Archive

Posts Tagged ‘LCS’

 

Introduce yourself!

 Hello I am Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, I am Polish and I play Jungle for Team ROCCAT in the European LCS.

 

You finished 3rd in the playoffs, but you’ve had a rough season so far? What’s going on?

 We are underperforming because we did not really adapt to the new meta, but we are playing a lot right now which hopefully will lead with us catching up and managing to fight for the top spots

 

What do you think are the biggest issues in the team? What influences your play the most?

 Our individual decision making is currently not on par with the other teams. Our team fights are lacking the microgame, so we are trying to improve it.

 

Do you think the team can recover? Is going to worlds still in your crosshairs?

 We are doing our best to recover, I think we are on the way on getting back competing for the best slots, and I definitely think that we will be fighting for a worlds spot at the playoffs!

 

How does the team operate in game? Who is responsible for primary shotcalling? What is your mindset like entering a game?

 I think main shotcallers are me and Overpow, but everyone has its calls and ideas in game. We do not limit ourselves to one or two persons, we all have our tasks during the game.

And about the mindset – #ROCCATFIGHTING

 

How do you deal with criticism on social media/from fans? Is it hard or demotivating, or do you take it and use it positively?

 Lately people are actually trying to help us rather than criticize and bash on us. Which i think its quite helpful for us. People are trying to cheer us up on our social media rather than flaming us for losing. And usually those things dont really affect me in a bad way.

 

The tables seemed to have shifted quite a bit. How big of a skill difference do you believe there is between the top half of teams and the bottom half?

 I think SK and Alliance are ahead of the rest right now, but most of the teams right now are able to catch up with them with the time if they continue adapting the way they are right now. I think we are one of those teams that can catch up to them.

 

How strong is Alliance? Do you think they are still only warming up? What’s it like playing against Shook, who shares a similar champion pool to you?

 

Alliance is currently the best team in Europe. Most of their players solo skills are the best in the region and not only that but right now they are even good with their team play and rotations. I don’t see anyone beating them for now in EU. Shook is the best jungle in European LCS and I really like to play against him because i learn new stuff, and it is always a challenge.

 

You seem to be relying on old favorites in the jungle. Is this personal or team preference?

 I think everyone right now is relying on the old champions like Elise, Lee and Eve. They are just the best options right now for the jungle, and those are anyways my personal favorites.

 

What do you feel are the most viable junglers right now in competitive play, and do you think we will be seeing anything new?

 If the 3 OP’s are not available, we might see Rengar, Jarvan, Vi, Skarner – but you need to build a team around them specifically for them to be as useful in game.

 

Shoutouts?

 I want to thank all the people that support us even when we are losing – that means a lot to us! Also i would like to thank ROCCAT and AMD for the continued trust and support, without them we wouldn’t be able to be where we are. Also a big thanks to my girlfriend for supporting me and being there for me!

 

News Update July 6 Banner

 

Summary

As promised yesterday, Lead Champion Designer Meddler has shared an outline of QoL changes to look forward to for Urgot as well as plans for his rework. Also, Phreak joins Xelnath‘s discussion about the limited champion pool in LCS from yesterday. As a bonus, an awesome collection of super-detailed pencil sketches by artist Nathelm!

 

Recent News

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Plans for Urgot’s Rework, Quality-of-Life Changes List

Meddler New PortraitHey all.

Long delayed update here and a change of plans. My original hope had been that we’d be able to rework Urgot’s gameplay without needing substantial art support. That’s proven to be too optimistic however, with the sort of changes we’d like to make including some new skills and other functionality changes that need animation, spell effects, sound and potentially model changes.

Urgot is on our list for such a full rework, that’s a ways off though (Sion’s up next for major reworks, and we’ve been tentatively discussing Poppy as an option for after that, though that’s not yet certain). As a result the new plan’s to do some much shorter term work on Urgot that, while it won’t fix everything, should help out on some of his issues and get him into a better spot until we’re free to do larger scale work on him.

That shorter term work’s potentially going to be split into a couple of patches. The first (and I’m guessing that would be around patch 4.15, though not certain on that yet) focusing on some general cleanup and quality of life, with a possible follow up set of changes to add in a bit more power if appropriate.

Tentative list of changes we’re looking at for that first patch (note, not yet in testing, so may well change):

 

General

  • Basic attack missile speed increased to 1600 (from 1300)
    - Given Urgot’s short attack range a more responsive auto attack’s appropriate for the risk he’s often putting himself in
  • Recommended item update
  • Some minor visual effects clean up



Q

  • Acid Hunters now check for Noxian Corrosive Charge on both start and end of Acid Hunter cast
    - Currently only checks at start of cast, penalizing swift follow up shots after firing the E at long range and attempts to sneak in a final homing shot as Noxian Corrosive Charge is close to expiring)
  • Mana cost increased to 50 (from 40), half mana cost refunded on kill
    - Primary goal here is to punish Urgot less for last hitting with Acid Hunters when he needs to. Slight increase in cost to maintain a bit more harass cost, though still aiming to have this be a net buff to Urgot’s mana usage.



