February 25, 2021, 2:48 PM

Checking in on the LEC Rookies mid-Split

Who is performing better than expected?
Checking in on the LEC Rookies mid-Split
Image courtesy of Riot Games.
By Jorge Pedraz
Filed Under
One week after the end of the first Round Robin of the LEC Spring Split, it’s a good time to analyze the performance of the 2021 Rookie Class.
In this article, we will break down the individual performance of all 12 rookies, position by position, always based on stats collected after the 11 games played into the Split. It is needless to say that there are some things that stats can’t measure: teamwork, shot-calling, or individual attitude, but the stats analyzed will help evaluate what these young players have been able to contribute to their teams so far.
Players who have played in at least one of the big leagues before will not be considered, even if this year is the first time they’re playing in the LEC (sorry BrokenBlade and Treatz).
As we will be using quite a lot of graphs in this analysis, here’s a key to what you will be facing when reading it:

Graph Key

  • KDA+: Average Kill/Death/Assist ratio per minute compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • CS+: Average Creeps per minute ratio compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • Gold+: Average Gold per minute ratio compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • Damage+: Average Damage to Champions per minute ratio compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • Vision+: Average Wards placed and removed per minute compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • KP+: Kill participation percentage compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • DamageShare+: Percentage of the team's damage dealt by that player compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • CSDiff%: Average of the difference of minions killed compared to the opposite player in the same position.
  • GoldDiff%: Gold difference average compared to the opposite player in the same position.
  • KDA15+: Average Kill/Death/Assist ratio at minute 15 compared to the mean of the players in his position.
  • CSD15%: Average of the difference of minions killed at minute 15 compared to the opposite player in his same position.
  • GD15%: Gold difference average at minute 15 compared to the opposite player in his same position.
  • A+: Average Assist ratio per minute compared to the mean of the players in his position.

TOP LANE

Three rookie top laners have joined the league in Spring 2021:
Armut (MAD Lions): Coming in from the Turkish League (TCL), his impressive performances against MAD Lions in the play-in phase of Worlds 2020 with Papara SuperMassive made him gain a spot in the Spanish organization. He has been brilliant so far: third among top laners in KDA, first in gold/min, third in Damage/min and one of the most dominant players in the top lane after Odoamne and BrokenBlade.
He sits way above the average in KDA, gold, and damage per minute as well as in lane dominance (CS and gold difference at minute 15 and at the end of the game).
If we draw the comparison against the former MAD Lions top lane, Orome, in the previous split, we can see Armut ahead in all statistics analyzed, except for the KDA:
HiRit (Misfits Gaming): The South Korean started the season shining, as so did his team, as Misfits Gaming began with a 2-1 record in the first three games of the season. However, since then Misfits has only got one more win, against Astralis. Besides the team performance, HiRit is still capable of showing some quality micro play and leads all top laners in Damage Share at the end of the game and KDA at minute 15.
Compared to the former Misfits top laner, Dan Dan, HiRit is behind in most of the stats analyzed after the 11 games played, including KDA, CS/min, gold/min, and in-lane dominance (behind in CS and gold compared to the top laner he was facing).
Szygenda (Team Vitality): The Danish top had his best performance of the season in game ten against Bwipo, on February 19. He's been struggling to reach the dominance that he and his former team, AGO Rogue (which also included fellow LEC rookies Zanzarah, Czekolad, and Trymbi), showed in the last EU Masters. There, they took home the trophy.
Despite the recent improvement in the last games, there is a lot more we can expect from the top laner as he falls behind the average in KDA, gold, CS, and in-lane dominance stats.
Compared to the previous top laner in the team, Szygenda tops many of the stats, and we can foresee a brighter future for the 19-year-old player.
Based on the stats collected thus far, we can crown Armut as the rookie top laner of the season ahead of HiRit and Szygenda:
In week five, on January 20 against Fnatic, Armut showed some of his potential with Gnar, brilliantly focusing Upset on Samira in team fights. Let’s take a look at one of them where he first kites Hylissang on Alistar to get the Mega Gnar form and then flashes into Upset in a fight that resulted in an ace and the win for MAD Lions:

