The stats behind the top players from the first week of Worlds
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Riot World Championships, the $2.2 million tournament that brings together the best League of Legends teams in the world, is the chance to judge the top talent from every part of the globe as they face off in actual games on the Summoner’s Rift.
We took a look at individual player performance in the group stage to see just who truly performed at a world-class level. While the sample size was small, using Creep Score Differential, Damage statistics, jungle farming numbers, and ward statistics paint a valuable picture of performance at worlds.
Some things to keep in mind: Champion selection has a big impact on statistics. For example, jungle Kha’Zix deals nearly twice as much damage as Lee Sin on average, so players who favor Kha’Zix will have higher damage numbers. Also, damage numbers tend to be much higher for teams winning a game than losers, so squads like Samsung Galaxy White often have inflated stats due in part to the state of their games, not just their incredible skill level.
Also note that the sample sizes are small, so its hard to draw too much from these tallies. Take them with a giant grain of salt. Any supposed conclusions from the data are anything but—this is just an interesting look at how things have played out so far on the world stage.
Over the past two seasons, no European top laner has performed as well as SK Gaming's Payne in his lane, and he showed that skill off in Taiwan, taking an 8.83 CS advantage at 10 minute and holding it into the late game. Payne played mostly tanky champions like Dr. Mundo. So his 363.04 DPM doesn’t stand out, but his 20.50 percent damage share shows how important it was to his team. Star Horn Royal Club top laner Jiang “Cola” Nan may have topped Payne’s pure damage, thanks to playing Irelia and Ryze, but Payne was more valuable the context of his team.
Hill showed the best of both worlds for Team SoloMid. He won his lane, holding a positive CS differential over his foes through 20 minutes, and posted 452.76 DPM, the second highest total of all top laners so far. Hill’s Rumble and Lulu play were outstanding, allowing him to post carry numbers from a non traditional position. His 23.93 percent damage share was even more impressive, showing that the American veteran is still capable of star-level play on the world stage.
It’s hard to say too much about Group A, considering the varied talent level of the best team in Korea and the international wild card Dark Passage. Every member of Samsung Galaxy White posted dominant statistical performances, and Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok was no exception—his 12.25 KDA was actually second among all players. Edward Gaming’s Tong “Koro1” Yang also posted solid numbers. The real oddity is AHQ's Chen “Prydz” Kuang-Feng. The only top laner to play Nidalee at Worlds, he put up strong damage totals while placing nearly twice as many wards per minute as the average top laner.
The jungling statistics show off a couple new metrics. Jungle CS per Minute tallies neutral creep kills around the map, while Counterjungle percent measures what percent of those kills were in enemy territory. The last two numbers are more team statistics. Jungle CS percent shows how much of that player’s total CS number is from jungle creeps, so it gives a sense of how much lane farm a team is willing to feed their jungle players. Jungle Share percent shows what percent of a team’s jungle mobs go to their jungle player.
Choi “DanDy” In-kyu is known as the best jungler on the planet, and the numbers reveal a dominating group stage performance. But surprisingly one player stacks up favorably against the king of the jungle—Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen.
The SK Gaming man’s numbers reveal he’s both a talented jungler and that his team relies on him more than others at that position. Johnsen killed 2.42 jungle creeps per minute, third-highest in the group, and 24.62 percent of them were on the enemy side of the map. Only In-kyu bested that tally, likely due to his team’s dominance keeping them on the opposing side of the map. Only those two players posted a number above 18 percent. Johnsen lived in the enemy jungle.
Even more impressive, his damage numbers: Johnsen put up 411.58 DPM, second to In-kyu. Part of that is due to his champion picks—taking Kha’Zix in two of three games—but it’s also down to his skill as a player. Chen “Winds” Peng-Nien, Choi “InSec” In-seok, and Ming “ClearLove” Kai played a similar percentage of their games on damage heavy champions Kha’Zix and Rengar but couldn’t stack up to Johnsen’s tally.
His jungling replacement Berk “Gilius” Demir also played two games on the assassin, but only managed a dismal 213.79 DPM. Demir’s stats underscore another fact about Johnsen: his team relies on him more than most.
Johnsen was the only jungler with higher than 20 percent damage share, and SK Gaming actually fed him like a true carry. Despite farming more jungle CS than all but two other junglers, Johnsen actually had by far the lowest Jungle CS percent, meaning he was taking even more farm from lanes.
Other strong jungle performers include Star Horn Royal Club’s inSec, who put up big damage numbers and a top KDA. He also took less percent of his own jungler than any other jungler, leaving jungle mobs up for his teammates while favoring a gank-oriented play style.
