The 2022 League of Legends World Championship is taking a short break before the Group Stage continues. While we wait for the teams to gear up again, let’s take a look at the jerseys teams are wearing to celebrate the largest tournament on the League of Legends calendar. Every year, many teams try their best to come up with a design that stands out for the occasion. The spectrum of design quality is once again wide. Some teams knocked it out of the park with their design, while others seemingly didn’t pay much attention at all.
Which teams celebrate Worlds well? And which design stays true to the identity of the team with strong branding? Here are all the Worlds 2022 jerseys ranked from worst to best.
Unfortunately, not all teams showed up to Worlds 2022 with a new jersey. Whether this was due to a lack of resources, a lack of will, or something else, we don’t know. The jerseys worn by DWG KIA, DRX, JD Gaming, Top Esports, EDward Gaming, Royal Never Give Up, Beyond Gaming, CTBC Flying Oyster, and DetonatioN FocusMe are not part of this ranking.
#15 — Gen.G
As a fan of rap music, I always appreciate a reference to Eminem. However, I don’t think the sentence “There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti,” from the legendary song Lose Yourself is a particularly good source of inspiration for shirt design. Gen.G tried to make their Worlds 2022 jersey all about the tiger but failed the execution of it hilariously. The orange and black blob looks like it has been drawn by a child. It is the type of jersey a proud parent would wear, not a jersey remotely fit for a championship stage.
It’s genuinely disappointing because, as Gen.G’s Overwatch League team Seoul Dynasty shows, the tiger lends itself to fantastic royal branding opportunities. Gen.G CEO Arnold Hur acknowledged on Twitter that the team had missed the mark, so hopefully, the team wears something more fitting for the event next year.
#14 — Saigon Buffalo
Saigon Buffalo stepped away from their color, red, to make almost their entire jersey white. Only the collar and the end of the sleeves give a hint of the brand. Oh, and the giant logo in the middle of the chest, of course, furiously staring at you to make sure you know which team is playing. The Saigon Buffalo Worlds jersey is boring and lacks any sense of elegance or iconic branding.
#13 — T1
The Worlds jersey of T1 edges it out of Saigon Buffalo only marginally. T1 pulls ahead mostly because the combination of black and white is easier on the eye than red and white are. In that regard, T1 made a smart choice to not stick to its red logo. T1 scores another point for their golden logo with the three stars above it, signifying their three world championship titles.
But that’s where it ends. On the stage, T1’s jersey is just a black shirt with a bunch of sponsors slapped onto them. The organization tried to commemorate Worlds 2016, which they won and was also held on American soil. The SK telecom sign in the middle of the jersey tries to evoke nostalgia, but the attempt falls flat.
#12 — Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses’ Worlds jersey is probably the most-discussed one of the year. The white/green combination and hexagonal motif quickly inspired many jokes about the Ninja Turtles. I look at it more as a Power Ranger-esque design, or perhaps my fellow Millenials will feel more acquainted with the short-lived series Galactik Football. Evil Geniuses went for a bold design choice. For a few people it works, but I really don’t see it. The colors don’t work together, the patterns feel off, and there is nothing royal about the jersey. Whatever the Evil Geniuses brand is supposed to be, this jersey does not convey it.
#11 — 100 Thieves
For a company that now largely markets itself with apparel and streaming culture, which both need a good understanding of branding, 100 Thieves really didn’t pay much attention to their Worlds jersey. 100 Thieves is bringing their regular LCS polo to Worlds but, importantly, someone went into MS Paint and changed the chest area and belly area from black to an off-white color with two simple clicks. I actually think the shirt design could be quite nice if the red/black band didn’t yell “100 THIEVES” at me the entire time. It still wouldn’t hit the regal tones of a world championship, but as a regular polo, it would have passed the test.
#10 — Fnatic
When I was fourteen years old and needed new swimming trunks, I thought it would be cool to buy a pair that had blue lightning all over them. Thirteen years later, I realize that it wasn’t cool at all, but teenagers do what teenagers do. Fnatic apparently didn’t outgrow that phase. The LEC team is leaning into the often-spammed Twitch chat message “⚡SPAM⚡THIS⚡STATIC⚡TO⚡HELP⚡FNATIC⚡” with the jersey design, including a tweaked logo. Black and orange pair well together and the distribution of the colors is fine, but the design itself misses the mark for a world championship jersey.
#9 — Chiefs Esports Club
You’ll need to look twice to make sure that Chiefs Esports Club’s Worlds 2022 jersey is indeed a different one than their regular jersey. But, indeed, the Aussies rocked new apparel on the international stage. The scribbles on their jersey have been changed and the coloring of them leans more toward shades of gold as well. It’s a fun and playful design that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If I saw someone wearing this jersey I wouldn’t think that I was in the presence of a champion, though.
#8 — G2 Esports
G2 Esports has found its approach to their jersey for a while now. The main jersey color is black, and each year there is a new variation of a red and white streak going from the right hip up to the left chest, to G2’s logo. At Worlds, red is exchanged for gold. For Worlds 2022, G2 also went with a thunderbolt motif. What sets this jersey apart from Fnatic’s one, however, is that the design feels much more deliberate. I still wouldn’t call it a great jersey, but it’s passable and stays true to what G2 has done so far with its designs.
