League of Legends Worlds: Top 10 underperforming players in groups

2017 World Championship Group Stage at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in Wuhan, Hubei, China on 6 October 2017. (Riot Games)
2017 World Championship Group Stage at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in Wuhan, Hubei, China on 6 October 2017. (Riot Games) /
Jankos, G2 Esports.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

While the Worlds teams prepare for the knockout stage, we take one last look back to give the ten League of Legends players who underperformed the most in the group stage.

The Dade Award is an infamous honor in the lore of professional League of Legends. First given out in 2013 to Dade himself, the award is given out every Worlds to the player who underperformed the most relative to community expectations. Based on their statistical performance in the summer and during the group stage, here at the 10 players currently vying for the Dade Award.

10. Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem (FunPlus Phoenix)

Among the players who struggled mightily for FunPlus Phoenix was top laner GimGoon. While he had posted one of the highest adjusted KDAs in his position coming into Worlds (4.13) it plummeted to 2.74 in the group stage thanks largely to the fact that he averaged a full kill per game less than in China. His damage and gold numbers, which were just average in LPL regular-season play, actually improved at Worlds, but this drop in his KDA numbers was too massive to overcome.

9. Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc (GAM Esports)

Another top laner who failed to perform in groups, I really thought GAM Esports would have a stronger showing on the back of their two huge carries. Unfortunately, while Zeros wasn’t terrible against the others in groups, he clearly didn’t measure up to expectations from his regular VCS performance. His 1.10 aKDA and 1.03 Kill Efficiency were both the lowest among all top laners in groups, compared to his domestic marks of 2.52 aKDA and 2.52 KE.

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8. Lee “Crash” Dong-woo (Hong Kong Attitude)

There weren’t a whole lot of expectations for HKA going into groups, especially placed against the likes of Griffin, G2, and Cloud9. The team failing to win a single game is hardly a shock, but it is quite a shock that their best player, Crash, turned in such an abysmal performance.

By our metrics, he was the second-worst jungler in the group stage, posting a 1.04 aKDA and 1.02 KE, both worst among junglers. He also had terrible early game pathing, averaging a 166 experience deficit and a 270 gold deficit at 15.

7. Hong “Karsa” Hao-Xuan (RNG)

There’ll be a lot of finger-pointing regarding the reason for RNG’s failure to make it out of groups, but there is no question that Karsa‘s underperformance is one of them. He had the third-worst Laning Score of any jungler in the group stage (-0.71) and his adjusted damage per minute dropped by over 100 from his LPL performance.

6. Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon (Damwon Gaming)

It seems stupid to include Nuguri in the list of underperforming players, given that he and ShowMaker were basically carrying Damwon through the play-in and group stages. This is more due to the fact that Nuguri was probably the best player coming into the groups but he frankly did not match up incredibly well. Yes, he had to play TheShy and got manhandled, but I was expecting more from Damwon’s top laner.

With a 0.05 Laning Score (averaging over a 270 experience deficit at 15 minutes) and accounting for 26.4% of his team’s deaths (only Griffin’s Sword accounts for more as a top laner), there is plenty of evidence that Nuguri can up his game. That should send shivers through the spines of the top laners who will have to face him.

5. Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle (G2 Esports)

I had Mikyx rated the best support coming into this Worlds tournament, but his performance in groups was quite pathetic. His -0.84 Laning Score was only better than Clutch’s Vulcan and SKT’s Effort. He also averaged 3.4 deaths per game, which is a full death more per game than he posted in the LEC Summer Split.

4. Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau (Fnatic)

I put a lot of faith in Bwipo before Worlds started, rating him the second-best top laner in the world (ahead of TheShy) based on his superb laning ability, along with his great income and kill participation numbers. While the numbers are there still (although his adjusted GPM is down from the LEC split), Bwipo has been dominated in the laning phase. He averages 15-minute deficits of 386 gold, 10 CS, and 222 experience, giving him the second-worst Laning Score in the top lane of -0.94.

3. Chu “FoFo” Chun-Lan (J Team)

I really thought we were going to see the emergence of the next great unknown mid laner in FoFo at Worlds. He was one of the most dominant players in terms of laning (1.13 LS), damage output (585.2 aDPM), and KDA (7.64 KE) that I’d seen. Unfortunately on the worlds stage, against some fairly mediocre talent like Humanoid and Kiaya, FoFo fell short posting only a 2.83 KE and -0.58 LS.

2. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski (G2 Esports)

Jankos looked like the best jungler in the world when he was playing against LEC junglers, but he got bodied by Tarzan in the two showdowns against Griffin’s jungler. Known for his immaculate early game pathing (1.13 LS) and superb income numbers (381.8 aGPM), Jankos fell back to earth against better competition. His -0.68 Laning Score and 1.49 Kill Efficiency scores tell the tale of a man who is really struggling to carry. Like teammate Mikyx, Jankos averaged a full death more per game in groups than he did in LEC.

1. Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh (GAM Esports)

I believed in Levi, truly. I called him the best jungler in the world based on how dominant he was statistically in the VCS. He didn’t just have the best Laning Score of any jungler at Worlds (2.51) or the best damage numbers (456.1 aDPM) he blew the other junglers out of the water. The reason I had GAM Esports advancing out of a weak Group B was largely due to him and Zeros.

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Unfortunately, at Worlds Levi performed poorly. His laning was still solid (0.42 LS) but his damage contributions cratered to 238.5 aDPM. His adjusted KDA (1.27) and Kill Efficiency (1.41) were both massively low and he was outclassed by Tian and Xerxe in his group.