Jungle-Hungry: Neutral Minion Kill Statistics from the NA LCS 2015 Spring Split

Hands up if you've ever been playing Jungle and found yourself annoyed with a teammate for stealing your jungle camps. Why won't that Xerath just stay in his lane and leave your Raptors alone!

Hands up if you’ve ever been playing Jungle and found yourself annoyed with a teammate for stealing your jungle camps. Why won’t that Xerath just stay in his lane and leave your Raptors alone!?

In the NA LCS, different teams tend to distribute their jungle farm in different ways. Some teams, like Team Liquid, let their carries take as many jungle camps as they can. Other teams, like Cloud9, tend to keep their laners in lane as much as possible, letting the Jungler hoard the precious camps for himself. Some teams, like CLG, are more prone to invading their opponents’ jungle for farm, while others are content to stay on their own side of the river.

This article explores statistics around neutral minion kills (also referred to as jungle creep score, or jungle CS). All of the numbers are based on the complete North American League Championship Series 2015 Spring split, including all regular season, tiebreaker, and playoff games. Every player to play at least one game is included.

We’ll first take a look at average neutral minion kills per minute, then we’ll explore “jungle share”, and finally we’ll view some numbers for neutral minions killed in the enemy jungle, to get an idea of which players and teams do more jungle invading. In each section I provide the data along with some quick interpretations, but don’t take my word for it: draw your own conclusions and provide your own context for what the numbers mean. After all, statistics are only one side of the story.

Note to Readers

In all of the statistics shared below, every neutral minion kill is counted the same way, regardless of whether it was a high-value Gromp or a low-value Raptor. This is a limitation of the statistics that are available, but over the course of many games the values of the different monsters should more or less balance out. Still, as a cautious approach to using these numbers, it’s best to mostly compare players within the same role or position, because those players should tend to have access to the same types of jungle camps. For example, Mid laners are most likely to farm Raptor camps, while ADCs and Top laners are most likely to farm Gromps and/or Krugs.

“Average Neutral Minion Kills per Minute” reflects each player’s total neutral minion kills in the game, divided by the length of the game, and then averaged across all games played.

Among Top laners, Gamsu and Impact did the most jungle farming, but most Top laners were clustered pretty closely around the average. In Rhux‘s few games as a substitute, he seems to have stayed as far away from the jungle as he possibly could.

Zion Spartan had the lowest jungle CS per minute among starters, taking fewer than half as many jungle kills as Gamsu and Impact. (If we jump ahead to the next section, we see that this was because CLG was relatively more likely to give jungle CS to Xmithie and DoubleLift.)

Meteos was a common pick for best Jungler in North America in Spring 2015, and this stat shows his incredible control over the neutral monsters of Summoner’s Rift. Cloud9’s Jungler killed 22% more jungle monsters per minute than the next contender, Santorin, and killed 65% more jungle monsters than ShorterACE.

If you asked NA LCS fans which Mid laner they thought farmed the jungle hardest, most of them would say XiaoWeiXiao without hesitating. Over the past two splits, XWX has earned a reputation as a hardcore farmer, intent on ramping himself up for the late game as quickly as possible.

It may be somewhat surprising, then, to find that FeniX narrowly edged XiaoWeiXiao out in jungle CS per minute. Both players had noticeably higher numbers than the rest of the pack, with even Bjergsen falling slightly below the Mid laner average, despite how heavily TSM prioritized their Mid with other kinds of attention, such as ganks.

Hai takes up the bottom rung of the ladder, but this shouldn’t be seen as evidence of weakness; instead, it’s a sign of Hai’s selfless play style, intentionally focusing on getting the other members of his team ahead so that he could support them, rather than asking them to support him. Specifically, Hai allowed Meteos to take nearly all of the jungle camps for himself: we can see in the next chart that Sneaky didn’t take much jungle CS, either!

The Winterfox ADCs top this chart, with Altec and his two-game substitute Paragon grabbing up 0.82 jungle CS per minute. Other statistics have shown that Altec was frequently quite far behind in gold at the 10-minute mark, so his jungle farming may have been an intentional strategy to help him make up for thos deficits.

Piglet, WildTurtle, and DoubleLift are all unsurprising as heavy jungle farmers.

Sneaky‘s low placement on the chart, as we discussed above, is because of Cloud9’s focus on feeding Meteos as much jungle farm as possible.

“Average Jungle Share” measures each player’s neutral minions killed during the game, divided by the total number of all neutral minions killed in that game. The percentages are then averaged across all games played.

