Trending is Snowball’s look at which players are performing above expectations, and which are underperforming to what we expected.
This time we look at the action from Week 1 of the Oceanic Pro League Split 2, 2017 in what turns out to be a very mid-and-ADC focused edition!
Trending up: Claire, Mid, Legacy
Claire had, in my opinion, a borderline disastrous split 1 saved only by some incredible team-fighting on Viktor in an iconic victory over The Chiefs. But the Claire we saw against Sin last weekend looked a far sight better than the Claire who tied Seb for most first blood deaths given up during the regular season (in six fewer games, no less).
After game 1 Sin might have had fair cry to say that they had been cheesed. But execution matters and the mid-lane Fiora that Claire produced gleefully accepted an early lead by punishing a clumsy Sin collapse, then used it to draw pressure around and away from objectives like few things other than a fed Fiora can. Game two saw a bit of a return the “oopsie” Claire that we’d seen in the beginning of the year, but game three was the important game. He started with an importantly quiet first 15 minutes, staying even with Ry0ma’s Syndra and more importantly keeping him in lane and not letting the one-shot machine roam around the map and pick up gold on unsuspecting (or suspecting and helpless) bot-laners. So while Carbon and Tally accelerated the early game, Claire picked up contribution after contribution and ended up one of four unkilled Legacy players with a 72% kill participation on the final game.
Trending down: Blinky, ADC, Avant
This might feel a bit harsh to a member of the only team sporting three shiny points but I really expected more out of the AV botlane and specifically Blinky this go-around. It’s not just the abnormally large number of “High, wide, and not very handsome” Ashe arrows including a couple of truly baffling misses at all-but-point-blank range, though that is significant at this level. It’s not just the damage discrepancies, which though i’ll give a Varus-pass for game 2, there was a mere 900 damage to champions advantage for Blinky in game 1, though that was also significant. My disappointment with Blinky this past week was the early deficits he faced in lane. They were small, collectively only around 300 gold at the 10-12 minute mark. But when you have a split’s worth of experience in the league, including playoffs and you’ve just returned from spending several weeks in Korean solo queue, you don’t expect narrow leads and break-evens in the first 15 minutes against lowskillplayer on his debut. You expect more. I expected more.
Trending up: Triple, Mid, Avant
On the bright side of Avant’s 2-0 over TM is Triple. Triple is really good at League of Legends, news at 11. Clearly the best-performing player on his team and a really good shout for the best performing player of the week. Triple really brought it all this week – good laning, pressure right round the map, good farming (nearly finished on a flame horizon in game one) and impressive basic statistics. Triple’s gold lead over Shok really jumps off the page in game one in which he’d built up a 1000 gold lead at just eight minutes and the direct comparison had ballooned to 2.4k gold immediately before the disastrous baron call that turned the game on its ear. A less spectacular but more workmanlike game 2 saw him bring home a just under 78% kill participation and honestly it is this ability that you really crave on your mid laner. We’ve all seen Triple pop off. What I loved about his game 2 was his ability that despite Ceres being the one to be the flashy playmaker on his Renekton-with-a-side-of-Lee Sin, it was Triple who dealt the most damage and Triple bringing the highest kill participation. Triple showed us both sides of being a carry – the spectacular, and the subdued. Though subdued almost feels disrespectful to the great showing he put on.
Trending up: Raid, ADC, Abyss
After this last week of games I have this vision of Looch in my head that is less of him as a great mid lane player than it is him as a literal security blanket that Raid wraps himself in so that the bad monsters don’t hurt his ADC gameplay because we haven’t seen Raid like this all year. This was a real return to split 2 form where he was arguably robbed of the Rookie of the Split by the aforementioned Looch. Abyss’s ADC was absolutely phenomenal against a surprisingly strong Regicide lineup. He put out comfortably over 700 damage to champions per minute across the whole series and just shy of 1000 per minute in the final game. These are super-giant-doggy-sized damage numbers. He added to this a huge flame horizon on Chenyboy in a losing effort in game two and only 7 deaths in the series, the fewest in his team. Although his damage numbers are admittedly a little augmented by three Varus games, this is itself encouraging in a different way as he spent almost the entirety of last split on Ezreal and Jhin and it’s nice to see something new from him. Looch himself was impressive so if these two can put forward this kind of showing consistently, Abyss will not just compete, but threaten, every time they hit the rift.