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LoL: Draft of the Week - Rogue vs. Excel Esports

A review of the statistically best draft from the previous week

Final Draft. Permitted by Riot Games

Published on: 7th February, 2022

Each week, with use of our cutting-edge Machine Learning (Artificial Intelligence) model, we predict the results of the upcoming games using a combination of Team and, more importantly, Champion statistics. From these predictions, we can evaluate which teams won draft the hardest, and more importantly: why. These, are the Drafts of the Week.

Game Information

  • Rogue (7–0) vs. Excel Esports (3–4)
  • Date: 4th February 2022
  • Patch: 12.2
  • Season: Week 4 of the LEC Spring Split, 2022

Context

OK, so there is without a doubt some major “team diff” here. Rogue continue to look completely unstoppable and Excel, although having an OK start to the season, are still only 7th place (the meme lives on). However, it’s a bo1 in the regular season and anything can happen.

Draft Summary

Similar to the last Draft of the Week, it’s always impressive seeing a team that was already heavily favoured to then push their win chances that much higher through draft. Rogue haven’t disappointed us there, going from a comfortable 73.9% win chance to an unstoppable 93.3%. This means they gained almost a 20% advantage in draft!

Final Draft. Permitted by Riot Games

Draft Breakdown

Here, we break down some key elements of the draft, evaluating where the strengths & weaknesses lie. Given the complexity of this subject, not everything can be covered — however we’ll try to touch on the top points.

The Early Game

A major issue with the Excel composition is there’s no winning lanes. Our model rated it 0.1 out of 5 for pre-10 minute strength. Gwen, although plays well into Ornn, isn’t going to be able to do much in early game skirmishes. Lee Sin is a great early game ganker but who can he play around? Sona is an enchanter mid and therefore is barely expected to show up to lane, let alone win it. Jinx/Leona is their best hope, but there isn’t really anything stronger than Lucian/Nami at level 2.

The Damage

The issue with getting yourself an enchanter mid (such as Sona, Karma, Soraka, Ivern, etc…) is that you lose a huge portion of damage. Therefore, you must be able to make up for it elsewhere. Excels composition did not manage this, with the model rating their team fight damage output as 0.1 of 5, whilst Rogues is a healthy 4.5.

The problem is that Lee Sin, unless murderously ahead (and he’s unlikely to be against this team), becomes what is commonly referred to as a “kick-bot”. This is where he’s not going to be able to 1v1 anyone or nuke a squishy, but with some flashy mechanics could deliver a helpless victim to his team who can then finish the job. Not exactly a high damage function.

Gwen, on the other hand can have some outrageous damage stats. However, it usually comes during longer extended fights, or if she’s duelling on a side-lane. The problem is, Rogue’s composition is designed to completely ignore Gwen and dive right through to the backline. By the time Gwen has charged up her passive, they’ll probably be dead.

This leaves Jinx, who of course can carry a team fight — IF she has decent peel and a solid front-to-back. Again, that’s not happening when Volibear is unstoppable and flying through the air towards you. Not to mention the immense range on an Ornn engage or a package-powered hyper-fed Corki.

Corki Wins Games

Since the start of the season and across all major leagues Corki has won 62.4% of his games (patch 12.01 & 12.02). Often enough, if a team leaves it up it’s because they are willing to play a lane counter (Orianna being a common choice) and keep the little bastard under control. What you can’t do, is match him against an enchanter mid and let him get a 1,600 gold lead by 10 minutes! Especially when it’s being piloted by MVP hopeful, Larssen, who has had 24 stage games on the guy in his career with an average KDA of 6.4!

Recommendations

Now we have evaluated the draft as it stands, we can also use the power of the model to make suggestions. In this case, we’ll see what alternative options the losing team had to try and stem the bleed of the draft.

Bans

You remove Corki. He is in the strongest place he’s been in a long time and Larssen is a well known Corki monster. If that means giving them the Caitlyn or Zeri, so be it. However, I’ll assume Corki was picked and go from there as otherwise the draft would likely change entirely.

Middle

OK, so you gave him the Corki. How do we deal with it? It’s difficult to recover the situation, but there are ways to mitigate it slightly. A common response is either the LeBlanc or the Sylas. It pumps up the damage numbers, both scale well and usually can somewhat match roams. The hardest part is clearing waves after level-6 whilst Corki is one-popping them with rockets. However, it’s still considerably faster than using Sona Qs. Zoe is seen less at the moment but she can hard bully him pre level-6 and so if you trust your mid-laner, it can do well — it’s also pretty strong into “run at you” style team comps if played well. Any of these options see the Excel win rate go from 6.7% to around 10%.

Support

Leona works well with Jinx but will really struggle against a decent Lucian and is rated as a C-tier last pick here. If you trust your bot lane in the 2v2, taking the Blitzcrank gives you a win condition. Hit hooks, get Jinx ahead. It also helps enable the Lee Sin as he can start to play bot-side. If you’d rather take a safer option then Zilean can do wonders against a team that needs to full commit into you. This is as Gwen and Lee are difficult to blow up and LeBlanc should be playing the flanks. Then, if the Voli/Corki/Lucian all hard commit a dive into your backline and Zilean plays it correctly, you can win the extended fight through his stuns, revive & slows.

Really, what the model is telling us is the best thing to do is give Patrik the best shot at carrying. Whether that’s winning the lane (Blitz) or peeling in team fights (Zilean). Leona is best played when helping dive and lockdown the enemy backline, which leaves Patrik to fend for himself. Even so, with the LeBlanc/Blitz, the win rate for Excel still only goes from the original 6.7% to 17.0%. Ultimately, the Corki pick shouldn’t be let through.


Thanks for Reading!

You got to the end of the article! My name is Jack J and I’m a professional Data Scientist applying AI to competitive gaming & esports. I’m the founder of AI & Esports start-up iTero.GG and the analytics site jung.gg. You can follow me on Twitter, join the iTero Discord or drop me an e-mail at jack@itero.gg. See you at the next one.

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