There was a lot of discussion (and by discussion I mean “critical backlash”) when HotshotGG benched Voyboy and reclaimed his position at top lane for CLG.na. Post-World Championship shakedowns were to be expected, but there were more than a few fans who thought HotshotGG was the weak link in the CLG.na chain, not Voyboy. Now that the “new” CLG.na has a tournament under its belt, we thought it was time to do a little top lane stat showdown. Obviously there are some caveats to consider before we proceed to the comparison.
- The exchange was not a simple swap out Voyboy / swap in HotshotGG. HotshotGG took top lane, Chauster moved from support to jungle, and Locodoco was brought in to replace Chauster as support. The jungle change weighs heavily in particular, as top lane is so easily affected by jungle ganks / lack thereof.
- Due to the short amount of time between the team changes and the start of MLG Dallas, it can be assumed that HotshotGG was not provided as much time to adjust to top lane as was afforded to Voyboy. We think this is discounted somewhat because top lane was HotShotGG’s dominant position for the majority of his professional career.
Overall, this is still a discussion of raw top lane ability in a professional eSports environment. It should be obvious if one player is of higher skill than the other. If Voyboy really deserved to be kicked off the team, and HotshotGG really earned the top lane spot, the stats should say so. Let’s find out.
We are going to use data from the Season 2 NA Regionals as well as the Season 2 World Championships for Voyboy, and data from MLG Dallas for HotshotGG.
Let’s start by examining their CS performance.
This distribution plot compares CS performance as a percent of their opponents’ CS. HotshotGG’s side of the chart has a phenomenal range. Essentially he varied anywhere from 25% less to just shy of 60% more CS than his opponent. A range this wide indicates that when his CS starts to slide either positive or negative, it can tend to go out of control. Whether it is emotions or a lack of lane control, HotshotGG is either coming up big or going down hard. Unfortunately for HotshotGG his median performance suffers as a result of his inconsistency, clocking in at almost 20% less CS than his opponent.
Voyboy on the other hand has a much tighter range of performance. Discounting one outlier where he took a commanding lead of almost 40% CS over his opponent, he is a steady rider in the saddle. His CS falls between -25% to +5% in half of all games played. Of course the downside to his steady performance is that he rarely outperformed his lane opponent. Voyboy’s median performance isn’t great, settling at 10% less CS than his opponent.
Let’s swap over to some graphs to see the difference in Kills, Deaths, Assists, and Gold earned.
Clearly neither of these guys spent their weekends slaughtering the enemy top laner. HotshotGG takes the prize here, but only by about .5 kills. That is roughly 200 more gold on average. That’s only enough for a few wards or health pots over the course of an entire game.There’s no clear winner for this category.
There is a slightly larger gap in average deaths. HotshotGG takes the top earners prize, but unfortunately for him it isn’t an award you want to be carrying. His 3.5 deaths per game is one death more than Voyboy’s 2.4. That is, depending on kill streaks, death streaks, and if any teammates received assists, roughly 400+ gold for the enemy team. Additionally more time spent dead is less time helping your team and contesting objectives. As a result, this category goes to Voyboy.
Assists are, like kills, fairly equal. The difference between HotshotGG’s 6.5 average and Voyboy’s 5.2 average is small enough that the gold impact is minimal. Since a ward or two and some health pots over the course of a game is all that separates these competitors, we’re going to have to call this one a draw as well.
Average Gold Earned finally brightens the party a bit with some differentiation. Voyboy managed to earn over 1,000 more gold than HotshotGG per game. 1,000 gold can be two Doran’s Blade’s, a Chain Vest, a Heart of Gold, or a multitude of other items. Additionally, since HotshotGG and Voyboy are so close in our other comparisons, it is safe to assume that the majority of this gold difference can be attributed to controlling map objectives. The Gold Earned award goes to Voyboy.
Our last column judges the the enemy top laner. It averages how many kills the opposing top lane achieved when playing against either HotshotGG or Voyboy. This is a strong indication of how well the enemy top laner was contained. Top lane is notoriously prone to snowballing, and letting the enemy top laner earn several unanswered kills along with a CS advantage can spiral entire games out of control. HotshotGG and Voyboy both do a relatively good job of keeping their opposing top lane in check. Voyboy edges out HotshotGG by an average of less than 1 kill per game. This is another minor differentiation, and not enough to single out a victor. Our last category is a tie for HotshotGG and Voyboy.
So what does all of this mean in the end? Well, clearly the swap was not an earth-shattering event. CLG.na has not gone on to decimate their opponents since Voyboy’s departure. But they haven’t suffered a string of humiliating defeats with HotshotGG at the helm either.
In digging deeper into the numbers with our stat comparison, the reason for the continued status quo from CLG.na becomes apparent. Despite Voyboy picking up two victories to HotshotGG’s zero, the overall indication is clear: the skill of these two guys is pretty much equal. No category was won by a significant enough margin to indicate that CLG.na made the right or wrong decision to swap HotshotGG for Voyboy at top.
Due to the rather ho-hum ending, the results from this comparison made us wonder …perhaps the real gain for CLG.na will be having Chauster in the jungle instead of HotshotGG? Perhaps we got too caught up in the noise surrounding Voyboy’s dismissal and HotshotGG’s ascendancy. Stay tuned for our next episode covering the other side of this swap, the Chauster / HotshotGG jungle comparison.