R

  • CD reduced to 120/110/100 (from 120)
    - Adding a bit of late game power, without increasing his potential lane bully case
  • Mana cost reduced to 100 (from 120)
    - Standardization with standard ult mana cost

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Will the mana cost refund even on minion kills

Meddler New PortraitYes, minion killing’s the intended use.

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Urgot needs straight-up buffs, not QoL changes

Meddler New PortraitAs above this is an initial set of changes targeted at feel and clean up more than power. Assuming these don’t spike his power substantially (think it’s unlikely they will, but been wrong before) we’ll then look into whether there are some other safe buffs we can throw his way too. To be clear however Urgot’s still got some substantial game health issues in his kit so we’re not going to just keep throwing raw power at him until he’s back to his previous problematic state.

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Can you recommend a build for Urgot currently

Meddler New PortraitJust some minor changes aimed at convenience for existing Urgot players/better starting point for new Urgot players (Last Whisper in, Doran’s Blade start, Mercurial out, Brutalizer/Tear/Glacial Shroud in explicitly not just as components etc).

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Will Urgot be compensated for the Muramana changes

Note: Your Summoner Name might be cool, but it will never be Potato Jesus cool.

Meddler New PortraitYeah, would definitely want to add some compensatory power somewhere if we go ahead with those changes and they cut significant power off Urgot. Not sure what form that would take yet though, few things such as a the possible mana scaling above, I’d want to look into to help make that decision.

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How about making Urgot’s shield scale with AD

Meddler New PortraitOne change I’d like to test, but have only limited confidence in at present, is having his shield scale with mana instead of AP. Doing so would offer some additional build distinction for Urgot (tanky mana build versus raw AD/pen build) and supports using Tear which I feel’s fun and synergizes well with the Q refund change if that sticks. Potential downsides are a risk of forcing Urgot down a single build path, damage and tankiness from one stat via Manamune/Muraman (snowball issues) or alternatively, if the Muramana changes go through, a lack of appropriate mana items to support such a passive.

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Is Sion’s rework next up

Meddler New PortraitNext major rework (so full visual update, really big kit changes, lore update etc). Might well see some smaller reworks and/or visual updates first though, not certain on the timing of those off the top of the head.

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Follow-up Limited Champion Pool in LCS

Context: This is a follow-up on Xelnath‘s yesterday response about why few Champions see competitive play.

Phreak New PortraitI’d like to chime in too, if you don’t mind:

Also realize that the LCS is only eight teams per region. Not everyone plays every champion. Thinking back to last season, it took people a long time to pick up Zed, despite being a ridiculously strong champion. Players often justdon’t find the champion, despite being an awesome pick overall.

I remember replying to a thread on this very forum where a player was like “Dude wtf look how bad Zed looked in this Korean game. Come on Riot, buff Zed. He missed his Q and did no damage. Clearly a trash champion.” That thread existed. It was upvoted. On early Season Three Zed: A champion we nerfed multiple times and was STILL #1 pick/ban at the World Championship last year. Just sayin’.

It’s also much easier to imitate than to innovate. A lot of players look to the Korean teams and say, “They’re the best, we’ll just follow in their footsteps.” Unless LCS teams are willing to step out and find their own powerful picks, you’re just only going to see the small set of champions that highly-regarded teams like Samsung Blue or SKT T1 K play. Last week we barely saw any Kog’Maw played in the LCS. This week, we have him played almost every single game. Because people realized, “Oh right, Kog’Maw’s really strong.” The game didn’t change in the LCS over the past seven days: LCS players’ perceptions did.

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Follow Up

Enabling new competitive metas to appear

Xelnath New PortraitThanks, David, that was a really great contribution. 

Kog’maw is a great example of where a team must choose to play protect-the-kog’maw – but that might be impossible vs a team composed of the right set of divers/assassins/vi, etc. 

These strategies exist – the people that are capable of practicing them? Less available until popular. 

We want to enable these kinds of things – Yasuo Knockup comps are a new example of a specific synergy type. AoE Wombo Combo, etc. We don’t go out hunting for any specific comp usually, but instead try to ensure that the potential for them to exist does. 

… and by the way, for every strategy that survives to LCS play – there’s 10 times as many that still work just as well at lower levels of play.

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Feedback on a Learn-the-League Youtube Channel

Context: Summoner Locoangel is doing a series of Learn-the-League Youtube videos where a Diamond player assesses common low ELO scenarios. You can check out their announcement here.

Boourns New PortraitAwesome content! Love the concept of a diamond and bronze player talking. He’s like your Counselor Troy!

Best thing that will help people learn is to summarize and reinforce at the end. Run through a list of tips on screen as you’re doing your closing gameplay reel, put a list of lessons in the video description, etc. One thing we definitely learned in our testing is that just telling someone something once doesn’t make it stick. Using speech, action, and text can help people retain things. Ultimately though, doing it yourself works the best. You can also bring back lessons in the future to help people recall things they’ve learned in the past and reinforce again.

Nitpicky feedback, the color balance/contrast/etc. of the play capture changes. You should try to get that to be consistent. Not sure if it’s from different capture sources or a side effect of the overlays you add.

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Ping went up in Auckland

ToxicHawk New PortraitSorry to tell you the servers haven’t moved. Have you tried reaching out to your ISP’s, its possible the route path that they take has slightly changed when getting to our game servers.

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Nathelm Fan Art Showcase

 

Here are some amazing pencil sketches of Riven, Darius, Garen, Vi, Miss Fortune, Thresh and Nidalee by Nathelm!

 

DeviantArt Page

 

Do you love League art? Check out some previous showcases!

 

Fan-Art-Showcase-Joon-Ahn (1)

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Fan Art School Designers

 

Miss Fortune and Thresh

Miss Fortune and Thresh

Darius and Garen

Darius and Garen

Riven

Riven

Nidalee

Nidalee

Vi

Vi

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News Update July 5 Banner

 

Summary

Lead Champion Designer Meddler explains the thought process behind nerfing Ziggs, the state of Lee Sin and Elise, why Lissandra‘s E deals such high damage and why Urgot would benefit more from a complete rework than just a texture update. Also, Systems Designer Xelnath discusses the limited Champion pool in LCS and why there haven’t been updates on Yorick‘s rework. Finally, a community suggestion about allowing enemies to report for verbal abuse only if the person they wish to report has used all-chat in that match and why Public Chat Rooms were not included in Patch 4.11.

 

Recent News

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Ziggs's minefield shouldn't last 10 seconds

Meddler New PortraitThe minefield’s duration is indeed long. Something we’re aiming to do more now when balancing champions is supporting their strengths and accentuating their weaknesses however. Cutting off the most obvious source of power by contrast risks homogenizing characters. We’re looking at Lee Sin at the moment for example, with one of our goals being to see if we can find a way to preserve his mobility – it’s what enables great plays with him and really distinguishes him from most other champions. 

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Did the nerfs to Ziggs fix anything at all

Context: Ziggs’s Q detonation range was nerfed in Patch 4.11. You can read a comprehensive explanation of the nerf here.

Meddler New PortraitRegarding the changes to Ziggs in patch 4.10 we’ve seen a noticeable impact on Ziggs from them so far. A radius cut from 180 to 150′s pretty solid, since we’re dealing with the area of a circle, not just a line, and 150′s pretty small (Lay Waste for example is 200). Not sure whether we’ll want to make follow up changes (buffs or nerfs) to Ziggs yet, the live balance folks will be monitoring him though of course and adjust again if needed.

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Why aren't Lee Sin and Elise being toned down

Meddler New PortraitWe’re looking at Lee Sin and Elise at the moment. It’s not that we don’t feel they need some work, but that they’re more complicated to solve and we don’t want to just cut power without focus – we’d like to amplify (or create) a weakness and preserve their intended strengths. Ziggs by contrast was a relatively straightforward case of cutting unnecessary power (safer than intended, more reliable than intended).

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Why does Lissandra’s E deal so much damage for a gap-closer

Meddler New PortraitLissandra’s E’s a risky, and often hard to land, tool to use for damage and she’s not balanced around the expectation she’ll have access to that damage all of the time. As a result being able to pull off useful mobility and damaging an enemy at the same time or sacrificing movement for extra damage occasionally can have a decent reward attached to it, giving another way to sometimes optimize your play. Her W by contrast is a high reliability spell, so if we were to strip damage off her E we’d have to put significantly less than we removed onto the W (and, as above, we’d be simplifying her kit in the process too).

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Do you think Urgot needs a Texture Update

Meddler New PortraitI think Urgot’s a great candidate for a full overhaul of both his visuals and gameplay. Not certain he’d benefit as much from a texture update alone though as some other champs (Rammus and Skarner for example) have though.

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Has Urgot's rework been set back by Sion

Meddler New PortraitI’ll post some more details on Urgot tomorrow. Short version is doing a significant gameplay rework’s going to take a lot more art support than I’d originally hoped. As a result a full rework’s quite a long way out and so we’ll look into some other changes we can make to help him out with his existing assets in the short term.

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Can we have an update on Yorick's rework

Xelnath New PortraitHonestly, no, I’m afraid that he’s not a priority right now. Some other unloved champs will get some love before ol Yorick. This is mostly my fault – I was working really heavily on him until I got distracted and didn’t find another designer to take over Yorick soon enough. 

Feel free to blame me for the delay. That said, Riot’s making good calls about which champs get updates next in my opinion.

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Have they let you look at the next Kha'zix skin

Xelnath New PortraitI’ve seen several potential skin ideas for a lot of champs, our bug friend included. Let’s just say that everything that I see gets me super excited. When we announce stuff, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

I LOVE our artists. Like seriously, I would just run around the floor hugging them all of the time, if it wouldn’t completely interfere with their drawings.

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Can we have a teaser for the next Champion

Xelnath New PortraitSorry, but no. We have entire teams dedicated to planning and releasing champions. I would be doing them a dis-service if I spilled the beans before them.

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Are you currently designing any future Champions

Meddler New PortraitAfter Lissandra’s release I shifted to a team lead role, rather than working as much on individual champions directly. The next champ up’s one I did get a chance to do some hands on work on however, splitting some of the design work with Gypsylord, which has been good fun.

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Why is there so little Champion diversity in LCS

Xelnath New PortraitI realize how LCS not showcasing your favorite champion can be frustrating. It sucks to not see played by a pro and believe that somehow you’re not playing the game right.

However, the nature of LCS is to play the champions those players can play well at the razor’s edge of skill- this is distinctly different from the rest of the world. Take look at Gambit gaming a few seasons back – they shook the world up by pulling out some impressive team comps that were well-executed.

That said, yes, we do look at under played champions and ask “Are these guys in a good place? Do they have a clear role?” If not, we think about appropriate actions relative to the amount of work they need. Full rebuilds (Sion) require the most, followed by Gameplay Updates (Rengar, Skarner, Sona) followed finally by Visual Updates (Sivir) and lastly Balance Updates (Lucian next patch). However, all of these require a certain amount of testing to be sure they are of a quality level that won’t damage the game.

This is why these things take time. Full rebuilds might take two years. Gameplay updates between months (no art required) and a year (vfx, no model required).

But… there’s always champions lurking below the current OP meta tier who are waiting to surge up and overpower the rest. This is why you see things like the full ADC item rework – we want to try to fix problems on the whole CLASS of characters (Marksmen most recently) rather than just singularly bump a single champion up.

Sorry, I know that’s not the answer you want to hear, but we believe that many of our problems are deeply rooted in tough discussions, experimentation and so on. We are being careful to not damage the competitive quality of our game while pursuing the heart of these issues.

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Allow enemies to report for harass if that player has used all chat

Rincewind New PortraitReport in a single game is not going to lead to restrictions. It takes a lot of reports and the data is verified. I would recommend reading through posts by Lyte on how conservative the system is.

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Why Public Chat Rooms weren’t removed in Patch 4

Context: Chat Rooms will be completely overhauled. You can read more on the topic here.

ToxicHawk New PortraitAt times we may decide to make some minor adjustments to the patch notes. For example with the chat rooms. We decided we didn’t want to turn them off at this stage so we removed them from the notes and have informed the team they need to stay on.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Makler

 

 

Introduce yourself for those who may not know you.

Hi! I’m Makler, AD Carry of “Lublin Shore”. You might also know me as former player of mouz and MYM.

 

You’ve been around for quite a while. Do you think you are on the strongest team you’ve played on so far?

Since the begining of LoL I’ve played with almost the same people. For 3 years it was Me, my brother Mokatte, Czaru, Kubon and of course the big guy Libik, my support! I would say we are strongest at this moment, we have one of the best junglers in Poland which is Kikis from Departed, and TakeFun in midlane who replaced Czaru very well.

 

Going back to the promotion tournament, what exactly happened? Do you think it was possible for you to win, or were you simply weaker overall than SHC? Do you think if you played those matches now, you could win?

 To be honest we were really excited to play vs SHC for LCS because at that time we considered SHC as a mid-tier team. We were pretty confident and I think that lost us the series. We were suprised by how well they were playing at that day. SHC has a little bit different roster right now, Selfie instead of Moopz, Wewillfailer instead Migxa. I think those changes are good for SHC but I still feel our team is stronger. I would say 3-1 for us in a bo5.

 

What is the biggest obstacle in being relegated or attempting to promote into the LCS?

Financial pressure I believe. When you are in LCS you have some presure on you, many people watching your every move. but after all you are still getting money even when you lose. When you play in the Challenger Series, you’re only getting money from tournament wins.

 

What keeps you motivated to keep playing? What is your routine like?

I just love competition. Playing competetively is motivation for me. I just love being better at something than others. Every day looks the same, eat, workout at the gym or go running, play play play, sleep. Day after day.

 

How do you think your botlane stacks up compared to other EU teams right now?

We can perform well against any other bottom lane that we have a chance to play.
What are your thoughts on how sustainable it is to be in the Challenger scene for extended periods of time?

I’ve been part of both LCS and Challenger teams and I can say that they are totally different worlds. Being a Challenger team is hard, and Coke Zero format is bad. You play too few matches to attract sponsors and there’s too much randomness on the way to the top 8.

 

What do you think of the skill level of EU overall? Do you feel it is stagnant at the moment? What issues do you think are the most prevalent in trying to go pro?

I think the skill level in EU is ok, we have many really good teams but none of them really stand out from another. I think financial problems are the most critical in going pro. You have to spend ALOT of time playing and there is no guarantee to make a super high cash reward, and you need to live from something.
Who do you think are the strongest teams in the EU challenger series right now?

