Thursday, July 31, 2014

Analyzing My Successful Push to Diamond

As some of you may know I recently achieved Diamond in solo queue after many many months (see my immediate response here) and the man (lich?) that got me there and the specific method for doing so was not one which I expected to work but in hindsight makes quite a bit of sense. The following is my analysis of the final push to diamond that I did over the weekend.

        The Catalyst         
  
                The day of July 8th started the beginning of an extended losing streak that would bring me from 67 league points in Platinum 1 all the way down to 55 points in Platinum 2. During this 27 game period I went an abysmal 10 - 17 including a pair of 5 game losing streaks. Those of you that know me understand that I'm all about "not tilting" and remaining psychologically stable in the presence of unstable conditions such as losing streaks but this streak was one that really got to me. I was growing frustrated, playing champions I didn't play very often out of frustration, not experimentation. During this 27 game run I played 16 different champions which around the amount I play in a given month of games (between 60-80 typically). I wasn't raging but I was taking a lot of risks, playing champs out of desperation, and generally not performing well.

Something had to change...

The Problem

                This is about as classic a tilt situation as you can find. What happens when you go on tilt? You start thinking emotionally and not logically. I wasn't being rational. How did I get to where I was before this losing streak? I played champions I was comfortable with, despite nerfs/buffs, and remained consistent by playing to my strengths as a player (focusing on lane and not roaming, farming well, and denying/controlling vision instead of creating map pressure with ganks). In my frustration I began trying to do too much and was trying to force ganks and jungle invades that were just not solid strategic options. I was playing over aggressive in lane and not calculated like I usually do. I wasn't spending the money on wards like I usually do (you could say I spend too much).  In so many words I was trying to compensate for team deficiencies as well as poor play in previous games. I was "overplaying." This is the opposite of my normal approach to solo queue.

The Strategic Solution

                 I've always been able to reel it back in during tough losing streaks by going back to basics. The acronym K.I.S.S. ("Keep it simple, stupid") is what I usually default to in competitive times of need. During my losing streak I was "overplaying" and trying to do too much so I started thinking specifically about a hard stance in the opposite direction.

                So what is the opposite position? What can I do that will force me to remain consistent each game? Well first I needed to identify what is consistent from game to game. To me there are very few things that remain the same from game to game in League. One of those things is you and how you play the game. The other is parts of the game itself, namely minions, income, and objectives. Minions and objectives are always the same each game but it's up to you whether you get them or not. Perhaps the most cliche advice in League is "just farm well" but most people don't actually do it, including people around my rating. Another cliche bit of advice is that "minion gold is more consistent than champion kill gold" which is correct in most situations. So according to this concept I just needed to improve my farming from game to game to recapture that consistency. Seems relatively sound and simple to me, but often what seems simple is quickly forgotten and you return to those bad habits, so how was I going to actually put this concept to work.

                The previous month in my Advanced Solo Queue Statistics VLog I actually discussed that my overall farming numbers were down in the previous 2 months and that was a goal to improve on for this month. Normally I just try to focus more on it during the game but this clearly wasn't working and I had to do something to force myself to get better at it and this is where I started to really start putting together the concept that would completely reconstruct my in game approach to consistency.

The Karthus Effect (Vanguard of the Consistency Solution)

                Once I recognized that income was the main obstacle preventing me from being consistent during the losing streak the first step was to improve it, but the second step was to maximize it if I was going to focus solely on that facet of the game. I needed somebody that could farm well and provide inevitability by doing so. Ziggs, Karthus, Lulu, Ryze and Orianna were the first to mind. Ziggs had provided a lot of success for me but with some slight nerfs in previous patches and more incoming I decided against him (at least temporarily). Orianna, while safe, can really make huge mistakes in team fights if you miss your ult. Lulu was never something really comfortable for me and her late game is solid but not what I would call something that provides inevitability. Ryze provides the inevitability but can be kited but the popular hyper carries (kog and trist) and doesn't provide any wave clear except when ulting.

                 So it was down to Ziggs and Karthus. I started to break it down further using some analysis techniques I learned from Magic the Gathering. Both are great when they're ahead (as most champs are). Both champs are good at parody (an even game). When behind Ziggs has the edge because of his insane wave clear but Karthus isn't as bad as you'd think and even has some tools that can make him better in certain situations. Both champs possess certain intangibles but I feel Karthus has the edge here. Let me explain because this is a key part to the champion and it actually sort of reflects on my "winning means more than KDA" mentality.

                One of the main strengths Karthus has is that he has "guaranteed damage" because of his passive. Assume you get instantly killed in a team fight. You have that second, and 7 more seconds to dish out AOE damage (and shred from wall), as well as your ultimate and however many Q's. There are fights in which you die and can still deal out thousands of points of damage allowing your team to do the rest which is incredibly useful when compared to those times where you get jumped on as Cassiopeia and you're dead before you even get to ult. So you get guaranteed damage when you're ahead. You get guaranteed damage when you're behind (even if it takes suiciding into the middle of a team fight). And you get guaranteed damage when it's even. This allows you to initiate fights, split push with teleport, soak damage and cooldowns for your teammates, and the most important thing, DEAL TONS OF DAMAGE.

