LCK mid laner power index: is Faker washed up?

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Zed. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Following Wednesday’s matchup between Griffin and SKT, many commentators are wowing in awe at Chovy’s performance in the spring split and wondering whether he has lapped the once-undisputed greatest League of Legends player of all time. Even more are wondering, now that Griffin and Chovy have manhandled SKT and Faker in a 2:0 sweep, is Faker washed up?

Is Faker washed up? It’s a question that has been asked more and more often in recent years, but this chatter has significantly ramped up following the recent clash between the Unkillable Daemon King and the heir-apparent to the mid lane throne, Griffin’s Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon. In their 2:0 sweep of SKT, Chovy dominated Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok both in the lane matchup and in the macro game.

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In the first game, Chovy managed to keep about 10 CS lead over Faker through the game’s first 15 minutes, take the game’s first tower shortly thereafter, and leave laning phase with a sizeable gold lead. While neither player was particularly impactful in fights – which were largely decided by Griffin’s great engages from Tarzan on Aatrox jungle and Sword on Sion top – this early lead would give Griffin the edge they needed to pressure early dragons and barons to take the first tower. Chovy finished the game with an unimpressive 0/0/6 scoreline on Lissandra, while Faker went 0/1/0 on Ryze, though he did out-damage his mid lane opponent by almost 5,000.

Game 2 of the series, however, was the Chovy show as he styled Faker on Galio, using an early Hero’s Entrance to collapse on SKT in his own jungle, then landing a perfect flash+taunt that secured him two kills and an assist. The pressure never stopped there, and by the 15-minute mark Chovy was 3/0/3, Griffin had a gold lead over seven thousand, and the game was all but over.

Chovy would finish the game 5/0/9, bringing his season KDA to an astounding 104, while Faker would end with a meager 2/3/0 scoreline. Although it would be unfair to lay the blame of this series squarely at Faker’s shoulders, after witnessing this performance those threads started to pop up again, asking if his reign as the greatest League of Legends player is over. “Is Faker washed up?” they ask.

So, using the same metrics we used to evaluate the best LPL junglers earlier in the week, I endeavored to answer that question – is Faker washed up? And the answer, surprisingly, is…he might be.