Who were the Best Laners in the LCS in the 2020 Season?

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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100 Thieves, LCS, League of Legends.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games. /

We break down which LCS players were the best laners in 2020 to help inform how they might do in 2021.

Earlier in the offseason, I broke down how accounting for champion pool can help give further depth and insight into how effectively a player is at doing damage during a given professional League of Legends game. Today, I’m going to delve deeper into the stats to give what I think is the best measure of how to evaluate who were the best laners in the LCS last year.

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As was the case with evaluating damage, how to evaluate laning is greatly influenced by a player’s champion pick as well as the matchup they are picked into. Playing the Ornn side of a Renekton/Ornn matchup is very different from playing as Renekton. The most common top lane matchup in the world across all of 2020, by diving into the stats I was able to find that Renekton is expected to be ahead by over 800 gold at the 15-minute mark.

This means that we can evaluate two players in this matchup with new context. If the Renekton player is up by 400 gold at 15 minutes, it’s not unreasonable to say that the Ornn “won” the matchup compared to expectations.

Enter the newest statistic for evaluating lane performance: matchup-adjusted gold + experience at 15 (AGXD @ 15). Like Tim over at Oracle’s Elixir, I have found that combining gold and experience differentials to be far better indicators of performance (higher correlations with team win percent and KDA) than either stat alone.

If we take a player’s gold + experience differential at 15 minutes and compare it to what we would expect it to be given the matchup, we can find how a player performs, on average, in lane while accounting for the matchup. This is also a great tool for evaluating lane matchups to do greater analysis on the game itself. Without further ado, let’s go through lane by lane to see which LCS players are the best laners (or early-game junglers) based on their AGXD @ 15!