How hard does TenZ have to carry for Cloud9 to win the average game?

20:30, 29 Jul 2020

After Cloud9’s recent performance at the PAX Invitational, there’s no argument that the team has stepped up in a huge way as a whole, executing beautiful strategies time and time again to push deep into the tournament. As time has gone on and every team gets more experience with macro strategy in the new game, C9 have made huge strides in the tactical aspect, allowing their non-TenZ players to put up genuinely impressive numbers. This is a far cry from past performances, where C9 have always seemed like a puggy team that relied heavily on TenZ to hard carry, as he frags absolutely out of his mind on a regular basis and makes a solid argument for himself to be the best player in the world. However, no matter how bulletproof your game plan is, VALORANT is a game where kills are king, and TenZ did not hold back this time either. Today, for a bit of fun, we’re going to take a look at C9 VALORANT’s lifetime performances with TenZ, and how hard exactly he needs to carry on average in order to push his team over the edge.

TenZ over his entire career has almost double the total kills of each of his teammates, almost all of whom have played with him for C9 since the game’s launch, despite only three of them being signed to the org. But how hard does he need to go per map in order to take it for his team? Having crunched the numbers using stats from, we found that in every winning map for C9 (not counting games Tenz plays for other teams such as in Twitch Rivals), TenZ averages 22.67 kills, and 13.04 deaths. We all already know that TenZ is one of the top candidates for the best in the world not only by the eye test but also by the stats, and this just proves it.

His average K/D ratio in a winning game is 1.99 which is just absolutely astronomical. If there was enough time or more powerful stat crunching tools that did not involve manual entry, we would be able to prove the hunch that this number simply must be one of the highest out of any pro VALORANT player in the world. The sheer idea that TenZ nearly hits a perfect 2.0 K/D ratio against other pros, players on his same upper echelon of performance, in his average winning game, is absolutely bonkers. TenZ’s greatest K/D ratio in a single official map is his astounding 4.80 in the Pulse Invitational against TSM, dropping 24 kills and only dying five times in one map, and the highest number of kills he has dropped in a single map to date is the monstrous 38 (with 18 deaths, a perfect 2.0 KDR) in the Immortals First Light tournament against Mixup. However, these stats are just for fun, to marvel at TenZ’s astonishing abilities. To answer our question, we must look at his dark side.

In every loss, TenZ averages 16.32 kills, 15.11 deaths, and a K/D ratio of 1.17. The astute among you may have noticed by now that these numbers don’t necessarily add up - this is because we took the mean of all of the individual K/D ratios from TenZ’s C9 games instead of simply finding the average of the averages, in order to get a more accurate depiction of what is going on in these games by the numbers. What is truly astonishing about this is that even just in losses, TenZ puts up a positive KDR, which is a feat that a good many pros cannot even manage over all of their official matches. Notable here is TenZ’s famous 39/16 2.44 KDR loss to Together We Are Terrific, putting up the highest raw kill count in a game ever seen at the time, and still losing at that.


To look at these numbers in context we must first acknowledge that TenZ has needed to carry less recently - especially in the latest tournament which showed C9’s deepest bracket run, making it all the way to second place, their best result yet, they have had to rely on his raw fragging potential less than ever before. This means that overall TenZ’s win KDRs and loss KDRs are closer together now than they would’ve been even just two weeks ago since the rest of his team is performing better as a unit. The TenZ Carry Threshold is smaller today, but it is still there. To put it in the words of analyst Joshua “Sideshow” Wilkinson quoting Wyatt Rivers:

It’s like they recruited the best player in the world, and got a solid top 16 team to fill around him.

While this may be less true than ever before, the threshold still exists, and we’re about to find it. 

There’s a couple of ways you can think of this - the simplest way to rationalise it is the mean of TenZ’s win KDR and TenZ's loss KDR is the recommended average stomping that is required of him for Cloud9 to be likely to win a game. This number is 1.47, which is quite high, actually, proving that a lot is still required of C9’s star player. However, you can also look at the number of wins that TenZ has had below this number, and the number of losses that he has had exceeding this number, to gauge the likelihood of either outcome. TenZ has won seven games with less than a 1.47 KDR, and lost only three games with a KDR higher than 1.47. This makes the prediction astonishingly accurate, with an error of 26% for the wins, and only 16% for the losses. Now it’s time to see this model in action - buckle your seatbelts for the next tournament and keep a watchful eye - how many more games will TenZ win while performing above or below this number in raw fragging? Only time will tell, although a sensible prediction is that he might trend towards more wins lower than the TenZ Carry Threshold, due to the positive trajectory of his team as a whole, supporting him and doing some stomping of their own.

Images via Riot Games

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