Saturday, June 1, 2013

6 Things LCS can improve on.

I think the Esports staff has created a great hit with the LCS last split, it brought one thing to the western esports scene that hasn't really ever been achieved before, structure and production quality. It has been a great time watching with friends, hyping the matches, and all that fun stuff. However, while there were gross advancements in structure and production, there are still some things I think can be improved especially in the analytical aspects and some fan-features.

1. Statistics

The first thing is something that is going to be the biggest point for me I guess, statistics. I think that nerds everywhere whether they are traditional sports nerds, gamers, or anything always love analytics and statistics. Ask anyone why baseball is so popular in the US! And in LoL there are very many possibilities for very interesting statistics, whether in banner form during matches, talked about by (fed to) the casters, or even in pre-match stuff and ESPECIALLY pick phase. Due to the very structured advancements in LCS this I think can amplify the power and accuracy of the statistics. The riot esports crew is already pushing some statistics but I think that there is a lot of room to grow. Here are some examples of possible interesting statistics:

  • Basic Gold-Winning relationships. 
    • People who have a 50% gold lead have 95% win rate
    • People who get the first dragon win 75% of the time 
    • When teams take dragon before the 5 min (baron before 18 min) they have 85% win rate
  • Team related strategies
    • When TSM first picks Nasus they go Renekton top lane 80% of the time
    • When CLG 2v1s they have a 70% chance to get out to an early gold lead (10 min).
    • Vulcun has a 80% win rate with the protect-the-kog strat (60% win rate with AoE comp!)
  • Item Builds
    • Vlads 87% of the time get will of the ancients first i tem.
    • Wildturtle averages the fastest bt rush in the league, averaging at 9 min on draven. 
  •  Graphs
    • Analyzing things like hot picks hot bans like that one week rammus was popular or the downward trend of someone like diana (idk of diana truly has downward trend)
    • Gold advantage map over time, how did this team gain their lead and when did it happen, did they continue to build the lead or has it remained stagnant?
I think statistics are a powerful way to analyze the game quantifiably in a measure other than KDA or gold, which I think should be pushed out a little bit cause as we know KDA =/= skill/execution (crs cop as example, most kda but not many votes from pros for allstars)

2. Voice over replays ("Listen Ins")

This is another personal favorite of mine, I think if there are replays of teamfights and such we should hear either team's perspective (sometimes losing team can be more fun/interesting). I know there is the issue of cursing and such but I believe that can be worked out as it has been implemented in the past effectively (I know we did it at ipl all-stars, albeit a less stressful environment). 

One of my favorite tournaments of all time has been the MLG Summer Arena, this is not because the production value or any standout matches, but at that tournament MGL offered us multiple streams to the point where we could actually choose to listen to one team for the entire match. I listened to TSM and learned a lot about them and about the game, while I'm not asking the LCS to do this as it would be too invasive strategically, I think it would be fun to hear listen-in moments like we have seen in past tournaments more often in the LCS. 

