So with IPL wrapping up soon I think we can start to address all the winners and bigger winners of IPL. Well actually we can't since it's not over. What we CAN do however is take a little time to make ourselves a bit smarter, and better at looking at the data and watching the games. A little bit of time to ensure our opinions sound smarter. So, I've decided to help us all out by putting together a light comprehensive post on what you can do to look at the tournament games and make better educated opinions on champion balance in League after big tournaments.
So it's time to read a little bit!
First, the stats of a single tournament are not big.
To start with, this is just one tournament, so keep some things in mind. Even though for example Diana has a win rate not high enough to match her acclaim it could just be bad luck causing it. Likewise Lee Sin with his ludicrous 75% win could just be amazingly good luck. You have to keep in mind that if we just look at this tournament's stats in isolation that Jarvan with his 75% win rate is on grounds for immediate nerf because that stat makes him look god tier OP.
What's more, a tournament doesn't give enough time to learn. Things change tournament to tournament. Last tournament Orianna was clearly in need of dire nerf with god tier OPness behind her. This tournament she has a sub 50% win rate. Bad luck? Maybe. Or maybe teams just learned to beat her. Or maybe the teams that played her aren't playing her anymore. It can be any one of these factors. Maybe she countered something that isn't being played anymore. Get the idea? A single tournament doesn't give us a good enough idea to see what is making a champion look so good, or doesn't give us enough stats to even out champions like Jarvan. Or god help you Renekton with his 100% win rate. (However Orianna has been a driving force in many many tournaments in a row now, so see right below for...)
On that thought though, champions that have had amazing performances at every tournament in the last half year (SHEN) tend to just be OP.
Winners effect the stats.
What's more, bare in mind that winning teams will impact stats. Take for example M5 and TPA both picking Rengar every game. They got really far in the tournament and as such Rengar got an artificial boost because of them. Versus Mundo that some losing teams seemed to prefer that caused him to get a really low win rate. You could argue that clearly the winning teams knew who was good and the losing teams didn't, but you'd have to be insane to think that somehow every winning team knew exactly what to do, and every winning team had no clue. What's more, you'd have to be thinking that League's balance is just so bad that merely knowing what to pick caused immediate wins.
Take Master Yi, he has a 2/3 win rate. 66.7%! That's extremely high. A win rate that high clearly puts him on the chopping board for nerfs. His pick rate was incredibly low though which impacted how many stats we get but I talked about that earlier. More importantly however, M5 would've won using other champions, they merely made the choice to use Yi. Does that mean since teams chose to pick Yi that he is now a prime target for a nerf? A team if they really hated a champion could using that logic always pick Fiora when up against teams they knew they were going to beat, and just made Fiora's stats insane. No other team would pick Fiora, and they wouldn't pick Fiora against really good teams. As such her win rate would be over 70% likely.
So don't always assume that because the winning team picked a champion that that champion is OP. You have to bare in mind the champion's team's skill.
And in a balanced game picks wouldn't matter anyway.
Remember that sometimes champions are just more popular. If every champion was balanced then say Ahri getting picked 5x as much as Brand would just be player preference. I'm trying to reiterate that many many many times because it's simply true. Sometimes champions are picked and banned more simply because A. They are more popular and picked more, and B. Because they are more popular and picked more people ban them to deny their opposing team a champion they want to play.
Niche picks made for countering or some other niche strategy.
Back to Yi again who was used to beat teams that his specialty would work on. Teams that didn't pick enough champions to disrupt his meditate. Sometimes the things that champions excel at occur very often (Rengar) and sometimes very few times (Yi.) As such one of them will get picked far more often merely because of their gameplay implications. Imagine there was a champion who only ever beat Jax, but he beat Jax every game. His win rate would be obscenely high and he would be an OP champion, but his pick/ban rate would be extremely low.
Take Lux. She is a weak champion, but excels in a niche (long range team fight denying.) So she's weak, but she does one thing really good and that one thing sometimes happens. Her win rate is 50% but when she does good in games she looks ridiculously powerful. Her pick/ban rate is low, yet she does fine when used right. Teams just sometimes pick her at the wrong time. Even though the stats say "Lux is fine" she's still somewhat lackluster, but her niche-ness allows her to be used in tournament play. That's up to you whether or not that means she needs buffs or not, but as of now Lux can be used as a weapon in the ban/pick process to out pick your opponents when the time shows up to do so.
Sometimes things change slightly that allow a champion to seem OP.
Lee Sin and TF (Twisted Fate) are being banned every game. What does this allow? All the champions with free stealth detection (that are picked) are being banned. All of the sudden Rengar can split push and his ultimate makes him crazy difficult to kill now. All that pressure that was making his ultimate pointless is released, and his ultimate can now function normally. Think of it like a fat man sitting on Rengar. The fat man is keeping him down, but once you remove the fat man Rengar can sit up and everyone is like "oooo he's kinda good." TF and Lee Sin were those fat men. They are still in the game, they just aren't getting to be picked.
Or lets look at it a different way. Every ranged AD got nerfed. Now Caitlyn looks amazing. Coincidence? No, not really a coincidence. Everything she directly fought got worse, and now she looks better in comparison. Does this make Caitlyn too good now? Well that's up for debate. My point is merely that things changed and suddenly a champion that seemed weak is now doing extremely good. This is obviously the most direct and overt example and not subtle like the Rengar one, but I hope it gets the idea across.
Or it could be as simple as overnight one of the teams was like "well damnit, I love playing Evelyn!" Now Evelyn has a 100% win rate. This ties in to "Winners effect the stats." All of the sudden a really good team just starts favoring a champion and boom, 100% win rate. (Note that I'm typing this as Fnatic versus TPA is played and her win rate might drop after this is done.) Either way, the champion themselves didn't change, the team just randomly said well hell I love Evelyn. Playing Evelyn makes me happy! Is Evelyn now OP? No a player just really wanted to play Evelyn. That's not a crime. That shouldn't change your opinion on the champion.
Remember that teams sometimes just learn to beat things.
AND LASTLY, always bear in mind and I put emphasis on this again: Sometimes teams just learn to beat things. At LoL's release GP and Nasus were like THE things, and now look at them. After buffs and buffs and buffs GP and Nasus are still pick-less. Yorick for example did get nerfed, yes, but after it was shown Nidalee just trolls him M5 put a full-stop to ever picking Yorick. Yorick went from THE thing to get to somewhat of a joke and picked only once in an entire tournament. And that's a good example to keep in mind too: Sometimes people just don't bother to learn counters, and it's only after Riot finally nerfs them that teams figure out "wait a second Nidalee completely chumps him!"
Look at Talon. Every team wants to pick Talon, then minor nerfs, and now Talon has yet to ever win a game since then. Did less HP10 and Mana10 suddenly take him from perma ban to no wins? No. Teams just overreacted extremely badly and instead of learning to counter it (which ended up merely being picked up flat armor runes) decided it had to be OP. The result? Talon is terrible.
So with everything in mind
Don't just go jump on the bandwagon of hate because something happened. Take the time needed to have an opinion if you want to have an opinion. I know it's really fun to jump to the forums and say RENGAR OP because somebody did good with Rengar, but that doesn't help the game at all. Maybe Rengar is OP, you still did what you did for the wrong reasons. Plus, it's more fun to have an actual analysis on the game rather than jumping to conclusions and yelling at people.
So I hope that you're at least two seconds smarter, and better at forming an opinion, and you can thank me for it!
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