North American All-Stars: AD Carry
Thu 13th Feb 2014 - 10:13am: League of Legends
Dissclaimer: this article represents the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of Team Dignitas.
With the All-Star tournament only a few months away, fans of the League of Legends eSports scene are already beginning their debate about which players should represent their region. While the vast majority may agree that Faker will be the mid laner for Korea, the North American team has one role that people can’t seem to agree on: the AD Carry. With the LCS about to begin its fourth week, certain AD Carry players are shining that may not have before, creating debate in the fanbase. Today I want to look at the four best candidates for the role, and the pros and cons of each based on performance in this split, and bits of their history.
1. Michael "imaqtpie" Santana - Team Dignitas
If you were to search for imaqtpie in the Reddit archives for last year, you would likely only find references to the funny things that this man does on a daily basis. If you search now, you’ll see posts commending how much he has improved between last season and now. Team Dignitas had a disappointing Season 3 Summer Split, where they finished in fourth place (if they had placed third they would have played at worlds). After moving Kiwikid to the bot lane, picking up cruzerthebruzer as the new top laner and moving their analyst to the house, Team Dignitas has become a top North American team.
With this strong new Team Dignitas team came a new qtpie. After losing their first two games, qtpie and crew went ham against Cloud9, bringing them their first win of the season. In that particular game, qtpie raked in a KDA of 13 on Jinx. Over the next three games, qtpie only died three times, bringing his KDA up to 17.33, the highest KDA on Jinx in North America. Beyond that, in their most recent game against Counter Logic Gaming, qtpie almost matched that KDA with phenomenal Draven play. This improved play seems to have spawned from his team telling him to visualize everything on the map as a turret. Korean teams such as the KT Bullets have used similar PvE strategies to great success, and analyst MonteCristo believes that this is the single best way to win the game.
WildTurtle - Team SoloMid
Fanart by SleepyPandah on Deviantart
Ever since his debut in the LCS halfway through the Spring Split last year, WildTurtle has proven to be one of the best players in North America. In fact, at the end of season three he held two of the five top positions in Challenger Tier (the other two belonging to TSM sub NightBlue3 and Team Coast’s mid laner Shiphtur). Beyond his incredible solo queue stats, Turtle was one of the few players to get a pentakill during an LCS game.
However, we need to look at the recent stats, because there have been a ton of changes to the game. In the eight games that Team SoloMid has played this season, WildTurtle has played four different champions: Jinx, Lucian, Caitlyn and Sivir. While I’m sure he can play the other two high tier AD Carries (Ezreal and Jinx) he has been extremely successful on the ones that he has played. The most notable however, is his Caitlyn. Turtle has played Caitlyn since day one with TSM, but this season he seems to have improved on it even more. With an astounding 16 KDA on this champion, WildTurtle is without a doubt the best Caitlyn in North America. But does that make Turtle the best AD Carry in North America? Maybe. He may not carry every game for TSM, but he is a consistent player who has shown growth and improvement since he began his eSports career, and definitely a solid choice to be North America’s All-Star.
Sneaky - Cloud9
Fanart by RevivalWarrior on Deviantart
If you follow League of Legends eSports and the LCS, you know how dominant Sneaky and Cloud9 were when they bursted onto the scene last year. With an outstanding regular season record of 25-3, Cloud9 became the North American super team. Their bot lane duo of Sneaky and LemonNation created the now famous Ashe/Zyra duo lane that was eventually used not only by other North American teams, but by European teams as well. Along with solid mechanics, Sneaky brings a unique champion pool that can bring a lot of utility to his team.
This season, the likes of Team Dignitas and Team SoloMid have defeated Cloud9, and Sneaky’s Ashe seems to have disappeared from the scene, being replaced by the Glorious Executioner, Draven. Sneaky first pulled out Draven in the Battle of the Atlantic against Fnatic, where it met great success. Now it sits on a KDA of 9, which is second only to his Jinx with a 15 KDA. Sneaky, like the rest of Cloud9 is extremely skilled in Teamfights, which could be a very strong selling point for the All-Star team. However, with Sneaky comes a huge gamble. Unlike Turtle, Sneaky has been on Cloud9 since they qualified for the LCS, and has played with LemonNation since then. One can wonder whether or not Sneaky can perform without his support, but gambling on him may be the right choice in the eyes of some Summoners.
DoubleLift - Counter Logic Gaming
Fanart by Oioiz on Deviantart
It has basically become sacrilege to discuss AD Carries in North America without mentioning DoubleLift. For a long time, he was considered to be one of the best AD Carry in the world, but other players in North America seem to have caught up with him. Last year DoubleLift represented us at the All-Star Tournament with pretty good results in the duo lane with Xpecial. He even scored a pentakill against the European team, and solidified his role as the best trash talker in North America.
This season however, has proven to be a different story for DoubleLift and Counter Logic Gaming. DoubleLift has played mainly Ezreal and Vayne so far this split, with a Jinx game or two thrown in there as well. This particular player doesn’t have impressive KDAs; the strongest point of DoubleLift’s play is his ability to turn the game when he plays his Vayne. Speaking on his Vayne, it is without a doubt World Class, perhaps rivaling top Korean AD Carries like Imp from Samsung Galaxy Ozone. But I’m not so sure that one champion can justify sending a player to represent North America in the All-Star tournament. He still has 7 weeks left in the split to show off his skill on other champions, but until then I’m not convinced that DoubleLift is the right choice.
Based on the information explored in this article, I firmly believe that imaqtpie is currently the strongest AD Carry in North America. However, if his recent boost in skill falters for whatever reason, WildTurtle and Sneaky are still fantastic choices. Whether you agree with me or not, I think we are all pumped for All-Stars, and whoever gets picked will make us proud.
If you liked this article, disliked it, or have any feedback, feel free to contact me on twitter @TeeKhaysLeague. Have a good day!
~Kevin "TeeKhay" Bracken