Beside us NIP and C9 seem to be best ones. I think they will cause the most trouble to LCS teams in relegation.
Thoughts on Alex Ich moving to NiP? Do you think NiP will qualify for the spring split?

Alex is really solid player, but I’m not sure if he can adapt to the top lane playstyle, time will tell. I’m pretty sure it will be hard for him to replace Zerozero. Hard to predict, last promotion I was sure they would make it so I won’t try to predict their matches anymore :p

 

After facing Gamers2 at the Solomid invitationals, how strong do you feel they are? Is Ocelote still as good as he was, if not, how far do you think he has fallen in terms of skill? Do you feel they have a chance to qualify to LCS?

They are ok, Ocelote is good, but right now is not up to par with other mid laners.

Everyone has a chance to qualify to LCS but I would say C9 and NIP are slighty ahead of them.

 

Will you continue playing if you do not qualify for the next LCS split? What will you do after pro gaming? Do you intend to stay in eSports?

We’ll find out in time. If I can make a living playing then I won’t give up easily, but if I can’t then it will be hard.

It’s hard to tell what i will do after pro gaming, but i don’t see myself in any other role in esports aside from player. I will just fade away probably, and see what opportunities I get from life.

 

Shoutouts?

Thank you to all of my fans and my team!

Comments off

 

Xpecial Gleeb Banner

 

 

Xpecial

“Xpecial”

We are sad to announce today that we are parting ways with Alex “Xpecial” Chu.

 “Xpecial is an amazing player, but just because you have the best players on a team does not mean you have the best team. After we had the tryouts, I discussed it with the players and as a team, we decided that having a new support player would be better for the team. Xpecial is still a friend and it was very hard for me to have to let him go.” – Andy “Reginald” Dinh

 

 

GLEEBGLARBU

“Gleebglarbu”

 Nicolas “Gleebglarbu” Haddad will be TSM’s new support player. Gleeb is currently ranked #34 on the NA Solo Queue Challenger ladder and was the support player for the Cloud 9 Tempest Challenger team.

 One of the major reasons we chose Gleebglarbu for the role is his commitment and willingness to work harder than anyone else. Everyone on the team feels motivated when playing with him. Even though he’s a new player, we believe Gleebglarbu will help TSM become the world’s best.

 The team was unanimous in their decision to pick Gleebglarbu. The tryouts for a new support included both him and Xpecial, after which Reginald went to Curse to trade Xpecial.

 

 “After deciding on Gleeb as TSM’s new support, my one goal was to find a good home for Xpecial. I chose Curse because I believe Xpecial is an invaluable player and will make Curse stronger.” - Reginald

 Xpecial willl be joining Curse as their new support player in the upcoming LCS Summer Split. We wish Xpecial the best of luck.

 

The new TSM starting roster will be as follows:

Marcus “Dyrus” Hill – Top Laner
Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider – Jungler
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg – Mid Laner
Jason “WildTurtle” Tran – AD Carry
Nicolas “Gleebglarbu” Haddad – Support

Brian “TheOddOne” Wyllie – Coach
Andy “Reginald” Dinh – Coach

Rabia “NightBlue” Yazbek – Substitute
Patrick “MegaZero” Glinsman – Substitute

 

You can follow “Gleebglarbu” on:

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Gleebglarbu
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/gleebglarbu

 

 

 

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  Disclaimer: Some of you may remember this article being published a few weeks ago. It underwent heavy editing since then and should be a lot tighter on arguments now. Enjoy reading!

 

  I believe gamers need a realistic perspective on the issue of sexism in eSports and gaming in general. Here are the major points this article will address:

  • The banal sexist remarks and misogynistic jokes we’ve all grown accustomed to as a result of constant stereotyping.
  • The male dominated culture of gaming.
  • Team Siren‘s impact on professional gaming last year and the negative perception they have created towards females who want to become pro gamers.
  • Female gamers being forced to either openly express their gender or hide it entirely.

 

 

Stereotyping Females

 

  We all like to make our assumptions about a group of people who seem consistent in behavior; stereotypes make life easier for us. They also lead to a complete lack of understanding issues in society and almost always promote hate speech, abuse and bullying. So how much do we really know about what women go through when they try to adopt gaming as a hobby or profession compared to men?

 There’s a huge difference between how two players, a man and a woman, are seen in the eyes of the majority. Females are condemned and bullied for being incapable of competing in gaming alongside men because the male-majority assumes women can’t achieve the same skill in video games as men, which is untrue. Let me explain.

  There are no studies that show females are weaker players than males. You can use the argument that there are far more men than women in pro gaming, and casual gaming in general, but that’s due to how games were originally marketed and how “gaming” was assigned, and socially upheld, as a male gender role. As a result women have had less time to: develop serious interests in gaming, develop the skills needed to compete at a top competitive level, and make major contributions to gaming, both in achievements and in their numbers. 