JUNGLE

Let’s break down the performance of the four rookie junglers after five weeks of the LEC Spring Split 2021.
Elyoya (MAD Lions): The Spaniard smurfed it in the Spanish League (LVP) with Movistar Riders, being awarded as Rookie of the Split in Spring 2020 and MVP in Summer 2020. MAD Lions head coach Mac said in an interview with Esportmaníacos on December 1, 2020, that Elyoya was signed because they needed “long-term in-game planning”, and Elyoya would “for sure bring it to the team.”
And he has been performing above expectations. He is above the average in all the stats except for KDA at minute 15.
He is first in KDA, gold per minute, and kill participation among all junglers in the LEC. His stats in his first year are not that far away from the Polish Trinity (Jankos, Selfmade, and Inspired) and even ahead of them in some stats.
He faces a big challenge replacing the outstanding former MAD Lions’ jungler, Shadow, but he has been up for the task. He improves on Shadow’s performance in every single stat analyzed:
TynX (SK Gaming): Another former Movistar Riders and European Masters champion jungler is TynX. The Danish player is a solid performer on a team with three rookies. Lately, they've been improving a lot, proving that the whole team is on the same page. They sit in a playoff spot after a three-game winning streak. TynX stats round the average, just falling a bit behind in Damage per minute:
SK Gaming remade their roster after making it to the playoffs in Summer 2020; only Jenax remains of that lineup. Nevertheless, the team is rising to meet expectations. Let's compare TrynX and Trick, the jungler he replaces:
TynX is slightly ahead in almost all the stats and the tendency is clearly positive. SK Gaming with its 80% renewed lineup is a top candidate for making it to the playoffs for the second consecutive split.
Dan (Excel): Coming from the Fnatic academy, just like the brand new Astralis’ mid laner MagiFelix did, Dan has shown part of his potential so far in Excel. He is still below the average in all stats analyzed in this article, but especially in those related to KDA and damage:
Still, his numbers are similar but not yet at the level of the great jungler and even better analyst, Caedrel, in the last split.
Zanzarah (Astralis): Aka “The Taxman”, he could be favored by a meta change where the junglers start to be more tanky. So far he has been solid with Skarner and Hecarim, but in general, his numbers are not really that brilliant. Obviously, we should mention that Astralis is in a transition year and probably is not the best team to put up some solid numbers.
Zanzarah stays way behind the average in KDA and damage-related stats and also falls behind in CS and gold difference to opposite junglers.
His stats, especially the damage per minute, are also not at the level of the ones from the previous Origen (rebranded to Astralis) jungler now on Immortals, Xerxe.
To sum up, based on the stats, we can claim that Elyoya has been the best rookie jungler thus far. Compared to his fellow rookie junglers, he is ahead in all of the stats analyzed except for the KDA at minute 15:
Last weekend against Excel, on February 19, he put on a clinic playing on Kayn. It was just his first Kayn in competitive mode and he picked him because, in his own words in the LEC broadcast interview: “Canyon played Kayn into Lillia and I also thought it was a pretty good matchup.”
So what was his KDA?
12/3/5 and 2K gold advantage versus Dan on Lillia at minute 18, which expanded to 5K by the end of the game. He had quite a lot of fun in this initially 1vs3 play where MAD Lions ended up taking down the nexus shortly afterward. Look how by the moment he gets marked by Lillia, he uses Kayn’s ultimate not to fall asleep.

MID LANE

There are three rookie mid laners to analyze:
Blue (SK Gaming): He has been popping off lately, dominant in lane on Azir and Ryze and a big part of the three-game winning streak for SK Gaming. His stats are mostly around the average values, being behind in KDA at minute 15 but ahead in CS/minute and CS and gold difference at the end of the game:
He stands third in creeps per minute and fourth in gold per minute among all mid laners, but low on damage and KDA at minute 15.
Compared to ZaZee (SK Gaming’s mid laner in 2020), Blue excels in gold and CS per minute as well as Gold and Cs difference compared to the opposite mid laner. ZaZee’s KDA and kill participation are yet to be matched though:
Vetheo (Misfits Gaming): He impressed with his Zoe in his debut against Fnatic on January 22, and he showed another good Zoe in game 3 against MAD Lions on January 24. From that moment, the Frenchman has been struggling to show in the LEC what he did with the Lyonnais LDLC OL, with whom he won the LFL and European Masters last spring.
He is only above the average in creeps per minute and KDA at minute 15:
With seven games left until the end of the split, his numbers barely improve the ones from Feviben last summer:
Czekolad (Excel): The Polish player has shown quite a lot of sharp mechanics and a good laning phase in his rookie season. He’s been only on meta picks so far (except for one Zoe in his debut, he has only played Orianna, Syndra, and Azir). Apart from the KDA, his numbers are just slightly below average.
Even though probably his numbers don’t reflect all that he can bring to the team, he adds more damage and kill participation than Excel’s former mid laner, Special:
Comparing all three rookie mid laners stats, we can conclude that after week five, Blue is the most valuable one as he tops the other two in KDA, creeps per minute, gold per minute and CS and gold difference to the opposite mid laner at minute 15 and at the end of the game:

BOT LANE

We will group the only rookie AD carry and the one rookie support. Just one of each but their performances so far have been something worth talking about:
Jezu (SK Gaming): The Frenchman has been able to carry games with Vayne (twice), Kalista, or Jhin. He’s versatile, playing five different champions in his first five LEC games. Supported by Treatz, they form one of the most aggressive and fun to watch bot lanes in the LEC.
He tops all LEC ADCs in kill participation and he’s fourth in KDA, just behind the allegedly three best ADCs (Rekkles, Upset and Hans sama). He stands ahead of the average in KDA (mostly at minute 15) and kill participation.
There is still obviously some room for improvement, but he is already performing over the expectations.
Although the bar is set high, he doesn’t lose by much in comparison with Crownshot (SK Gaming ADC last summer, one of the best of the Split, now playing for Team Vitality).
In week three, against MAD Lions on February 5, he recorded an 8/0/7 with Kalista and his first triple kill after helping secure Baron for his team:
Trymbi (Rogue): Coming in from the successful Rogue’s academy, the Polish Summer 2020 European Masters winner, tops in gold difference among all supports. As we mentioned in previous article about Rogue’s playstyle, Trymbi adds the aggressiveness that Rogue sometimes lack. We are noticing Hans sama look for bold plays that he was not used to making in previous Splits, even being overaggressive sometimes.
Trymbi rounds the average value in most of the stats analyzed but shines in assists per minute among supports.
Compared to the current Misfits Gaming support and former Rogue’s, Vander, Trymbi provides more damage, vision and assists per minute as well as more kill participation than his fellow countryman in the previous split.
We watched both supports clash last week, on February 20. After a favorable early trade that allowed Rogue to establish the early pressure, we can see how they are able to rotate and find an early pick on Razork that helped Rogue’s carries (Larssen and Hans sama) snowball the game:

Conclusion

After diving into all 12 rookies’ statistics halfway through the Split, we can conclude that the best rookie team would be formed by Armut (Top Lane, MAD Lions), Elyoya (Jungle, MAD Lions), Blue (Mid Lane, SK Gaming), Jezu (Bot Lane, SK Gaming) and Trymbi (Support, Rogue).
These five are already bringing a lot to their teams. Armut and Elyoya had magnificent performances in week five against Excel and Fnatic. Elyoya was named MVP of the first game and Armut of the latter. Armut leads the league in MVP nominations along with Rekkles and Hans sama with four each.
Blue and Jezu are a big part of SK Gaming’s three-game streak, and Trymbi (also named MVP of Rogue’s first game in week five), is part of a proficient bot lane that has been able to carry more games for the currently 9-2 record Rogue than it has in the past.
It is a must to follow their performances until the end of the Split to see if they will live up to the hype generated, and the improvement of those who didn’t make it into this hypothetical best team too. As we can deduce from the graphics, TynX and Czekolad also represent an improvement to the players they are replacing, and probably others will join as they continue to gain experience in the league.
We will likely see most of the five selected rookies in their first LEC Playoffs this Spring and they will for sure be part of upcoming articles on this page.
As we could infer from this article, the future of the LEC is in really good hands.

Live / Upcoming Matches

LeagueTimeTeams
TTR
CommunityTrackLoL
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
LSB
KT

554

1659

50%
50%
28%
72%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
T1
NS

2584

1728

50%
50%
59%
41%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 PM
8:00 PM
PNG
LBR

1375

1454

100%
0%
58%
42%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 9:00 PM
9:00 PM
PNG
KBM

1375

1488

100%
0%
48%
52%
Friday, January 28, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
HLE
DK

966

2274

0%
100%
31%
69%
Friday, January 28, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
KDF
BRO

998

942

100%
0%
52%
48%

Live / Upcoming Matches

LeagueTimeTeams
TTR
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
LSB
KT

554

1659

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
T1
NS

2584

1728

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 PM
8:00 PM
PNG
LBR

1375

1454

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 9:00 PM
9:00 PM
PNG
KBM

1375

1488

Friday, January 28, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
HLE
DK

966

2274

Friday, January 28, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
KDF
BRO

998

942

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