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Flying Under the Radar: How PowerOfEvil is Making a Case for Spring Split MVP

Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

Entering Week 5, the LCS has been described as a “soup”, a “dumpster fire” and “a mess” by various pundits, commentators and Reddit commenters. Throughout all of this, not much attention has really been paid to the MVP race; it’s hard to pick out a standout performer carrying their team to victory if it’s unclear who’s actually going to win from one week to the next. While most teams have been wildly unpredictable, there has been one player putting out consistently great performances: Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage.

PowerOfEvil has been getting a smattering of praise from analysts (Joshua “Jatt” Leesman and Kien “MeanMisterKien” Lam talked about him in the most recent episode of the JLXP), but on Reddit his name doesn’t seem to pop up when people are discussing the best midlaners in the LCS. That’s a shame, because POE isn’t just playing like one of the best midlaners in LCS right now; he’s playing like he’s one of the league’s best players. Period.

Chart created by Richard Imp

Truth in Numbers

That’s a bold claim, but PowerOfEvil’s stats back it up. He’s Top 3 in KDA (4.7) and Kill Participation (72.4%) for midlaners, which are respectable, but those aren’t where he shines the brightest. PowerOfEvil leads the league in both Damage per Minute (589) and team damage percentage (35.6%). FlyQuest asks PowerOfEvil to do much of the heavy lifting in teamfights, and he delivers handily. He’s rewarded with kills, of course; his 32 are the most of any player in the League not on C9.

Detractors might point out that he has average laning stats; his Gold difference at 10 minutes and CS difference at 10 minutes are both middling (5th and 6th among midlaners, respectively) and his XP difference at 10 minutes is the lowest in the League. Those numbers are actually a product of FlyQuest’s playstyle, and affects every single member. FlyQuest as a team focuses on roaming for objective control and early kills, and as such, members sacrifice CS and experience. For a prime example of this happening, watch V1per in FlyQuest’s game against 100T in Week 4.

FlyQuest’s Playstyle

Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr
FlyQuest play a much more mid-focused style than most LCS teams

But while FlyQuest’s playstyle may hurt PowerOfEvil’s laning stats, that playstyle itself is actually the main reason why he should be considered for MVP. Consider this:

Conventional wisdom in League of Legends is that botlaners act as a team’s late-game carry. As such, most farm goes to the botlaner post laning phase. This is reflected in the gold-share stats for most LCS teams. Of the Top 10 players with the highest percentage of a team’s gold-share, 9 are ADC’s. The lone exception? PowerOfEvil, who sits comfortably at 8th, with 26.7% of FlyQuest’s gold-share. PowerOfEvil doesn’t waste that gold, converting it into his league-leading damage share of 35.6%.

FlyQuest’s mid-focused style is far different from the style League of Legends LCS teams are playing. It also means that FlyQuest’s success is driven by PowerOfEvil’s success. He is an integral part of their win condition, and as such, is the most valuable member of FlyQuest.

Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr
Santorin and PowerOfEvil celebrate after a FlyQuest win

Narratives and “The Eye Test”

In the most recent episode of The JLXP, MeanMisterKien said that PowerOfEvil’s approach to the game is “We’re gonna sit here. We’re gonna wait till 45 minutes. And I’m gonna turn on in the end game, and that’s how we’re going to win.” He said it facetiously, but Kien’s statement highlights the fact that PowerOfEvil is a spectacular late-game teamfighter. He is comfortable being the late-game carry for a team, and FlyQuest is more than happy to feed him resources.

This isn’t just confirmed by stats; those who watched FlyQuest’s games closely may have already noticed how his teammates look to facilitate PowerOfEvil as the carry, feeding him buffs and kills. In FlyQuest’s game versus TSM, Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen actually backed away from a teamfight in river to help PowerOfEvil take blue buff. And as for kills, POE’s 32 are good enough for fourth in the League, making him the highest non-C9 member on the leaderboard.

Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr
If PowerOfEvil wins MVP, it would be the first time a FlyQuest player had received the award

Sealing the Deal

So PowerOfEvil having a case for the most valuable member of FlyQuest is all well and good, but no one will care come awards season if FlyQuest aren’t at least in playoffs. The fact of the matter is that a player is more likely to win MVP if their team is successful. The last 5 MVP’s have all been on teams who not only made it to the Split finals but who had also finished in the Top 2 at the end of the regular season. FlyQuest will have to turn on the jets if they want PowerOfEvil’s MVP candidacy to spread its wings. With that in mind, a clean 2-0 in Week 5 would do just that.

An MVP award would be both PowerOfEvil’s first and a first for FlyQuest as an org. The prospect of a FlyQuest MVP is an exciting possibility. It’s also a lofty goal, but with the team flying high, it just might be in reach.

Need More?

What are your predictions for Week Five? Tell Richard what you think @Imp_Richard

Featured image courtesy of Riot Games

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