If you are a new OPL viewer, the following statement might puzzle you a bit: The best top laner in the league plays for Dire Wolves. “What? Sharp?” you ask. “But what about Swip3rR? Or Minkywhale? Sharp is good, but he’s not better than these guys.” And you’re right, of course—but that’s because the best top laner in the OPL is living in the mid lane now.
Richard “Perfection” Su
Meet Richard “Perfection” Su. Joining the Dire Wolves in late November of 2014, Perfection was a top laner at the beginning of this season. He played the spring split up top, and during that time he showed himself to be a dominant force.
It was the beginning of the split. For the first few weeks, Hecarim was a common ban globally; this was no different in the OPL. But teams were also getting to pick Hecarim sometimes, both internationally and in Oceania. Not the Dire Wolves. This continued for several games: the horse was regularly on the opposing team’s ban list. At first, this could be chalked up to chance. Hecarim was a common ban, after all, so it wasn’t unreasonable to think that a few teams just all happened to feel the same way.
Then Legacy let Hecarim fall into the hands of Perfection.
Legacy making a mistake
Cardrid, Legacy’s top laner at the time, ended up playing Morgana. After a snafu in the Dire Wolves’ jungle at the start of the game, Cardrid ended up with the red buff that Carbon, the Legacy jungler, was supposed to get. Neither team deciding to lane swap, Perfection got the privilege of facing the ranged champion with the highest base auto-attack damage. With a red buff. On a melee champion. After the second minion wave, he was down 7 creeps. Things didn’t look good.
But there was a reason everyone had banned Hecarim against Perfection. By the sixth wave, he was up by 8 creeps. At 7:30 game time, he was over 20 cs ahead. Carbon ganked his lane once, but Perfection survived. Though he received no allied jungle pressure, Perfection’s lead kept growing. In the mid game, he provided immense split push pressure for his team and made smart teleport decisions. When starting the dragon dance, Perfection engaged alone from half health into 4 members of Legacy, and the Dire Wolves ended up with an ace and a dragon because of it.
Perfection didn’t die that game. Ending 3/0/9, his final creep score was 112 above that of Cardrid, his lane opponent. Needless to say, no team left Hecarim open for him after that for the rest of the regular split. Legacy did make the mistake of letting him have it again during quarterfinals, much to the same effect: He ended the game 8/1/9, winning handily.
Of course, Hecarim wasn’t the only champion Perfection could play. He was also very dominant on Lissandra and Kassadin, winning all 5 games that he played them with a combined K/D/A of 36/16/57. He would always find a way to create a ton of map pressure. Across his games that split, he averaged a 48 cs lead over his opponent.
The Dire Wolves swap their solo laners
Now Perfection is playing mid lane, where he used to play before he joined the Dire Wolves, and he certainly looks no less comfortable there than he did in top lane. The first game of this split, Absolute’s first ban against the Dire Wolves was Twisted Fate. I didn’t know anything about Perfection’s champion pool in the mid lane other than the versatile picks like Kassadin or Lissandra, but I instantly thought, “That makes sense.” Twisted Fate fits Perfection’s high-map-pressure play style to a T.
The OPL teams treated Perfection’s Twisted Fate much the same this split as they treated his Hecarim last split; it was taken away from him 11 times. The one time he played it, versus Immunity, he ended the game in just half an hour with a 17 KDA, keeping the enemy Azir to a 3/6/1 score line.
Just like last split, Perfection is still a big threat on other champions too. He’s drawn 5 Kassadin bans and 6 Azir bans, sometimes in the same game. In his Vladimir game, he won with a KDA of 10. When he played Viktor (against Twisted Fate, as it happened), he had 410 cs by the 38-minute victory, beating RYmeister by 144 cs.
While the Dire Wolves haven’t looked quite as strong as last split (dropping from a clear 2nd place behind The Chiefs to fighting over that spot with Legacy), it hasn’t been because Perfection hasn’t been performing. He’s averaged an 82-minion lead over his opponents this split and only lost in cs once, by 36, to Swiffer of The Chiefs. It is not uncommon for him to demolish his opponent’s creep score, as you can see from these stats over the past season:
Additionally, his KDA is up from 3.28 last split to 4.4 this split. These aren’t ridiculously high, but on average he has also kept down the KDA of his opponents, at 2.15 last split and 2.05 this split; he is good at taking enemies out of the game.
Of course, Perfection still has work to do if he wants to truly live up to his name. He is winless in his games against Cassiopeia, for example, and has just a 1.67 KDA against her. Additionally, when teams build their composition around mitigating his map pressure with champions who can rotate quickly, he doesn’t seem to have another play style to fall back on.
You can catch Perfection and the rest of the Dire Wolves when they face off against Legacy in a best of 5 in the OPL semifinals on July 23rd! The OPL is streamed on its own channel at twitch.tv/riotgamesoceania.