8 Changes LCS Teams Can Make to Improve the League in 2021

LCS Studios. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
LCS Studios. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games) /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

After another failure on the international stage, LCS organizations need to make some changes if they hope to improve in 2021.

7. Invest In and Improve Analytics

Stats in League of Legends get a bad rep because they’re quite simplistic and underdeveloped. The answer, though, is not to simply disregard statistics but to invest more to improve them.

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And yes, I’m slightly biased because I love using statistics in my evaluations of players. As someone who does not know as much about League of Legends as the players, coaches, and managers, I think I can give more valuable insight by analyzing the available statistics.

Currently, I’m working on a project to develop predictive laning stats based on champion matchups using historical data, so we can see if players are performing better than, average, or worse than the average in a given matchup. It’s a long and arduous process that I probably won’t be able to really sink my teeth into until Worlds is over, but if I can do this with a full-time job and writing and trying to grind solo queue in the last few weeks of the season, it’s unacceptable that teams don’t have someone who can create these sorts of statistical models at least part time.

Teams should have someone plugged into the Riot API and analyzing as many data points as possible to try to evaluate players. They should have someone doing manual VOD reviews to collect data for multiple matches when certain data isn’t readily available (this is something I did when calculating jungle proximity, as that’s not widely available data).

Most importantly, they need to push Riot to track and make more useful data available for analysis. All LCS games are played in a virtual arena, with every action tracked and recorded. It’s unacceptable that teams do not know their player’s reaction times, APM, misclick rate, or missed abilities per game when that data should easily be available to them at the click of a button.

LCS teams employ very smart people who know a lot about the game, and they should be able to not only manipulate the existing stats we have to identify and answer issues, but they should also know what data points that we are not collecting we need. Stats are not the end all and be all of any sport, but they’re useful for identifying problems and teams need to spend more time trying to leverage them.