Why League of Legends needs to step up its data game

Player and team performance analysis are at the heart of competitive League of Legends. Statistics not only enable teams to scout talents and optimize their in-game decisions. They also empower broadcasters to tell the story with key figures.

But unfortunately, a poor team culture and lack of data access is hindering the growth of data analysis in LoL ecosystem.

“In the LCS, just having a reputation of possessing a decent data analytics department is enough to scare teams away from specific scrims partners,” Peter Dun, head coach of Evil Geniuses told Upcomer.

But not only do teams fear their weaknesses being revealed by analysts. A veil of secrecy also shrouds their methods and tooling, as the space has historically known very little communication and collaboration.

In my opinion, this hurts the development of the field in two ways. First, because the lack of peers feedback slows down the pace at which everyone can improve. Secondly, it makes it difficult for new talents to come up, as identifying skills relevant for the job is hard.

Unfortunately, the state of data access in the League of Legends ecosystem doesn’t help. To get data from source, teams can only work with Bayes, which distributes the LoL esports data for Riot. But data partners also need to step up on distribution.

In February, GameWard coach Nicolas Perez complained about a competitive disadvantage in the European Regional Leagues. Currently, only organization owning teams in the LEC have access to Bayes data, whereas the other teams simply don’t have the ability to analyze their matches and scrims. Bayes and Riot are now working on expanding the LoL Data Portal to address this issue.

Although Riot deprecated their Match History website, they seemed to have reviewed their position regarding community websites. The same data is now available via Leaguepedia. In her response to the GameWard coach tweet, LEC Analyst Flora “Arailla” Parmentier cited Leaguepedia’s API and Factor.gg as viable solutions for teams lacking access to Bayes.

Earlier this year, Evil Geniuses launched the v2 of Factor.gg. Thanks to support for more local leagues, the stats platform will help bridging the gap in ERLs. Through the related Discord community, EG is taking a more open approach to data analysis, having already organized conferences showcasing their work. This is a good step toward furthering the tech discussion in the industry.

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Last updated on July 2, 2022.