The Art of Drafting: Who to put into the mid lane?

The mid lane is arguably the most dynamic, exciting and play-making roles in the game. The position puts tests one's laning mechanics, ability to apply global map pressure, jungle interaction and, in a lot of cases, early and mid game shot calling. Mid lane presence is one of the most influential assets to a team as it directly influences the performances of the top laner and the jungler -  not surviving a 1v1 can be a huge detriment to the team's showing.

To Bjergsen or not to Bjergsen

The most interesting name on the list is obviously Bjergsen, who comes with the steep price tag of $2400, over $1000 more than the second most expensive mid laner Hai. The cost is not undeserved however, as he is the player with the most kills (155) throughout the spring split despite having played six games less than everyone else and the lowest average deaths per game among all mid laners. His average Fantasy Point per game are 33.94, more than 3 times as much as SUPA HOT CREW’s Selfie (10.38) and more than twice as much as otherwise strong performers Voyboy (15.87) and Overpow (15.92). For those teams which can afford to have him, he is an excellent addition – the question is whether it makes sense from the start.

With an average budget of $1100 available for each position, having Bjergsen in the line-up would require you to bring in below average cost players on each of the 4 other positions in order to make up for the investment. The question is whether this is truly worth it considering that his value is unlikely to increase, while the mid lane offers many affordable yet strong alternatives such as Froggen (21.34 FP/match) & xPeke (20.61 FP/match) who also have impressive Fantasy Points per match with room upwards to increase in value.

The three highest valued mid laners (click to enlarge)​

In The Game of Mid you either Kill or get Killed

Aside from Bjergsen, which mid laners are the most solid drafts? With a -2 Fantasy Point penalty for deaths and 4.5 Fantasy Points per kill, let’s take a look at the kill/death ratios to get a better picture of which players excel at killing while staying alive and which tend to give up valuable Fantasy Points by dying too often.

Player Average kills Average deaths K/D Cost
Shiphtur 4.11 1.93 2.13 $1175
Froggen 4.32 2.18 1.98 $1325
Jesiz 3.43 2.14 1.60 $950
Link 3.68 2.32 1.59 $1160
Hai 4.71 3.00 1.57 $1375
xPeke 4.46 2.86 1.56 $1260
Overpow 3.21 2.07 1.55 $860
Voyboy 3.68 3.14 1.17 $860
Kerp 3.57 3.11 1.15 $860
cowTard 3.36 3.04 1.11 $760
Pobelter 3.61 3.86 0.94 $675
Selfie 2.88 4.00 0.72 $825

Although sorting players based on their kill to death ratio leaves out other important factors such as creep score, it is probably the strongest indicator of a carry player’s Fantasy Performance (Bjergsen sports a 3.79 K/D).  

At the bottom of the table are Pobelter & Selfie who have negative K/Ds  as well as Voyboy, Kerp & cowTard with only slightly positive K/Ds. With relatively low prices for everyone in this group, these players represent value investments for those who see potential for future improvement due to roster changes or other factors. If they don't improve significantly however, the pick-up could definitely backfire as there is a huge Fantasy Point discrepancy between the best and worst performing mid laners.

Above them is a relatively solid group of players who all sit at K/Ds of 1.5 or above. Sticking out from the group is definitely Jesiz, who is ranked 3rd, plays for a solid SK Gaming team and comes in for the cheap price of $950. If he continues to perform well he should definitely increase in value as well as being a cheap reliable source of Fantasy Points. Also interesting is Froggen, who is not only an incredibly experienced and consistent player, but also brings the highest average creep score among all mid laners to the table alongside his 2nd best K/D (346.68 average creep kills). 

At the top of the K/D table is Shiphtur with the second lowest mortality rate only to Bjergsen and overall solid stats despite playing in a team that struggled all throughout the last split. Considering his ability to maintain one of the best mid lane K/D ratios in LCS while playing for a team that went 10-18, he is definitely a worthy investment at $1175. If he meshes well with the new Team Dignitas line-up he could be one of the top contenders for the Summer Split.

The New Faces

In addition to the above table there are several new faces to the LCS for whom there is no historical data. These include niQ ($800), XiaoWeiXiao ($1300) and pr0lly ($870).  If one believes that niQ will fit in well with the rest of Gambit he is a steal at $800 although it is certainly a gamble. XiaoWeiXiao on the other hand has proven his ability as a player and sports a large unpredictable playing pool of assassins – but also carries a steep $1300 price tag.  

It is certainly no easy task to decide which mid player to ultimately go with and the decision depends heavily on the budget you want to invest. Yet especially due to the highly discrepant average point earnings rates in the category (from 10.38 to 33.94 FP/match) it is a position you should properly invest into.

Draft your own Team!

Who have you decided to go for and why?



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