When Doublelift announced his retirement on November 25, 2020 after almost a decade of professional play, it was the end of an era. He was often heralded as one of the best, if not the best, North American bot laners, and is certainly the most well known. His awards span eight LCS championships on three different teams (Counter Logic Gaming, Team Solomid, and Team Liquid), eight Worlds appearances, five LCS First All-Pro teams, five LCS All-Star appearances, the 2018 Summer MVP, and the 2019 Spring Finals MVP, as well as being the first LCS player to achieve over 1,000 and 1,500 kills. Along with Bjergsen, who also announced his retirement last year, Doublelift left a massive hole in both the LCS and in TSM .
Filling those massive shoes is TSM’s Academy bot laner, Lost, who just came off of a fairly successful year in the Academy League, placing second in both the regular season and in the playoffs. This was always going to be a development year for Lost, and expectations were high but measured. No one thought he’d fill Doublelift’s void immediately, but Lost performed valiantly this year, securing TSM second place in the regular split and third place in the playoffs, losing 3-1 to Team Liquid.
But statistically, how does his LCS Spring Split performance compare to Doublelift’s career?
Looking at raw damage numbers, Lost falls severely behind Doublelift’s career numbers. On average, Doublelift contributed nearly 30% of his team’s damage, while Lost delivered less than a quarter. Examining the Damage Per Minute box plots shows that Lost’s DPM numbers are more consistent than Doublelift’s since the grouping of Lost’s DPM points are tighter, but that could be due to Doublelift’s longer history of playing through his slumps and overperformances. Lost’s peaks are significantly smaller than Doublelifts, with his upper whisker (max excluding outliers) not even reaching 800 versus Doublelift’s 1,104 DPM. To add insult to injury, his upper quartile (up to 75%) DPM also only reaches Doublelift’s median DPM of 513.
Despite that, Lost has actually kept up with Doublelift in gold generation. Again, his boxplot is tighter than Doublelift’s, which represents more consistent numbers. Unlike Lost’s DPM numbers, his GPM lower and upper quartile range (middle 50%) is approximately the same as Doublelift’s, and his lower whisker (minimum excluding outliers) is slightly higher too. However, Lost’s peak is still lower by approximately 46 GPM, which would equate to a 1,380 gold (a BF sword and change) in a 30-minute game. Not great, but significantly better than the DPM boxplot.
If a bot laner/AD carry’s role is to dish out as much damage as possible, then this unfortunately means that Lost has worse utilization of gold than Doublelift. Looking at the average damage per gold statistic, Doublelift would deal 27.3% more damage per gold than Lost would.
Taking everything into account, it would appear that Lost struggles to step up as a carry threat if his team isn’t performing well.
Laning Phase/Early Game:
So far we have looked at Lost’s overall performance numbers, but given that Doublelift was known to be a lane-dominant player, we should also examine Lost’s laning performance.
Note: Starving Senna strategy and the Sona bot lane meta were excluded
Looking at their Creep Score (CS) at ten minutes, both players have comparable farming capabilities. Lost and Doublelift have similar lower quartile and median CS at ten minutes, with Lost’s upper quartile range being slightly lower than Doublelift’s. As with the other statistics, Doublelift’s whisker range is much wider than Lost’s, most likely due to the amount of matches we’re aggregating for this analysis.
However, despite the similar CS at ten minutes, the CS difference boxplot shows that Doublelift more often than not wins in CS with a median delta of +5, while the opposite is true for Lost with a median delta of -2. One important caveat is that the support plays a factor during the laning phase. However, neither Doublelift nor Lost have played with the same support.
Historically, Doublelift has won in terms of CS around 65% of the time. This is a stark comparison to Lost’s latest split with TSM, losing approximately 62% of the time.This could be due to many factors, but the one to consider in this context is that, while they may have the same farming skills, Doublelift could apply more lane pressure against his opponent so that they wouldn’t go in for a last hit on a minion knowing that Doublelift would punish them for it. While we won’t discount the stiff competition in Lost’s era against outstanding rookies and veterans, Doublelift has stood the test of time against the same bot laners and more.
A Case for Lost
Admittedly, this wasn’t a fair fight—we put one of the best North American bot laners in history against an up-and-coming rookie who hasn’t even won his first title yet. Taking over for Doublelift is enough pressure for Lost.
But Lost has had a decent start to his LCS career. He finished second in the regular season, third in the playoffs, and he has the third highest earned gold per minute numbers of all bot laners. His laning phase and damage output could certainly improve, but fortunately he has world-class support in SwordArt, who can mentor him in the same way that CoreJJ has mentored Tactical. PowerofEvil and a resurging Huni can take the pressure off of him being a carry threat for the time being. TSM has done a good job setting him up to grow. He’s no Doublelift, but he certainly has the potential to live up to his predecessor.