                Oh yea, that was another problem I was having during the losing streak. I wasn't actually affecting the game at all. I wasn't farming well and therefore, wasn't doing a lot of damage. The damage made me realize that another way to remain consistent from game to game was to just pick champs that "always" get their damage down. I feel you're starting to see why the Karthus pick makes sense.

                I could easily, and safely farm (not the safest but close enough). I could ALWAYS get my damage down in fights whether behind or ahead. And because of the passive, I could start the fight in a pinch if my team didn't have the decisiveness to do so. It all adds up. Karthus was my own personal remedy to my consistency problem.

Applying the Solution

                I've always been a late game player. I thrive in that situation for whatever reasons but the challenge of being that kind of player is to get to that point. I'm not a mechanical beast or hyper talented or anything like that but I do have a strong mind for the strategic and macro points to the game and I team fight really well for a player of my rating. My best games are ones where I can farm up before I outplay. I'm very much a season 2 style player or if you need a modern player to compare to it'd be Easyhoon from SK Telecom T1 S.   

                There are certain challenges that make this difficult in solo queue (although it's even harder in arranged 5s). People tend to play aggressive more than passive, people tend to lose harder (or win harder), and building team comps isn't exactly something that happens in every solo queue game so they become very snowbally in one direction or the other (especially in high platinum but this is a different topic). These extremes can cause a lot of distractions. Maybe you feel pressured to gank because your top lane is getting stomped. Maybe you feel that trying an all in on your opponent is worth a shot. Maybe you start building completely differently or, in my case, playing different champions to "make up" for other people's deficiencies. All of these are bad adaptations and distractions. Your goal should be to make the other team play the game on your terms or in a way which benefits you.

                I was picking Karthus into matchups that I knew were bad even going as far as to blindly first pick him (which I wouldn't advise). I ran teleport/flash most of the time and would simply never gank or leave lane unless it was almost a guaranteed kill (read: worth more than continuing to farm). People would try to counterpick (most often with Orianna) or play overly aggressive because "hey Karthus is an easy kill." I wouldn't care. You could kill me a million times (ok that's a bit extreme) as long as I get my farm.  A lot of times people would kill themselves trying to "outplay" me. I'd often use teleport just to get back after purchasing to not miss any farm. My build varied but it often contained Rod of Ages and Zhonya's as my first two items. A couple of games I was able to get a Rod of Ages on the first back. There were games where I'd die more than 10 times but have 40% of my teams damage and we'd win. In other games we were behind and because I could continuously get my 8-10 seconds of "guaranteed" damage we could fight other teams off of objectives. I'd frequently approach 10 creeps per minute as well as jungle camps.

The Psychological Shift

                In one of my previous blogposts titled "Results Oriented Thinking" I mention that when playing a game with high variance (like League solo queue) one of the only things you can control is your consistency from game to game and the quantity of games you play. A person does this by eliminating risk and improving the "bottom line."  An old coach of mine used to say that "you don't need to very win, just win." Karthus was literally enforcing this mindset.

                On Karthus you don't care about dying. You only care about farming and providing that inevitability (read: winning). You suddenly don't tilt as hard when you get camped because you simply don't care because your damage is going to happen regardless and if they win before that point then good for them but I am certainly going to MAKE THEM BEAT ME. In other words I was presenting a threat that HAS TO BE DEALT WITH, but there isn't really a good way to deal with it without a lot of coordination. I went from thinking Karthus was terrible in solo queue because you couldn't "outplay" people to realizing that, when you're matched against even or more skilled players than you, that outplaying is much rarer and more difficult. Karthus was actually doing the opposite of what a lot of people think he does. He was reducing risks.

Consider this example:
                The enemy mid laner and yourself are exactly even in terms of mechanical skill, decision making, etc. Your rating (in my case Platinum 1) says that this is mathematically the case. Now of course this isn't always true but for the sake of this example let's assume it's at least close to the truth. You decide to all-in your opponent. Odds would say that, excluding champion mismatches, each player has a 50-50 chance of winning or losing the exchange. Assume the same for ganks, jungle invades, 2v2 skirmishes, etc. 50% isn't bad or good, it's exactly even so over the course of 100 of these decisions, you'll succeed in 50 of them. A professional poker player would quickly be out of a job if his win rate was like this.

                Earlier on I mentioned that "minion gold" is more consistent than "champion kill gold" and the reason that this is the case is because there is  A LOT less risk involved with minion kills. If you had the option to take a road that has a 60% chance to lead you to a point (in this case a certain gold total) vs a 50% chance to lead you to the same point, wouldn't you take the higher percentage? I know I would, and that's exactly why I started doing this.

Conclusion

                Farming is lower risk than pretty much everything else in the game. Decide you want to gank bot lane? You take on certain risks. Going to help your jungler steal their red? That's perfectly fine but understand the risks. For me the simplest way to eliminate these risks was to "AFK farm" and play a champion in Karthus that guarantees that at least some of his damage resolves and provides a means through which farming can be done safely and provide a degree of inevitability. Karthus also makes other players play the game the way I want to. I reduce risk, start a snowball, and eventually present a threat that says "Can you deal with this?" and from there I capitalize on raw power and enemy mistakes.

