League of Legends World Championships Semifinals Preview–SSG vs. WE

October 26, 2017 - Esports
League of Legends World Championships Semifinals Preview–SSG vs. WE

Yesterday, we looked at the stats of SK Telecom T1 and Royal Never Give Up over the 2017 World Championship in an effort to determine which team holds the advantage and what are the win conditions for both teams. Today, we shall look at the match between Samsung Galaxy and Team WE, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Oct. 29.

While Team WE had a hard time getting to the Semifinals, having matched up against Cloud9 and having to deal with their surprising Singed Top pick, Samsung Galaxy had a much easier time against Longzhu Gaming despite being the pound-for-pound underdogs, 3-0ing their opponents and shining a light on their lack of best of 5 experience due to the format of the LCK.

The first matchup we’re going to look at is obviously top lane. Both Ke “957” Changyu and Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin have an essential part to play in their team’s’ road to victory. In the stats line, however, CuVee seems like a much more dangerous player than 957.

The KDA of the two players is similar, with CuVee boasting 5.5 to 957’s 6. The difference comes from the average number of kills the two players get. CuVee has 1.9 kills per game, while 957 gets 2.4. Their death and assists averages are very similar, with 1.3 and 1.4 deaths respectively and 5.4 and 5.9 assists.

Despite getting fewer kills and assists, CuVee holds the advantage in his share of the total team damage with 21% to 957’s 17.9%, though it comes at the cost of a bigger share of the team’s gold, 21.4% to 18.7% from 957. The players’ damage per minute is similar. CuVee gets out 457.1 damage per minute, while 957 trails behind a little bit with 395.2.

Both top laners are lone island top laners with 68% kill participation from CuVee and 63.9% from 957. It is not significantly different from the other two top laners in the 2017 League of Legends World Championship Semifinals, both Seung “Huni” Hoon Heo and Yan “LetMe” Jun Ze had similar scores.

CS difference at 10 and Gold difference at 10 is where CuVee’s superiority becomes apparent. While 957’s 2.1 CS lead at 10 minutes is respectable, CuVee wins his early games harder, with a lead of 6.3 CS. The gold difference also reflects this. 957 is typically ahead by 41.8 gold at 10, while CuVee enjoys a 185.8 gold lead at the 10 minute mark.

According to the stats, CuVee tends to win his lane harder, possibly leaving Samsung Galaxy the option to let him do his thing and try to concentrate on getting the other two lanes, mid and bot, ahead, which is a more popular strategy in the Worlds meta.

On the face of it, both Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie and Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong seem evenly matched.

Condi holds a slight KDA advantage with 4.8 to Ambition’s 3.7 but it mostly comes from Ambition’s tendency to die more, 2.3 times per game. Condi only dies 1.8 times. Ambition gets 1.8 kills and 6.6 assists, while Condi can boast 1.6 kills and 6.8 assists.

It seems like Ambition’s pathing is superior to his opponent’s because he manages to both have a higher kill participation (76.1% to Condi’s 65.2%) and find himself ahead of his opposing jungle in CS at 10 minutes by 2.1, while Condi is typically 4.4 CS behind.

Neither of the players is relied on to deal damage by their teammates. Ambition’s damage share is 13.8%, while Condi only deals 11.2% of his team’s total damage. It has to be pointed out that a bigger share of his team’s overall gold finds its way to Ambitions pocket as well, 17.3% to 16.3.

Securing vision is also an important job for a jungler. There, both players are extremely similar. Ambition places 0.9 and clears 0.4 wards per minute, while Condi places 1 and clears 0.4 as well.

While the two players are just about even in performance, Ambition gets more gold per minute, 216.8 to Condi’s 202.5. This, as well as the fact that Ambition typically has a gold lead at 10 with a higher kill participation, leads us to conclude that the Samsung Galaxy jungler might be a more useful player for his team.

The mid lane in the matchup between Samsung Galaxy and Team WE gives us the first truly significant disparity between the upcoming lane opponents with Su “Xiye” Han-Wei coming out on top against Lee “Crown” Min-ho in terms of stats.

Xiye’s superiority starts with his KDA of 6.2 to Crown’s 5. And it’s not because Crown dies more while putting up similar numbers in kills and assists either. Simply put, Xiye gets a full kill more than his future opponent at 4.3 to 3.2. The players die a similar amount of times, 1.4 and 1.6, while also getting a similar number of assists, 4.7 for Xiye and 4.6 for Crown.

The Chinese mid laner’s superiority continues at his damage share as well with 29.2% to Crown’s 24.2%. He does get a little bit more of his team’s gold at 23.7% to Crown’s 22.1%.

Where Xiye is worse than his opponent is in kill participation. Crown shares in the credit for 72.2% of all Samsung Galaxy kills, while Xiye only gets credit for 69.1%, possibly indicating that the Chinese mid laner is more likely to stay in lane and farm while Crown prefers to roam.

That would go contrary to the players’ CS per minute stat, however, as both get a very similar amount of CS per minute at 9 and 9.1, though it might be possible that Crown makes up for the roaming in the mid to late game by picking up farm in the side lanes, which would be supported by the CS difference at 10 minutes stat. Where Xiye is ahead by 1.4 CS at 10 minutes, Crown is usually 5.8 CS behind.

Interestingly, Crown is typically less behind in gold at 10 minutes at -15.8 to Xiye’s -43.1 gold.

