Stopwatch is a must-have item for teamfights, no matter which position you are playing. Stopwatch is a sub-item (650 gold) for Zhonya’s Hourglass and Guardian Angel. It is a single-use item that puts you in stasis for 2.5 seconds, rendering you untargetable and invulnerable for the duration but also unable to take any actions during the time. In teamfights, 2.5 seconds of invincibility makes your opponents waste many skills and allow your teammates to deal damage to the opponents more efficiently. It is the number one item that can create variance in the game.
It is so good that champions even buy another Stopwatch after Zhonya’s Hourglass to use it once more in teamfights. However, misuse of Stopwatch can end up backfiring. Misclicking it, using it when it’s not needed, or buying it at an incorrect time could end up as a waste of 650 gold with a penalty to yourself.
Then what do pro players think about Stopwatch? From gold efficiency to how to efficiently use the item, we had a chance to talk about the item with the pros.
To start with, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok said “I am not sure because I never really thought about Stopwatch’s value, but it depends on the usage. I think 650 gold is appropriate. Even if you use it very well, it’s not worth as much as the first completed item.”
Liiv SANDBOX mid laner Yoo “FATE” Su-hyeok said “There are champions who are heavily influenced by Stopwatch, like Nocturne, for example. It is a great countermeasure against heavy engage champions that like to use all their abilities at once, so a good use of Stopwatch can turn the game around, or snowball the game even further. I personally feel that it's a bit expensive; if you buy or use it at the wrong time, things can go south. The misuse of the item can even influence important teamfights. I recommend buying Stopwatch once you hit your powerspikes."
Afreeca Freecs mid laner Song “Fly” Yong-jun presented a specific price value of Stopwatch. Fly said “If you use it well, it can be worth up to 3,000 gold. Doesn't the single-use Stopwatch flip the teamfight sometimes?”
KT Rolster mid laner Kim “Dove” Jae-yeon also gave a similar opinion. Dove said “I think the best usage of Stopwatch is winning a teamfight to take the game. Its gold value is around 3,000 gold."
We also got a chance to ask DWG KIA mid laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su. ShowMaker said “When used in the best possible scenario, it'll depend on the champion; it is closer to a blank check if the champion is immobile. Stopwatch looks simple but the usage and the purchase timing determines the player skill level. It’s the same for elixirs. A player’s skills can be checked by seeing the usage and the purchase timing of Stopwatch.”
Lastly, we asked a support, a position where the usage of Stopwatch is as important as a core item. T1's Ryu “Keria” Min-seok said “As a support, Stopwatch is an essential item that absorbs the opponent’s skills. It can change the result of a game. I usually take Perfect Timing in my runes. If I didn’t, I usually buy it before core items in important situations like the third or fourth Drake and second Herald fights. I personally think that if Stopwatch made an important swing in a teamfight, it's worth at least 2,000 gold.”
At the end of Keria’s interview, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong walked by and concisely said “a good use is worth about 1,000 gold,” expressing his opinion as a bot laner.