Tag Archives: farming

Jungle Farming: Korea Does It Better

Prompted by a question from Joshua “Jatt” Leesman, I dug into some data about jungle-farming habits in different LoL leagues, and confirmed Jatt’s hunch that in the 2016 Spring split, Junglers in LoL Champions Korea have been farming much harder than Junglers elsewhere. Check out the average farm curves of Junglers in the LCK, NA LCS, EU LCS, LMS, and CBLoL. (LPL data is not available.)

2016 Spring Jungle Farm PacingClick to view larger image.

That grey line soaring above everybody else is the LCK: at the 15-minute mark, LCK Junglers average about 6 more jungle CS than other leagues, and by 30 minutes that lead has grown to 14 or 15 CS.

The Context

Clearly the LCK is more dedicated to farming up its Junglers this split, and that means less ganking. On average, LCK Junglers have 1.4 kills+assists at 15 minutes, compared to LMS Junglers’ 2.1 K+A@15, NA’s 1.9, and CBLoL’s 1.7. Curiously, though, EU LCS Junglers roughly match the farm levels of their NA and LMS counterparts, but average just 1.3 K+A@15, lower than the LCK.

The LCK is traditionally a slower-paced league than the rest of the world, in terms of combat, so less ganking and more farming seems par for the course. But we’re seeing a trend towards the extreme, so much so that the Devourer enchantment has been picked up by 5% of LCK Junglers this split! Buying Devourer means you’re fully committed to farming your way to 30 stacks, to get your item Sated, and it’s been very rare for Junglers outside of Korea to go that route. For comparison, Devourer has been purchased just three times in the LMS, twice in the LPL, and once in the NA LCS this split, with zero pickups in the EU LCS or CBLoL. The fact that Devourer has just a 36% win rate in the LCK so far is an interesting side note, though. (Every single Devourer purchase has come on Kindred, by the way.)

As noted, though, more farming has to come at the expense of other things, and it’s not only ganks that have been less plentiful. LCK Junglers used to lead the way in ward output throughout the game, as part of their supportive style, but this split they’re in the middle of the pack, trailing the EU LCS’s Junglers in ward placements at 15 and 30 minutes.

Historical Precedent

The farm-heavy approach to Jungling in Korea is definitely a recent trend. In fact, it’s a full reversal from a year ago. In the 2015 Spring split, LCK Junglers were routinely underfarmed compared to other leagues.

In Spring 2015, LCK Junglers averaged just 42.0 jungle CS at 15 minutes. That compares to the NA LCS’s 47.0, EU LCS’s 45.3, and LMS’s 43.8.

Compare the LCK’s 42.0 last year to this split’s 56.0 and, well… Things seem just a little different, don’t they? NA, EU, and LMS Junglers have upped their 15-minute pace by 3 or 4 CS compared to a year ago, but LCK Junglers have increased their farming in the first 15 minutes by a whopping 14 jungle CS.

Things were already starting to move this direction a bit in Summer 2015 and the 2015 Regional tournaments. In the Summer split and Regionals, LCK Junglers had come up to par with the other regions, with everyone hovering around 42 to 44 jungle CS at 15 minutes. The transition had begun. But even with some trending in this direction, it would have been difficult to imagine such a drastic shift in Jungler play styles.

Takeaways

A year ago, LCK Junglers were second Supports, dedicated to ganking and warding to help their laners power up. This year, LCK Junglers are at the forefront of the Carry Jungler movement, hoarding their precious jungle camps and exploding into team fights with shotguns blazing, javelins flying, and casks of ale, um, getting everyone really sticky, I guess. (Gragas is weird.)

It’s become so important in the LCK for Junglers to farm and carry that teams like SK Telecom T1 are trying out rookie players as replacements for two-time world champions, since their old guard is so entrenched in the gank-first, vision-first approach of yesteryear.

It’s often the case that other regions will parallel or imitate the Korean play style, and that’s certainly been the case this year, but despite similar champion pools and an overall increase in jungle farming, the other leagues aren’t executing on the new trend with nearly as much dedication and single-mindedness as the LCK.

Once again, a new trend in play is emerging, and the Koreans are doing it better.

Mid Laner Play Styles in the Early Game

The stats tables below show the average kills+assists, experience gained, and creep score for Mid laners from the NA LCS, EU LCS, and LCK during the 2015 Summer split, including regular season, playoffs, and regional tournaments.

NA Mid laners stats by 15

NA Mids were the least effective at balancing out early combat with farming. Only Cloud9’s Incarnati0n had a reasonably balanced mixture of K+As, XP, and CS.

Bjergsen and FeniX stand out as farming very effectively, but not getting involved in much combat. That’s partly a commentary on the non-aggressive NA LCS meta, but also speaks to how their teams played out the early game as a whole. Compare to Keane and Goldenglue, who were even less involved in combat but couldn’t keep their farming up to compensate.
EU Mids stats by 15In Europe, the standouts are Febiven, nukeduck, and Froggen. All three had decent early aggression, while also keeping up their farming numbers. Meanwhile, xPeke, PowerOfEvil, and Betsy lagged behind in both combat and farm during the first 15 minutes of games.
LCK Mid laners stats by 15

Has anyone ever told you that Faker is an aggressive player? Well… he is. His 1.91 kills+assists at 15 minutes is incredibly high, especially relative to his own region. But Faker still managed to keep his average CS up at 131.7, which would have put him fourth in the NA LCS, though it’s slightly below-average for the LCK. Check out Ggoong, Coco, Easyhoon, and Nagne, as well, for good balance of combat and farming.LMS Mids stats by 15

In the LMS, Maple stands head and shoulders above every other Mid laner in the early game, though westdoor kept his experience gain up and Toyz and Chawy had reasonably balance, as well.


What players or numbers stand out to you?