#7 — LOUD
LOUD didn’t get the memo that a light grey pattern on a white shirt is nearly invisible when stage lights shine bright on the jersey. If you look closely, you’ll see that the design actually includes a globe to honor the world championship event. Overall, though, LOUD’s jersey holds up well. The organization has traded its regular black and green combination for white and green. It’s a risky move because, as the Evil Geniuses jersey illustrates, these colors can be jarring when the balance is off. But LOUD has done well. Although the Worlds theme is lost on stage, the jersey does a good job representing its brand for a special occasion.
#6 — Rogue
Let’s address the worst thing about Rogue’s jersey first: it yells “ROGUE” on the chest. Rogue doesn’t have a sponsor to fill the chest area with. Despite consistently performing well in the LEC, Rogue also does not have a recognizable brand, which is why the organization is merging with KOI, and presumably why they feel the need to wear a gigantic nametag everywhere.
Other than that, though, Rogue’s jersey is solid. The LEC champion is fully leaning into the location of Worlds 2022, the United States of America. Rogue’s blue color is paired with clear but elegant touches of red and white to pay tribute to the American flag. On top of that, the stars of the American flag fly across the shirt. Rogue did a good job balancing elements that quickly become tacky when overdone. It gives Rogue’s players a superhero vibe. The jersey would be a better fit for an LCS team, but since the Rogue brand doesn’t stand for something iconic, honoring what makes Worlds 2022 unique was the best possible choice.
#5 — MAD Lions
MAD Lions went for a chic look for their Worlds 2022 jersey design and they did a pretty good job. The white and blue colors, referring to the cote of arms of MAD Lions’ home city Madrid, are balanced well across the design. On the torso, the vertical stripes evoke the feeling of a fitted blouse. The sleeves lean heavier into the blue with bigger and bolder patterns, but they don’t dominate the outfit. MAD Lions has been trying to portray themselves as wearers of higher-end esports apparel and this jersey captures that goal well.
#4 — İstanbul Wildcats
Like Rogue, İstanbul Wildcats paid homage to the location of Worlds 2022 with their jersey. The difference, however, is that İstanbul Wildcats entered (and by now exited) the tournament in the Play-In Stage, held in Mexico City. The Wildcats’ jersey pays tribute to the culture of their hosts with a pattern portraying adorned skulls and flowers, referring to Día de Muertos. The design still captures İstanbul Wildcats’ colors, blue and yellow, but incorporates them well into the overall design. The jersey of the Wildcats doesn’t say much about what the team itself represents, but it holds up really well overall.
If the Wildcats qualify for Worlds next year, though, it would be great to see them make the wild cat in their logo a prominent part of their design. There are many great ways to make the fearsome cat larger than life. Just don’t do it the Gen.G way.
#3 — Cloud9
Cloud9 understood the assignment well. Their Worlds jersey slaps. The Cloud9 logo lends itself well to being magnified, balancing straight lines with simple curves. The upper circle draws your attention to the team’s logo effectively without being too forceful about it. Cloud9’s colors are boldly represented but evenly distributed. The ripples on the white areas of the jersey make it look like a marble pattern, providing a rich feel to what otherwise would be boring empty spots. Cloud9’s Worlds 2022 jersey design is strong, iconic, and celebrates the organization on the international stage.
#2 — Isurus
Latin American champions Isurus have been eliminated from Worlds 2022, but they would have been in the grand final of the jersey championship. Like Cloud9, Isurus understood that simplicity can be a powerful tool when utilized well. The team changed its colors and sponsors to gold to highlight the prestige of the world championship. Underneath that, Isurus’ jersey is decorated with repeating horizontal patterns that celebrate the heritage of old native Latin American tribes. The dark blue and gold colors are rightly proportioned, the design is simple but effective, and it proudly shows what Isurus brings to the world championship.
#1 — GAM Esports
Superlatives fall short for GAM Esports’ Worlds 2022 jersey. There are many facets to what makes this jersey the best one of the tournament. Firstly, using a gold/black base to build your design on is a cheat code when executed well. Black makes gold jump out more and gives it an extra layer of royalty.
But the thought behind the design of the VCS champions’ jersey is what makes this jersey the crown jewel of the event. On the sides of the torso, GAM Esports’ shirt depicts a Lac spreading its wings. This mythological bird from Vietnamese folklore is said to have guided the people of Vietnam through difficult times. To this day, many Vietnamese people call themselves Lạc Việt. On the chest, in faded grey so as to not be oppressive, GAM’s jersey depicts a pattern iconic for Đông Sơn drums. These drums were part of some of the earliest cultures in an area that is now Vietnam. The imagery on these drums depicts stories of that time. The oldest Đông Sơn drums date back approximately 2600 years.
In the center of it all rests GAM Esports’ golden logo. The jersey captures millennia of Vietnamese cultural history and honors the country’s heritage beautifully.
All images provided by Riot Games.