Week One of the League Championship Series was an exciting start to the 2020 competitive season. With so many players changing teams, and even the teams themselves changing, fans were waiting in suspense for a first look at their favorite teams on the Rift. Some teams performed above day one expectations, while others performed below them. A two-game sample size is too small to judge these teams’ potential, but TSM and Immortals had rough weeks.
Their match-up lasted over 61 minutes, and their games versus Team Liquid and FlyQuest lasted 39:28 and 38:32, respectively. That puts TSM’s average game time at 50:24 and Immortals’ at 49:56. Considering the next longest is 100 Thieves at 38:36, TSM and Immortals Week One games averaged 10 minutes longer than the rest of the LCS.
A long game time by itself does not indicate much. Several factors go into how long games last, including team compositions, specific match-ups and overall win conditions. The competitive League of Legends meta ebbs and flows, which can cause average game times to change worldwide. Game time also does not indicate winning or losing. Some teams consistently lose quickly (2019 Vaevictus Gaming), while others consistently win slowly (2019 Berlin International Gaming).
When analyzing average game time, the team’s early game matters, as well as gold differential per minute. First Blood, early turrets, and early gold leads should result in a quicker win. With an even start and lower early game stats, teams with positive gold differentials typically run away with their lead once they get one in the mid-late game (2019 Royal Never Give Up).
TSM and IMT both share that extended game length, and they showed similar trajectories in their losses. In TSM’s match versus Team Liquid, they started the game with a nearly 2,000 gold lead at 13 minutes, First Blood and first turret. By 21 minutes, the gold was equalized, followed by a steadily growing gold deficit through 39 minutes. In IMT’s match versus FlyQuest, they started the game 1,400 gold ahead at 13 minutes. IMT secured First Blood and first turret, but slowly ceded a gold lead until the game ended around 38 minutes.
While the gold graphs and overall trajectories of these games were very similar, TSM and IMT played out the losses differently. IMT was more willing to engage with FlyQuest. Xmithie and Eika died a lot, but IMT also finished with more kills for themselves. IMT’s mid and bottom laners maintained closer CS with FLY’s, while sOAZ fell behind. Against TL, TSM’s mid and bottom laners fell significantly behind in farm, while Broken Blade’s Gangplank pulled ahead. They did not give or take many kills, but TL continued to secure objectives and end the game. In both games, TSM and IMT could not destroy more than three turrets, while their opponents took turrets, dragons and Baron.
Luckily, IMT defeated TSM in Week One in the longest LCS match so far. TSM took the early lead, maintaining it through 38 minutes. However, IMT pulled the game back in their favor, securing Infernal Soul, two Elder Drakes and three Barons, dragging the match out to 61 minutes. It was one of those games that neither team feels proud of, and, hopefully, they are able to identify the problems surrounding their mid-games. TSM has shown both games they can secure early leads. Immortals showed they can win early or late. In Week Two they should both be aiming for a straight-forward win through proper scaling, or by leveraging an early lead to an earlier victory.
Image from LoL Esports Flickr
Stats from Games of Legends