Wednesday, 15 May 2013

League of Legends All-Star Matchups : Top Lane

So I decided to switch over to blogspot because people told me it was easier to use. If you are new to my blog, or just don't recognize the name, I was the writer on I have also written for oRbit Gaming, Monomaniac Esports and Leaguepedia.

On the 24th May, 5 teams comprised of the best players of each region will clash at the All-Star tournament in Shanghai. Riot put the power in the hands of the fans and you all voted en masse for your all-stars of each position. In this series, I will take a look at each of the lane matchups, compare the styles/champions/stats of each top laner to give you guys as much information as possible.

So let's take it from the top...literally.

The top lane position was by and large the closest position in regards to fan votes. In North America, TSM Dyrus and Crs Voyboy were pretty much dead even, right up until TSM defeated Curse in an LCS match. After that win by TSM, the votes started to swing in Dyrus's favour, eventually landing him the All-Star spot by 10%.

Europe was quite possibly the closest region of all when it came down to the top lane. EG Wickd and Fnc sOAz were tied right down to the 0.01, This led to a top lane BO5 1v1 between the 2 to decide who would take the spot. sOAz was able to come out on top winning 3-2 and pulling out the famous AP Nunu top.

In the south east of Asia, top laner for the world champions, Taipei Assassins Stanley absolutely swept the voting, comfortable leading the entire time. Other Asian regions were not so clear cut however. In Korea, fan favourite Maknoon was leading the voting right up until the very final hours until CJ Entus Frost top laner Shy was able to overtake him and claim the spot. Finally, in China, Invictus Gaming top laner Pdd took the All-Star spot.

North America

Let's start off with probably the most well known top laner on that list. Of course I am referring to TSM Dyrus. Quite possibly one of the most popular players in the competitive League of Legends scene, It'll be interesting to see how he can perform vs the Asian top laners. In particular, it will be interesting if North America were to meet Korea at some stage in the tournament. As some of you may remember at worlds, Shy was able to destroy Dyrus in the top lane, thanks to some phenomenal Singed play.

Dyrus key champions include :

Renekton - 7/8 winrate and 6.2 KDA 
Rumble - 3/6 winrate and 3 KDA
Shen - 4/5 winrate and 6.1 KDA

As far as Dyrus's playstyle goes, it's fairly well known that he is more than happy to sit back and farm his lane, get a slight lead over his opponent, and then wreck face in the teamfight phase.  Team NA play vs China in the first round, I expect Dyrus will be heavily relied on to survive the lane phase to ensure a transition into the mid/late game. The beauty of the All-Star game is that every member of the team is a threat, therefore it is less likely that Dyrus will be target banned or jungle camped like he is in most LCS matches. The downside of this, is that if Dyrus is target banned and forced onto a weaker pick, he will struggle against the aggressive style of Asian teams. They key for Dyrus to win in the top lane is to soak up all the pressure that gets thrown at him, and then show off his amazing team fight play and positioning. It is the nature of the North American team that they may end up having an extremely strong teamfight. Both Dyrus and DoubleLift are always good in the late game if they aren't bullied out in the early. 


Next up on the list, is the European now famous for destroying low elo solo queue by demonstrating AP Nunu solo top during his live streamed all-star 1v1 vs Wickd. I am referring to the Fnatic top laner sOAz!. Much like his NA counterpart, sOAz tops the top lane stats ( see what I did there? ). Sitting comfortably at the top of the KDA charts, his strength comes from his extremely varied champion pool. His top 3 champions played in the LCS, are 3 completely different styles ( Shen, Elise, Kha zix ) proving that he has the ability to mould his playstyle into anything the team requires.

sOAz key champions include :

Shen - 3/5 winrate and 6.6 KDA
Elise - 4/4 winrate and 4 KDA
Kha Zix - 1/3 winrate and 2.2 KDA

There is a real problem with pinpointing sOAz's top lane playstyle...he doesn't have a particular style. This could of course work in a good and bad way for the European all-star team. While it makes it nearly impossible to ban sOAz out, it also means that while he is good at playing aggressive or defensive, he is not the best. If he tries to go aggressive vs Shy in round 1, he will have an extremely tough time outplaying him. Whereas if he plays passive, he may struggle to have a large impact in the late game. sOAz is a bit of a wildcard here, but I think if he's on his game, he can match the attacking style of Asian top laners. If sOAz can keep his cool and not go too H.A.M he could be the surprise key to a European victory.


