Who carried hardest in the NA LCS?
The first week of the North American League Championship Series featured stunning storylines, including the surprise 0-2 start of traditional powerhouse Cloud9. The new season also ushered in a new metagame and questions surrounding how a refreshed Summoner’s Rift, several new items, and numerous tweaks have affected gold distribution for the best teams in the West.
But has anything really changed? Based on the gold-per-minute (GPM) of each player through two games, the answer is a resounding no.
Despite all of the changes to League of Legends heading into the 2015 season, much of the trends from last season—where AD Carries earned a disproportionately large share of gold—stayed the same during week one in NA. All five of the highest GPM averages went to ADCs. Winterfox’s AD Carry, Johnny “Altec” Ru, actually posted the highest average, 462.87, from Europe or North America.
The three ADCs that posted a GPM above 400 aside, there were a group of players that got close to the top five from multiple positions. The surprise is how dominant statistically Team Coast’s Christian “Cris” Rosales was compared to his compatriots in the top lane. Cris’s 384.56 GPM was not only the highest non-ADC average in NA, it was a full 18 gold ahead of Team8’s Steven “CaliTrlolz8” Kim’s second place 366.54.
Across both regions, there is a direct correlation between team average gold per minute and success. Europe’s three undefeated squads blew their opponents away in average GPM with Fnatic’s garish 1,911.13 over 100 gold-per-minute better than any other team in the West, while 2-0 Team Liquid barely edged out Team Coast in week one to lead NA with a 1,707.72.
Week two of the North American LCS commencing starts Saturday. And it's clear that whoever arries the hardest, whether its an ADC like Altec or a surprising top laner like Cris, will change games. But given their enormous week ones, it's clear some of the players on these lists will be hit with targeted bans, which in turn should create a new king of the GPM mountain.