Where Xiye truly shines over Crown is the amount of damage he deals per minute, 643.3 to 525.8 from Crown.

Finally, after talking about top, jungle, and mid, we get to the bot lane, the arguably most important part of the Summoner’s Rift in the 2017 World Championship metagame.

The most important thing the AD Carry has to do in a professional League of Legends game is to not die with pumping out consistent DPS as the second objective.

Samsung Galaxy’s Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk is a bit better at not dying than Team WE’s Jin “Mystic” Sung-jun. While Ruler dies only 1.3 times per game, Mystic sees the grey screen 2.1 times. Both players get around 4.8 assists, though Mystic picks up 4.4 kills to Ruler’s 3.2, resulting in a higher KDA overall.

Both AD Carries share a very similar kill participation stat of 72.2% for Ruler and 71.2% for Mystic.

Ruler picks up more CS than his future lane opponent, 10.1 to Mystic’s 9.3, SSG’s Marksman also typically wins the CS race at 10 minutes by 1.1 CS, while Mystic trails a bit behind at -1.6. In total, Ruler tends to have a 111.7 gold lead at 10 minutes while Mystic is 153.1 gold behind his lane opponents with 77.1 CS at 10 to Ruler’s 82.1.

This is partially explained by the champions both players tend to favor. While Mystic plays a lot of Kog’Maw, an immobile hyper carry which is known to be quite weak in the early game, Ruler likes Tristana, Twitch, and Varus more, which allows him to impose his will on the opponent more.

In the end, Ruler’s love of safety ends up costing him in terms of damage numbers, while the slightly riskier playstyle from Mystic helps him pump out more damage. Ruler’s damage share from the overall damage done by his team is 35.2% with 765.2 damage done per minute on a budget of 25.1% of his team’s overall gold and 312 effective gold per minute. Mystic beats Ruler all over the place in damage numbers, dealing 827.4 damage per minute, which ends up at 37.6% of his team’s overall damage, on a budget of 25.3% of all gold earned by Team WE or 315 gold per minute.

If the trends we see continue, Ruler will pick champions which can stand up well in lane, while Mystic goes for Kog’Maw, banking on his ability to take over the game late. He will probably get behind in lane against Ruler but the rest will heavily depend on the macro play exhibited by the two teams.

Once again, we have to point out that stats don’t represent the full effectiveness of a support player. With that said, here’s what we can glean from the stat lines of Samsung Galaxy’s Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in and Team WE’s Nam “Ben” Dong Hyun.

The two players are actually statistically similar. CoreJJ has the better KDA of 7.1 to Ben’s 6.3, partly due to dying less (1.2 to 1.5) and getting 0.6 kills to 0.3 from Ben. Team WE’s support does get 9 assists to CoreJJ’s 8.1, however, and participates in slightly more of his team’s kills, 81.3% to 80.4%.

Warding is one of the most important jobs supports have. Both players perform similarly, with 1.1 ward place per minute by CoreJJ and 1.2 by Ben. They also clear 0.4 and 0.3 wards per minute respectively.

The roles taken by the two players are slightly different. While both take part in the Ardent Censer meta with all three of their most played supports capable of running the overpowered item, the champions they use with it differ.

CoreJJ prefers Lulu, Taric, and Rakan, taking a more active role in his team’s engage efforts. Ben, on the other hand, sticks by his AD Carry, Mystic, much more, having picked Janna nine times, Lulu twice and Taric twice as well.

This can be explained by the fact that Mystic prefers playing Kog’Maw, a champion that needs a lot of protection, which Janna excels at. The higher number of games by the Team WE support comes from the fact that the Chinese had to go through the Play-In, while SSG didn’t.


It has to be pointed out that the stats coming in from Team WE might be skewed higher due to the fact that they played several matches in the Play-In Stage against opponents which were considerably worse than the opposition they met later on. This makes the stats less indicative of the true strength of the Team WE players.

Still, a statistical approach can be used to figure out the trends which govern how the two teams play and advantages they might have over their opponent.

The first thing that becomes apparent is that WE’s jungler, Condi, will have to be all over the map if he wants to make sure that every lane wins their matchup. With the late game prowess of Samsung Galaxy, Team WE doesn’t have the luxury of picking losing lanes and hoping to scale into the late game with their Kog’Maw.

Top lane will go to SSG unless their opponents do something about it because CuVee has been getting early leads throughout the tournament, while 957 didn’t or at least not to the same extent.

While Xiye is more lane dominant than Crown according to the stats, Crown has been showing a tendency to roam more than his opponent, so Xiye might find himself without a convenient target to bully.

All of this leads to the strength of the two bot lanes. If WE continues with their Kog’Maw strategy, both junglers are likely to be drawn to the bot lane, where Ruler’s champion pool is a bit more resilient to ganks than Mystic’s. In a 2v3 situation, however, Ben’s support pool should help them get away. On the other hand, if Ambition decides to show up in the bot lane, CoreJJ’s Rakan and the champion’s snappy engage could prove to be more than WE is prepared to deal with.

Overall, we believe that Samsung Galaxy has every opportunity to win the series against WE and move on to the Finals of the League of Legends World Championship for the second year in a row. They only have to control Xiye and make sure that Mystic can’t get up to his usual Kog’Maw shenanigans.