                This isn't for everybody. To most people this is boring and you could actually make an argument that it doesn't really improve you as a player (which I both agree and disagree with). Personally I like winning and this isn't that boring a way to do it in my opinion (what other clothy wants to just run into the enemy team and that's often the correct decision?). There are times where your teammates will rage for not following on a gank, or maybe you dive to start a fight and your team doesn't follow up. I'm not trying to say that this is the "technically correct" way to play but what is? All I know is that if you eliminate as much risk as you possibly can you raise your floor ("bottom line", worst case scenario, etc.) and in a game where it takes a lot of grinding once you become evenly matched this is the difference between 51% and 52% win rate.

Now it's time to bring the (wall of) pain to the ranks of Diamond and lay waste to my opposition.

Until next time...
-Gelati


Any questions about specific in-game techniques, builds, numbers crunching, strategy, etc. I'm more than welcome to answer and discuss. I just wanted to share the mindset (CONSISTENCY) and technique, albeit sort of extreme, that actually got me out of a division that I'd been stuck in (Plat I) to a goal that I have had for a long, long time.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What a long strange trip it's been....

                Those that follow me or watch my live stream got to see my reaction but for those that didn't, at about 1:15am this morning (Sunday July 27) I finally reached my long time goal of Diamond in solo queue. It took me almost 10 months (although there was a new season to start over from at some point there) of being in Platinum 1 to finally break through but I finally did it. I started the day Saturday in the morning with at 43lp in Platinum 1 and proceeded to go on a 5 game winning streak to help me qualify for my promotion series (this would be the second time). For the last few games I duo'd with my long time partner and friend Christian (Tuba). I then took a break for dinner before coming back a few hours later to take another shot at my best of 5 series and this time I took it down.

                Now there are people out there that may read this and think "Who cares, it's not like it hasn't been done thousands of times before? Hell people have done it way faster than it took you." and those people would be perfectly warranted in their analysis. But for anybody that has ever set and goal and achieved it they know that feeling of satisfaction that comes with it and I'm simply expressing myself here.

               I worked hard for this. I did the best I can to hammer down a schedule, eliminate as many distractions as possible, self analyze (see stat vlogs), and legitimately try to grind it out. There are very few things as rewarding as achieving a goal you set out for yourself. Finding something that is important to you, for whatever reasons there may be, and striving to improve and perfect to the best of your ability can be a very rewarding experience. I'm not a talented guy. I'm not some freakishly good mechanical player, I don't have perfect game knowledge, I make wrong decisions more often than it may seem. One thing I do have, and always have, is the ability to grind it out, self improve, and put my mind something.

                When I was at music school I was a vastly inferior talent compared to my peers but I outworked many of them. I structured my practice, put in more hours, recorded myself, logged and tracked my progress, and most importantly held myself to a high standard. This was much the same as League to me. I am not a talented player, I don't often make flashy outplays, I have to put the time in. I had to apply a process, perform due diligence, and stay the course by remaining logical and efficient, not emotional.

                To me, one of the most enjoyable things in the world is seeing work and dedication pay off whether that's at your job, relationships, or some pastime. The pursuit of excellence is something that drives me. Not in all aspects of my life but in many. Diligence, excellence, and the self respect to apply and adhere to a process are all things that I respect much more than most and I find the greatest satisfaction in the act of improvement. More so than actually reaching a specific goal, I am at my happiest when carving that path for myself. In other words, the journey  is what is fun for me but all travels must have a destination, or some kind of end game or you lose motivation.

                Some people play games as way to relax or as a social medium but to me the fun is in competition and striving to be the best. It was Seraph from The Matrix that said "You do not truly know someone, until you fight them." and that spirit of competition is another driving force for me. Vince (my name) is vastly different than Gelati. I've been able to find a different part of myself and a medium through which to express that and I feel as if this is the case for many gamers, for better or for worse. Having that kind of alter ego or second personality is fun, and invigorating and one of the main reasons I enjoy competitive environments so much. It caters to my craving to be the best.          

                The point I'm trying to make is that everybody likes achieving goals, some more than others, but it's important to have them. It doesn't matter if it's college, a job, a relationship, making 10 out of 10 free throws, or reaching a score in some random video game. Find something you are truly passionate about and get really good at it. It doesn't matter how stupid or lame other people might think it is because that doesn't matter. What matters is the process of self improvement and learning more about yourself by going through that process.

                I'll be making a separate post at some point about the mindset, logic, and theory behind the changes that got me to my goal within the specifics of the game but this post is meant for anyone and as a way for me to express how important this was to me and how great it feels to achieve something you set out for.

                For those of you that have supported me in any way I appreciate it and I hope to bring all of you, and perhaps most importantly myself, a high quality and constantly improving product as I move forward.

