It’s the head-to-head matchup everyone is talking about, the Top lane showdown between SK Telecom T1’s MaRin and the KOO Tigers’ Smeb. Here’s an overview of how the two players stack up statistically.
All stats based on 2015 World Championships, including group stage, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals, unless otherwise specified.
KP: Kill participation. D%: Death share. GD@10: Gold diff at 10 minutes.
MaRin’s stats point more clearly to consistent split pushing. His low kill participation, phenomenal 9.1 CS per minute, very high gold share, and high wards per minute are all signs of the split push.
Compared to the other Top laners in the tournament, Smeb also has strong split push stats, but not quite at MaRin’s level. Part of that comes from the Tigers’ three losses. Smeb also hasn’t secured the same size of early leads as MaRin, being up 5.2 CS at 10 minutes to MaRin’s 9.3, and 215 gold to MaRin’s 451.
If Smeb is going to match MaRin’s split pushing in the Finals, he’ll need to keep pace with MaRin’s laning. In an isolated 1v1, he should be capable of that, depending on champion choices, but both players will be relying heavily on getting help from their Junglers.
While MaRin has an edge in split push stats, Smeb tops him in the team fighting numbers. Smeb has higher kill participation, because the Tigers have done more fighting as a team and less around-the-map skirmishing. Smeb also has a much lower death share.
Most interestingly, Smeb’s damage output has been higher than MaRin’s, both in damage per minute and damage share. Having 27% damage share on a Top laner is unheard of, and Smeb’s number is 2.5 percentage points higher than the second-highest Top laner damage share at Worlds. The caveat to this number is that the KOO Tigers get much less damage than most teams from their Mid laner, which drives Smeb’s share up. Also, a good portion of Smeb’s damage output is still coming from his split push dueling, so it can’t all be attributed to team fight contributions.
Still, all of that aside, Smeb has been carrying harder than MaRin in actual combat.
There’s overlap in MaRin’s and Smeb’s champion pools in Fiora and Darius, but beyond that we could see some pretty different approaches.
Fiora will likely be contested every game. It’s not likely we’ll see many bans on Fiora, but it might happen. We might also see some new counterpicks for her, if the Koreans are ready to get a bit creative.
Darius has disappeared lately, but it’s possible he’ll make a return in the Finals. It seems more likely Smeb will play him, because of his value in team fights, but don’t count on him showing up.
Both MaRin and Smeb have very large champion pools, so we could see some brand new pocket picks if we’re lucky.
There’s very little to separate these two players, aside from nuances in their play style. The biggest difference between them is their supporting cast: MaRin can rely on more consistent help from his Jungler, Bengi, than Smeb often gets from Hojin. That could be the deciding factor in which Top laner has a larger effect in the Finals.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @Mag1cLoL.