LCS Summer 2020: The Three Ways to Define MVP of the Split

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

With the LCS Summer Split drawing to a close, let’s take a look at who fits the three different definitions for MVP ahead of the voting.

Most Valuable By Position

Consider this thought experiment. You and I are entering a fantasy LCS match. A single game, head-to-head where we draft one team and have them battle it out on the rift.

You have the first pick.

You’re now faced with a key question: who is the best player in the LCS relative to his position?

Put another way, say you think CoreJJ is the pure best player in the league. Is he worth taking first, when you know I will likely be able to pick Vulcan? Or Ignar? Or would it be better to take Blaber, knowing that my choices are Santorin, Closer, or Broxah?

The question here isn’t just how good a player is, but how much better they are to other players at their position. This is where our player rankings come into play.

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Because these player rankings are standardized, meaning they’re adjusted relative to the average and standard deviations of each key statistic we use, we get to see how much better the best top laner is than the average top laner. Not only that, we get a look at just how big the gap is between, say, the best top laner and the second best.

Below are the highest-graded players by position, compared to the second-highest graded player and the average for the position. Note, these grades also consider players who were subbed in and out during the season.

Created by Josh Tyler.
Created by Josh Tyler. /

As you can see, none of the “best” players made this list except for one: C9 Blaber. He’s also the highest-rated player in the league overall, he’s highest-rated relative to the average player at his position, and he’s damn close to being the highest-rated relative to the second-best player at his position.

All of this means that, by position, Blaber is clearly the most valuable player in the LCS. Not only is he the best player at his position and overall, but the gap between having Blaber and the second-best jungler, Closer, is monstrous. And the gap between Blaber and the average LCS jungler is even bigger!

In short, in the fantasy draft scenario we laid out, you would be crazy to pick anyone other than Blaber first overall. The difference between having him over any other jungler is too large to ignore.