Spirit and Nidalee: Cat me if you can!
Posted 2016-06-30 Lepertum
Fnatic’s Jungler, Lee “Spirit” Dayun has put up a dominant performance lately in the European League of Legends Championship Series. His ability to play carry type junglers the likes of Nidalee, Kha’Zix and Lee Sin has played a vital role in the team’s improved success in the LCS. If you’ve watched Fnatic’s matches this Summer Split you’ll no doubt have noticed that, of those champions, Spirit’s favorite at the moment is Nidalee. The champion has been around for a while now in the competitive scene thanks to her diverse kit containing poke, sustain and high mobility and for this article we’ll be taking a look at how she has performed in Spirit’s hands this season. Spoiler: extremely well.
The EU LCS Spring Split and Playoffs
In the 2016 Spring Split Nidalee wasn’t as much of a contested pick as she has been these past few weeks. She was picked in 27 games and banned in 27 games, placing her just in the top 10 of most contested champions. Digging deeper into her results we see that she had a 67% win rate in those matches as well as a 4.4 KDA. When she was played she also saw an average of 175 CS.
By itself these last stats don’t say that much as they only look at the games played and not if the teams playing Nidalee actually won. They do, however, allow us to compare Spirit’s performance to that of the average LCS player. The first fact that stands out is the 100% win rate that Spirit has achieved on the champion in 3 matches. His KDA on the other hand was lower compared to the average with 4.1 while his average CS was 167 (4.8 cspm). The reason for this is easily explained though, as Fnatic went up against G2 Esports in Week 6 and they pulled off a near impossible comeback, playing from behind for the entirety of the game. Without this anomaly, Spirit would have ended the split with a mindblowing 19 KDA on Nidalee, going 2/1/17 in 2 games, a stat that shows just how deadly of a combination he and the huntress can be.
We saw a similar result during the Spring Playoff series against G2. Fnatic only won one game in that best-of-five and it was the game where Spirit got his hands on Nidalee. The result was a 4/0/9 scoreline for Spirit and a KDA of 13, accompanied by a CS of 201 or 6.2 cspm.
Note that Nidalee had a 96% pick/ban rate during playoffs and only got played 3 times, once by Spirit and twice by Unicorns of Love’s Lulex, who did not win a game with her.
The EU LCS Summer Split
So far, Nidalee has already seen a lot of action across the board during the second split of the season. Sadly enough for those of us who love to see the champion played it were mostly bans(36) and only half as many picks(16). In total, the bestial huntress saw an 87% pick/ban rate, as much as Vladimir but still 5% less than Ryze. She was played by 9 out of 10 junglers in the EU LCS yet she was only responsible for a 50% winrate overall.
Spirit has not hidden how comfortable he is on the champion this split and neither does he have to. While the average LCS player may have a 50% winrate, Spirit does a lot better than that. With 4 games under his belt, he holds on to the 100% win rate he has had on the champ since the Spring Split. That’s 100% over 8 games total, quite impressive if you remember that Fnatic only went 9-9 last split and saw some losses in the playoffs as well before coming back stronger with Yellowstar’s return.
The rest of Spirit’s stats don’t lie either: 14 kills in 4 games, only 3 deaths, and 24 assists.That’s enough for a 12.7 KDA, 193 cs on average and 5.6 cspm across all games.
It’s clear that Spirit will be on the prowl for more victories if Nidalee keeps getting through the ban phase. However, it’s not just the one champion that’s been working for our jungler. We saw him play Kha’Zix in week 2 for example. The team may not have won all those games but Spirit consistently found the right moments to make a play or pick off a player who was only slightly out of position. For the past two splits we’ve also seen his fancy footwork on Lee Sin, a champion that allows him to make even more plays than Nidalee does.
A lot of this power comes from individual play but team synergy is just as important. The combined power of both Yellowstar’s and Spirit’s shotcalling is the driving force behind the team excellent performance this split. Alongside that, the team keeps getting more and more comfortable playing together and it’s this experience which, in turn, allows the players to perform better individually as well.
To finish up this feature, let’s take a look at some of Spirit’s stats from the current EU LCS Summer Split and compare them to the other European junglers:
- 3.3 Kills per game, highest by far (Second is H2k’s Jankos with 2.75)
- 6.8 KDA, the second highest of any EU jungler after G2’s Trick
- 1.5 Deaths per game on average, the second lowest in the LCS
- 168 CS average per game, second to Origen’s Amazing
- 382 GPM (Gold Per Minute), highest in the LCS, same as Trick
- 23.3% Kill Share, highest in the LCS
It’s clear that Spirit is an incremental part of Fnatic and we can only hope to see him perform at the same level or better during the rest of the Summer Split and hopefully Worlds at the end of the season. To finalize this interview we’ve asked Spirit some questions about why he enjoys Nidalee so much and his expectations for the series against G2 in Week 5.
You’ve played a lot of Nidalee lately, do you remember when you first started playing her and did you play her before her remake?
I don’t remember exactly but it must have been before the remake when she was more of a mid lane champion. It was a lot of fun because you could just throw a spear and get a kill. I was the best Nidalee player back then as well (laughs).
What do you like the most about her and would you like to change something about her kit?
I just really like this champion in general so I enjoy playing her a lot. I don’t want her kit changed, because it's already fine.
Which enemy junglers do you like to play against as Nidalee and why?
I don’t care much about the opponent’s jungler, if I can pick Nidalee it’s usually a free win. I can beat every champion on her.
How do you feel about her in the current meta?
I don’t think she is that good in the current meta because she has a kind of weak early game and she’s very hard to play correctly. If you make one mistake it’s really hard to come back.
Does she synergize well with the rest of the team? We saw you get several kills together with Febiven in the mid lane for example.
She’s very hard to get kills with usually but when the enemy makes a mistake I do manage to get some kills.
This week you’ll be playing against G2 Esports. How do you feel about Trick? People say he’s the best jungler in Europe right now.
I think Trick is a really good and strong jungler. He actually used to be the best jungler in Europe but at the moment.. I will show and prove to him who the best jungler is!
What do you expect from the series against G2, can Fnatic go 2-0?
That’s a really hard question to answer but I can say one thing: We will beat G2.