LCS 2021: Ranking Every Single Starting Support in the LCS

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CLG Smoothie. Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Let’s rank every support starting for an LCS team in 2021.

While there were no massive retirements in the ranks of the support role, one of the biggest offseason roster acquistions with TSM acquiring SwordArt. Between him, CoreJJ, and Vulcan, it can easily be argued that the top three of the LCS in the support position are all world-class.

Today, we rank all the starting supports in the LCS, basing a player’s ranking on the four key metrics that correlate to a team’s success, along with individual performance.

  • Adjusted KDA (aKDA) – calculated like regular KDA but weighing solo kills higher and assists lower
  • Gold Per Minute (GPM)
  • Estimated Damage Differential (EDD) – the difference between a player’s damage output on a given champion and that of the average player on the same champion
  • Matchup Adjusted Gold Plus Experience Differential at 15 (MAGXD @ 15) – what it sounds like, the gold plus experience differential at 15 minutes, accounting for the lane matchups that a player has faced
  • Champion Pool Strength – measuring a player’s champion pool by the number of unique picks they played last year and the number that they played above average.

10. Andy “Smoothie” Ta (CLG)

Among all the dysfunction that CLG suffered in 2020, their weak bot lane sort of escaped notice as being the team’s weak point. Smoothie, a veteran of the LCS, never managed to fully gel with ADC Stixxay. Now that the duo has been broken up, perhaps there is hope that Smoothie can rebound to the elite form he once showed as a member of Cloud9 years ago.

Unfortunately for Smoothie, he’ll have to improve on just about everything.

He ranked dead-last in KDA and adjusted KDA. His 2.8 deaths per game, highest among supports, was a large reason for this.

Even though income is less important for supports, his 207 GPM was also last in the role and over 25 gold per minute below the league average. His gold share (7.4%) was also the worst in his role, so it’s not as though he was purely a victim of his team’s poor performance.

A big reason for his low GPM is that Smoothie and Stixxay were the worst-laning bot lane in the league last year. For Smoothie, individually, he posted a -308.1 matchup-adjusted gold plus experience deficit at 15 minutes, worst for his role.

His damage output, unsurprisingly, was lowest in the LCS (-39.7 EDD). If there is one positive Smoothie can look to build and improve on, it’s that his champion pool is at least solid. He played seven different champions in at least 10% of the games in 2020.

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