3. Post Game Content (on 

I think Riot has a powerful team of smart individuals and talented artists and could create amazing post game content, whether it be infographics or just tabled information I think there are quite a few things they could do to not just analyze the game in an interesting way, but also TEACH players and help players learn - one important aspect of esports.
  • Runes, Masteries, Skill order information on each game played. This can be done similar to (or even partner with them if you wanted and use their parser). This can even be built on to see most common runes/masteries for specific champions or from specific players etc.. 
  • More analytics in the post game summary like heat maps on when there were kills, towers, and overall objectives. Also these can be analyzed over tons of games to see when the first kill is most of the time and all other fun stuff like that. Also related to this is IN GAME MAP heatmaps, where people die first where people move around and other possible things. I know a DotA replay parser did this and it was very very interesting. 
  • Fan-favorite post game stuff. They have all this fan voting and who will win and such they could release those statistics on their website and be like tsm gets 50% more votes than anyone else! Or TSM games are watched by 20% more people. (This one is more optional, I understand there are business things with not wanting to release those kinda things but this is something that is interesting to me as a fan of esports and wanting to track its growth)
  • Replays (IN GAME REPLAYS - even lolreplay if necessary) downloads of the games. I know they store the games somehow in some replay system for backup uses, if its not an in house replay system on the tourney client then I think they should release the lolreplay file to download if the people want to watch, there are many times where I just want to watch SONA and see how she plays in the normal trade lane and thats hard when the camera is jumping around trying to catch the action on all ends. 
  • With these replays you could release champion sorted replays and other champion sorted information for learning. Someone could be like "I want to learn Diana mid!" so they type in diana see a bunch of replays, builds, runes, masteries and have all these learning tools from the highest competitive level at their fingertips. As someone who spends a lot of their freetime thinking about how to best teach league of legends, I think this would be an amazing resource. 
  • More detailed team pages. When you go to a team page now on lolesports you just kinda see their names, some surface statistics like KDA and gold and win rate, and a little blurb about them. I think this can be greatly expanded to favorite champs, champs most banned against them, favorite strategies (AoE, Poke, Push, etc), leadership status, other team members like managers, just overall more detailed and intricate. 

4. Game oriented player content

One of the things I think that has stood out from the repeat viewers of the LCS is the nice in between game content that has been made, the screen interviews and human stories like Dyrus' dad, and many others. And with the pop up of Machinima's VS series this aspects is being fleshed out a lot and is very interesting. However, the aspect I want to see more and I believe Riot has the power to do this is more game-oriented content. Here are some examples of things they could do:
  • Pro talks their favorite champ, why they like him, what they build what masteries / runes they run what is their favorite champ to pick it against (they do this a bit in their "Pro Picks" series, but more technical).
  • Building in depth for a role, talk to the many conditional situations and a lot of the thought that goes into item builds, this is something I see often undervalued by the non-pro scene, they don't respect how much experience it takes to finally build right as a mid laner or something. 
  • Cross section analyses of a champion, you can pull off 4 top laner pros and ask them about 1 champion that they all commonly pick and see which opinions they share, which contrast, little nuances in how each person plays the champ differently, all these interesting little details. 

5. Fantasy League

With more details and statistics and such a fantasy league would also be a great addition. This is an idea that has been around esports for a long time and there have been people who have tried to create LoL related fantasy leagues on reddit and such for several months but a riot-sponsored one on their website would be a huge hit I think. Starcraft has a great fantasy league (or at least my friends who are starcraft fans enjoy it) on, I can see a League one being a hit as well. 

6. League Esports App

Esports has been growing and not just as a thing to enjoy alone on your computer. Many people have friends who they talk about it with and get in arguments over who has the highest kda at a lunch table or at a watching party, here is when the app would be great to boot it up and prove who is right :D. Also there would be great features for people like schedules, setting up reminders, and would tie in GREAT with fantasy league if that idea goes through as well. And of course the streams too for those who are afk. League is becoming a very social game and with that I think accessibility and mobility would be features very important. 


I think LCS has been a great step forward for esports and the League scene, especially in the western esports scenes. And as some nerd esports lover I've been very impressed with the smoothness and just great implementation of something this size. These are just things that I have experienced in other situations (whether other esports or reg. sports) that I believe would work very well in LoL and would foster even more crazy growth. 


  1. I think you make some great points! I would love to see this happen, and I have even thought of many of these ideas before, and wished they existed. Keep up the great work! :)

  2. I agree with the in game voice overs. The MLG tournaments were awesome with the fact that you could listen to exactly how teams coordinated team fights objectives etc. I would pay extra for the option to have that again. I think as long as you don't have it for champ select time strategically it should be fine(just something all teams would have to adapt to, could create even more mindgames) Maybe they have an 18+ feature for this due to the cursing etc.

  3. I've been very impressed with the smoothness and just great implementation of something this size. These are just things that I have experienced in other situations (whether other esports or reg. sports) that I believe would work very well in LoL and would foster even more crazy growth.
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