Category Archives: Stats Theory

Snowballing: Tracking How Gold Leads Grow (and Shrink)

Snowballing is an important part of League of Legends: if you can’t convert a large gold lead into a nexus lead, you will never win the game, and if you can’t convert a small gold lead into a large gold lead, the enemy team will take your lead away. Every team should be constantly trying to increase their gold lead, or dig themselves out of a gold deficit.

However, not every team is equally good at this. Some teams know how to recover from a disastrous early game to a miraculous comeback victory, as TSM did vs Immortals in Game 4 of the NA LCS Summer finals. Some teams seem hopeless, as they either squander a big lead, or dig themselves into a deeper hole every passing minute, such as when Dignitas struggled against CLG in the NA LCS 3rd-place match.

Today we’re introducing a new statistic called Snowball that measures this aspect of League of Legends.

The Formula

We define Snowball as the following:

Note that whenever a team gains Snowball, the opposite team loses Snowball of equal value. If the gold distribution changes from 52%/48% to 51%/49%, blue team lost 1 Snowball while red team gained 1 Snowball. This rewards teams for increasing their % gold lead, while punishing teams for losing it. Continue reading Snowballing: Tracking How Gold Leads Grow (and Shrink)

Are Mountain Drakes Overrated? Statistical analysis of the value and priority of dragon types

Ever since Riot introduced the concept of randomly-spawning elemental drakes, there has been consistent debate around the relative value of each dragon type. Consensus dictates that infernal and mountain drakes are the most valuable, with cloud and ocean as also-rans.

Currently, the trend of opinion among many experts–somewhat unexpectedly–is that mountain drake is the most useful dragon, above even the ever-popular infernal.

Curiously, the data does not bear out this opinion.

Based on statistical analysis of 2017’s games to date, the value of mountain drakes is much lower than popular perception. Inferno drake is statistically the most valuable by far, while cloud and ocean drakes continue to be underrated. Continue reading Are Mountain Drakes Overrated? Statistical analysis of the value and priority of dragon types