Kings in the North American LCS – Immortals vs. Team SoloMid

TSM and IMT will meet one last time before playoffs in the 2016 North American LCS Summer Split. A fight for the top-seed like few before. I took a look at our lane swap statistics ahead of their match this weekend to preview this clash of kings. Both teams boast impressive numbers, placing first and second in almost every positive metric. You can find an overview over the statistics normally used to analyze matches in our statistics section.

I used data from all NA LCS games that were played before Monday (July 25th).

 

How they got to the top

 

Below, you can see the win-loss track record for Immortals and Team SoloMid leading up to the regular season showdown. TSM played two games less than IMT, but aside from that the distribution of wins and losses is fairly even. What sticks out is that TSM mostly lost to lesser teams in Echo Fox and Phoenix1. Outside of a single loss to NRG Esports, IMT only dropped games to playoff-bound teams. The fact that TSM continues to struggle with new strategies thrown at them is disconcerting, but hard to measure statistically, simply because there are very few instances of it. So no, I will not be talking about Huni picking AD Soraka to tilt TSM.

Gameline IMT vs TSM

 

Will lane swaps decide IMT vs. TSM?

 

IMT win 73.7% of their games that started with a lane swap and 89.5% when they met their opponents in standard lanes. TSM have winrates of 92.3% and 82.6% respecitvely. Both teams play at an incredible pace, averaging game times of 32.3 (TSM) and 33.1 (IMT) minutes. They take the first tower in the majority of their games, but IMT do so more often (84.2%) than TSM (69.4%). This stat is of limited value in a lane swap meta, so I looked at our lane swap metrics. We have been tracking lane swap statistics for four major regions (LCK, LMS, EU and NA LCS) in the 2016 Summer Split.1)We define a lane swap based on the distance between opposing teams’ ADCs. For more on the definition and a few examples check out Timbolt’s article and our lane swap statistics section. Team SoloMid only lane swaps in roughly one third of their games, while Immortals play an equal amount of standard lanes (this includes Australia lanes) and lane swaps. Whether that is always the desired outcome for each team remains difficult to tell. What we can say is how beneficial a swap is for each team.

Immortals do not only take the first tower at the highest rate in the NA LCS. In lane swaps, they also come out ahead by 375 gold at six and by 550 gold at ten minutes. On top of that, IMT have the third largest xp-lead at ten minutes in swaps with 407. This may sound great, but IMT often lose some of their early advantage because the opposition first bloods Huni frequently. Keep in mind that Immortals give up first blood in 60.5% of their games. Huni was the victim 11 out of 23 times. However, he is an exceptional player and makes up for that. He still ranks in the top 3 for creep-score difference (CSD@10) at ten in both standard lanes (7.2) and swaps (4.9). If Huni manages to survive the early attention he receives, IMT will have a better shot at taking down TSM. IMT as a whole do even better in standard lanes and are ahead by 741 gold at ten minutes on average, highest in the NA LCS.

Even thought TSM starts out slower in swaps than IMT, their gold lead skyrockets from 94 at six minutes to 766 at ten minutes. TSM’s Hauntzer actually does even better than Huni in lane swaps. In swaps and standard lanes both he is, on average, up 6 cs at the ten-minute mark. Despite this seeming advantage, Hauntzer could actually be doing even better considering that he has only died for first blood five times. TSM as a whole just plays a bit more controlled than IMT does. It comes as no surprise that they have only been first blooded 11 times all season. In standard lanes, TSM also jump out to a 687 gold lead at ten minutes. We can maybe attribute this to the fact that their focus is more on dragons than on getting more kills, which are worth more gold. We will come back to this in the next section.

Lane Swap Stats IMT vs TSM

Based on the individual abilities of their players, Immortals have the bloodiest games in the NA LCS. Games with IMT average 0.84 combined kills per minute (CKPM), as per Oracle’s Elixir, while in games with TSM the average CKPM is 0,7. This points to different priorities in how they go about winning their games.

Immortals like to fight a lot. They have 608 kills and a kill to death ratio of 1.36. The highest number of gold shift events (GSE) in the NA LCS with 202 is another indicator for their aggressive style. A GSE describes one team gaining a substantial amount of gold on their opponents.2)A GSE is defined as a substantial swing in gold in either the last or the last two minutes. It occurs when one team gains a specific amount of gold more than their opponent. The amount is 600 gold at 5 minutes and scales linearly with time, reaching 2000 gold by 30 minutes. For more, check out our article on GSEs. TSM take first drake in 83.3% of their games and have a dragon rate of 74.2%. Moreover, TSM had 163 GSEs in their games and only 519 kills with a kill to death ratio of 1.75.

IMT and TSM do exceptionally well in standard and non-standard lanes. All in all, this will be an interesting clash of styles between a highly talented skirmishing team in Immortals and a very refined macro-focused team in TSM.

The image used for the header is taken from here and is courtesy of Riot Games.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. We define a lane swap based on the distance between opposing teams’ ADCs. For more on the definition and a few examples check out Timbolt’s article and our lane swap statistics section.
2. A GSE is defined as a substantial swing in gold in either the last or the last two minutes. It occurs when one team gains a specific amount of gold more than their opponent. The amount is 600 gold at 5 minutes and scales linearly with time, reaching 2000 gold by 30 minutes. For more, check out our article on GSEs.

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