He went straight to G5 during the moment VP was talking about awakening and to mirror Lucci’s awakening. It was a narrative choice, not a powerlevel one. The man laid him out cold in one real attack while not even using haki.
Lucci is a lot more balanced and may be able to take on Zoro better than King (considering things like kami-e and CoO) but in a direct matchup with King he's still on a disadvantage. There's no much point in arguing "low/mid/high" if he simply can't injure him or outlast him.