Thursday, October 8, 2015

Stirring Up Esports Drama

The League of Legends World Championship is underway, and what a series it has been!

So while this week's PopMatters article comes to the defense of the analysts on the desk at Worlds, I do think Riot could improve the viewing experience of the World Championship with two things:

1) More play-by-plays. When I first started getting into Fantasy Football, I found the process of actually watching the games incredibly boring. I was confused by the long breaks and the scramble of men around the line of scrimmage was just a jumbled mess. The only easy thing to understand in football for someone unfamiliar with the sport are long throws for epic touchdowns.

As I started to pay more attention to the individual players on my team, the detailed play-by-plays of specific moments in the game provided so much insight. It sounds silly, but grabbing a pen and drawing on a huge screen is super useful for beginners. It turns what at first looks like a random mess into a discrete moving system of key players in key positions. When the analysts take pen to screen, they generally do a great job analyzing single plays in a match, especially positioning.

2) A beginners stream. The Dota 2 International has been doing this for awhile. A second stream of shoutcasters catering to those unfamiliar with League could walk players through basic character abilities during a match. Most importantly, a beginners stream could bring new viewers clarity into the incredibly important pick-and-ban phase. Unless you are familiar with every character in League of Legends, you will miss out on one of the most crucial elements of a match.

I mean, I'm pro and all, but I would love to be able to watch and talk about the World Championship with others. As long as we keep the drama to a minimum.

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