-Vince (Gelati)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June 2014 Advanced Solo Queue Statistics

June 2014

** There were 6 games in which there was severe lag, a DC, or server trouble, trolls (2-4). **


Misc. Statistics
Highest Placement: Platinum 2 (73 lp)     Lowest Placement : Platinum 3 (75 lp)
Win - Loss: 38 - 36 ( 4 - 0 in promo matches )
Kills/Deaths/Assists (avg): 443 / 395 /  (5.99 / 5.0 / 8.7) makes a 2.94:1 Ratio
Team K/D/A (avg): 2040 / 1958 / 3286  (27.6 / 26.46 / 44.41) makes a 2.72:1 ratio
Longest Winning Streak: 4 (8 out of 9 at one point)           Longest Losing Streak: 4
Largest LP Gain/Lost (single game): +21 / -21
Average CS For (non-support) / Against (all): 189.9 / 190.6
Average CS per minute For (non-support) / Against (all): 5.6 / 5.73
Highest (peak) Kills/Deaths/Assists (high in each taken from all games): 21 / 10 / 23
Highest Single Game CS:  341         

Combat Grades:
            Lane Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2):  +0.08
            Outside Lane Influence For Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.40
            Outside Lane Influence Against Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.30
            Roaming Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.41

Contribution Grades:
            Positive Contribution Avg:  19.84
            Negative Contribution Avg: 19.71      
            Net Contribution Avg:  +0.13
            Games +/-: 42+ /  32-         
            Record in Positive Contribution Games:  24- 18  Record in Negative: 14 - 18        

Damage Statistics      
Avg %Damage to Champions (% of teams total):  21.4%
                        Avg without support games: 23.0%

Gold Statistics
**Gold statistics are calculated rounding to the nearest hundred when recording (example: 9700)**
Avg Gold For (GPM): 11,613 (352.1/min)   -------->   in NON Support games: 12,248 (365.2/min) Avg Gold Against (GPM): 11,954 (363.89/min) ----> in NON-Support Games: 12.134 (361.5/min)

Avg For as SUPPORT: 8,634 (290.3 /min)  --->  Enemy Support Gold: 9,215 (312.5/min)
Avg Gold For Lane Partner:  9,900 (352.9/min)  ------>  Enemy ADC Gold: 11,108 (375.3/min)  

Champion Specific Statistics
Most Played Champion(s):
            - Leblanc (mid) (11 games) (7 wins - 4 losses)
                        - Avg CS: 167.7 (5.59/min), Avg K/D/A: 6.8 / 5.3 / 9.8, which makes a 3.13:1 ratio
                        - Enemy Avg CS: 178.3 (5.81/min)
                        - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +.18
                        - Outside Lane Influences Avg (against/for): +0.55 / +0.36
                        - Roaming Grade: +0.45
                        - Gold For (gpm) / Against (gpm): 11,582 (380/min) / 10,636 (346.5/min)               
                        - Avg Game Length: 30:20 (significantly shorter than average)
                        - % Damage to Champs per Game (avg): 25.86%
                        - Net Contribution Grade: -2.94
                        - Games + / - (contribution score): 5 positive (4 - 1) / 6 negative (3 - 3) 

Champions Played: 24 (lux support and lux mid differentiated, etc.)

Duo queue Statistics 
** I played a lot more duo queue than I normally do this month to practice with members of my 5s team **
            Record: 18 - 15
                        - Jin Seyeon: 1 game (0 - 1)
                        - Manadel: 3 games (2 - 1)
                        - Dorme Ornimus: 1 game (1 - 0)
                        - Flareonz: 3 games (2 - 1)
                        - Unholymend: 3 games (1 - 2)
                        - War Pigs: 22 games (12 - 10)
Match Time Statistics
Average Match Time:  32:46  Shortest Match Time: 20:24  Longest Match Time: 53:45
Match Time Distribution:
            -  <20:00:  0 games (0 wins - 0 loss)
            -  20:00 to 25:00: 7 games (2 wins - 5 losses)
            - 25:00 to 30:00: 29 games (17 wins - 12 losses)
            - 30:00 to 35:00: 15 games (9 wins - 6 losses)
            - 35:00 to 40:00: 13 games (7 wins - 6 losses)
            - 40:00 to 45:00: 2 games (1 wins - 1 losses)
            - 45:00 to 50:00: 7 game (2 win -5 losses)
            - >50:00: 1 games (0 win - 1 losses)

Pick Order Statistics
Avg position: 2.92    Avg Position of duo: 3.9
            - 1st pick: 18 games (11 wins - 7 losses)
            - 2nd pick: 11 games (6 wins - 5 losses)
            - 3rd pick: 14 games (5 wins - 9 losses)
            - 4th pick: 21 games (11 wins - 10 losses)
            - 5th pick: 10 games (5 wins - 5 losses)

Matchup Specific Statistics
Most Frequent Opponents:  
Lulu (1 - 4), Orianna (2 - 3), Twisted Fate (1 - 3), Ziggs (3 - 1), Caitlyn (2 - 3), Lux (3 - 1)

Strongest Matchups (3 or more games):
- vs Lux (3 - 1)      Avg K / D / A: 9.25 / 5.25 / 11 (3.86 to 1 KDA)
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.38 / 5.58
            - Net Contribution Score: -1.88
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: +0.25
            - Outside Influence For / Against: +0.25 / +0.75
            - Roaming Grade: +0.75
            - Champs Played: Cassiopeia (2 - 1), Kayle (1 - 0)
            - First Bloods For / Against: 0 / 0


