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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)