The Summer Split of the League of Legends Championship Series is in full swing, and no team is generating more hype right now than the Chinese side LMQ. After sweeping through the North American challenger scene earlier this year, LMQ launched themselves into the premier league and are currently sitting in first place with the only undefeated record in the LCS.
But how are they really doing compared to their blistering run through the amateur teams? We turned to the numbers to find out. And our findings surprised even us—far from looking like a team easing into professional-level play in a brand new country, the stats point to LMQ being the new team to beat in North America.
When LMQ first announced plans to move to North America, fans were excited, but hesitant. Korean team Quantic had attempted the same thing, with disastrous results that saw them return home in late 2013. But LMQ played solidly through the amateur leagues, slowly working their way up the brackets to finish on a strong note in the Challenger Series Playoffs, taking first place. They posted some high numbers in the process, and many considered them the top contender for placement into the LCS.
Image via LoLStats
Combined with their 3-0 in the Promotions against XDG to play in the LCS, their stats tell a story of dominance. In 23 games (with 20 wins), LMQ averaged a 6.65 KDA (Kills and Deaths divided by Assists). KDA is used as a measure of in-game effectiveness, and most teams average around 2 or 3. Over 6 is almost unheard of.
The team also boasts some impressive control over the map objectives. With about 71 percent control over the large neutral monsters, they rarely gave other teams any opportunities to fight their way back into games. And with an average game time of just over 30 minutes, odds are that if you fell behind LMQ, you didn’t stand a chance.
Image via LoLStats
Not surprisingly, individual player stats tell a similar story of dominance. Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian carried the hardest, dominating in most games and ending with an astounding 10.5 KDA in 23 games. With no clear weak player, LMQ looked like not only the team to avoid in Promotions, but one of the most promising challenger teams to enter the North American scene since the beginning of the LCS.
And then week 1 of the LCS happened. And everything changed.
LMQ’s week 1 opponents were a mixed bag, with Counter Logic Gaming representing one of the top teams in the region, and Evil Geniuses and compLexity representing teams nearer to the bottom. Many expected them to start strong, but nowhere near the monstrous romp that LMQ took through their first opponents. Rather than looking like a new team testing the waters, LMQ took an aggressive course that saw opponents trampled underfoot.
Here’s a quick recap for those that missed the games: In game one against Evil Geniuses, marksman Li “Vasilii” Wei-Jun posted a perfect match, complete with 9 kills and 6 assists. Game two saw mid laner Yu set a KDA of 8.5. Over the four games, LMQ looked firmly in control and showed no signs of stopping. Here’s how their numbers compared to their performances in the challenger scene:
Image via LoLStats
The numbers are shockingly close. In fact, when looking at KDA and GPM (gold income rate), they appear to be playing even better now than back against the amateurs. And while their First Blood and Dragon rates go down, their 85 percent Baron Control rate speaks to their absolute dominance as the game draws to an end.
Let the record stand—LMQ is well on-course, and if week 1 is anything to go by, they’re going to be one of the top teams in the North American circuit this summer.
That said, there’s still 24 games left for each team this regular season, and LMQ’s first games of the season add up to a pretty small sample size. Additionally, they have yet to face last split’s powerhouses, Cloud 9 and Team SoloMid. LMQ’s schedule in week two features Cloud 9 themselves, champions of the last split and second place team at All-Stars Paris, along with the 3-1 Dignitas, fresh off a roster shakeup that appears to be working out well.
Both teams should provide a substantial challenge. Can LMQ continue to play so well against teams that are better than its old competition? The only way to find out will be to watch the games this weekend.
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube