EU LCS Spring Split All-Pro Awards
The 2018 EU LCS Spring Split regular season has finished, and the standings are locked. Before the league enters playoffs, it is important to reflect on the past nine weeks and recognize the All-Pro players who have stood out. Each split, “the EU LCS English broadcast team, regional language broadcast teams, 3rd party media, and pro teams” submit ballots outlining their choices of the best players.
All-Pro Team, Coach of the Split, Rookie of the Split, and Most Valuable Player are the four recognitions. Each of these categories has its own definition, which is outlined on LoLesports.com, and copied within each section below. This is my public ballot and reasoning for each individual chosen.
“The EU LCS All-Pro team represents the individual stars in their respective roles. Players in the 1st team are the objectively best players in each position. If you’re in the All-Pro team, you truly are the best in Europe.”
TOP – G2 WUNDER
Wunder is one of the most clear standout performers this Spring Split, compared to others playing his position. Just watching G2’s games, fans can tell that he is always maintaining pressure. The audience most likely remembers his carry performances on Gangplank and Camille, but Wunder also put up solid wins on Ornn, Gnar, and Cho’Gath to round out his champion pool.
Objectively, Wunder leads top laners in almost every statistic–kills per game, assists per game, deaths per game, death share, gold and CS difference at 10 minutes, and damage per minute. His 5.9 KDA is tied fourth in the league, which is much higher than the next best top laner (Alphari, 22nd). Wunder should be an honest MVP candidate for this Spring Split.
JUNGLE – SPY XERXE
Jungle is one of the toughest roles to judge independently, because it is a less structured role than laners. Xerxe won out at the end of the day, because of his early proactivity and overall value to Splyce. When compared to G2’s Jankos, Xerxe offers more utility and cerebral gameplay. He has shown success on a wide range of champions, as well as efficiently choosing between farming and ganking.
Xerxe leads junglers in KDA, death share, First Blood, and gold difference at 10 minutes. His 63 percent First Blood rate is the highest in the entire league, which boosts Splyce’s team rate to 74 percent (second overall). Xerxe has also never suffered as the victim of First Blood, and his 13 percent death share is fourth lowest in the league. Finally, Xerxe is the only jungler to draft Ivern on stage, giving him a bit of a “wild card” factor.
MID – G2 PERKZ
The mid lane was pretty stacked this split, but Perkz is still best-in-class. Not only does he feel like an anchor for G2 in the early game, but he is also an intimidating carry in the late game. He brings more stability and consistency than any other competitor in his role. While abusing the meta picks, Azir, Ryze, and Zoe, Perkz has also experimented with more assist-centric picks, such as Sion, Galio, and Taliyah.
Perkz’s 4.7 KDA, 78.9 percent kill participation, 5.6 CS difference at 10 minutes, and 650 damage per minute are all top three for mid lane. His death share 21.8 percent death share is fairly high, but Caps and Jiizuke have 21 and 19.5 percent, respectively. By the 15 minute mark, Perkz averages ahead in 73.7 percent of games, also third highest among mid laners. This deep and wide strength profile that makes Perkz number one.
ADC – FNC REKKLES
With Zven relocated to North America, Rekkles has been able to showcase just how deadly he can be. Even in games where Fnatic fall drastically behind, Rekkles is somehow able to solo carry teamfights. Few players in the league probably eat more bans during the draft than Rekkles.
Some of his statistics are jaw-dropping. Among AD carries, Rekkles has the highest KDA (13.5), First Blood rate (44 percent), gold difference at 10 (+254), and damage per minute (674). There is a reason Fnatic provides him with the highest gold share of all marksmen. Rekkles is also unafraid to draft Ezreal or Sivir when his role is pinched, and then still execute without fail. It is hard to form an argument against him as first team All-Pro.
SUPPORT – MSF MIKYX
Despite Misfits’ team-wide issues, Mikyx has been excelling as support. He and Hans sama have a dominant laning phase, generally accounting for most of Misfits’ early game leads. Mikyx follows through as a threat through all phases of the game, often acting as crucial disengage and protection to allies, or catching out an enemy and salvaging fights.
Surprisingly, Mikyx holds the second highest overall First Blood rate in the EU LCS–56 percent. Misfits’ support also averages 8.1 assists per game and 80.1 kill participation, both second among supports. According to Games of Legends, Mikyx has the highest support vision score per minute (2.98), and, he is ranked the second best EU LCS support by Best.GG. His 3.4 KDA is pretty average overall, but mostly due to his 26.6 percent death share. Thirteen of his 18 games have been on tanks, such as Braum, Tahm Kench, or Alistar, so higher deaths is not terrible since he is so involved in Misfits’ teamfights and vision.
TOP – MSF ALPHARI
Misfits’ top laner comes in for EU LCS second team All-Pro. While other tops have varying effectiveness over the course of the split, Alphari brings higher highs and higher lows. He pushes his leads, especially on carries like Gangplank or Camille, and minimizes his losses. Alphari’s champion pool seems deeper, as well, showing solid performances on Shen, Malphite, Swain, and Cho’Gath.
A 4.1 KDA (second among tops), 17.2 percent death share (first among tops), and zero percent First Blood victim rate (tied first among tops) make up Alphari’s most impressive statistics. In a pool of over-aggressive, reckless top laners, Alphari remans calculated and safe. Even with Misfits’ low overall win rate, Alphari keeps his cool and never seems to lose the game for his team. If Misfits are able to solve their late-game decision problems, then expect Alphari to shine even brighter.
JUNGLE – G2 JANKOS
In a strange twist, having the two best solo laners is the only issue holding Jankos back from first team All-Pro. No doubt, Jankos has been a consistent force in the EU LCS this split. He turns up for ganks and counter-ganks whenever needed, but is often allowed to free farm while Wunder and Perkz hold down their lanes.
Jankos’ 80.8 kill participation and 3.17 vision score per minute are the highest among junglers. He also holds top three for KDA (5.9), death share (17.6 percent), and damage per minute (212). Jankos has been one of the few junglers to look formidable on such a wide array of champions, including Nunu, Kha’Zix, Skarner, and Olaf.
MID – FNC CAPS
What Caps lacks in the laning phase he makes up in the mid and late game. While generally the target of a lot of enemy pressure, Caps gets through the early game as best he can. Caps always becomes Fnatic’s secondary damage threat with Rekkles and takes over games. His diverse champion skill set, including Aurelion Sol and Veigar, makes drafting versus Fnatic extremely difficult.
Caps has the second highest damage per minute (659) in the EU LCS, and the highest damage share (32.6 percent) of any mid laner. His 4.3 KDA is tied for third among mids. While his kill participation and CS/gold/XP difference at 10 minutes are on the lower side, Caps does the most important job for mid laners–dishing damage while staying safe. His .07 deaths per 1000 damage contributes to his first place rank on Best.GG.
ADC – MSF HANS SAMA
Hans sama is like a watered down Rekkles. He is online at all stages of the game, often winning lane with Mikyx and transitioning to crushing team fights. Misfits’ AD carry has exceptional positioning around objectives, allowing himself to output damage while remaining alive. He is one of the only EU AD carries that looks good on Kog’Maw.
Hans sama holds a 5.3 KDA, second only to Rekkles. He leads marksmen in CS difference at 10 minutes (+7.6) and First Blood rate (44 percent), and has a top three gold difference at 10 (+210), damage share (33.3 percent), and share of games ahead at 15 minutes (72.2 percent). All of these statistics are even more impressive when taking into account Misfits’ 44 percent win rate.
SUPPORT – G2 WADID
Wadid carried over his play-making from last year onto G2. Excelling on Braum, Taric, and Janna, G2’s support does a great job protecting Hjarnan and enabling his carries. Wadid may not have the most dominant laning phase of all the supports, but he is the best at pressuring objectives and fighting in the mid-late game.
8.2 assists per game sets Wadid at the top of the entire EU LCS. Although he only has the fourth highest kill participation among supports (77 percent), Wadid makes up for it with the second lowest deaths per game (1.9). Wadid is actually ranked as the strongest support in EU by Best.GG, and his 9.8 percent gold share is the second lowest in the league.
TOP – SPY ODOAMNE
Recency and win rate bias probably puts Odoamne above Alphari for some people. But, looking back on the first few weeks of the Spring Split, Odoamne really struggled. Just looking on his first six matches, Odoamne’s KDA was 1.04. However, he maintained a 3.37 KDA over the last 13 games.Odoamne’s resurgence has allowed Splyce to finish the split in third place, and if he held this higher form over the entire split, then maybe he would be second or first team All-Pro.
Despite these earlier woes, Odoamne averages ahead in CS, XP, and gold at 10 minutes. He also participates in First Blood in 42 percent of games (first among top laners). While Odoamne has the highest death share among top laners (33.8 percent), he also contributes 25.6 percent of Splyce’s damage (second among tops). Odo is peaking at the perfect time for playoffs, with powerful performances on Camille, Vladimir, Cho’Gath, and Sion.
JUNGLE – FNC BROXAH
Even though Broxah is surrounded by strong players and veteran leadership, he deserves credit for his individual performances this split. Broxah plays a large part in Fnatic’s ability to gain early pressure and transition into mid-game momentum. The team averages ahead by 800 gold at 15 minutes (second in EU), has a 78 percent First Blood rate (first in EU), a 61 percent dragon control rate, and a 58 percent Baron control rate (both second in EU). Fnatic also maintains a 55 percent jungle control rate, which is first in the league.
Broxah has been crucial to Fnatic’s dominance this split. Jarvan IV, Sejuani, and Zac have put Broxah on initiation duty, which works well for the team. However, Broxah’s Kha’Zix games have been some of the best in the league. He has the second highest KDA (6.5), third lowest death share (15.3 percent), and the second highest First Blood rate (50 percent), while never falling victim to First Blood. Broxah has truly come into his own this year.
