For Cloud9, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong is having the best season of his career. Some may think that is a bold statement considering he is a 2013 World Champion with SKT T1 but it is a statement he himself made in an interview with scarra after Cloud9 successfully secured a spot in the 2016 World Championship by beating Immortals in the North American Regional Finals. In that interview, scarra asks Impact if “SKT Impact is back”, a sentiment commonly discussed in the League of Legends community. Impact says, “What I don’t understand is…I’m better right now then I was back then by a lot. So, I think it’s best if you call me C9 Impact.”
Better by a lot, he says. Hmmm.
Maybe Impact is exaggerating but then again maybe not. Maybe there is a particular point in time we can all point to and say, “Aha! You see, it is because of this”.
In that same interview, scarra asks Impact if there is a particular reason for his current performance, “You’ve been playing amazing. Everyone says you’ve been playing really, really well. I was in the press room today, I talked to other press people they said you’re the 2nd best top laner in the World right now, you’re playing that good.” With those comments, a big grin flashes across Impact’s face. Impact’s English is a bit broken when he speaks but he seems to understand scarra well enough. scarra continues, “What changed? ‘Cause it’s only recently in the last month where you just went off. I had [someone] look it up, you have 18 solo kills in the last 4 weeks, more than any other top laner by a wide margin. What’s different?”
Ya, what is different? If the League community says he is playing better, and Impact himself says he is better now than with SKT, there must some evidence to support these statements.
I decided to look at his play on Gnar only, a champion he has played 19 times since joining Cloud9 back on May 9th, 2016. I will look at several statistical factors throughout the Summer Split, Playoffs, and Regionals, all of which are best conveyed graphically with time plotted on the x-axis. First, we will look at Impact’s ability to be a “carry” for Cloud9. The stats we will discuss are Damage % (D%), Gold % (G%), Damage % per Gold % (D%/G%), and Creep Score % (CS%). Second, we will look at Impact’s ability to be a “lane bully/split pusher/snowballer” for Cloud9. The stats we will discuss are Gold per Minute Differential (GPM-D) and Damage per Minute Differential (DPM-D).
As an additional reference, I have also included data from every Gnar game played in North America not by Impact. As you scroll through, the games played by Impact are colored blue whereas the non-Impact games are colored grey. I have also included a dashed vertical line denoting the boundary between Regular Season games and Playoff/Regional games. After some of the graphs I will include a short summary, but if you learn anything from this article, notice Impact’s trend lines.
Impact carrying Cloud9
D% is a “damage carry” stat. The higher the value, the more he is carrying his team with respect to damage output.
D%/G% is is a “damage efficiency” stat. Typically, as G% goes up so does D% and vice versa, those two stats seem dependent on each other because you need gold to buy damage items. They are, however, not completely dependent on each other. Notice that Impact’s D%/G% goes up throughout the season, which means that even though he is generating more and more gold for his team, his damage efficiency is going up but at a faster rate. This is certainly not true for everyone but it shows the Impact’s damage production scales faster than his gold generation.
CS% is a “team carry” stat. The higher the value, the more creeps he is killing than his teammates. CS% is certainly dependent on champion choice and role, some teams place their farm on a split-pushing role whereas other teams farm everyone equally. This graph, however, shows that he is generating a higher CS% throughout the season. The upward trend may be a sign that Impact is playing better but it could also mean that he is fulfilling the role of split pusher more throughout the season, if Cloud9 are asking him to play a split-push style of play his CS% will go up accordingly. CS% is also tied to G%, so it makes sense that his G% goes up along with his CS%.
Impact dominating the enemy top laner
GPM-D is an incredibly difficult stat to pull specific results from because it is affected by many things including both individual and team gold generation. Regardless of win/losses, Cloud9 has been generating slightly more team gold as the season has gone on. Moreover, Impact’s first 3 games on Gnar were losses (2 to TSM, 1 to APX) so those earlier Gnar games skew the trend line. As I said, this is a complex stat but the trend line is going up, which means to some extent Impact is generating more gold than the enemy top laner.
DPM-D is a “lane bully/split pusher/snowballing” stat. This stat is also a bit complicated because it is dependent on winning and role. Winning teams do more damage because they are alive to do more damage. Additionally, Impact could be seeing an upswing in his DPM-D as the season progressed because he was put into a split pushing role with more 1v1 fighting opportunities. In this scenario, Impact can do damage in lane and then TP into a team fight and continue to do damage. I asked heavenTime, head coach for Echo Fox, about Impact’s performances on Gnar and what he thinks of his overall Gnar play. After all, Impact had his highest D% game when he played Echo Fox during the Regular Season, so I figured heavenTime will have an understanding of just how dominating Impact can be on that champ. heavenTime says, “He is exceptionally good on that champion compared to other players. He knows the limits of the champion and most importantly, he knows how to engage as Gnar when it involves teleport play”.
The trend lines point the way
Hopefully you have noticed that Impact’s trend lines are trending upward and, aside from Gold %, they have a steeper slope than the non-Impact Gnar games from North America. Not only do we think Impact is playing better as the season progressed, the data confirms our thoughts. Also, if you aggregate Impact’s 8 Regular Season performances together and compare them to his 11 Playoff/Regional performances, you will see that his Gnar games from Playoffs/Regionals are all-around better for every statistic.
|Impact’s performances on Gnar|
W%: team winning percentage Team GPM: average team gold per minute DPM: average damage per minute
Just look at those numbers, literally everything is better when he reached playoffs. One of these stats I want to discuss further is his D%/G%. If you look at all 19 games Impact has played Gnar, you will see that his D%/G% is 1.16, which is good enough to rank him right at the top in the World, but not the very top. However, look at his Playoff/Regional D%/G%. At 1.24, Impact’s performances on Gnar have been far superior than anyone else and he has done it over an 11-game stretch. One could argue that it is against varied competition, some of those teams will not be participating at Worlds, but Impact’s continuous dominance on Gnar (and other champions such as Ekko) have created a stir of excitement throughout the League community. Such a stir in fact, I think it is safe to say we are all excited to see the impact he will have at Worlds.
Impact vs The World
It is one thing to compare performances within a region but how does Impact compare to the other top laners in the World? A week ago, Tyler Erzberger (aka @FionnOnFire) wrote an article where he looked at “The five best top laners at the World Championships”. In that article he listed Impact at Number 2.
Number 2. The same as what scarra said about Impact. Regardless of his World Ranking, I would love me some Top Die.
The cover image is taken from here and is courtesy of Riot Games.