In the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split 2016, there’re two teams far above the rest in the standings, with the last week of play left in the regular season. And when I say “far above”, I mean far above, five wins above, to be exact. While the only match IMT lost in the Split was against TSM back in Week Two, TSM derped out, losing to the rookie org, Phoenix1. This put the most famous NA team in a difficult situation, because if they lose the next match against IMT (assuming both teams win the other match in Week Ten), they will fall to the second place in the standings, complicating their playoff seeding more, while they would have just tied with IMT if they didn’t lose against Phoenix1.
When the two teams faced off in Week Two of NA LCS Summer Split 2016, the match was won by TSM, 2-1. That was the biggest inkling that this “new” TSM line-up with Vincent “Biofrost” Wang replacing Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim had great potential to place very highly in the upcoming split. As it turns out, it was true.
Over the coming weeks, Biofrost showed himself to be a perfect fit in the formula of TSM’s success as a superteam. He is sporting the highest KDA ratio on both teams – 8.7, while also having the highest kill participation of 75.5%, with IMT’s jungler Kim "Reignover" Ui-jin coming second with 73.4%. The highest KDA out of all Immortals players belongs to their Support, Adrian “Adrian” Ma, with 6.2, yet he participates in 71,7% of his team’s kills. Looking at stats alone, it seems as if TSM’s rookie, Biofrost, is better than the terror of Immortals, Adrian (if you can call yourself a terror when you love Soraka THAT much).
Enough about Supports for a moment, let’s talk about the next most surprising thing I saw when looking at stats. Seong "Huni" Hoon Heo, the guy who’s loved by Reddit like no other player on Immortals, only had 2.9 KDA. Sure, we can chalk it up to his high-risk, high-reward playstyle, but the fact remains that Reignover and the entire Immortals team plays more towards getting Huni fed than TSM do towards their own toplaner. Even with that extra help, Huni only leads Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell in Kill Participation (Huni – 64,8%; Hauntzer – 61,7%), while having practically the same CS per minute and a worse KDA ratio. How much worse? Huni – 2.9, Hauntzer – 4.4. Why do I say that IMT pays more attention to the top lane than TSM does? That will be discussed in the next paragraph, where I will talk about Junglers.
Reignover and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen are the Junglers for Immortals and Team SoloMid respectively. Reignover is much more widely regarded, his synergy with Huni achieved meme status a long time ago now. Let’s look at the junglers’ kill participation as it relates to their laners stats in the same category. First of all, Reignover has KP of 73.4%, while Svenskeren only has 64,9%. Eugene “Pobelter” Park’s KP is 71,5%, while Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has 72.6%. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has 70,1%, when his opponent on Immortals, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran only has 66.3%. I would like to point out that kill participation isn’t directly related to which lanes get ganked more, however, let’s try and find a pattern.
Okay, Reignover’s KP is around 10% higher than Hauntzer’s. Seeing as solo kills rarely happen in professional matches, let’s see where IMT’s jungler pays more attention. Mid Laner’s KP is more or less the same, so both junglers do pay attention to the middle lane. Doublelift’s KP is roughly 4% higher than WildTurtle’s. Hauntzer’s is roughly 4% lower than Huni’s. Can you see what I’m getting at? Where Svenskeren goes to gank Mid or Bot, Reignover sometimes chooses to go Top instead of Bot, sometimes. With that said, Hauntzer still has a better KDA, which puts forward the idea that Hauntzer is the better top laner, doing more with less resources. I will admit, however, I do not understand what Svenskeren does with his time. With such a shitty KP for a jungler, his farm should be amazing, yet he gets 4.1 CS per minute to Reignover’s 4.5.
With all that said, the games should come to three things, how Pobelter does against Bjergsen, how WildTurtle and Adrian stands up to Doublelift and Biofrost, and finally, can Hauntzer keep up with Huni while having less jungle pressure and resources overall put towards making him stronger. Statistically, Bjergsen is a much better Mid than Pobelter, Reignover will have to set up a tent in a river bush in order for Pobelter to not get flattened. Doublefrost is my favorite Bot Lane duo in a matchup against WildAdrian, as the IMT Support seems to be stuck playing his favorite ranged Supports with not much else to offer. WildTurtle is a hypy ADC who goes for plays more often than not, just like Huni. The problem is that his team needs to be massively ahead for it to work. Against TSM, that shouldn’t be the case because Team SoloMid outskills or at least stays even in every position except Jungle. I won’t even pretend to be objective, it’s true that I just plain like TSM more as a team, however, there’s a reason why I talked about stats so much. I wanted to show that TSM looks to be the better team statistically too. With that said, see you on Monday, when the dust has settled.