Friday – Fnatic vs Splyce
Today I will be focusing on the toplane match-up between sOAZ and Wunder, with particular attention being given to the differences in champion pool and how that might affect the overall draft between the two teams.
Immediately we see a trend emerging in the sort of composition that FNC like to run, sOAZ most played champion this split is by far the Maokai at 5 games in total with some overall impressive stats to back it up.
With an 80% winrate, and his only loss being to G2, Maokai has played a key role in helping FNC to win those late-game teamfights. A closer look at how sOAZ compares to the rest of EULCS identifies that he is not just a KDA player either, with the 3rd highest kill participation, highest DPM and second highest in share of overall team damage. In fact sOAZ tops most of the numbers when compared to other EULCS toplaners on the Maokai and is one of the few to not be down in gold, xp and cs at the 10 minute mark.
Even more interesting is that once the 15 minute mark is reached sOAZ then receives even fewer resources with which to operate, and still manages to top the charts in overall DPM. In fact the only other laner who really matches sOAZ on this pick is Alphari, and we can see from the 25% FB rate that he receives more jungle pressure in order to do so.
SOAZ definitely has experience playing these low economy picks, with Lulu being his most played champion of all time. And so it is somewhat unsurprising that he is able to get the most out of these champions. As a result I expect to see Splyce either come prepared with a pick for Wunder in order to bully that match-up, or to simply ban out the Maokai completely.
SOAZ on carry champions.
A look at the carry oriented champions he has played this split reveals of mixed bag that doesn’t really allow any definite conclusions to be drawn. We have seen that sOAZ is not adverse to playing more carry oriented champions, having played Gnar, Gangplank and Illaoi with a 50% winrate across 4 games with them.
A closer look at the scenarios where sOAZ is put on these carry champions begins to shed a little more light on the situation. With each of these carry oriented toplaners being played against GIANTS!, ROCCAT and Vitality. In other words when playing against teams that FNC believe they match-up well against, we see sOAZ put on champions that can either carry, or exert pressure through splitpushing.
It also strikes me as interesting that when the games against both GIANTS! and Vitality went to 3 games, we saw sOAZ revert back to the Maokai pick, and whilst he did play a carry during the 3rd game against ROCCAT it will be interesting to follow how 3rd game draft for FNC look at the end of the season.
It is difficult to draw a conclusion as to how sOAZ performs on the carry champions, partly due to the limited number of games but also due to the inconsistencies in results. We have seen a standout performance on the Gnar and good overall laning from the 2 Gangplank games, so it would not be surprising to see these two picks make an appearance if sOAZ is able to get his hands on a carry oriented champion.
A side note is the lack of Rumble games from sOAZ so far, with it being his third most played champion of all-time it is somewhat peculiar that he has yet to bring it out this split.
SOAZ on non-Maokai tank champions.
The rest of the picks for sOAZ this split have been tanky initiating champions, with 2 games apiece on Shen and Nautilus, and just the 1 game on Poppy.
However if we then compare that to the overall winrate of these picks, we begin to see the bigger picture coming into view.
With only 1 game win on a tank that wasn’t Maokai we being to see that sOAZ has been struggling overall when not on that champion, with an average-poor laning phase, low jungle attention and the worst share of allocated CS post-15 minutes.
In a meta where toplaner/jungle resources are some of the most important to allocate we see that FNC are simply not dedicating sOAZ the same resources that other teams would for their toplaner, which may indicate as to why sOAZ seems to be struggling some games.
A broader look at FNC’s resource allocation shows that not only does Rekkles finish the game with the most gold% of his team, but post-15 minutes he is also given the most CS of his team by a wide margin, with Caps coming in second. This focus on the botside of the map may be why FNC as a whole have struggled to win some of their games this split, as more resources are required to win through the botside, than the topside of the map ¹.
Final thoughts on what to expect from sOAZ.
Ultimately I expect Splyce to have already figured out the when sOAZ does well it tends to be on the Maokai pick, in which he is able to generate advantages from his experience in the laning phase. I also expect that if the series goes to 3 games we will see sOAZ default to a tank pick, again preferably Maokai if it’s not taken away. In terms of carry oriented champions, I would not be surprised to see either the Gnar or Gangplank pick as both are able to generate either their own lane advantages or passively acquire gold (GP). I also think we might see the Rumble pick from him, however I would have serious reservations about the ability of FNC to play around toplane and set him up for success.
Allowing Splyce to Stand United.
Conversely we have seen Wunder opt for Shen over the Maokai, playing 5 out of his 11 games on the champion, or 45.5% overall. Wunder’s stats have been less impressive on his most played champion with quite a poor early laning phase pre-10 minutes.
Losing in both gold, xp and cs during that early game doesn’t bode well for Wunder, however his KP on Shen is one of the highest, and we see him rank top for allocated resources post 15-minutes at 28.4% and 3rd for overall DPM amongst other toplaners who have also played Shen. This trend of being allocated resources is still noticeable once we remove Shen as a parameter and consider how we matches-up amongst toplaners overall, with him ranking 4th for both CS post-15 minutes and overall gold% of his team overall.
In order to find out why Splyce invests so heavily into this Shen pick we cannot consider him in isolation, as the reason to pick him in the first place is derived from his global ultimate that allows him to effectively splitpush in a 1-3-1 formation whilst threatening to tip the scale in any skirmish or teamfight that emerges during that point. For this purpose we shall look at the the overall team compositions that Splyce pick Shen alongside, and see if there are any overarching trends to observe.
Apart from the 1 game against H2K we see that Shen is always picked along with 3 major damage dealers, and especially paired with Kobbe on a more damage based ADC.
Here we see that the favoured combination for Splyce when picking Shen is Kha’Zix, Corki and Caitlyn. In fact both midlane and jungle run high damage threats with Shen, with ADC typically picking damage but able to flex with utility as well.
Narrowing it down to the exact composition used by Splyce during a winning game shows that Kha’Zix and Corki have been staple in making the Shen pick work, with a high damage ADC preferred, but not essential.
For Splyce this means that if they want to draft the Shen as a comfort pick for Wunder, then they need to plan these other 3 picks in advance, with special consideration given to Jungle and Midlane champions.
Wunder on carry champions.
A cursory look at the number of champions played by Wunder this split show 6 unique picks, with a 33.3% winrate overall on champions that aren’t Shen. In terms of carry champions Wunder has only played 2 games compared to the 4 from sOAZ. Despite the small sample size for Wunder, we can see that even though Wunder gets a greater CS share post-15 minutes overall he outputs less DPM than sOAZ and does less of his teams overall damage as a percentage.
However Wunder did have a standout performance on Rumble against UOL during week 3, and so we have seen that he is able to translate those resources invested into a win.
Ultimately we see that Wunder has spent most of this season on tanks, with Shen being a priority pick for him.
Comparison of sOAZ and Wunder.
Both toplaners are currently prioritising tanks, with sOAZ heavily favouring Maokai whilst Wunder opts for Shen. We have seen both of them put on carry performances, and demonstrate that they can play carries to some degree. In terms of resource allocation we see that Wunder receives a greater CS share post-15 minutes and generally ends the game with a greater percentage of overall team gold than sOAZ does. However Wunder on average outputs roughly the same amount of DPM as sOAZ and does less damage as a total percentage of his team. This shows that despite both toplaners currently opting for tanks, sOAZ is able to “do more with less”, allowing more resources to be channelled into the rest of his team.
In order for Splyce to win this series I think that Wunder is going to have to step up his performance regardless of whether he is playing tanks or carries, and provide a greater return for the amount of resources that are being invested in him. That being said, Wunder has been having success on the Shen pick as it enables Kobbe to play the higher damage ADC’s that he prefers including the Caitlyn pick. If Splyce choose this as their game-plan then they are going to have to dedicate less resources to Wunder in order for Kobbe to match the investment that Rekkles receives from FNC.
For FNC one of two things needs to happen for them to win this series, either sOAZ needs to be placed on a carry whilst actually receiving the resources and jungle attention in order to allow him to succeed, or the mid and botlane that are currently receiving the bulk of the resources need to really increase their performance.
Overall I think that Shen and Maokai are going to be highly contested picks, and with sOAZ performance on the latter champion I would be very surprised if he gets to play it even once. I give the edge to Splyce simply because they are already investing their resources in the most likely part of the map to succeed, and if Wunder is able to find his form then I can see them making taking the entire series.
I think the series will go to three games regardless of the toplane match-up, but I predict Splyce to take the series 2-1 based on the toplane match-up.
[¹] – Check out the amazing work done by Tim Sevenhuysen for a more in-depth look as to why this is the case – http://oracleselixir.com/2017/02/effective-resource-allocation-fly-fox-msf-others-solving-spring-2017-meta/#more-6165
All stats are taken from Oracleselixer.com.