26 March 2015 - 04:25
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Best Support NA - Statistical Analysis of the NA LCS Support Position

Supports: the gold-starved, under-the-radar ward bots of the bottom lane. Under-appreciated, underestimated, rarely celebrated... Then they drop a Solar Flare or a Flash-Tibbers on your head.
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Supports: the gold-starved, under-the-radar ward bots of the bottom lane. Under-appreciated, underestimated, rarely celebrated...

Then they drop a Solar Flare or a Flash-Tibbers on your head.

The North American LCS is home to several respected, veteran Support players, from CLG's Aphromoo and TSM's Lustboy to Cloud9's Keeper of the Notebook, LemonNation, and former All Star Xpecial from Team Liquid. There's also a good collection of new, up-and-coming Supports who have had less time to earn themselves a reputation.

Among all of these, which NA Support actually provides the most value to his team? Let's take a look at how NA's Supports stack up statistically, using numbers from Weeks 1 to 8 of the 2015 Spring Split.

The Stats

Let's try to break some of the Support's measurable contributions out into categories, and see what we can determine. The categories we're going to look at are Combat, Vision Control, and Champion Pool.

Don't want to read through all of the fine details? Hit the bottom of the page for the Overall Summary and declaration of the Best Support NA, or check the summaries for each section to see the top and bottom performers in each category.

Combat

Under Combat, we'll review statistics related to direct combat with enemy champions.

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For an interactive/sortable version of this table, read this article on Oracle's Elixir.

KDA Ratio

Lustboy is the clear combat winner, with an astonishing 191 Assists through the first 8 weeks and the highest KDA (7.2) among Supports. Bunny FuFuu (4.9) also looks good on KDA, with Gleeb, Aphromoo, and LemonNation all holding a 4.4 KDA.

Sheep (2.6), KiWiKiD (2.6), and Dodo (2.9) have the worst KDAs among players with at least 10 Support games.

Average Kill Participation

Topping the Kill Participation charts, among players with at least 10 Support games played, are Gleeb’s 82% and Bunny FuFuu’s 81%. Lustboy’s and LemonNation's average Kill Participation are also relatively high (78%).

Dodo (66%) and Xpecial (66%) have participated in the fewest of their teams’ kills.

First Bloods

Eyeing the early game, Bunny FuFuu and KiWiKiD have been the most important to their teams in securing First Blood (83% participation in their teams' First Bloods). But both play on the teams with the worst First Blood Rate, under 40% for each team.

Gleeb is positioned a little better, being involved in 80% of his team’s First Blood kills while his team has a 50% First Blood rate in the games he’s played in.

Aphromoo’s team earns the most First Blood kills (75% of their games), and he has been in on two-thirds (67%) of those First Bloods.

On the negative side, Xpecial’s Team Liquid is the second best team at earning First Blood, but Xpecial himself has only been involved in 30% of those First Blood kills. Xpecial also gives up the largest share of his team’s First Blood deaths: in the 6 games where Team Liquid has surrendered First Blood, Xpecial has been the victim twice (33%). Adrian, Dodo, and LemonNation have all given up two First Blood deaths, as well, representing between 22% and 25% of their teams’ total First Blood deaths.

Combat Summary

Best: Lustboy
Lustboy has the best KDA and one of the higher Kill Participation rates, even if his First Blood participation is only average. Bunny FuFuu and Gleeb are the closest contenders to the throne.

Worst: Xpecial
Xpecial’s below-average KDA, low Kill Participation, and poor First Blood statistics place him at the bottom of the Combat statistics ladder.

Vision Control

Vision control is a team’s ability to both place their own wards to grant them sight of their enemies’ movements and also clear away their opponent’s wards so that they can move across the map undetected, setting up ganks, flanks, and uncontested pushes.

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For an interactive/sortable version of this table, read this article on Oracle's Elixir.

The most prolific warders, statistically, are Altec and KonKwon: both players went ward crazy in their two Support games played to date. The stats below, however, will only discuss Supports who have put in at least 10 games at the position this split.

Ward Placements

Xpecial takes the crown for ward placements, with 1.29 placed per minute, followed closely by Adrian and Lustboy. All three of these players contribute 46% or more of their team’s ward placements, with Adrian topping this stat by placing literally half of his team’s wards.

On the low end, Aphromoo wards noticeably less than his counterparts, and has the lowest share of team ward placements of any Support at only 37%. KiWiKiD and Sheep provide the least raw vision control for their teams, each placing less than one ward per minute.

Ward Clears

Wards cleared/destroyed may be somewhat misleading, because, as far as I'm aware, the stat tracks last hits on wards, not the number of wards detected by the player. Ward clear numbers can be surprisingly high on AD Carries, for example, despite the fact that they rarely purchase a Sweeping Lens and grab relatively few Vision wards.

TL;DR: Support players may detect a large number of wards that they don’t get kill credit for.

But let's put these cautions aside for now.

Dodo clears the most wards among players with 10+ games at Support, at nearly one every three minutes, followed by Adrian, Lustboy, Gleeb, and Xpecial. These five players also top the charts on the share of their team’s total ward clears, with Adrian inching ahead of the rest for the top spot by providing nearly a third (32%) of his team’s total ward clears.

By contrast, Sheep only cleared an average of 0.13 wards per minute, or 15% of his team’s total ward clears. KiWiKiD, Bunny FuFuu, and Aphromoo also bring less to the table with ward clearing.

