Jungling is obviously one of the most difficult roles in competitive LoL: the mission here is nothing less than to sort of be everywhere at the same time, or at least to appear to be everywhere by constantly anticipating the moves of the opponents and making the right decision time and time again all while counter jungling and defending from being counter-jungled. It is the definition of the grind in the game, but it isn’t an underrated grind: those who do it well have massive impacts on the overall performance of their teams.
Who is best at jungling though? Korean (Eastern) teams have traditionally dominated LoL and indeed the jungling scene as well, although in some of its aspects, the West has a definite edge. How does the East stack up against the West in the jungle?
Koreans apparently jungle the hardest during the first 15 minutes of games, but Westerners seem to do better in other Jungling aspects. What’s certain is that the two sides jungle quite differently. Which approach is the better though? In order to answer that question, Mobalytics churned some massive LoL eSports data over the last few months, as it has looked at three different aspects of Jungling to determine which side was superior. The three analyzed categories were: mechanical skills, strategy skills and statistical superiority. The data that was analyzed came from two major leagues from the East, LMS and LCK and two similar-caliber leagues from the West: NA LCS and EU LCS. A total of 12 metrics were considered, and the winner of each of these was awarded one point.
In KDA (Kills/Deaths/Assists) per game, the East came out ahead, although teams like Immortals and G2 eSports also scored high on the chart, above the 8 mark. The Flash Wolves on the other hand tipped the scale at 10.24 in the LMS.
Westerners however found themselves more involved in team fights and giving away fewer deaths in this respect, so they came out ahead in the percentage of deaths, kills and first blood category.
To make a long story short, the Mobalytics study had the two sides locked in a 6-6 draw at the end, unable to draw a definitive conclusion in the East v West jungling match-up. We do know though that the East has been dominating the professional LoL scene for a reason. All we can conclude after all the number-churning, is that the difference was/is made in a different role, not that of the Jungler.
Peter Wassenberg works for Gosugamers, the scene of the best The International Coverage.