North America’s Academy League wrapped up its first round robin of the 2020 Summer Split, with TSM Academy in the lead. Team Liquid are on the bottom end, clearly last place, but the other eight teams are within one win of each other. However, despite the parity in the standings’, certain players, teams, and champions stand out statistically.
Gold Share v. Damage Share
League of Legends players use gold as a meaningful resource within the game. Generally speaking, more gold means more power. However, gold is only useful when spent on items that provide the player with some kind of advantage over their opponent. For top-level players, damage is usually the advantage.
Enter gold share and damage share. These stats measure the portion of gold and damage each player accumulates within their team. Most teams funnel gold into their bottom and mid laners, as they provide the most damage. Therefore, comparing damage share to gold share is kind of like measuring a return on investment. The team enabled the player to gather gold, now how much damage can they do with it?
Looking at the chart, most top Academy players’ have a higher share of damage versus gold. Bottom laners make up the top contributors in both categories, followed by mid laners and top laners.
The space between the two points indicates that “return on investment” mentioned above. For example, while Insanity and Apollo produce similar shares of damage, Insanity does so with a lower gold share, indicating he converts gold into damage more often than Apollo. On the other hand, Lost and Huni contribute roughly the same share of damage, yet Huni is taking a significantly smaller portion of his team’s gold.
By nature, this stat is not completely driven by the individual player. A team may have a resource hog or someone who dies frequently without doing damage. They may draft supportive or tank champions, as opposed to damage-dealers. Some teams may draft more poke-based or scaling champions. Maybe one team finishes games earlier, resulting in a less significant difference in gold share between members. All of these factors can inflate or deflate an individual’s share of gold or damage.
Mid Lane Counter-Pick Rate v. Laning Phase Advantage
Counter-picks can play a factor in a player’s ability to carry, as well. While Academy-level teams are well aware of most “cheesy” counter-picks, drafting a champion after knowing the lane opponent should improve the chances of that player gaining a meaningful lead. Some teams place higher priority on drafting advantages for their star players, while others rotate which roles and champions they blind pick.
Academy players are inconsistent when it comes to earning leads through laning phase, with respect to counter-pick rate. Yusui, Giyuu and Evolved average gold and XP deficits at 10 minutes, despite consistently getting to counter-pick. On the other hand, Eika, Triple, and Ablazeolive average gold and XP leads, even though they get counter-picks less frequently. Fenix is essentially an average mid laner, with respect to these stats.
Keep in mind, these numbers do not directly measure how effective the players are with their counter-picks. The gold and XP difference stats are averages of both blind and counter-pick games. If a player gains large leads in lane with counter-picks, but falls significantly behind with blind picks, then their average would be in the middle. Teams also may not always counter-pick for a laning phase advantage. For example, Galio has an 88 percent counter-pick rate in Academy, but has some of the worst laning stats. Teams will still draft him, because he may round out a composition after seeing most of the opponent’s draft.
Win Rate v. Objective Control
Laning phase does not mean much without objective control. At Academy level, most fights occur around neutral objectives, because they bring permanent and temporary value once secured. Baron and Elder are late-game necessities, while Heralds and Dragons can be traded, based on circumstances.
Academy League teams’ win, Herald, Dragon, Baron, and Elder rates. Interestingly, the teams do not exhibit a clear correlation between objective control and win rates. Cloud9 has higher objective control than TSM, but TSM has two more wins. 100 Thieves has 100 percent Elder control, yet they are tied with three other teams. The bottom three teams, FlyQuest, Dignitas, and Team Liquid, have yet to secure an Elder Drake, but neither has Immortals. Maybe TSM and C9 are more likely to trade Heralds for early Dragons, which gives them Dragon Soul more frequently. However, most Academy teams have equal or higher Herald control than Dragon control.
Champion Priority and Win Rates in Academy v. LCS
Comparing Academy player stats to LCS players is pretty much pointless, but comparing champion stats between the leagues can be interesting. One would think the meta would be similar, but some champions actually have varying success between thee major and minor leagues. They also have different priority in many cases.
When viewing the chart, the dark points represent win rates between LCS and Academy, while the light points represent priority (picks and bans combined). Nidalee and Kindred represent opposites when viewing success and priority between the leagues. Nidalee has a high win rate in Academy, but a low win rate in LCS; Kindred has a high win rate in LCS, but a low win rate in Academy. However, they have similar levels of priority across both leagues.
Kalista and Lee Sin are similar foils, with Kalista being more successful in Academy, and Lee Sin being more successful in LCS, despite being over or under-valued within that league. Jayce and Ezreal represent champions with similar value between both leagues, yet Jayce has lower priority and higher win rates than Ezreal.
Overall, Summer Split has been exciting for Academy League. Several players have started four or more games in both LCS and Academy, providing more insight into the skill level of both leagues. Despite these players rotating, the champion priority, win rates, objectives, and more are unique. And with players like Insanity, Mash, Poome and Lourlo finding varying levels of success in LCS, maybe more Academy players will get their shot soon.
All statistics from Oracles Elixir