Moving across the world to the home team now, let's take a look at how Team China top laner Pdd will fare. Similar to a few other players in the all-star tournament, Pdd qualified because of the rule allowing only 3 players from 1 team to attend. Many casual fans may not recognize the name, despite iG defeating both CLG and SK Gaming at worlds. Since then iG have gone on to win StarsWars season 2 ( similar to the LCS but involving multiple Asian teams ) which includes defeating World Elite 3-2 in the grand finals. certainly no easy feat, iG were always the 2nd team in China up until very recently, where they now challenge World Elite as the number 1. There's no doubt that Pdd's incredible top lane play has been a key factor.

Pdd key champions include : ( struggled to find actual figures here, but looking through recent matches I gathered his most played )

Jarvan IV

Pdd is known for unpredictable champion pool and style. He often plays champions that are good for both laning phase and the mid/late game. The problem with Pdd is that if he is allowed the freedom to control the early game, he will completely dominate the late game! I expect some target bans and/or a laneswap against Team China to try and keep Pdd down. In game 1 he will find himself up against TSM, I expect a laneswap here and unless China decide to counter the swap and force a 1v1, DoubleLift and Xpecial will try to bully Pdd as much as possible in the lane phase.

South East Asia

When you're the top laner for a team that wins the regional competition 27-1, you're going to be a large contender for the all-star vote. That is exactly what Stanley and the Azubu taipei Assassins have done. Almost every fan of Esports no matter how hardcore or casual has almost definitely heard of the Taipei Assassins. The reigning world champions had been on exquisite form, and of course top laner Stanley had a huge contribution to that. Recently they've had an ever so slight downturn, but it's still clear to see they are one of the best teams in the world. 

Stanleys key champions include :


The difficulty when playing against Stanley, is that it is quite possible he will pull out any of the 112 champions. For example, in his last 10 games with TPA, he has played ; Nunu, Rumble, Jayce, Kha Zix, Gragas, Renekton, Zac and Elise. South East Asia get a bye in the first round as reigning world champions, in round 2 they will face either North America or China. I feel like a Stanley vs Pdd match would result in a crazy weird 1v1 with unconventional champions and crazy aggressive play styles. Whereas if Stanley ends up against Dyrus, they may just let Dyrus soak up the pressure and play passive right into the mid/late game. Bottom line? Stanley is a freaking beast.


The Korean top lane all-star vote went down to the very last minutes. For a long time, fan favourite Maknoon was in the lead. After Shy was able to claw it back and make the votes tied, he then finally took and held the lead on the final day. This might be down to Maknoon and his lack of social media awareness shall we say. I'll just go ahead and link you To this reddit thread . The Korean voters seemed to find it disrespectful. The good news however is that Shy is also an amazing top lane player, and I know of 1 particular hawaiian top laner that might be out for some revenge.

Shy key champions include :


It's worth noting that for the last spot on that champion list I could've easily put Elise instead of Singed, as Shy seems to be leaning towards the former more often, but no one can deny that Shy is an absolute god on Singed. Ever since Shy dominated Dyrus at the season 2 world championships, he has been regarded as one of the most skilled top laners in the world. Shy currently sits at 6th place in the OGN MVP standing with 300 points. In terms of playstyle, look for Shy to go aggressive on his lane opponent, while ensuring that he remains comfortably ahead in farm to make for a cushy mid/late game. He just loves drawing attention to the top lane and either dominating his lane opponent or forcing the jungler to camp him and alleviate pressure elsewhere. In game 1 Korea play against Europe, and I honestly expect Shy to beat sOAz unless the latter is on a good day, or the former is on a particularly bad day. Depending on the strategies and the strength of the rest of the Korean all-star team, I expect some target bans and possibly a lane swap vs Shy.

Thanks for reading everyone! You can find me on twitter @Howspiffing , I tend to tweet about either League of Legends or Starcraft 2. If you find a spelling, grammar, or factual mistake PLEASE do not hesitate to let me know. I have an issue when it comes to checking my own work where I always miss out the small mistakes I've made. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment