League of Legends: Is Jarvan IV the new NA curse?

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League of Legends: Is Jarvan IV the new NA curse?

Jarvan IV is one of League of Legends' most valuable junglers in the current meta. He is a strong pick and is great at enabling his team to succeed. He is a staple pick all around the world, but is receiving more and more criticism in North America. Viewers and analysts noticed that players using Jarvan IV aren't performing up to expectations. In fact, the champion is losing an incredible amount. Before this season NA had the curse of NA Jayce. Is Jarvan IV the new curse to plague the region?

NA Jarvan

jarvan iv warring kingdoms
Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV splash art. Photo via Riot Games.


Jarvan IV came back into the meta after his buffs in patch 9.2. Players around the world instantly picked him up and used him in their games. LCS junglers were no exception, in the regular season of the Spring Split he had a 40.7% presence in picks and bans. Considering there are over 140 champions, one champion having this much exposure is no joke.

Though he became noticed for the lousy performances in the post-season, his regular season stats are pretty bad too. Overall he has a 39.3% win rate over 28 games. NA Jarvan IV players typically had low KDAs too, averaging around 2.7. At 15 minutes they, on average, had less CS and XP than their opposing junglers, but somehow did have more gold.

It's hard to believe these stats could get much worse, but they do. In the LCS playoffs the win rate dropped to 10%. Its a laughably bad win rate, especially considering it was over 10 games. Despite this awful trend he has a 70.6% presence in the series. The KDA dropped lower as well, stooping all the way down to a 1.5 average. Contractz piloted it in the single game it did win in playoffs, but had a mediocre stat line of 0/3/9.

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Its clear that the pick isn't successful in North America. This may be because players are overvaluing him compared to other picks, or other meta junglers, like Rek'Sai, outperform him. But before NA fans lose all hope in their junglers attention needs to be brought to other regions and how the pick holds up around the world.

Jarvan IV Global Performances

darkstar jarvan
Dark Star Jarvan IV splash art. Photo via Riot Games.


Jarvan IV performances around the world vary in success. During the Spring Split, the LCK struggled on the pick like NA did. Here it had a 42.6% win rate, but did have a lower presence at 34.6%. The Afreeca Freecs even played a few games of Jarvan IV support to some success.  In the LEC is was decent, holding an admirable 50% win rate with a 50.5% presence. Curiously enough many European top laners picked him up, while in all other regions it is mostly restricted to the jungle.

Moving forward to playoffs in these regions, the performances did change a bit. The LCK jungler actually improved on the pick, boosting the win rate up to 50%. They also increased the presence dramatically to 88.9%. But in Europe many of the top laners stopped picking him and his win rate fell to a 45.5%. He he an incredibly high presence at 92.9% though with an average 3.7 KDA.

But the most successful Jarvan IV players reside in China. During the regular season he had a 52% win rate in the LPL and a massive 55.1% presence. He was played in 117 games, and while most of the games were tank builds in the jungle, some more offensive builds were successful too. They tied the LEC for the highest average KDA at 3.9 as well.

Things only went up for Jarvan IV in the LPL post-season. His presence shot up to 66.7%, but the most notable stat is his win rate. It skyrocketed all the way up to a 83.3%, losing only one game. Not only that, but the average KDA spiked to 6.1. The LPL likes to play aggressively and it appears the teams can use Jarvan IV well for that.

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The curse of NA Jarvan may be a real thing. The stats for the champion in the region are terrible and far below the average globally. The LCK struggled with it in the regular season but managed to use the pick to more success in the playoffs. The LEC performances did drop a bit, but not to the same extent and it still has a high KDA there. Its clear the LPL understand how to utilize the pick to its potential and outclass NA as Jarvan IV players.

But there is some doubt that its a strong curse. The champion has seen a ton of play in different, past metas and most junglers are familiar with it. It may have something to do with some of the one-sided playoffs games fans have seen in the region, or NA's proficiency on other meta junglers. There could also be a meta shift occurring that is knocking Jarvan IV out of the meta. It may also be because of NA's tendency to draft him as the only source of front line and engage, meaning he has to do too much and has little help in doing it.

Or it could just be the curse, like the NA Jayce of old. Either way, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid will probably want to be careful about drafting it in their Finals series this weekend.

Statistics provided by Games of Legends.

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Featured image via Riot Games.

Avatar of Brandon Sturak
Brandon Sturak
Brandon is a writer and editor for ESTNN with a passion for esports. He writes about League of Legends and esports generally, providing analysis and commentary on both. He is a founding member of Niagara University Esports, while being the previous mid laner and Head Coach for the NU Esports LoL team as well. Twitter @GhandiLoL