Minions Have Spawned

a League of Legends analysis blog

Drafts & Dragons

This is a story about patterns. They’re not always pretty. Sometimes they involve seeing the word ‘defeat’ consecutively before turning into something more beautiful. You may even call them habits, trends or dispositions. What matters is what these patterns tell us, and what they hail to come.

Not too long ago in the first half of Summer we lived in a post-MSI period where flimsy supports were popular. Heals, shields and defensive CC were cool.

Then there was a shift in the LCK, not in terms of a drastic meta event but rather the region settled into a comfortable place where dragon control and playing around the types of dragons turned into a huge affair:

Kill the enemies, kill the dragons, win the game.
Kill the enemies, kill a series of Mountain and Fire dragons, WIN THE GAME.

The 5v5s are real, people, and sometimes you don’t even need a dragon to gather a horde in between 2 turrets.


Two 5v5s, KT vs SKT game 2 where nothing happened

For a team like SKT who are so adept at punishing opponents mistakes, identifying players out of position, catching them, spreading out their CC and executing prime target selection in team fights, here’s something to chew on in their last 3 series vs ROX, MVP and KT:


Question: What currently increases SKT’s win conditions?

Answer: Having at least 2 engage/tanks/meat shield/disengage/pick-creators.

Their 3 games against KT summarized this pattern concisely. When SKT fell back on last-picking Karma support in game 1, I frowned and kept frowning because the team was depending entirely on Gragas to make things happen.


Catching Fly’s Sol was a good choice but after burning all of Gragas’ CC on one champion, SKT had to deal with KT’s follow-up engage with Lamb’s Respite as a 2nd lifeline, resulting in an unofficial ace. With the lack of hard CC, Game 1 turned into a Faker show where his Vladimir would run up to enemies, spit blood, roll in a puddle, threaten death and…

“You will know your place.”

…nah just kidding.

Contrast this with Game 3 when KT cleverly last banned Anivia on red side, forcing SKT to first power-pick Vladimir which they thought they could handle judging from the results of Game 1. Sensibly, SKT picked up Alistar because who needs speed when you can just knock ‘em up gud?

For now, the 2 to 3-man tanky frontline in a objective-control world works effectively for SKTif they draft for it. Opponents have deployed various pick/ban strategies against them but this doesn’t change the way they operate. This round, KT chose to starve ADC choices which is more uncommon than denying mid power-picks. It worked to an extent, cornering SKT into a non-conventional move putting Bang on Twitch.


In all, as long as the Elements are here to stay, control over dragon gained by superior teamfighting is heavily important, especially since this trend is consistent across regions where it holds particularly true for the top 2 teams — a higher DCR results in higher standings.


Team Dragon control rate Standing
SKT 64% #2
ROX 56% #1
KT 58% #4


Team Dragon control rate Standing
TSM 74% #1
IMT 63% #2
CLG 58% #5


Team Dragon control rate Standing
G2 67% #1
FNC 60% #2
UoL 60% #6


Team Dragon control rate Standing
RNG 73% #1 (Grp B)
EDG 69% #1 (A)
WE 54% #2 (B)

Correlation between Dragon Control Rate in the 4 Major Leagues and Team Standings, Summer Season 2016
(Source: and as of 19 Jul 2016)

Expect Summer Playoffs and Worlds to be that much more engaing! Top teams are set to battle for control over objectives while we get to scrutinize their team fighting skills which by then would be polished to near perfection.

Remember to get your tickets!


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© Tania Mae & Minions Have Spawned, [2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Tania Mae] and [Minions Have Spawned] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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