The stats prove it: ‘Amazing’ is a great addition to Team SoloMid

Team Solomid had one of their most turbulent offseasons in history heading into today's League Championship Series Summer Split

Photo via Team SoloMid/Facebook

Team Solomid had one of their most turbulent offseasons in history heading into today’s League Championship Series Summer Split. TSM removed superstar support Alex “Xpecial” Chu and lost jungler Brian “TheOddOne” Wyllie to retirement. The two had been part of TSM since early 2011, ending a three-year period with them in the lineup.

But Wyllie’s mechanics were declining, and his low-pressure jungling style couldn’t stack up against the high powered talent on TSM’s rivals Cloud 9 and Counter Logic Gaming.

TSM owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh decided to bring in German jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider to fill the role. Last season, Stückenschneider served as jungler for EU LCS team Copenhagen Wolves.

We took a look at the statistics behind the LCS performance of Stückenschneider and Wyllie last season, to find out what TSM might be able to expect from their new import.

The two junglers looked fairly similar based off basic performance stats.

Stückenschneider posted a 4.10 KDA (Kill plus Assists per Deaths) through the EU LCS, playoffs, and promotion series. Wyllie managed a 3.97 KDA mark.

The Creep Score numbers also slightly favor the German. His 3.64 CSPM (Creep Score Per Minute) topped Wyllie’s 3.48 CSPM.

But not all KDAs are created equal. The average jungler in a winning match in the NA LCS posts an 8.23 KDA, while the average loser only 1.53, with similar numbers in Europe. Considering CW posted only a 17-21 record in our sample, and that TSM went 24-10, Stückenschneider’s mark looks comparatively that much better.

Stückenschneider’s KDA was even the best on his team, while Wyllie’s slightly lower number ranked last on his.

That bodes well for Stückenschneider, who in theory should be able to perform even better with a stronger squad surrounding him.

But the basic numbers don’t tell any part of the story. We used their champion picks and gank statistics to tell a clearer tale.

Critics of Wyllie will point to his mechanics, falling behind the increasing level of LCS competition, as one of the main reasons TSM could use a new a jungler.

That’s no better displayed in the champion select, where TSM surrendered one of the most contested junglers this season: Lee Sin. The blind monk requires superb mechanics to execute his high-flying playstyle, so its telling that Wyllie did not play a single game on one of the most popular and most powerful junglers in the current metagame.

Stückenschneider, on the other hand, relied on Lee Sin as his most valuable weapon. The German used him in 11 games, posting a solid 7-4 win rate considering his team’s 17-21 record in our sample.

It’s clear that Stückenschneider favors playmakers in the jungle. His three next most played champions after Lee Sin were Evelynn (6 games), Elise (6 games), and Kha’Zix (5 games), all powerful assassins capable of surprising targets and bursting them down. Playmakers.

Wyllie also played six games on each of Evelynn and Elise. In the playoffs, though, Cloud 9 and Counter Logic Gaming abused his Evelynn, handing TSM three losses in three games with that champion.

Affectionately called “The General” by his fans, Wyllie popularized the jungle Maokai in his heyday and has a reputation for favoring tanky jungle options. But the metagame this season has mvoed on, and without the mechanics to pick up some of the more aggressive junglers, Wyllie has suffered.

Stückenschneider’s ability with Lee Sin is an advantage, but he also used the champion in 29 percent of his matches. That’s much less balanced than Wyllie, whose top played champs only appeared in 17 percent of his games. But if Stückenschneider is good enough on his signature champion to attract bans, that’s only a boon to the team.

The German’s tendency towards aggressive junglers plays out in his gank statistics.

Ganking is the essence of the jungle—stalking your foe like a predator, entering the lane at just the right moment, and pouncing for the kill. It applies pressure to enemy lanes, making laners wary they may face a lightning strike at any moment. It helps relieve pressure, when the opposing laners are winning their matchup, or the opposing jungler is wreaking havoc in your lines. It helps secure your laners kills, snowballing your carry into a monster the other team can’t face.

In 34 games, TSM got 27 total ganks out of Wyllie. (For full ganking stats, click here.) The new guy ganked 49 times in 34 matches. That’s nearly twice as many per match. TSM will have to get used to getting a lot more help from the jungle in their laning phase.

Now, it’s quite possible there are other circumstances that account for the difference. TSM have the best laners in their region, so maybe Wyllie didn’t need to appear in lane as often. Maybe CW’s laners struggled, so Stückenschneider was forced to waste his time babysitting them.

The numbers don’t bear that argument out.

Wyllie ganked to relieve pressure on his lane 8 times out of his 27 ganks, or 29.6 percent of his ganks. Stückenschneider did it 18 out of 49 times, or 36.7 percent of the time. So while the German in fact did attempt to relieve pressure more often, the difference only accounts for about 4 of his total ganks. That leaves him at 1.32 ganks per match, still nearly twice Wyllie’s 0.79 ganks per match.

So maybe Stückenschneider is more active in lane, but he’s missing out on farm? Well, we already established the German’s CSPM number is higher than Wyllie.

Maybe it’s the difference in the EU and NA metagames. Maybe Stückenschneider has more chances to gank due to a longer laning phase in Europe?

In the first five minutes of games, Stückenschneider managed 14 ganks. He added 31 more before the fifteen minute mark, with only 5 after that. Wyllie, on the other hand, ganked 4 times in the first five minutes, and added only 16 between the five and fifteen minute mark. He actually had 7 ganks after 15 minutes, meaning his numbers skewed later while Stückenschneider put on more pressure early in the game.

Maybe Wyllie just picks his opportunities better, and has a higher success rate?

That was actually the case last season: Wyllie’s success rate was 74 percent, while Stückenschneider posted a 63 percent number. But consider the overall numbers: that’s 20 successful ganks for Wyllie, compared to 31 for Stückenschneider.

Of course, some of Stückenschneider’s 18 failures resulted in giving the other team an advantage, against only 7 failures by Wyllie. But Wyllie’s TSM actually gave up more kills during his ganks than Copenhagen Wolves.

Still, Wyllie and his team were extremely efficient with capitalizing on his ganks. TSM secured 8 objectives off his 27 ganks, with 23 kills. That’s a much higher rate per gank for both objectives and kills than Stückenschneider and the Copenhagen Wolves. That’s probably in part due to Wyllie picking his engages well, as well as his talented TSM teammates taking advantage of them. But it could also be due to Wyllie playing too conservatively, only attacking in situations heavily tilted in his favor.

Stückenschneider can probably afford to be more selective with his new team, as long as he doesn’t sacrifice putting pressure on his foes.

The differed in their favorite spots to gank. Stückenschneider spent more of his time top, with 24 ganks in that lane, while Wyllie looked towards bottom. But we can probably chalk that up to the teams around them. CW’s marksman last year, Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou, was a star in his own right, so bottom rarely needed attention. In TSM’s top lane, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill is so solid and dependable he never loses his lane. That means Wyllie can focus on snowballing his two carry players.

Whatever the case, it’s extremely clear that TSM’s new jungler is much more active in lane than their previous player. TSM’s lanes are already so strong, it’s scary to think of what someone like Spring Split MVP Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg with a little more help in lane.

It’s quite possible that Wyllie is taking other advantages with his extra time spent out of lanes, and out of farm: Maybe he wards more than his replacement, or spends more time counter-jungling. But he received criticism as being a non-factor in many games, never putting pressure on the map.

With Stückenschneider roaming their jungle, that should no longer be a problem for TSM. And that could be very bad for their opponents this season.