LCS Review – 2v1 Objectives

Week 1 of the LCS is over and we have a lot of fulfilled expectations and just as many surprises. So what are the big stories in the LCS? Today, I’ll be talking about the benchmarks: First Bloods, Towers, Dragons, and Baron’s! Find out more after the break!

Overall, the game was played about as we’d expect. However, that still leaves a lot of variables to analyze. First, let’s take a peek at the “2v2” meta. A lot of complaints have been given to how the ability to 2v1 can change the game far too harshly. I must admit to being one of those critics, and also to finding the early game in 2v1 games quite boring. But when you look at the numbers, the reality simply isn’t there.

Overall, there were 21 2v2 lanes vs 11 2v1 lanes, not exactly a huge number.

What does 2v1-ing do for the game? Let’s look at timers for first blood, towers, and dragons in 2v2 lanes vs 2v1 lanes!

First Blood

Early first blood seems to be much less likely in a 2v1 lane.

Average –  6:352v2 – 6:00
2v1 – 7:43
Earliest – 0:54 (EG vs CST)
Latest – 23:03 (CRS vs CLG)

The why for this is probably pretty simple: people know to hang back and avoid the 3v1 dives at this point.

How much did First Blood matter? In 17/32 games — only 1 more than 50% of games — the team who got First Blood won the game. It’s safe to say that First Blood has a minimal impact on the outcome of the game.

First Tower

First tower is obviously much more skewed by 2v1 lanes, and in the reverse.

Average – 10:22
2v2 – 13:36
2v1 – 4:10
Earliest – 3:40 (CRS vs XDG)
Latest – 20:53 (SHC vs ALL)

Again, a pretty simply why: If you’re 2v1ing, it’s to take early towers!

How much did First Tower matter? In 18/32 games — only 2 more than 50% of games — the team who got First Tower won the game. It’s safe to say that First Tower has a minimal impact on the outcome of the game.

First Dragon

Finally, while the average time for first dragon and first towers were about the same, they were not impacted as severely by 2v1s.

Average – 10:00
2v2 – 10:51
2v1 – 8:23
Earliest – 4:27 (CST vs DIG)
Latest – 17:23 (SHC vs ROC)

In the past, we’ve often seen the 2v1 dragon timers be almost as low as the 2v1 tower times, as the team on bot side folds straight from a 2v1 tower to a 3 or 4-man dragon. And while this happened in some games, what we saw often was a straight push onto the second tower, with the second tower going down extremely early in a few games. But either way, towers tend to go down before dragons.

How much did First Dragon matter? In 21/32 games — 5 more than 50% of games — the team who got First Dragon won the game. Why is it that First Dragon seems to determine the game so much more than First Blood or First Dragon?

  1. First Dragon tends to come later in the game. Being ahead at the 10 minute mark means more than being ahead at the 5 minute mark.
  2. First Dragon doesn’t just give you an objective; it denies the enemy team one; the outer towers will probably fall eventually.

First Baron

Baron is not at all affected by 2v1 lanes. This makes pretty good sense, because it doesn’t spawn until 15 minutes into the game.

Average – 26:56
2v2 – 26:56
2v1 – 26:55
First – 19:22 (DIG vs TSM)
Latest – 43:53 (MIL vs FNC)

First Baron was a pretty strong determiner of victory: the team who got the First Baron won 28/32 games — and in the 29th game, no baron was taken. This is somewhat obvious: getting baron typically means your team is ahead enough to just take baron, had just won a teamfight, or stole baron while the other team was taking damage from it. On top of that, it then gives you a huge advantage.

EU vs NA

One more interesting thing to note: there were differences between the two scenes.

Most interestingly, while 11/32 games had 2v1 lanes, 8 of those games were in North America, while only 3 of those games were in Europe.

First Tower

In both 2v2 and 2v1 games, North American teams took towers down faster, although that effect was much more pronounced in 2v1 lanes:

Average (NA) – 8:33
Average (EU) – 12:10
2v2 (NA) – 13:15
2v2 (EU) – 13:49
2v1 (NA) – 3:52
2v1 (EU) – 4:58

First Dragon

Dragons were also significantly earlier in North America, except in 2v1 lanes.

Average (NA) – 9:09
Average (EU) – 10:52
2v2 (NA) – 9:34
2v2 (EU) – 11:39
2v1 (NA) – 8:45
2v1 (EU) – 7:29


Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.

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2 Comments on “LCS Review – 2v1 Objectives

  1. I’m surprised at the lack of correlation between first tower and winning. My only follow up question would be does first tower matter more in a 2v2 game than it does in a 2v1 or vice versa? I would imagine first tower is a more meaningful stat in a 2v2 game as you mentioned in a 2v1 game the first two towers will fall almost simultaneously in most games.

    Last random thought never would have guessed NA games had quicker objective grabbing.

    Thanks for the article, lot’s of food for thought.


    • That could mean EU teams are better at contesting objectives. If I had an army of interns to gather data for me, I’d probably be able to do more in-depth analyses :p


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