Team SoloMid jungler Marcus “Amazing” Stuckenschneider put up a low DPM of 187.58, but much of that comes down to champion select. His favored Lee Sin, played in five of six games, deals much less damage on average than the Kha’Zix and Rengar favored by other junglers so far. Still, the German's number was below Lee Sin's average 216.85 DPM so far at Worlds. SoloMid will need more from their jungler if they hope to topple the titan Samsung White in the quarterfinals.
Two players dominated the mid lane during the first week of worlds: Heo “PawN” Won-seok in Group A and Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg in Group B. The two posted surprisingly similar numbers, the only two mid laners to top 400 GPM and 550 DPM. Both players controlled their lane, but Bjerg was completely dominant, racking up massive CS leads at 10, 15, and 20 minutes. Part of that is probably due to the impetus on Bjerg to carry—while Heo’s team all put up monstrous numbers, Bjerg was responsible for 29.29 percent of his team’s damage, more than any other mid laner by a wide margin.
One of Team SoloMid’s biggest questions was whether Bjerg could step up on the world stage, and his numbers show that in fact he truly is world class.
Other mid lane performances of note include AHQ’s Liu “westdoor” Shu-wei. Famous for his Fizz and Twisted Fate entering the tournament, Liu showed why as he carried ahq to the biggest upset win of the tournament against Edward Gaming. His laning numbers look poor in part due to champion picks—Twisted Fate loses on CS differential in part due to his roaming, but makes up for it with his passive. And he did solid damage.
The most hyped position entering Group A and B, the marksman failed to disappoint. Gu “Imp” Seung-bin and Jian “Uzi” Zi-hao put on a show as each dominated their group.
Samsung Galaxy White's ADC showed off a couple of ridiculous plays against some of the weak competition in Group A, but also managed to obliterate Edward Gaming’s Zhu “NaMei” Jia-Wen, considered a contender for the top player at the position entering worlds. Gu posted huge lane numbers, expected against the competition he faced, and a whopping 776.52 DPM.
Gu dominated weaker competition in impressive fashion. What’s even more impressive, though, is that Jian did the same thing in a tougher group.
Gu labelled Star Horn Royal Club’s star marksman the “best ADC in the world” in multiple interviews during Worlds, and he played like it. He mowed down foes with a 780.33 DPS, tops in the group stage, dealing 36.59 percent of his team’s damage, also the highest number. Jian dominated his lane against Jason “WildTurtle” Tran, Adrian “CandyPanda” Wubbelman, and Cheng “bebe” Bo-Wei, posting a 10.25 KDA—the only player not on Samsung Galaxy White to crack double digits in the group stage.
For all the bluster coming in to the event, Edward Gaming’s Zhu “NaMei” Jia-Wen had a mediocre performance. His numbers overall are just okay—he won his lane on average, but that’s mostly due to poor play from the bottom two teams in the group. His DPM was merely average despite playing against weak competition. Edward Gaming will want more from their star in the quarterfinals, where he will face off against Jian himself.
Team SoloMid’s Tran, meanwhile, had a solid showing with a 9 KDA and 573.25 DPM, but his laning numbers were weak, following a trend from the regular season of the League Championship Series.
Support numbers are hard to analyze since the intricacies of the role can’t be captured in the numbers available, even with some wards statistics. The numbers we do have do show that Samsung Galaxy White’s Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, largely considered the best support in the world, really was the king of vision during the group stage. He placed 1.50 wards per minute, a full 0.17 wards more than the next highest player. But Cho only spent 11.52 percent of his gold on wards—he just had more gold available to him since his team was so dominant. At some point, there’s a maximum number of wards you can acquire.
The numbers mostly follow the win and loss trends—losing teams spent more percentage of their money on wards, while winners could afford a few more luxuries. Royal Club’s Yoon “Zero” Kyung-sup, for example, placed more wards than everyone but Mata at 1.33 per minute, but spent less percent of his money on them than most players.
The numbers show off a number of impressive performances from star players. Uzi made his case for being the best at his position on the planet. Bjergsen showed that he can perform on the world stage. SK Gaming's Svenskeren proved his team really misses his presence in the lineup, and put together three games that bolster his case for being the best jungler in Europe. Samsung Galaxy White showed why they are the most feared team in the tournament, as every one of their players put together star level showings.
This week, we'll see even more impressive play as Group C and D roll into Singapore. With even more competitive groups and more talented players packed into thet able, we should learn even more from another week of play.
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube