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Analyzing how gold is distributed for each team

A look at how each team distributes their gold and how this illustrates each team's strategy and star players.

With the Spring split nearing a close and with the wide data set we possess, now is a good time to look at how each team distributes its gold between players. The way this was calculated was by taking the average gold distribution between roles (21.1% of gold to top laner, 18.4% to Jungler, 22.3% to Mid, 23.2% to AD Carry, and 15.1% to Support), then from here we looked at how each team distributed their gold, and looked at how that compared relative to the averages. The follow represents how each team compares to the average:

This illustrates an interesting contrasting in playstyles for teams, and reaffirms some of the theories flying around. An example is how Coast feeds into their solo lanes, as we can see they have the highest proportion to top and a high amount to mid (so much so that NintendudeX’s lack of gold is actually “off the charts”). In the opposite direction, Dignitas has their mid and top significantly below average while the other three roles are well above average. One important thing to note is that having a higher than average proportion of gold isn’t single-handedly a measurement of skill, it is more representative of a team playstyle.


Thorin's Take on the Graphs

What's interesting about these graphs is that fans will have a perception of who the star players or focal points of the teams are, and some of the players within those teams might knowingly maintain that status quo, but when you see the numbers illustrated like they are here, then you see who the teams are actually actively considering their stars.

When I first looked at these graphs many of them made sense in terms of the players widely considered the stars, but a few were really off, so let's run through them one by one:

TSM: There are no surprises on this graph, TSM's carries are Bjergsen and WildTurtle and each gets a similar amount of gold. Dyrus is well known as the "go even" Top and TheOddOne has never been about amassing gold.

C9: This graph has one of the first big surprises. Everyone could already have guessed that Meteos would have the most gold, that's been the formula for C9's success since they burst into the LCS. What would not have been anticipated is the degree to which Hai is a non-factor as a focal point and Balls is so heavily invested in. There has been a lot of hype around Hai, thanks in part to his play against fnatic at BotA, with some claiming he would be in the mix for best NA mid laner when Bjergsen arrived.

Spellsy's average gold distribution stat says that most teams give their Mid laner slightly more than the Top laner, yet here we see C9 massively prioritises Balls over Hai. Balls is often praised for consistency or his ability to play on a couple of champions, but this graph suggests that C9 themselves think of him as their sleeper carry, since most people are still going to think of Hai as the second star of the team after Meteos.

CLG: History would tell us that Doublelift should be the overwhelming gold leader, yet we actually see him behind Aphromoo in that regard. It's interesting that CLG are another team where the Mid laner is very hyped up, yet again we're seeing barely any gold going in that direction. Link gets even less than Nien, which is a surprise, again going against the stat for the average amongst teams. It is worth noting that Link’s numbers might be a little higher as the season goes on, as Chauster and Hotshot were playing mid for some of the games included in these stats.

Curse: Voyboy is the star name on Curse and yet many people in public will describe him as a legacy player and claim that Curse is keeping him around for his name and his streaming success. This graph seems to suggest there is some basis to that theory, as the majority of the gold is going to AD Carry Cop. What's surprising is that many people would have pointed to Quas as a potential carry on Curse, yet he is dwarfed by IWillDominate's gold, the latter often being the target of criticism this season. Public perception would tell us that Curse is a Top and Mid-centric team, yet this graph suggests they think of themselves as a Jungler and ADC focused side.

Dignitas: In line with what I said about Voyboy, the lack of gold going to "Star" Mid laner scarra in this graph is astounding. Scarra has always been the name you associate with Dignitas and they have always looked at their best when he was on his comfort champions and performing to a high level. Imaqtpie being the guy with the most gold should not be such a surprise, even with scarra's huge profile in the community, I think most people watching Dignitas since they entered LCS should confirm that qtpie has been the real carry for Dignitas in the last year or so.

A big surprise if how much gold is going the way of Crumbz, another jungler getting a lot of gold and yet also being criticised recently. What's interesting is that the graph for Curse and Dignitas is reasonably similar, yet few people would think of their teams the same way.

EG: This graph is in line with current thinking, in that the two young guns of EG (Poebelter and InnoX) are thought of the talent of the team and the carries and the graph confirms this. From a historical standpoint, it's interesting that yellowpete gets the least gold, since during CLG.EU's heyday he was often built up for the late-game to be the second carry, after Froggen. Then again, that was the prime era for ADC strength, whereas the position is weaker than it has ever been right now.

XDG: It should come as no surprise at all that this team is all about focusing everything into mancloud, it was his play that carried them so far last split and if they are going to return to the upper echelon of LCS NA then it will be off him returning to similar levels of form. What is worth noting is that the lack of gold going Xmithie's way. He was known for being the best NA proponent of that S3 low-econ style of jungling that the Koreans popularised, but he is largely credited as the second star of the team. So, in this era, one would expect him to be getting more gold. Then again, he hasn't been playing to the same level, and only just came back to the Jungle, so that is a consideration.

In a world where IWillDominate and Crumbz get so much gold, it does surprise me a little that less focus is put on Xmithie in that sense, though. Xmithie has only just come back to the jungle, so some of this may be a holdover from the Zuna Jungle era.

Coast: This graph is as one would expect, with the Mid and Top as the heavy carry positions for Coast. When we look at the breakdown of their gold in wins and losses though, we get a very interesting distinction. When Coast win it's when Zion is the monster carry who gets all the gold and kills everyone. When Coast loses, that's because Zion gets next to nothing and they go with Shiphtur to try and carry. Some of this goes down to the streaky nature of Zion's play, but it is pretty interesting in light of people's perception that Shiphtur is the star carry who needs a better team.


Data collected with help by the onGamers Stats team: Derek 'Kathix' Adams, Steven 'whedgehead' Falgout, Kent 'Traepoint' Frasure, Jake Morales, and James 'PelkaSupaFresh' Pelkey. Design by Ben 'Sarcasmappreciated' Li.