Weakest Matchup (more than 3 games): 
- vs Lulu (1 - 4) Avg K/D/A: 2.33 / 6.33 / 7
            - Avg per minute For / Against: 6.0 / 7.6
            - Net Contribution Score: +3.97
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: -0.67
            - Outside Influence For/Against: 0 / +0.33
            - Champs Played: Syndra (1-0), Cassio (0-1), Orianna (0-1), Leblanc (0-1), Ziggs (0-1)
            - First Blood For / Against: 0 / 0

Multi Game Summoner Matchups: 
            - vs angelsolarxd: 2 - 0 vs his Morg support followed by top Ryze, stomped both

Situational Statistics
First Bloods For: 4                         First Blood Assist: 0
First Bloods Against: 4                 First Blood Against Assist:  3
Record when getting first blood: 2 - 2   Record when giving up first blood: 4 - 0
Record when getting FB or Assist: 2 - 2
Record when giving up FB or Assist:  5 - 2 (1 - 2 on just assist)

Positional Statistics
  - Mid: 52 games,  30 wins - 22 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 5.81 / 5.83
            - Avg K/D/A:  7.1 / 4.73 / 8.88  Ratio of 3.38:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +0.15
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.31 / +0.43
            - Roaming: +0.48
            - Contribution Grade: -1.51
            - First Bloods For / Assists: 3 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 4 / 2

  - AD Carry: 2 games,  1 win - 1 loss
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.99 / 7.02
            - Avg K/D/A:  4.5 / 4 / 5.5  Ratio of 2.5:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: 0
            - Outside Influence Against / For: 0 / +0.5
            - Contribution Grade: -3.28
            - First Bloods For / Assists: 0 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 0 / 0

  - Support: 16 games, 6 wins - 10 losses
            -  Avg CS per minute of Enemy AD: 6.14
            -  Avg GPM Enemy ADC / Support: 374.2 / 312.5
            -  Avg  K/D/A: 2.56 / 5.43 / 10.38 for a ratio of 2.38:1
            -  Avg CS/GPM Lane Partner: 5.46 / 353.0
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -0.06
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.4 / +0.2
            - Contribution Grade: -2.31
            - First Bloods For / Assist: 1 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 1 / 1

  - Top: 2 games, 2 wins - 0 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 5.27 / 5.68
            - Avg GPM For / Against: 392.5 / 307.2
            - Avg K/D/A: 5 / 3.5 / 8.5 for a ratio of 3.86:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +1.0
            - Outside Influence Against / For: -0.5 / +1.0
            - Roaming Grade: 0
            - Contribution Grade: +2.51

  - Jungle: 5 games, 0 wins - 5 loss
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 3.03 / 4.15
            - Avg GPM For / Against: 301.3 / 377.2
            - Avg K/D/A: 5.2 / 7 / 4.8 for a ratio of 1.43:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -0.6
            - Roaming: -0.2
            - Contribution Grade: -1.01

Environmental Statistics
Record in First Game of Session: 11 - 9   Record in Last Game of Session:  10 - 8
Record in Single Game sessions (counted as both first and last games): 3 - 1
Longest Single Session: 10 games (6 wins - 4 losses)
Time of Day (based on common playing blocks):
            - Night block (8:01pm to 4am):  23 games (16 wins - 7 losses)
            - Morning block (4:01am to 12pm): 6 games (2 wins - 4 losses)
            - Afternoon/Evening block (12:01pm to 8pm): 45 games (20 wins - 25 losses)
Day of Week:
            - Monday: 13 games (7 - 6)
            - Tuesday: 8 games (3 - 5)
            - Wednesday: 1 games (1 - 0)
            - Thursday: 2 game (2 - 0)
            - Friday: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Saturday: 27 games (12 - 15)
            - Sunday: 22 games (12 - 10)


Music: 
            - Dirty Loops: 3 games (3 - 0)
            - Dubstep Mix: 31 games (16 - 15)
            - High Energy Mix: 20 games (9 - 11)
            - LCS Broadcast: 9 games (5 - 4)
            - Misc. Livestreams: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Magic the Gathering Livestream: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Melodic Death Mix: 3 game (1 - 2)
            - MLG Broadcast: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - OGN Broadcast: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Summoning Insight: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - TesseracT: 2 games (0 - 2)
            - Words of Farewell: 1 game (0 - 1)
           
Goals from April/May:
1) Support play needs to improve despite having to play the role less.

-       Failure: Poorer numbers across the board except for KDA. I feel the I performed slightly better than last split but my lane partners certainly did not and the numbers showed that I am still dying entirely too much.

2) Finish adding a top laner and work on a meta-jungle pick like Lee/Elise/Jarvan/Vi
-       
Failure: Was not confident enough to play anything new other than Eve and lost every single jungle game.

3) Play more games.
-       Success: I played plenty of games including some 9 and 10 game sessions and performed well during them.

