a League of Legends analysis blog
Every time someone asks SKT how’s it like playing with Blank compared to bengi or shoot one at kkOma questioning how he decides which of the two gets airtime, we never get straight answers. Commonly you’d hear from players and coaches that both are equally good and it makes little difference who starts in the jungle. At MSI, KkOma went as far as saying bengi could be fielded anytime, which unfortunately none of us believed.
The tactical reasons why coaches specifically choose one over the other may always remain a mystery. So far, the only sure thing we know is that Blank was more suited for the carry jungle meta, while bengi is back in the objective control scene. Nonetheless both have started for SKT this Summer, with bengi getting more play time. The only series that Blank has played is against KT Rolster, which is a treat because it gives us a peep into how bengi and Blank adopt the same champion on the Rift.
Here’s a comparison of their jungle pathing and vision control in their series versus KT and ROX:
Over the course of Spring we’ve seen Blank blossom with Nidalee, Kindred and Graves, spending a fair share of time in the enemy jungle. Game 2 vs. KT, he started with an early invade into Score’s jungle, challenging him for the baby raptors at their 4th camp.
Both junglers started at bottom side, taking 3 camps before Blank decided to take a look into the enemy jungle.
Simultaneously Wolf and Bang up top had poked down Jhin and Alistar with Ezreal and Karma, and pushed the wave into their tower. This gave Wolf opportunity to move with Blank to place deeper wards in KT’s jungle (circled in green).
The outcome? They delayed Score’s first red buff clear.
The unintended outcome? First blood to Score.
There was so much back and forth, but in the end the trinket ward by Blank at Raptors didn’t quite achieve anything. Once the dance ended he went back to his own jungle and if you watch carefully, SKT threw down a ping at KT’s red buff signaling that Score was doing it—only he wasn’t.
KT come out tops in the mind games with a perfectly executed Flash-Pulverise-Headbutt into Cocoon chain with Elise lurking just at the edge of the minion wave vision range.
Contrast this with bengi’s more conservative choices of when and where to put pressure on the enemy jungler in the early game.
Because SKT witnessed Peanut’s recall after the 1st jungle clear thanks to a ward, bengi goes straight for ROX’s wolf camp with full knowledge that by the time Peanut walks out of base, it would be too late. There was no contest, and bengi leaves ROX’s jungle with temporary vision gains.
‘Vision’ and ‘bengi’ are inseparable. I think we can all agree that the veteran reigns supreme in this aspect of the Jungle and it deeply corresponds with his pathing decisions. If we look at this core aspect of jungling alone, we already see clear differences between the two junglers:
SKT vs KT: Blank vs Score
ROX vs SKT: Peanut vs bengi
Notice the pathing pattern—bengi follows the enemy jungler across the map at 1st clear, 2nd clear, 3rd clear, 4th clear etc. Where Peanut is, bengi is nearby mirroring on the opposite side of the river. Contrast this with Blank who tends to be on the opposite side of the map.
No doubt his opponent was Elise (as compared to Graves), an early-game jungler who prioritizes ganking, but isn’t that all the more important to be where she is to prevent/counter/deter her from grabbing early leads?
Much credit goes to KT for using their vision advantage to secure first and second blood followed by Infernal Dragon, putting them slightly ahead in gold which they held for a good half of the game. The way Score pulled off those ganks is very much what bengi would have done in his shoes.
At the very least, together with Faker’s Azir initiations, SKT manage to grab 2 kills at top in response to what KT took from them at the bottom side of the map.
Because bengi tends to mirror opponents, he’s also proven to be incredibly sneaky. Unlike Blank, he tends not to challenge camps directly. At the 3rd clear, Smeb’s Swain was low at top which opened a chance for SKT to tower dive. Peanut was definitely in the right place at the right time, hanging around Gromp.
It’s bengi who is so smart to stay behind the wall cautiously, taking a few moments to monitor Peanut’s movements via Tremor Sense. Just as Graves moves away, he trinket wards the bush and obtains full vision and knowledge of just how far into clearing the camp Peanut was, and whether he’d be in a position to foil to the dive.
Literally one step ahead, Duke and bengi executed the dive for 1st blood. Not only did Peanut not finish Gromp, but had to stay top to cover the lane. From first blood alone, bengi took a mile:
[3rd Jungle clear]
-Placed 2 more wards, gaining full vision of this side of the jungle
-Counter-jungled, giving Faker 2 blue buffs in a row allowing him to wave clear and keep mid pushed which simultaneously denies Kruo any chance of helping his jungler
-Created a tunnel from blue out towards river
-Looped around, counter-jungled wolves
-Waits and watches Peanut clear Gromp; thanks to his prior ward (circled in green)
-Smite steals, then runs away through the exit tunnel laid earlier at blue
It’s brilliant map-work like this that really makes a girl swoon over The Jungle himself.
Even though we only have 2 series thus far, the starting numbers have begun to speak and we’ll certainly look at them again as Summer goes by.
You’d think that bengi with his experience in vision control would place and destroy more wards than Blank, but that’s not the case:
|Jungler/No. of wards||Wards placed||Wards destroyed||Game time||Wards placed per min||Wards destroyed per min|
Blank had a longer game and therefore placed/cleared more wards, but if you compare per min, bengi is lower on both fronts—perhaps an indicator to his effectiveness at vision control using less resources to gain more leads.
Meanwhile, because of Blank’s pathing that focuses a little more on counter-jungling, we can expect him to consistently have a higher portion of enemy jungle minions under his belt…
|Minions killed in Team jungle||90||78|
|Minions killed in Enemy jungle||49||36|
|Total jungle minions||139||114|
|% of counter-jungling||35%||31%|
…and bengi with the clutch smite steals.
What other differences do you think come between Blank and bengi? What unique qualities do they bring to SKT? Talk to me about it or comment below!