LCS 2021: Ranking Every Single Starting LCS Jungler

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games. /

7. Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett (Dignitas)

Dardoch received a lot of hype when he got his golden chance to join TSM at the start of the season. Like all TSM junglers (so far), he predictably flamed out but managed to find a landing spot on Dignitas. In the summer, he seemed to ramp up his level of play and show that he was deserving of all the attention.

However, in doing a deep dive into his whole 2020 season, it’s fairly clear that Dardoch is still a fringe LCS jungler. On the positive side, he was tied for the largest champion pool with 18 unique champions and four that were played enough to be considered in his comfort pool.

He also posted above-average gold per minute numbers, an impressive 2.9 kills per game, a 27% kill share, and averaged over 200 gold and experience differentials at 15 minutes. So it seemed like he was driving play on a poor team, right?

Well, there are two problems that we encounter that explain those surface-level stats.

The first is that, while his kill participation and kills were impressive, his adjusted KDA was only slightly above average (2.30) because he died more than the average jungler (2.5 deaths per game). In fact, he had one of the highest death shares (25%) of all LCS junglers.

The other problem is that, while he did tend to win lane, he was also expected to win lane most of the time. He had the advantageous jungle matchup in 54% of his games, but underperformed relative to those matchups (-226 MAGXD @ 15). In short, he didn’t win the early game as hard as he was expected to on snowballing champions like Lee Sin and Jarvan IV.

That goes ditto for his damage, as his high DPM and damage to gold ratio are both explained by him having among the highest expected damage outputs given his champion pool. He again, underperformed relative to the damage output expected, with a -25.5 EDD. In short, he won lane and did a lot of damage because of the champion picks he was on, rather than effectively playing his champion.