Goals for Next Month:

1) Reduce negative contribution score (This is done primarily through fewer careless deaths)

2) Support play still needs to improve (Nami seems to be a nice new addition for you)

3) Refocus on improving farm numbers (Roaming has been less often but more efficient)


BONUS: Plat 1 to Diamond

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My thoughts on the Reginald/OnGamers Drama

          As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of the onGamers program, 'Summoning Insight' featuring MonteCristo and Thooorin. I love that League now has a show that's willing to ask the hard questions, call players out, and give an honest opinion, albeit insensitive at times. The recent drama about Reginald denying all interviews with Travis (of onGamers) because of the content of 'Summoning Insight' is something I wanted to talk about. I'd like to give my opinion on why it happened, the thought process behind it, who's right, who's wrong, and what impact all of this actually has for the community and for e-sports. If you haven't watched the show I'm not going to explain it for you. You'll need to watch and formulate your own opinions.(I'll be referencing a reddit comment I made that I'll paste at the bottom of the page)

          When I first read the news about denying Travis interviews my first thought was that Reginald is crying because somebody called him a name. Now obviously Thooorin cut pretty deep by comparing him to Caesar from Planet of the Apes (to be honest it actually does look like him...) and while this is terribly insensitive I'd like to bring up a couple of points about it. If you're a business owner, or professional athlete (e-athlete?) like Reginald is/was, why do you care what some guy on a talk show is saying about you? There's two ways to take this. You can either stand up for yourself by facing it head on or ignore it. Reginald chose neither. He chose another option which is to put up walls and deny someone that's almost completely unrelated other than working there (Travis) the resources of a relationship that had previously been fruitful for both parties. You don't see the President of the United States going on some local talk radio show to because the host disagrees with some of his policies because 1) You're the god damn President, 2) Other human beings aren't going to agree with absolutely everything you do, and 3) You have more important things you could be spending your time on (like improving your team). And yes, I understand age is a factor here, but there are plenty of professional athletes and young business owners that haven't responded in these controversial ways as Reginald has.

          Now it has since come to be public that, according to Reginald, Travis went to onGamers with this information in hopes to create some blast about it. I can't confirm whether or not this is true but if it is then that is equally scummy and childish of Travis who has, until this event, been doing a great job of keeping up to date and solid content as well as conducting excellent interviews. Reginald also mentioned that new TSM coach Locodoco requested that the players avoid social media. This is AWESOME. If you want to keep your players heads clear and they are unable to block out the criticism themselves (which they should probably learn how to do) a coach/manager telling them is the next best thing. I completely support that decision and think it's best for them as a team to ignore the hate and focus on improving and not sulking.

          The next major point I wanted to talk about is the thing that most people are taking issue with and that's Thooorin's insensitive language and "disrespect" of players. The fact of the matter is that he is stating what he thinks. He doesn't try to pretend to be someone he isn't. He's had a history of racial remarks (see the whole IEM debacle) as well as material on both SI as well as his own interview series'. Sometimes it's all in good fun and just "joking with the guys" in feeling while other times it's actually malicious. Do I agree with him doing this? No. Do I encourage this type of behavior? No. Do I respect him for stating his opinions? Yes. I don't agree with him or feel the same way sometimes and I know that I, myself, am not comfortable saying things like he does for certain reasons, but I'm not Duncan Shields. Freedom of speech. He can say what he wants whether you agree or not. Get over it.

          I like to compare 'Summoning Insight' to the famous Howard Stern. Uncensored, inappropriate, gaudy, derogatory. Whatever you want to call him, people find Stern's interviews and opinions entertaining enough to pay for it through a premium service. Nobody is forcing you to listen to him. Just like nobody is forcing you to watch 'Summoning Insight.' If you are bothered by derogatory language or know that you'll just be annoyed at the opinions of Thooorin and MonteCristo then just don't watch. People won't think anything less of you. But I wouldn't go complaining about it. Because the more you talk about it, the more the name comes up, the more views they get, and the next thing you know, guess who's "winning?"

          The final and most important point I'm trying to make here is that conversation is better than no conversation. It's OK to disagree. In fact I encourage you to disagree. Disagreements create debates, which bring up interesting points and counterpoints regarding a specific subject matter and can eventually lead to solutions to problems, or a deeper understanding of your own, as well as other people's opinions. HAVE YOUR OWN OPINION! Don't just regurgitate what others tell you and get upset when people disagree with you. The world of e-sports needs more of this kind of thing. It's something that traditional sports, politics, bar-room conversations with friends, and family feuds all have in common and it's only natural for us as fans and gamers to be able to have a civil conversation about our disagreements just like most people do in these other mediums. Let's up the level of our own conversations within this community so that it doesn't take a few insensitive remarks to send everyone flying into a frenzy in order to have passionate, well-informed, and interesting discussions.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

April and May 2014 Advanced Solo Queue Statistics

April and May 2014

** There were 5 games in which there was severe lag, a DC, or server trouble (2-3). There was also 2 games with trolls/rage quits (1-1 record) and one game that I dodged because my partners client crashed. These games will not be included in these statistics **


Misc. Statistics
Highest Placement: Platinum 2 (100 lp)     Lowest Placement : Platinum 3 (0 lp)
Win - Loss: 35 - 32 ( 2 - 1 in promo matches )
Kills/Deaths/Assists (avg): 375 / 320 / 605 (5.6 / 4.78 / 9.0) makes a 3.05:1 Ratio
Team K/D/A (avg): 1885 / 1805 / 3100  (28.1 / 26.9 / 46.3) makes a 2.76:1 ratio
Longest Winning Streak: 4 (8 out of 9 at one point)           Longest Losing Streak: 7
Largest LP Gain/Lost (single game): +20 / -19
Average CS For (non-support) / Against (all): 196.7 / 202
Average CS per minute For (non-support) / Against (all): 5.86 / 5.97
Highest (peak) Kills/Deaths/Assists (high in each taken from all games): 18 / 11 / 24
Highest Single Game CS:  299 (on Ziggs)

