relative difference between DAMWON and G2 is about the same as that between JD and DRX (~0.32).
Thoughts on the rankings
Just like last year, the top two ranked teams are extremely close, with China's Top Esports being only a 2% favorite over Korea's DAMWON Gaming. Interestingly enough, when put head-to-head, the former team was picked 58% of the time, but DAMWON was aided by voters being much more confident about their chances versus their fellow Korean teams as opposed to Top against the other Chinese representatives. Europe's G2 Esports are slightly further behind, though they are still within half a point of the frontrunners and were 2:1 favorites over every other team at Worlds.
After the champions of the top three regions, there is a six-way logjam between the remaining Korean and Chinese teams and Fnatic. All of them are within one point of each other and no team ended up being more than 60% favorites over the one below them. They mostly ended up in different groups this Worlds, which means that we ended up having a fairly balanced draw this year, at least according to Reddit. Of course, this means that it'll be harder to tell if these six were in the right order or not, but they might end up meeting in the playoffs.
Following the playoff favorites, we have the two remaining European teams as well as TSM, North America's champion. And yes, that's right, you guys put Rogue over TSM by a margin of 0.06. All three certainly have chances to move on, but they might have to face some uphill battles. Speaking of Europe, Rogue-MAD Lions had the greatest discrepency between people's votes and final percentages when all other teams are included. Usually people are more certain of teams within a region up facing each other (since they had recently played), but fully three-quarters of you chose the Rogue when you had the chance. However, their relatively equal preference against the other 20 squads meant that with regards to the final power rankings, it is only considered a 58-42 matchup.
I'd like to take a moment here to talk about TSM. People seemed to irrationally love them or irrationally hate them much more than they did any other team. On one hand, almost 15% of people picked them over Top Esports, which was good enough for 6th overall. On the other extreme, they were only favored 93% of the time against the bottom 7, compared to 97% for the two teams around the North American squad. This ultimately appeared to work out in TSM's favor, as they finished ahead of the MAD Lions despite the latter actually being preferred in the head-to-head.
The only other case of a team ahead in the one-on-one losing out were North America's 2nd and 3rd seeds. FlyQuest, thanks to them winning 3-2 in the playoffs, won the individual battle against Team Liquid, but people ultimately liked the veteran team more when paired off against the rest of the field, allowing them to jump ahead one spot to 13th. They're both about 1.5 points behind the top 8, so they both have a lot of proving to do before they can make playoffs.
With the demise of the LMS as we knew it and the absense of Vietnam, the Unicorns of Love are our sole entrant not in the top 4 regions given any shot against those teams. There's a two-point difference between 14th and 16th, and as such they're given decent (but not great) odds against Team Liquid and FlyQuest, but are comfortable favorites over the remaining minor regions. When given a direct choice, the Russian representative wasn't given much of a chance against any team ahead of them (probably due to the lack of faith in any of the smaller regions), but their great performance against everyone below them put them in a reasonably respectable spot.
Finally, we have the bottom 7 teams, all competing in play-ins. These are always a bit of a crapshoot, since most voters wouldn't be as familiar with them as they would their own region's teams, but ultimately it shook out such that Turkey's Supermassive was slightly ahead while very little faith was given to Latan America's Rainbow7 or Oceania's Legacy Esports. Of note is that the two PCS representatives, Machi Esports and PSG Talon, were virtually tied despite the former going 5-3 in two best of 5s and the latter missing three players for their first few matches.
Some meta commentary
There is a term in polling called the Lizardman's Constant, which came from a survey that purported to show that 4% of Americans believed that their leaders were secretly reptillian. The actual answer is obviously far lower, but the lesson to be learned is that about 2-5% of the time, depending on the methodology and audience, people will choose a "wrong" answer, either deliberately or by accident. This adds a baseline of noise to the poll, and is most evident when comparing the very top and bottom teams. For instance it's extremely unlikely that 1 in 40 people who participated actually believe that Japan's V3 Esports is a better team than the pre-tournament favorites, but that is what the raw data purports to show. This generally doesn't make too much of a difference (unless maybe if you're TSM), though it might obscure the true perceived gap between the top 14 and bottom 8 teams at Worlds.
One important thing to note is that the percentages do not indicate how often one team will beat the other, but instead the odds that they're "better". Upsets happen and the worse team on paper does sometimes win. If Supermassive were to play Top Esports 200 teams, they would almost certainly win more than once, despite what a naive reading of the percentages would say. I've seen people use these numbers for predictions in the past, and my suggestion would be to add in a fudge factor of some sort if you wish to do something of the sort.
I have once again been astounded by the amount of participation I've gotten in this ranking, and I'd like to thank the tens of thousands of you for contributing a few minutes of your time. I have plans on doing a weekly version of this when the LCS and LEC starts up next year, so keep your eyes out!
About the data
There were a total of 939,274 votes cast from 46,312 different users. For each person, they were given 25 matchups to vote on. Each team appears 2 or 3 times, weighted such that teams from NA, EU, KR, and CN did not face teams from other regions as often. Within each paring of teams there were between 1774 (Suning vs. Rainbow7) and 6563 (Fnatic vs. TSM) votes, giving a margin of error of +/- 2 points at most for each individual match.
- 2020 Worlds Group Draw Simulations
- Teams that can still qualify and qualified teams for worlds
- European League, North American League & APAC North | Rainbow Six Circuit: Stage 1, Week 3 | July 6 to 10, 2020
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