Advocating for Apollo: a closer look at TiP's ADC, his performance and his role within the team.
Photo credit: lolesports flickr
Team Impulse, or TiP. If you've been following the North American LCS, you probably know about these guys. Even though they went 1-1 for several consecutive weeks, a solid win streak towards the end of the split helped them secure third place in the standings. Previously known as a team consistently inconsistent, they've definitely shown us what they're capable of in the past few games, despite being forced to do a couple of roster changes (with Adrian stepping down and then returning after XiaoWeiXiao's suspension).
Their final roster heading into the playoffs, where they'll face Team Dignitas, will feature Impact as the top laner, Rush as the jungler, Gate in the mid lane, Adrian supporting and Apollo as the AD carry, who we'll of course be focusing on today.
Who's Apollo and what does he do?
Apollo "Apollo" Price isn't just another AD carry. Given less resources than others, he's able to be a consistent threat and play a more supportive role that allows Rush to be the aggresive carry jungler we know him as. Let's take a look at the data.
Stats from OraclesElixir.com
Apollo takes less gold relative to his team than any other NA LCS ADC.
|Player||Average Gold Share||Average damage per minute to champions|
As we can see, despite not receiving as much jungle assistance as other ADCs or taking other lanes' creeps, he's still able to deal more damage per minute than four others; most notably TSM's WildTurtle.
How does Apollo do this? Simple, there's something he's very good at: not dying. With 35 deaths in the 19 games he's played, the only other ADC who does better than him in this regard is TL's Piglet. This stat is even more impressive when we consider the fact that Adrian leads the league in kill participation. This means almost every time TiP is fighting, Adrian is there. With a support roaming all the time and helping Rush and (when he was on the team) XiaoWeiXiao, Apollo was often left alone. But he's shown that he knows when to sit back, give up a few creeps and make his support and jungler feel safer about not pressuring his lane or assisting him as much.
Adrian is also leading the entire world of competitive League of Legends in wards placed per minute, with a whooping 1.48 (Source), so even if he's not getting ganked by his own jungler, Apollo will at least not be easy to gank for the opposing one. This unique and synergistic style developed by TiP's botlane allows them to be the team with the highest combined kills per minute in their region. So even if it's unconventional, they've been able to make it work.
|Player||Total Kills||Total Deaths||Total Assists||Total KDA Ratio|
Apollo is fourth in kills and first in assist in his position, and he's even the leading ADC in wards placed per minute. With such a supportive style, it's not surprising his most played champion this split was Sivir, with eight wins out of eleven games. The fact that they got such a contested pick eleven times in their 19 games shows us why TiP's style is working. With Rush often being the target of one or two bans, other teams have to let other, usually ban-worthy champions go through. Apollo also had a couple of notable games on Corki, achieving an amazing 34 KDA with him.
The future: not just a Sivir comp
TiP will have a couple of weeks before they have to face Team Dignitas in the Playoffs, who had a great first half of the split and haven't quite been able to go back to that. With their new midlaner Gate, Team Impulse have to show us if they're going to be able to maintain their style, while having enough diverse strategies and compositions for a best of five. Recent Elise changes will most likely give Rush a new toy to carry with. Impact had some really good games recently on Shen and Gnar, and we don't know that much about Gate, but luckily for him, neither do his opponents.
If the Sivir nerfs on the PBE hit the live server soon, Apollo may have a harder time playing his most picked champion. So it's going to be pretty interesting to see how he can fulfill his role in TiP with Kog'Maw, Kalista, Corki or Tristana; and of course what Adrian can do to help him and the team.