Combat Grades:
            Lane Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2):  +0.06
            Outside Lane Influence For Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.44
            Outside Lane Influence Against Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.23
            Roaming Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.17

Contribution Grades:
            Positive Contribution Avg:  19.84
            Negative Contribution Avg: 18.08      
            Net Contribution Avg:  +1.76
            Games +/-: 40+ /  27-         
            Record in Positive Contribution Games:  19- 21  Record in Negative: 16 - 11        

Damage Statistics      
Avg %Damage to Champions (% of teams total):  22.93%
                        Avg without support games: 24.4%

Gold Statistics
**Gold statistics are calculated rounding to the nearest hundred when recording (example: 9700)**
Avg Gold For (GPM): 11,950 (354.2/min)   -------->   in NON Support games: 12,305 (366.6/min) Avg Gold Against (GPM): 12,354 (363.7/min)  ---->  in NON-Support Games: 12.266 (362.5/min)

Avg For as SUPPORT: 9,667 (275 /min)  --->  Enemy Support Gold: 9,900 (289.8/min)
Avg Gold For Lane Partner:  13,000 (374.0/min)  ------>  Enemy ADC Gold: 12,922 (372.0/min)  

Champion Specific Statistics
Most Played Champion(s):
            - Leblanc (mid) (18 games) (9 wins - 9 losses)
                        - Avg CS: 178.5 (5.2/min), Avg K/D/A: 7.4 / 4.3 / 7.5, which makes a 3.46:1 ratio
                        - Enemy Avg CS: 193.5
                        - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +.5
                        - Outside Lane Influences Avg (against/for): +0.11 / +0.72
                        - Roaming Grade: +0.17
                        - Gold For (gpm) / Against (gpm): 12,289 (360.7/min) / 11,961 (348.7/min)            
                        - Avg Game Length: 34:07 (significantly shorter than last month)
                        - % Damage to Champs per Game (avg): 22.9%
                        - Net Contribution Grade: +5.14
                        - Games + / - (contribution score): 14 positive (8 - 6) / 4 negative (1 - 3) 

Champions Played: 17 (lux support and lux mid differentiated, etc.)

Duo queue Statistics 
** I played a lot more duo queue than I normally do this month to practice with members of my 5s team **
            Record: 12 - 13
                        - Ammoam: 1 game (0 - 1)
                        - D Best Ever: 1 game (0 - 1)
                        - First Time Shaco: 1 game (0 - 1)
                        - Flareonz: 5 games (1 - 4)
                        - Tuba: 4 games (2 - 2)
                        - War Pigs: 13 games (9 - 4)
Match Time Statistics
Average Match Time:  33:47  Shortest Match Time: 20:26  Longest Match Time: 51:56
Match Time Distribution:
            -  <20:00:  0 games (0 wins - 0 loss)
            -  20:00 to 25:00: 5 games (5 wins - 0 losses)
            - 25:00 to 30:00: 15 games (7 wins - 8 losses)
            - 30:00 to 35:00: 19 games (9 wins - 10 losses)
            - 35:00 to 40:00: 20 games (10 wins - 10 losses)
            - 40:00 to 45:00: 5 games (2 wins - 3 losses)
            - 45:00 to 50:00: 2 game (1 win -1 loss)
            - >50:00: 1 games (1 win - 0 losses)

Pick Order Statistics
Avg position: 2.78  Avg Position of duo: 2.92
            - 1st pick: 16 games (5 wins - 11 losses)
            - 2nd pick: 16 games (9 wins - 7 losses)
            - 3rd pick: 15 games (11 wins - 4 losses)
            - 4th pick: 7 games (4 wins - 3 losses)
            - 5th pick: 13 games (6 wins - 7 losses)

Matchup Specific Statistics
Most Frequent Opponents:  
Zed (5 - 2), Syndra (2 - 2), Kayle (2 - 1), Kassadin (1 - 2), Yasuo (0 - 3), Ziggs (1 - 1)

Strongest Matchups (3 or more games):
- vs Zed (5 - 2)      Avg K / D / A: 5.7 / 3.43 / 10 (4.58 to 1 KDA)
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 5.64 / 6.3
            - Net Contribution Score: +4.36
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: +0.29
            - Outside Influence For / Against: +0.43 / 0
            - Roaming Grade: 0
            - Champs Played: Leblanc (3 - 1), Ziggs (1 - 0), Nidalee (0 - 1), Kassadin (1 - 0)
            - First Bloods For / Against: 0 / 1

- vs Kayle (2 - 1)   Avg K/D/A: 9.67 / 3.33 / 6.67 (4.91 to 1 KDA)
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 5.22 / 5.77
            - Net Contribution Score: +2.81
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: +1.0
            - Outside Influence For / Against: 0 / +1.33
            - Roaming Grade: 0
            - Champs Played: Leblanc (1 - 1), Cassiopeia (1 - 0)
            - First Blood For / Against: 1 / 0