Team Comparisons

Looking first at teams as a whole, Team Solo Mid had the highest average share of jungle CS with 53.0%, which shouldn’t be surprising because of their strong win/loss record. A winning team is more able to exert control over the opponent’s jungle, so TSM’s top placement stands to reason.

Team Impulse had the second-highest jungle share in the league, and Team Liquid had the third-highest, while Team Coast and Dignitas narrowly beat out Winterfox at the bottom end.

Team Impulse Jungle Distribution

TiP’s high jungle share can’t be attributed to any one player’s performance: Impact, Rush, and XiaoWeiXiao all had higher-than-average neutral minion kills per minute for their positions. But the story gets a bit more interesting if we skip down to the next section, which looks at neutral minion kills in the enemy jungle: Impact and XiaoWeiXiao both had very high numbers in that area, showing a big appetite for jungle invasions.

Team Liquid Jungle Distribution

Among the other high-jungle-share teams (TSM, TiP, CLG, C9), Team Liquid conspicuously gave the lowest volume of jungle camps to their own Jungler, IWDominate. Only the Junglers for Dignitas and Winterfox took home smaller jungle shares than IWD, and those two teams were typically pretty jungle-starved overall.

IWD mostly surrendered his jungle farm to his Korean teammates, and especially to FeniX, who had the highest jungle share of all Mid laners.

Keith vs. Piglet

Early in the season, when the #KeepKeith vs. #PickPiglet debate was raging, there was a lot of discussion about the two ADCs’ different play styles, and how they affected the rest of the team, especially IWDominate. Here are a few numbers to feed the comparison: in Keith‘s six games, he had a 7.0% jungle share (on par with CoreJJ), while Piglet had a 10.0% jungle share (on par with WildTurtle). IWDominate’s jungle share with Keith was 30.0%, and with Piglet was 28.4%. In other words, there was definitely a difference in how IWD played with the two ADCs, but it may not have been an earth-shattering difference.

Cloud9 Jungle Distribution

With an average 38.7% of all neutral minion kills during the 2015 Spring split, Meteos blew the rest of the league out of the water with his jungle control. Not only did he keep most of his own jungle to himself (based on Hai’s and Sneaky’s jungle CS rates), but he also heavily invaded his opponents’ jungle camps (see the following section). The second highest individual player’s jungle share was Santorin‘s relatively mundane-seeming 33.0%.

“Average Neutral Minion Kills in Enemy Jungle per Minute” reflects each player’s total neutral minions killed within the enemy jungle, divided by game length and averaged across all games played.

On the whole, Top laners didn’t take many neutral minion kills in their enemies’ jungles, compared to other roles. Calitrlolz did the most jungle invading of Top laners, followed closely by Impact.

Flaresz (in his two games as a substitute for Winterfox) and Cris took almost no enemy-jungle CS.

Xmithie led the way for Counter Logic Gaming’s invade-heavy play style: as a team, CLG took, on average, 23.2% of the jungle CS from their enemy’s jungle, ahead of even TSM’s 21.0%. (See the table at the bottom of the article for more on this statistic.)

Meteos followed closely on Xmithie’s heels, nearly tied for enemy-jungle CS per minute, while Santorin trailed behind in third.

The Junglers who played for Dignitas and Coast tended to do the least jungle invading, though ShorterACE came close to the league average.

The most interesting findings from this chart come in comparison to the Mid laner chart in the first section: recall that FeniX topped the overall jungle CS per minute chart, alongside XiaoWeiXiao, with Link at the average and Bjergsen below the average.

Bjergsen and XiaoWeiXiao share the top of the enemy-jungle CS per minute statistics. This tells us that XWX loved to farm both his own jungle and the enemy’s, but Bjergsen, despite being just as invade-oriented as XWX, was more inclined to leave his own jungle to his teammates.

Link followed up on Xmithie’s invade-heavy jungle farming, and was similar to Bjergsen in doing relatively little farming on his own side, but taking plenty of opportunities to steal resources away from his opponents.

As we’ve highlighted at the Jungle and Mid positions, CLG’s DoubleLift found plenty of chances to take neutral minion kills on his enemy’s side of the map. But he was out-farmed in this category by WildTurtle, who probably had more opportunities to take enemy jungle camps because of TSM’s dominance throughout the split.

Despite the differences between Piglet and Keith discussed previously in this article, both of the Team Liquid ADCs took an above-average amount of enemy-jungle CS.

Thanks for Reading!

Spot any interesting trends? Have any explanations for some of the differences between players? Chime in with a comment and keep the discussion rolling!

You can find more NA LCS statistics for both players and teams in the Statistics section of Oracle’s Elixir.

Thank you to Daniel “Exorant” Hume for designing the graphics and beautifying the charts.