Minions Have Spawned

a League of Legends analysis blog

From Wild Tiger to Tamed Jungler: The Evolution of Peanut

What has been the most surprising thing about SKT for you this LCK Spring 2017? Or perhaps you’re not at all surprised by their dominant performance and you’re already placing bets for Worlds 2017?

skt-team_facebook(Source: https://www.facebook.com/SKsports.T1/)

During the preseason shuffle everyone was hyped about the addition of superstars Huni and Peanut. I wasn’t. I was doubtful because based on their playstyles, they wouldn’t have gelled with SKT’s steady objective-oriented pace. Imagine a team where everyone but the support vies to be the carry all the time!

Of course I had too little faith, and kkOma worked his magic (read: punishment). Besides Huni playing tanks and maintaining the top KDA in LCK, Peanut has been most surprising.

 

peanut-behind(Source: http://www.invenglobal.com/lol/articles/973) 

Remember ROX Peanut 2016? The early ganks, the counter-jungling, team mates who looked out for each other. ROX were a tight pack who liked to snowball an early lead together utilizing their passive: Tigers running towards each other gain 3% movement speed and 100% trust.

A typical First Blood for Peanut at bot, ROX vs ANX Group Stage, Worlds 2016

Another typical First blood for Peanut at bot, ROX vs EDG Quarterfinals, Worlds 2016

Sometimes ROX Peanut’s counter-jungling doesn’t work out and he’d laugh it off. Who can forget the epic jungle fight against ANX on Day 1 of Worlds where ANX came out on top? During the Semifinals against SKT, ROX Peanut had the same audacity to dive straight into counter-jungling the moment he knew the enemy jungler was on the opposite side of the map. The only problem was that the wave GorillA and PraY pushed to SKT’s bot tower bounced back, and taking a 2nd camp was greedy.

First and Second Blood by SKT, SKT vs ROX Semifinals, Worlds 2016

SKT Peanut is undoubtedly a different player.

The same strategy SKT used against ROX of ‘track Peanut to prevent him from snowballing’ would not work against SKT Peanut now. It would still be wise to keep track of him, but even in an assassin meta he isn’t flying off the scale like he used to.

Peanut First blood rate Kill Participation Damage share Share of team’s total gold earned
ROX 52% 74.7% 18.2% 20.2%
SKT T1 14% 58.5% 13.1% 18.1%

Spring 2017 compared to the average regular season in 2016
(Source: http://oracleselixir.com/)

Every stat has plummeted, especially FB which he habitually received in ROX.

So what is his place now on SKT? Peanut’s role as SKT’s jungler is to keep track of his opponents so that his laners can continue putting pressure comfortably and if opportunity arises, solo dragons.

It is so unusual to see this guy not going all aggro on enemy junglers but instead place a ward and walk away. Almost every game he has been diligently keeping track of the enemy jungler under 5 minutes and applying pressure. He doesn’t need to invade to kill or necessarily steal camps riskily which would reduce SKT’s lane advantages. Why draw your laners away from a lane they are already outfarming and out dueling their counterparts? He still applies the same pressure as he did with ROX but methodically, and does it better than Blank.

JAG vs SKT Peanut ward golem walk away.JPG

KDM vs SKT Peanut ward red walk away.jpg

skt-vs-kdm-peanut-at-raptors-ward

skt-vs-rox_1stpeanutwardinjgEarly trinket warding under 5mins by SKT Peanut to keep track and apply pressure on enemy junglers in their games against JAG, KDM & ROX

Peanut has evolved to play with traits of both bengi and Blank—the perfect jungler SKT needs. Perhaps even more threatening than he was when still a baby Tiger, this Peanut has been roasted well by kkOma. The question remains: If the meta shifts away from assassin/carry junglers to tank/support/facilitator, can he still live up his role?

For now, we shall watch Peanut continue grow.

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2017 by in objective control, vision and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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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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