Weakest Matchup (more than 3 games): 
- vs Yasuo (0 - 3) Avg K/D/A: 2.33 / 6.33 / 7
            - Avg per minute For / Against: 6.0 / 7.6
            - Net Contribution Score: +3.97
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: -0.67
            - Outside Influence For/Against: 0 / +0.33
            - Champs Played: Karthus (0 - 1), Leblanc (0 - 1), Ziggs (0 - 1)
            - First Blood For / Against: 0 / 0

Multi Game Summoner Matchups: 
            - vs F291: 0 - 2 vs his Nidalee but it was mostly his team outperforming mine
            - vs Fatman121: 1 - 1 Lost to his TF but beat his Jarvan with my top lane Soraka

Situational Statistics
First Bloods For: 8                         First Blood Assist: 4
First Bloods Against: 7                 First Blood Against Assist:  3
Record when getting first blood: 5 - 3   Record when giving up first blood: 3 - 4
Record when getting FB or Assist: 7 - 5 (2 - 2 on just assist) 
Record when giving up FB or Assist:  4 - 6 (1 - 2 on just assist)

Positional Statistics
  - Mid (80.6% of games played): 54 games,  27 wins - 27 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 5.92 / 5.96
            - Avg K/D/A:  6.37 / 4.44 / 8.2  Ratio of 3.28:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +0.07
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.19 / +0.4
            - Roaming: +0.17
            - Contribution Grade: +3.5
            - First Bloods For / Assists: 8 (all on LB) / 1
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 6 / 1

  - AD Carry (0%): 0 games
  - Support (13.4%): 9 games, 5 wins - 4 losses
            -  Avg CS per minute of Enemy AD: 196.9
            -  Avg GPM Enemy ADC / Support: 373.2 / 292.6
            -  Avg  K/D/A: 1.78 / 6.33 / 11.56 for a ratio of 2.11:1
            -  Avg GPM Lane Partner: 374.0
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: +0.11
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.56 / +0.56
            - Contribution Grade: -5.2
            - First Bloods For / Assist: 0 / 1
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 1 / 2

  - Top (<1%): 1 games, 1 wins - 0 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.18 / 7.38
            - Avg GPM For / Against: 352.1 / 344.4
            - Avg K/D/A: 2 / 4 / 8 for a ratio of 2.5:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -1.0
            - Outside Influence Against / For: 0 / 0
            - Roaming Grade: +1.0
            - Contribution Grade: -16.1

  - Jungle (4.5%): 3 games, 2 wins - 1 loss
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 135 / 136
            - Avg GPM For / Against: 323.9 / 348.2
            - Avg K/D/A: 4.33 / 6.33 / 16.67 for a ratio of 3.32:1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: 0
            - Outside Influence Against / For: 0 / 0
            - Roaming: 0
            - Contribution Grade: -2.55

Environmental Statistics
Record in First Game of Session: 11 - 12   Record in Last Game of Session:  10 - 10
Record in Single Game sessions (counted as both first and last games): 2 - 4
Longest Single Session: 9 games (6 wins - 3 losses)
Time of Day (based on common playing blocks):
            - Night block (8:01pm to 4am):  26 games (12 wins - 14 losses)
            - Morning block (4:01am to 12pm): 11 games (7 wins - 4 losses)
            - Afternoon/Evening block (12:01pm to 8pm): 30 games (16 wins - 14 losses)
Day of Week:
            - Monday: 19 games (12 - 7)
            - Tuesday: 3 games (0 - 3)
            - Wednesday: 4 games (3 - 1)
            - Thursday: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - Friday: 15 games (7 - 8)
            - Saturday: 21 games (11 - 10)
            - Sunday: 4 games (2 - 2)


Music: 
            - Blind Guardian: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - Blue Sky Black Death: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - Bonobo: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Chillstep Mix: 9 games (4 - 5)
            - David Maxim Micic: 2 games (2 - 0)
            - Destiny Potato: 2 games (1 - 1)
            - Encircle: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - High Energy Mix: 33 games (21 - 12)
            - LCS Broadcast: 8 games (2 - 6)
            - Melodic Death Mix: 3 game (2 - 1)
            - OGN Broadcast: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - Opeth: 1 game (0 - 1)
            - Phantomlord Livestream: 3 games (2 - 1)
            - Shade Empire: 1 game (0 - 1)
           
Goals from March: 3 out of 3
1) Improve overall support performance
Failure: While I didn't really drop off that much, I certainly didn't improve.

2) Make a top champion your own
Incomplete:  I only played a single game in top lane and got the "W" but I have been working on Ryze and Vladimir in normals. Not quite there yet so this gets a failure.

3) Sustain excellent balance of map pressure and income.
Success:  While my roaming went down my income remained the same and I dominated my lane much harder than last month. This still needs to improve.

BONUS: Platinum 1: Failed

Goals for Next Month
1) Support play needs to improve despite having to play the role less.

2) Finish adding a top laner and work on a meta-jungle pick like Lee/Elise/Jarvan/Vi

3) Play more games.

BONUS: Diamond