Zz'Rot portals: First numbers

Patch 5.1

Patch 5.1 dropped a couple days ago, and includes one of the most interesting changes to League of Legends in recent memory. There is a new item called the Zz'Rot Portal. Just gaze upon its magnificence, is it not a thing of beauty?

Zz'Rot Portal

There was about a 40 hour window between the release of the item and it being disabled due to a comical, game-breaking defect. During that window I collected data from over 5000 ranked solo-queue matches played in NA by Diamond, Master, and Challenger elo (MMR) players.

Five thousand matches is not very many, and data collection continues in preparation for future articles on 5.x patch topics, but these super-early numbers about Zz'Rot Portals are just too good not to publish.

In this nascent five-thousand match dataset for patch 5.1, about 400 Zz'Rot Portals were bought. Here is a table listing the champions most likely to buy a Zz'Rot Portal. The table shows the win percentage both after buying a Zz'Rot Portal, and when never buying one.

ChampionPortalsWin% withWin% without

It appears that the players in this dataset are buying Zz'Rot Portals on supports and tanky top-lane solo champions. This is unsurprising since those roles make (at least initially) the most tactical sense for this item. I do hope that in the future we see more creative uses of this item, especially in the LCS. I deeply appreciate Riot's continued innovative shifts with regards to these types of itemization choices. With increasingly many choices like Ohmwrecker, Banner of Command, Elixir of Iron, and now the Zz'Rot Portal, it is only a matter of time before some genuinely interesting push strategies evolve.

The win percentage numbers in the table are dramatic and hilarious, but need to be qualified, slathered in caveats, and probably ultimately ignored. First, the sample size here is pretty small. A few hundred data points is insufficient to draw any serious conclusions. Second, as we need to be reminded in essentially every article here on LeagueMath.com, correlation is not causality. When I look at these numbers I do not see popular support picks buying a Zz'Rot Portal and it giving them some dramatic advantage that leads to a win. Instead, what I do see is rich supports on teams with huge leads trying out a new item. They were probably going to win, regardless.

So, I don't think that rushing Zz'Rot on Thresh immediately makes you a 2/3 winner. But I do see Riot tossing some interesting strategic options for the adventurous, and in a fun way that I hope leads to some great action in this coming season.

Patch 5.1 is just getting started (at the time of writing it has only been 3 days). Data acquisition continues and I am looking forward to analyzing some of the other changes; especially the nerfs to Baron Nashor's early strength, and possibly the changes to trinket upgrade pricing.

In the mean time, it was fun to look at some of the very earliest uses of the new Zz'Rot Portal item. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this item and its use. For instance, in these first five-thousand high-level ranked matches, no team bought more than one Zz'Rot Portal. How long will it be before we see five of these puppies on a single team? Would it even be possible to lose from that position? Kappa.

Let me know what you think, and be sure to come back soon for some more league + math = fun here at LeagueMath.com.

No voidspawn were harmed in the making of this article.