Looking at Vision (pink) ward purchases, Lustboy comes out on top, followed by Xpecial, Sheep, and, somewhat redemptively, Aphromoo. (This stat for Aphromoo suggests that CLG may be a team where Aphromoo detects the wards, but the actual ward clear is finished off by a carry, when possible, to give them more gold.) Lustboy (53%), Xpecial (47%), and Gleeb (45%) shoulder the heaviest burdens for their teams’ Vision ward purchases, among Supports with at least 10 games played.

The fewest Vision wards are purchased by Bunny FuFuu, KiWiKiD, Dodo, LemonNation, and Adrian, each buying an average of only 0.13 to 0.15 Vision wards per minute and contributing between 30% (KiWiKiD) and 36% of their teams’ Vision ward purchases.

Vision Control Summary

Best: Xpecial, Lustboy
Both Xpecial and Lustboy consistently top the statistics on ward placements and clears. Adrian is close, but his Vision ward numbers don’t quite stack up.

Worst: KiWiKiD, Sheep
KiWiKiD and Sheep do the least for their teams with vision control, but Sheep’s Vision ward numbers are more respectable than KiWiKiD's. Bunny FuFuu and Aphromoo also consistently land near the bottom of vision control statistics.

Champion Pools

Like any role, a Support is more valuable to his team if he is able to effectively play a variety of champions and styles. This makes the team less predictable and prevents his opponents from preparing easy counter strategies. Let's look at the champion pools of NA's Supports.

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For an interactive/sortable version of this table, read this article on Oracle's Elixir.

Champions Played

The largest champion pool this split belongs to LemonNation, with seven different selections, thanks to his unorthodox Nautilus and his pioneering of Veigar in NA.

The smallest champion pools (among players with at least 10 games played this split) belong to Bunny FuFuu, KiWiKiD, and Lustboy, at five different selections each.

LemonNation shares the throne for deepest pool of successful champion picks with Adrian and Aphromoo, at six successful picks, followed by Xpecial’s five.

Bunny FuFuu and KiWiKiD have only earned wins on three of their five champions played, while Sheep, like his team, only has one victory to report overall, despite trying out six different champions.

Champion Diversity

Counts don’t necessarily tell the whole story, of course. Flavour is also quite telling. Let’s take a look at the types of champions being played and see if there are any interesting trends.

Aphromoo’s pool of winning champions has wide variety with a peel/protection flavour, with Alistar, Blitzcrank, Braum, Janna, Morgana, and Thresh. Several of these champions are great at securing pick-offs, as well.

LemonNation has the most truly unique winning selections, with the aforementioned Veigar and Nautilus, as well as a good representation of more standard picks (Annie, Braum, Janna, Morgana).

Adrian’s and Xpecial’s success pools are fairly varied, though Xpecial’s pool lacks any clear pick-off type champions.

Bunny FuFuu's champion pool is perhaps the most one-dimensional. He's well known for his amazing Thresh play, and has also seen success on Morgana and Veigar. These are all pick-off champions with decent disengage. Hard engage supports like Leona are notably absent from his list of winners, as are dedicated disengage champions like Janna. Bunny FuFuu's playstyle appears relatively narrow compared to his competition.

Champion Pool Summary

Best: LemonNation, Aphromoo
LemonNation is the king of creativity at Support this split, but Aphromoo is a close second with his diverse play, including unique picks in Blitzcrank and Alistar.

Worst: Bunny FuFuu
Bunny FuFuu seems to have the least diversity in his champion pool and play style, only seeing success on three champions, all with somewhat similar flavor.

Overall Summary

Best Support NA: Lustboy

altThe most consistent standout at the Support position, statistically speaking, is TSM's Lustboy. He's at or near the top in most combat and vision control stats. The only knock against him is that his champion pool has been relatively small, but a winning team like TSM can afford to go back to the same victorious formula more often, as long as it keeps working, so it's definitely possible that Lustboy has some other champions ready to play when they're needed.

Photo courtesy of lolesports.com

Middle of the Pack

Xpecial's combat stats are unimpressive, but his vision control is only rivaled by Lustboy. He's also displayed a fairly robust champion pool, though he's lacked any especially unusual picks.

Aphromoo has above-average combat stats and a diverse champion pool, but weak vision control numbers.

Adrian, LemonNation, and Gleeb look pretty good, all things considered, but they don't excel in any one area (with the exception of LemonNation's deep champion pool).

Dodo and Bunny FuFuu come across on the low side of average from these statistics. Dodo's combat and vision control numbers are weak across the board, though not quite at the bottom. And while Bunny FuFuu's combat stats are actually pretty good, his vision control leaves a lot to be desired and his thin champion pool could hurt the team when it comes to the playoffs, where it's easier for opponents to prepare counters to particular play styles.

We'll reserve judgment on Altec, Imagine, and KonKwon, due to their low numbers of games played.

Poor Performers: Sheep, KiWiKiD

The Supports with the weakest statistical performances are Sheep and KiWiKiD. This should be unsurprising, given their teams' weak win/loss records. Gleeb, however, has managed to put up reasonable numbers even with a 4-6 record, so the losses aren't the only explanation for the players' poor performances.


While all of the findings above are based on hard numbers, the interpretations of those numbers are still subjective. Why not throw your hat in the ring and let everyone know which stats you think are most important, and how it changes your choice for Best Support NA?

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