 However, this does not mean that gaming is incapable of embracing strong female contenders. For example, StarCraft II player Scarlett is recognized as one of the strongest players in the scene at the moment, consistently beating top-ranked opponents, despite being “a gamer girl.” But she is one of few and that is the problem. Women are less encouraged to pick up gaming as a hobby as a result of consistent framing and the rest of the community alienating them. The problem with sexism in pro-gaming starts at the bottom of the pyramid; if the industry molds around female interest and starts marketing itself equally for both genders, then we’ll see the issue resolved in more serious gaming.

Anna Prosser

 We’ve established that women are repressed in gaming, but that this is mainly due to the marketing tactics used early in the industry, alongside the community’s shock and inability to properly accomodate the increasing flux of women becoming interested in games. Pro-gaming isn’t a viable profession for women yet, as the industry hasn’t tried to reach up to a female audience. Circumstances have developed a situation where women who wish to make a living out of their hobby are cornered into finding alternate ways to do it, because their gender is a detriment to this.

 One such alternative is streaming. Streaming generates revenue through view count, rather than skill. (sometimes, skill results in a bigger audience, but this is just an isolated case, whereas in pro-gaming skill is a requirement). It favors one gender over another, because looks and character generate attention quicker than just playing well in most cases. Note that this does not include all female streamers, but it’s simply the reality of the medium. Because (most) women are left without opportunity to pursue a pro-gaming career, but streaming is easily available to them, you get a discrepancy in relevance of the two careers for females.

 Women didn’t become involved in streaming with the mentality of selling their looks. But they approached a scene that was (and still is) awkward in how it accepts them. Exploiting gender traits for revenue isn’t a conscious decision made by the majority – it’s simply a logical alternative to professional gaming when professional gaming fails to provide women the proper environment for a stable job.

 

 

Team Siren

 

Team Siren Promo Video The majority of the playerbase has only had bad experiences with female teams. To have girls compete in pro-gaming is a recent concept and is burdened not just by the gaming community’s prejudice, but by segregation in the real world. What few opportunities females have had to be recognized as eSports material have gone down in history as sore examples and have further exacerbated the issue. Such is the case from last year with Team Siren.

I believe the majority have seen their introductory video. One can immediately tell this promotion wasn’t thought through. It implies that their team (Gold I at the time) was capable of taking on any competition from the pro teams. The Sirens tried to sell immaturity and snobby attitude to the public and this severely imapcted the perception people had of female pro players.

Trash-talking enemy players during games only served to further degrade Team Siren’s image. The team’s reaction to the community backlash, coupled with poor management, forced the Sirens to disband a month after creating the team.

Ironically, the demise of Team Siren may have actually benefited women who wish to compete in eSports, by bringing attention to the issue that there are practically no pro women gaming currently. Attitude and marketing aside, the Sirens were brave enough to step up to the spotlight as a team of women aiming for the big scene. If the focus had been more on gaming and less on selling an image, the team could had been a success.

This all partially leads to the creation of the 2014 Amateur Challenge for ladies.

 

 

Scared of eSports

Colalin_tps  We shouldn’t ignore the fact that what being a gamer means for a male doesn’t mean the same for a female. There are societal views and expectations that all weigh heavily on a woman’s decision to commit to gaming. Women generally care more than men how they look in the eyes of the public. It’s a problem with gaming in general that it continues to be shunned by popular opinion, but women are much more affected by this than men.

  Women want the approval of others and when gaming doesn’t resonate with the people around them, they tend to stay away from it. Those women who have committed themselves to gaming and feel comfortable with are attributed the same characteristics, simply because they are a minority.

  There is a fact working against females who want to be in eSports – they’d be among the first. Teams participating in the Season 3 World Championship didn’t have a female member and, historically, have never had. After extensive research, the only example I found was Lin “Colalin” Ying Hsuan, substitute player for Taipei Assassins and Taipei Snipers. Statistically, women who compete in pro-play are a rare sight. A female wishing to pursue this career is going against the odds and that’s a demotivating realization.

  As a male you’ll probably face a wall of criticism if you go right now and tell your parents you want to abandon everything else and become a pro-player. This is without taking into consideration outside views and having the evidence to show them that people like you have become successful in pro-gaming. Now imagine how it would feel from a female’s perspective – she holds both a responsibility towards friends and family not to be perceived as “weird’ or “out of social standards” and she can’t show that women can become pro players and make a living.

  A woman who’s decided to be a pro gamer has all of this to overcome and she can’t be sure whether or not it’s even worth it.

 

 

Catch 22

 

  All these complex reasons for why sexism is so prevalent in gaming boils down to a simple truth – female gamers just aren’t taken seriously. Because the community is dominated by men, they assume everyone is male. Women then stick out as sort of exceptions to the rule, and they either need to conceal their gender or openly express it.

  In the first scenario, a woman is afraid of revealing who she is, because she understands the repercussions of doing so and the backlash that will follow. And insults targeted towards female gamers rarely attack the way they play; more often than not they’re just gender abuse. The male community treats women like outsiders and that’s why so many girls hide behind male avatars and nicknames – they don’t want to be blamed for being themselves.

