Gambit Gaming is One of Europe’s Best Teams

The best team doesn’t always win.

For evidence of that statement, look no further than Gambit Gaming, a team that gets high marks in analyst opinions but ultimately finished eighth in the EU LCS standings and now has to defend their livelihoods against a Challenger team.

I hear the protests: if Gambit was so good, why couldn’t they prove it in the standings? Aren’t wins and losses the purest measure of quality?

No, of course they aren’t. The standings may be what ultimately matters, but they aren’t necessarily the best measure of a team.

I’m big on supporting criticisms with alternatives, so here are three stats that will convince you that Gambit Gaming deserves to be in the playoffs, not the Promotion Tournament.

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Kill Efficiency: Stats Theory

Low-level League of Legends solo queue is all about kills: fight, fight, fight, and every now and then a building might fall, too, when there’s nothing fleshy around to attack.

But higher tiers of play, and especially esports, are all about objectives. Kills are a means to an end: sure, they reward you with a little gold and experience, but it’s far more important to leverage those kills into greater advantages, gaining greater control of the game.

“Kill Efficiency” is my attempt at measuring how well teams use their kills to gain those advantages. Continue reading Kill Efficiency: Stats Theory

Measuring the Margins: Gold Spent Percentage Difference

Do you ever feel like a team is better (or worse) than their win/loss record suggests? Do you wish you had a way to measure that impression?

Here’s a stat that might scratch your itch: I call it Gold Spent Percentage Difference (GSPD).

In simple terms, GSPD measures the gap in how much gold both teams have spent at the end of the game. A large positive GSPD  (+10% or higher) shows that the team had spent a lot more gold than their opponents, while a large negative GSPD (-10% or lower) shows that the team had spent a lot less gold.

Using average GSPD, we can spot the teams who are ranked higher or lower than their performances seem to warrant. Continue reading Measuring the Margins: Gold Spent Percentage Difference