League of Legends: who should be the LCS Spring Split MVP?

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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CoreJJ of Team Liquid. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in (Team Liquid)

The case for him: By our metrics, CoreJJ is the best player in the LCS relative to his competition. I mean, among the categories he leads supports in are kills, deaths, assists, and vision score per minute, some of the most important statistical markers for his position.

In addition, by our metrics, he creates the biggest gap between the first and second-ranked players at his position. The gap between himself and the second-best support (Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent) is bigger than the statistical gap between the best ADC (Doublelift) and the fourth-ranked ADC (Bang). In mid, it’s greater than the gap between Bjergsen and Froggen, who are ranked first and sixth in their positions, respectively.

All of this means, simply, that CoreJJ isn’t just the best support in the LCS, but he is so far above the other supports that he makes the rest of the cast look awful in comparison. In terms of value added, there’s little argument CoreJJ could be replaced. This is particularly true given how dominant his partner Doublelift has been all season, as it shows that CoreJJ’s influence has elevated his teammates.

The case against him: Well, I just alluded to it. CoreJJ is playing with Doublelift, the best ADC in the league. He also plays alongside Jensen, the second-best mid in the LCS, and Xmithie, the best jungler in the LCS. Team Liquid is a squad that has a ton of talent, but with all superteams, it’s fair to ask just how valuable is any individual part?

Are CoreJJ’s statistics so mind-blowing because he’s bringing so much value to the team? Or is the team just so good that CoreJJ is getting unwarranted benefits from their talent?

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask how a support like Smoothie, Biofrost, or Hakuho might perform if they had CoreJJ’s spot. Yes, they would probably be performing worse than CoreJJ is now, but by how much?