a League of Legends analysis blog
When the same thing happens twice, you start to wonder: Why is it that every time SKT drops a game to Longzhu, Blank gets subbed in? On Valentine ’s Day in LCK Spring 2017, Blank stole our hearts and he did it again this Summer.
Blank, Summer 2017
(Photo credit: lolesports.com)
Besides the ‘soft criteria’ like player’s individual condition and factoring in unfavourable team compositions (Huni had to play a losing lane with Maokai into Olaf, and Galio into Renekton), what makes Blank strategically valuable over Peanut? What does Blank bring to the table that Peanut does not?
Peanut and Blank, 14 Jun 2017
(Photo credit: twitter.com/sktelecom_t1)
In 2016, mechanically more skilled than bengi with carry junglers like Nidalee, Kindred and Graves, Blank fit the meta for SKT. Dealing with nervousness, giving up first blood, invading without an escape plan, Blank has done it all. He took half a year to assimilate yet still had lackluster performances coming into Worlds. It still took none other than big brother bengi to bail SKT out in the semifinals against ROX Tigers.
Now in Spring 2017, Blank finds himself in the same back seat bengi warmed up, and is regarded as SKT’s ‘secret weapon’.
SKT T1 knew who they were buying at the end of 2016. They were not looking for a sub for Blank; they were purchasing a baby Tiger for their main roster. With both junglers traditionally better at carries, they share many champions—Lee Sin, Kha’zix, Elise, Graves, Nidalee and Rengar.
Blank and Peanut’s most played champions in solo queue
But as the meta shifts towards tanky-utility junglers with Zac and Gragas as top picks, Blank is getting more air time. He has proven himself on these champions with stellar performances in 2016. A primarily pathing jungler, he has shown that no matter what champion he’s on, the vision coverage he provides exceeds Peanut’s.
ROX Peanut vs. SKT Blank, Summer 2016
SKT Peanut vs. SKT Blank, Summer 2017 (ongoing)
When it comes to averages CS per minute and CS at 10 minutes which translates to a higher gold share, Peanut is tops.
But even on different teams or on the same one, Blank’s vision control is better and the numbers swing.
Perhaps Blank having more experience on SKT simply has a more nuanced understanding of what the team needs throughout the game. Succeeding bengi, Blank has learned to fill in pockets of vision that empower his pressure-heavy laners. Tigers don’t change their spots, and SKT have been working their substitutes to best mesh each player’s strengths.
Keep an eye on kill participation percentages for this figure will likely persist with Blank on the higher end, and of course, the most telling statistic of them all—Blank’s continued 100% win rate in 2017.
The LCK Summer 2017 split continues on LoL eSports.