KDA is an acronym for kills/deaths/assists, not to be confused with the incredibly popular virtual pop group produced by Riot Games. KDA is often a stat that players will use to flex their skill on the rift, as it’s overall pretty good if you get a lot of kills and assists while not dying.
How to Calculate KDA?
You can calculate your KDA with a simple formula: kills+assists divided by the number of deaths you have in a game. If you don’t die in a game, it’s considered a Perfect KDA (as you can’t divide by zero)
How Significant is KDA?
KDA is one of many ways we can assess a players’ performance – it’s especially meaningful at lower levels of play, or in egregiously bad cases. If you have a remarkably bad average KDA over a long series of games, that probably indicates you die too much.
Many players believe that KDA is one of the most important stats though, often to the detriment of others. You’ll often hear players referred to as ‘KDA players’ or that they’re ‘playing for KDA’ – these are ways to rag on a player who refuses to put themselves in harm’s way because it might reflect poorly on the stats page.
Even with a great KDA, often players with this mindset will miss crucial opportunities for victory because they’re afraid their stats will start to look bad if they start collecting too many deaths on their champion. Sometimes a death can be worth it for your team though, or sometimes you’ll be able to achieve things for the benefit of your team at the expense of your life. Let’s take a look at ‘good deaths’
Good Deaths and KDA
European streamer The Bausffs is notable for his sometimes unconventional Sion play, he’ll often rack up a large number of deaths in a game yet is a challenger-level player – how can someone be so high ranked, yet die so much in-game? While Bausffs does utilize Sion’s passive to continue hitting turrets after he’s died making him a split pushing menace, he’s coined a new term: “A Good Death.”
A good death is a death in-game where the gold you give the enemy team is less impactful than the amount that your team has gained in the process.
Imagine that you are the first to die in a team fight, but the enemy carries unload all of their cooldowns into you before you’re taken off of the rift – this could be ‘a good death’ if your team can clean up the fight because you died.
If you’re in the bottom lane split pushing while baron is up and the enemy team sends several members to stop you, this would be ‘a good death’ is well if it means your team can secure an uncontested Baron while the enemies were chasing you around the other side of the map.
Also read: Is Smurfing Bannable in League of Legends?
So is KDA a Good Stat for Measuring Performance?
In your solo-queue games, maybe – or if your KDA is egregiously low, perhaps. Ask yourself though, would you rather play with a player who has a terrible KDA but an incredibly high winrate, or would you rather play with a player who has insanely high KDAs on all of their main champions but sits around a 50% winrate? I think most League players would prefer to play with the person who with a much higher winrate – at the end of the day it’s not about how good our op.gg pages look, but if we got LP from the game or not.
KDA doesn’t tell the whole story, especially if it’s the only stat you’re looking at. I’m sure plenty of players are familiar with games where they’re the only engage on their team – often on a suicide mission to start fights for their team. In games where you’re ahead, this can make you look like a god on the rift of course, but in losing games this might be a detriment to your KDA if no one can follow up.
The more important stat than KDA is certainly winrate – winning a larger portion of games is a better indicator of your performance than anything else. If you’re looking for specific insight into your own games – look at specific statistics. If you struggle in the lane, perhaps paying more attention to CSD@15 (creep score deficit at 15) and GD@15 (gold deficit at 15) will help you track your performance better than KDA ever could. If you often find yourself getting ganked unexpectedly, look at your Vision Score and maybe you’ll find you’re dying to ganks in games where you and your teammates are not providing enough vision.
It’s always beneficial to try to find new ways to analyze our play and while KDA is one of the flashiest, most mentioned statistics – it turns out it’s just not the most meaningful. Don’t let that stop you though from chasing better KDAs, it’s still good to have them, but always keep in mind there’s more to the story that KDA isn’t telling you.