  Good, then the problem is gone since they pretend to be male and we don’t have to care about their problems. Wrong! Being forced to hide your identity doesn’t solve anything; it’s a band-aid, a desperation move. This actually magnifies the second situation gamer girls find themselves in – expressing their gender.

  Most women simply choose to forget they’re women when they game online. This hurts those who don’t want their gender identity bent by senseless sexism on the part of the majority. When a girl gamer openly displays the fact she’s female, she’s seeking attention. If she doesn’t, she emphasizes the problem for those who are honest with their gender.

  This is not something women can solve for themselves. The male community of gamers needs to look at the way it views girl gamers currently. If basic understanding and respect aren’t present, we can’t move forward.

 

 

2014 Amateur Challenge

 Background: keSPA ( Korea e-Sports Association ) hosted The Amateur Challenge Ladies tournament this year, which features exclusively all-female teams on the pro Korean scene (OGN).

All female league  The all-female league in eSports, though inherently wrong, is currently the only real opportunity women have of breaking the gender barrier of the scene. People have likened it to other amateur leagues already out there, but what it gives girls with an interest in pro-gaming is a chance of creating a competitive environment where they are able to improve, gain experience as teams and compete at the peak level, and have a chance at making a living playing games competitively. “Professional status,” as in making a living playing video games, is something females currently aren’t even given a chance to achieve, and this league changes that!

  Though segregation of genders is inherently wrong, in the case of pro-gaming it can lead up to an equal audience of men and women. Once there are females at a skill level high enough, with experience backing them, we could see a female team climb into the LCS, and beyond. This will, indeed, make eSports a scene where anyone can become big.

  A female league is a solution born out of lack of alternatives. The fact that it’s, right now, the only shot women have at becoming relevant in eSports shows how deeply rooted this issue has become. There are girls out there who can and want to compete on the same level as other pro players, but, as all the above-mentioned arguments point out, the community and the scene have been slow to adapt to the rising interest in gaming among women.

 

 

The Sad Reality


  Female leagues serve to artificially equalize the number of men and women competing in pro gaming. The more females being involved with the scene, the more will start aiming for a career in eSports. And this is the bothersome aspect of the whole issue – we’re not that far off as a community to fixing it, we just refuse to acknowledge that the issue exists, due to the preconceived notion that games, and the leagues the pros play in, are unisex.

  In a previous section I touched on the topic that no LCS team has a female in the roster. This isn’t only applicable to the actual team members; several teams lack a single female staff member. It proves how male-dominated the gaming industry is. Bad thing? Certainly. It does make one consider whether or not we truly appreciate talent more than we appreciate the comfort of a mono-gender environment. The people reading this are among the most dedicated players and viewers of eSports and LoL. I’m assuming we all want the same thing – the best experience pro-gaming can deliver and a sport that can keep us a close community.

 

What Can I do to fix this

 

Everyone could make this easier simply by avoiding misogynistic remarks they’d never use in person. When referring to a player, talk about their skill, strengths, weaknesses and exclude gender from your mindset. This goes both ways: if you use your cleavage to attract people to your stream, then you know what kind of people to expect. Allow me to quote Magic the Gathering player Jackie Lee, from an amazing article of hers:

1. Gender jokes are not funny, they’re insensitive.

2. Seek criticism and express criticism at poor behavior.

3. Don’t insult someone based on gender. (or race, or sexuality, all these characteristics do not determine a person’s qualities)

Small note, all these points relate to both men and women. Gender equality goes both ways.

 

My Info Article Ending

 

eula vs tos

(Disclaimer: While I am a law student, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.)

 

When in-game behavior carries consequences in the “real world,” many people start to wonder what limits, if any, companies like Riot have when policing user accounts. Ultimately this boils down to those pesky “Terms of Use/Service” (TOU/TOS) and “End-User License Agreement” (EULA) windows we have to click through every time a new patch is released.  

I see these terms being thrown around in-game and on the forums, and despite my efforts to correct player’s misconceptions on what the TOS and EULA actually do, the misinformation is rampant.  Hopefully this will help clear up some of the confusion!  The article centers on a question relevant to all League of Legends players:

 

What exactly are you agreeing to when you play League of Legends?

 

In this article I will quickly explain how the EULA and TOS are legally enforceable contracts, what the differences between the two are, and finally how they apply to the average player. I cannot stress enough that while I am doing a legal analysis, I cut through a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo and make conclusive statements for the purposes of entertainment. If you need legal advice, please speak with an attorney. 

I. Clickwrap Agreements
Just about every time you install a program, download a patch, or purchase from a website, you have to pass through a threshold of “agreements.” 

accept-button

Many of these agreements are called “shrinkwrap,” “clickwrap,” or “adhesive” agreements - where you don’t see/understand what you’ve agreed to until after you’ve already agreed to it. For example, many online games only allow you to see the TOS after you’ve bought the game, but before you can play it online.  A better example is a website, where you’ve already “agreed” to their TOS just by being on their site. 

