‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
One of the hardest roles to evaluate in any team game is the role of the in-game leader. They bring a lot of intangibles that cannot be measured in the game. Even the things that happen in-game (like setups, nades, or midround calls) don’t necessarily come from the in-game leader. In the case of Dota2, draft ideas often come from different players on the team. Mid and late game calls in Dota2 can fall to the star player as they have the best understanding of their item timings and power spike relative to the opponent.
Due to all of these extenuating circumstances, it’s hard to analyze how much impact any single in-game leader has on a squad. What is possible though is analyzing player form. One of the primary jobs of an in-game leader in any game is enabling their teammates. Successful in-game leaders have the ability to identify their teams strengths and enable them on the server. So when evaluating an in-game leader’s ability, look to their teammates careers and look to see how much they have risen or fallen since playing with their old in-game leaders.
Two of the better examples I can think of is Karrigan in CS:GO and PPD in Dota2. The lineup that best shows this for Karrigan is the initial FaZe lineup with Rain, Allu, KioShiMa, and aizy. Allu became a far more effective AWP after Karrigan came into the picture. KioShiMa looked to be on the verge of falling out of top tier CS:GO until Karrigan became his in-game leader. The last time aizy played at a star level was in that FaZe lineup. Each of these players under karrigan’s stewardship instantly became better. The same could be said of many of karrigan’s other lineups.
As for PPD, the OpTic lineup he has last year shows the other trend. When Pajkatt and CCNC played under PPD, they were considered relevant players that competed in the playoffs of the Dota2 Majors. Once they departed from PPD, neither has found any success comparable to what they achieved when they played under PPD.
Player form is one of the many indicators to look out for when evaluating how effective an in-game leader is in an esports game.