LCS 2021: Champion Pools and How to Look At Player Damage

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
4 of 4
Created by Josh Tyler
Created by Josh Tyler /

We look at how champion picks can impact the damage a player does and see which LCS player does the most damage regardless of champion picks.

In the mid lane, we see that the distribution of players is clustered around the average, with a few notable exceptions. Some are expected (PowerofEVil and Nisqy are both “effective aggressive” players while Fenix and Eika are “ineffective passive”) but one that immediately jumps out is the Immortals rookie Insanity.

Along with PoE and Nisqy (and technically Froggen and Jensen, who are just inside the border of “effective aggressive”) Insanity was one of the best mid laners in terms of both raw and expected damage output in the LCS last year. Now, part of that is his sample size (we used only LCS games, of which he had just 14 in 2020). In his Academy games, Insanity actually had a lower DPM (469) and EDD (-17.2), which would put him in that “ineffective passive” quadrant.

However, it should be noted that in those Academy games Insanity was all over the map in terms of his champion pool, playing 17 unique champions in 25 games. If we look at just champions he played more than once (and there were only four of those in Academy), his EDD rises to -7.3. Going by just his most played champion in Academy (Zoe), he had an EDD of 4.2.

In the LCS, Immortals did a great job of keeping Insanity’s champion pool more limited (8 champions in 15 games). If we remove the “one-off” games, his EDD in pro play drops to -8.8, which indicates his high EDD was thrown off by a small sample size and a few outliers (for instance, his one Karthus game had an EDD of 184.0). An -8.8 EDD is still better than average for LCS players, so Insanity would still retain his “effective aggressive” classification.

In short, I think the pure numbers are a bit skewed for Insanity, but they do accurately show that he is a promising young player. In terms of damage effectiveness, Insanity is far better than most LCS players and his champion pool is diverse and aggressive enough to where I would rate him quite highly among the mid laners next year.

The ADC role is probably the most clear-cut in terms of DPM and EDD, outside of the top lane. You have your (expected) top four ADCs in the LCS by damage in Tactical, Bang, FBI, and Zven. Most of the other ADCs were underwhelming, with the exception of Doublelift who was actually a very effective low-damage bot laner last year.

More from Editorials

The one ADC whose position might raise some eyebrows is former Dignitas ADC Johnsun. Considered one of the promising young rookies, it seems peculiar that he would be rated below ADCs like Cody Sun and Stixxay.

We can see that Johnsun’s champion pool is a large reason for his low DPM, as he preferred champions like Ashe and Senna during the 2020 season (those two champs accounted for 15 of his 43 LCS games) and he stayed away from high damage marksmen like Ezreal (three games) and Caitlyn (one game).

In fact, Johnsun’s EDD on Ashe is quite good (4.7), though his EDD on Senna is not (-83.3). The good news, though, is that Johnsun performs at a better-than-not rate on his two most played champions, Ashe and Aphelios (22 games combined). On those two champions, he has a 517 DPM and 4.8 EDD, both above average). I would expect Johnsun’s damage numbers to improve as he refines his champion pool and continues to improve.

Created by Josh Tyler
Created by Josh Tyler /

Finally, although we may not consider damage an important stat, we have the support role. Like the jungle role, we see two major outliers at the top of the chart (Vulcan and Zeyzal), a large cluster around the axes, and then the outliers at the bottom (Biofrost, Hakuho, Gate, Aphromoo, and Smoothie).

Although many will dismiss damage when it comes to supports, it should be noted that, when grading the best supports in the world, a support player’s DPM had a stronger correlation to his team’s win percentage than his kill participation, and had nearly the same correlation as his vision score per minute. It’s not the most important thing when it comes to supports, but dealing damage still has a fairly significant impact.

Case in point, the man who I consider to be an under-the-radar stud in the support role, Zeyzal. While his KDA numbers last year were quite dreadful, that was the case for every member of Evil Geniuses. Where Zeyzal excelled, however, was at outputting damage regardless of champion.

In all the games I evaluated, I could only find one champion (Taric) that Zeyzal played more than once and had a negative EDD on. From tanks like Nautilus and Tahm Kench, to engage champions like Thresh and Rakan, to enchanters like Yuumi and Lulu, Zeyzal was able to output more damage than the average player on a consistent basis. The fact that he remains without a team is ludicrous to me.

Ranking the 50 greatest LCS players of all time. dark. Next

To conclude, I hope these stats give a more insightful look into how we as fans and possibly even higher-up people in and around the LCS view damage. There are obviously ways to further refine the model, but in general EDD is a better way to give context to the damage a player is dealing and help to understand how they perform on champions beyond simply looking at their KDA.