MID – VIT JIIZUKE
Jiizuke has been a central part of Vitality’s success this split. His aggression has helped define the team’s playstyle, which kept Vitality towards the top for most of the regular season. The best-looking Ryze in EU, Jiizuke benefitted most from the Zoe-Azir-Ryze meta prior to patch 8.5. His highlight plays are some of the flashiest of the entire split, often pulling off 1-v-2s and clutch escapes.
Jiizuke averages ahead in lane in 77.8 percent of games with top three gold, XP, and CS differences at 15 minutes. He also outputs 611 damage per minute (second among mids), which makes up 31.8 percent of Vitality’s overall damage (second among mids). And while Vitality has been on a downward trajectory on the back half of the split, few would blame it on Jiizuke’s performance. He offers the most kills per game (3.6), but also the third most deaths per game (2.1).
ADC – H2K SHERIFF
Sheriff and H2K have had the opposite effect this split. Prior to Shook’s starting, Sheriff only had seven kills and 11 assists over eight games, most of which were in H2K’s win over Fnatic. His KDA was 1.8. He and H2K were free wins in the eyes of the community.
Since Shook joined the team, Sheriff has blossomed into a true late game carry. His KDA has risen to 4.2 (5.87 over the last 10 games). Sheriff outputs the third most damage per minute (652), has the highest kill participation (85.5 percent), and the third lowest death share (12.8 percent) in the entire league, despite the devastating first four weeks. Other AD carries, such as Kobbe, Hjarnan, and Minitroupax, are not able to match Sheriff’s consistency, despite their stronger teammates and being higher in the standings.
SUPPORT – FNC HYLISSANG
Although Hylissang is not the star of Fnatic, he has still been a solid performer for the top team. Fnatic’s overall strength allows Hylissang to get away with more face-checking and errors than other supports, but his initiations and his impact with champions like Braum, Rakan, and Alistar is undeniable. His strategies are working much better this year with Fnatic’s controlled style than last year with Unicorns of Love.
Hylissang has a top three KDA (3.7), gold and XP difference at 15 minutes (+229, +150), and First Blood rate (50 percent) among supports. The rest of his stats are not ideal, especially considering Fnatic’s place in the standings, but his utility and effectiveness for the team raise him above other supports like Norskeren or kaSing. Hylissang feels more like a threat of his own.
Rookie of the Split
The 2018 EU LCS Spring Split has been full of promising rookies, including Jiizuke, Sheriff, Norskeren, and Minitroupax. However, what elevates Jiizuke, in particular, is everything he brings to the game. Not only is he formidable on the Rift, but he also brings so much that League of Legends fans enjoy–aggressive playmaking, high energy on stage, and a winning personality. Jiizuke immediately left his mark on the EU LCS from day one, and he has been riding the wave ever since. Vitality is lucky to have him as a competitive mid laner, but fans are also lucky to spectate live and on-screen.
Coach of the Split
SPY PETER DUN
While Splyce still need to prove themselves moving into playoffs, they have had a much better regular season than many expected. Peter Dun came on board a plateaued organization with a rebuilt roster for 2018. So far he has been able to lead the team to a third place regular season finish, and each individual member, as well as the team as a whole, seems to get better week after week.
YamatoCannon comes in a close second for this award, but the fact that four fifths of Vitality’s roster had already played together last split, and Vitality’s loss of momentum over the split, detracted from his perceived contributions.
Most Valuable Player
This vote does not require much explanation. Rekkles is a world-class player who looks just as good as ever. With Febiven, PowerOfEvil, Zven, and Mithy gone to North America, Rekkles has much less star power to contend with. He is one of the only players to play at a consistently high level over the entire split, at all stages of the game, on any champion, regardless of the draft.
When SoaZ or Caps is diminished, Rekkles is always the one that steps up to carry the team. When Fnatic falls behind by a significant amount, Rekkles is the one that reels it back in. Every other player in the EU LCS feels like they have significant weaknesses. Rekkles overshadows them all.
SoaZ is certainly a top three top laner. While his statistics are not stellar, his role on Fnatic is essential to how they play. Enemies often set SoaZ behind and catch him out in side lanes, but he milks the attention and makes those sacrifices in order for Fnatic to win other areas and make aggressive trades.
But it feels awkward voting for SoaZ over Odoamne or Alphari when he did not play the last couple of games. Fnatic has been very transparent about why they brought Bwipo on stage, and it was not because SoaZ is slumping or having any issues. But, because he did not finish out the regular season, and Bwipo was able to step in without hurting Fnatic’s chances, it is hard to cast a vote for SoaZ.
In that same vein, Shook and Selfie did not play the entire split. However, it is undeniable how large their impact has been for H2K. Before Shook joined the team, H2K had a 1-7 record. Since he joined, H2K has had a 7-3 record. His ability to control the pace of the game, and to help H2K maintain mental fortitude through rough games, deserves credit.
Also, Selfie has been essential to H2K’s wins. Statistically, he has a very strong laning phase, and is involved in over 80 percent of H2K’s kills, while keeping the lowest death share of all mid laners. This split has been the best showing of LCS play from Selfie, and he could be in the conversation for the third best mid laner if he had played over the entire split at his current level.
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