Apr 18, 2016

Monday Musings: The Lee Sin Thresh Effect

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Welcome to the start of a new week. T-minus 5 days until PAX East if anyone here is going to that, and the custom shirt is lock and loaded. Anyway, so as a little background to this post: I generally don't do any write-ups on Mondays and like to reserve it for for Maintenance since "Maintenance Mondays" just flows off the tongue and nobody wants to do too much on Mondays to begin with.

Introduction

Welcome to the start of a new week. T-minus 5 days until PAX East if anyone here is going to that, and the custom shirt is lock and loaded:


Anyway, so as a little background to this post: I generally don't do any write-ups on Mondays and like to reserve it for for Maintenance since "Maintenance Mondays" just flows off the tongue and nobody wants to do too much on Mondays to begin with.

Formerly known as Monday Musings, this day was original part of the Hyper-Aggressive Schedule posted over a year ago (how time flies). However, since content for random thoughts was sparse I scrapped the idea. 

Welcome to 2016. As part of a new-new initiative, I'd like to reserve a day to do a more casual post connecting to readers, and also to talk about some random ramblings. So with that, let's move onto today's topic:

Background

Lee Sin and Thresh have been the most popular champions in their respective positions as jungle and support for basically forever, with Lucian making a strong showing for quite a long period of time now as well.

Data from champion.gg
However, since Lucian tends to be fairly balanced as far as marksman go, I'd like to focus in on two of the more controversial picks. 

Reasons Why Thresh and Lee Sin Are Great

Both of these champions offer insane amounts of mobility and utility. They have a ton of tools at their disposal, and their potential play-making abilities are through the roof. At the highest level, they offer some really awesome combos that no doubt will land you on the front page of Reddit and impress all your friends.

Reason Why They're Not So Great

With great power comes great responsibility. If you want to win and win often, it's important to be able to pull off your plays when they count, not just once in a while for the highlight reel. Examples of highly tempting, yet potential disastrous plays include popular attempts at:
  • Thresh: The Flash + Madlife Hook prediction
  • Lee Sin: The Insec knockback 
While both of these plays are potentially game-changing, depending on setup it could easily change the game in unintended ways...

Yellowstar's Famous Thresh Plays 


Thoughts on Win Rates

Focusing on the specific roles, Lee Sin has a 46.5% win rate. However that's not surprisingly, as there are a lot of players who pick him up just for fun, even in ranked.

What's surprisingly is that out of 36 junglers that are actively played, 20 of them have a win rate above 50%, and 15 are below (with one exactly at 50). That's 56% of jungle picks, a percentage that's high enough for the League community to quickly cry foul.

Support is even worse, with 15/22 (68%) at a 50%+ win rate.

I guess the question then leads to this:

Are champions that naturally counter Lee Sin and Thresh optimal mains for gaining LP?

Counter Analysis

As you can see from the two tables below from champion.gg, these are the champions that Thresh and Lee Sin have the lowest respective win rates against when these champions are played in the same role as them. 


As of writing this post, Soraka, Janna, Zyra, and Taric sit on the top seven win rates for supports, but Fiddlesticks is sitting at the bottom three. In this case, it seems like a fairly weak correlation, and those four supports are probably just strong in general, 

Yeah that's right, I said Taric is strong, get over it. He's still getting reworked...along with my heart :(

Meanwhile, for junglers all of the Lee Sin counters except Quinn sit on the top half of junglers, with again, one champion (Quinn) sitting at the bottom ten.

Conclusions

Champions that counter Thresh and Lee Sin definitely seem to be champions that are currently strong in the meta but as a few outliers show, simply countering them does not necessarily ensure victory in the broader solo queue spectrum, even when they're played close to a third of the time.

Of course, this then leads to wondering, exactly how impactful are Lee Sin and Thresh anyway? Even at Diamond+ divisions, Thresh and Lee Sin are close, but still under a 50% win rate overall. It's easy to chalk it up to tons of bad players, but then again it might just be too much coordination for five randoms to pull off in a solo queue setting.

What are your thoughts on the Lee Sin and Thresh dominating the metagame? Comment below or just say something random for Monday!




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