Clickwrap agreements tend to have certain characteristics:

    • Clickwrap contracts are usually offered on a “take it or leave it” basis. In many contractual agreements, parties can negotiate over the terms of the contract, but in clickwrap contracts, the user has no bargaining power –they can either agree to all the terms or none.
    • As discussed above, click wrap agreements often apply post-transaction. For example, some companies (such as AutoDesk) typically don’t allow people to resell their software – but a customer might not know that until after they’ve purchased AutoCAD, and are going through the installation.

If your knee-jerk reaction is similar to what mine was, you might be thinking, “is that really a legal contract?”  Because let’s be honest, if you’re like most people, you simply don’t have the time to read every agreement you accept online.  Even if you read most, there will often be terms that won’t make sense until you start using the service/software (e.g., how many people could understand what “riot points” are prior to installing League of Legends?)   This part of why EULA/TOS are often considered to be adhesive contracts – most of us have no idea what it is we’re agreeing to.

So are these even legal?  The short answer is: Usually. There are, however, some limited exceptions:

    • Explicit Agreement: The rule of thumb is that a user must explicitly agree to an agreement before it becomes enforceable. If you don’t make an explicit act showing you are both aware of the terms and you agree to them, they are unlikely to be enforceable as a contract. While this isn’t exactly a problem for Riot (you have to click “I Agree” every time a new patch comes out), it is a notable exception to many software agreements.
    • Outrageous Terms. If there’s something absolutely ridiculous and unexpected hidden in the fine print (for example, the “immortal souls clause” that granted a British game company 7500 “soul-licenses”), that term or the whole agreement may be rendered invalid.
    • Application to minors.  In most situations, if you’re under the age of 18, you lack capacity to enter legally binding agreements.  This may provide an exception to click-wrap agreements in some situations, as the contract may be voidable

The takeaway is this: Clicking the “I agree” to Riot’s Terms of Use and End-User License Agreements probably creates a legally enforceable contract.

II. “EULA” vs. “TOS”

So since we already have no idea what we’re clicking, why are there so many boxes?  Why not just throw it all into one box and get it over with?  Although many portions of the EULA and TOS overlap, there is a fundamental distinction between each type of agreement:

EULA: EULAs govern the use of the software itself.  This is useful to stop unauthorized use of the game, as well as to disclaim liability for what it does to your system.

  • Example: Hosting your own “League of Legends” world championship, with dedicated servers to boot, would likely be a violation of the EULA if you used Riot’s software (and probably some intellectual property violations as well).
  • Example: Riot’s EULA would probably prevent them from being liable if League of Legends overheats your cardboard toaster. Which is really the best outcome for everyone.

EULAs are often extremely broad in what they cover.  Interestingly, Apple’s EULA for iTunes explicitly disallows use of their software for the development of weapons of mass destruction:

Apple v. Estate of Hussein is still pending.

TOS/TOU: The Terms of Service governs the use of a particular service offered. In Riot’s case, some of the services offered are the ability to create an account and a means to use that account via access to their servers. While you are using their service, you are expected to follow their rules – otherwise, they may terminate your access to the service, as per the  agreement. Most players will only be concerned with the TOS.

  • Example: Going idle or AFK in-game often enough can result in temporary or permanent suspension of your ability to access Riot’s servers, because you’ve agreed to allow LeaverBuster to monitor in-game activity.

The main difference between the TOS and the EULA for players is in the types of violations, and what Riot is able to do in terms of punishing players who breach these agreements. For the most part, the TOS will impact a user’s access to the service.  The EULA, on the other hand, will impact a user’s access to the software.

TOS Violations:

Say you’re having a bad game, and decide to spam “**** you all, **** ***-skilled *******s!!!” a few dozen times in all-chat. Assuming this violates the TOS, Riot’s punishments all involve your account’s use of the service (remember, the service is access to their servers) even to the extent of permanent bans. This is where I see a lot of confusion, especially when players argue for methods (such as uninstallation) to combat toxic behavior – they confuse the accounts for the players, and the service for the software.

Players are only able to access the service through an account, and thus, can only violate the TOS through the use of an account (the notable exception to this is browsing their website, but that is beyond the scope of this article).  The way Riot has their TOS set up, the account acts as a real-life shield for players – both for good and for evil. The account provides a layer of privacy protection and facilitates a pseudo-anonymous experience, a great benefit for online interactions. On the downside, it makes it very difficult to penetrate the account and punish players directly – especially when it’s difficult to prove that it was that player breaking the TOS (e.g., you’re in the middle of a match when you have to answer to door (it’s your turn to pay for the pizza), and when you get back to your computer, you find that your roommates have been soliciting some of the female characters in a manner rather inconsistent with that of a gentleman).

Under the TOS agreement, it is unlikely that Riot could force removal/uninstallation of the software. And the way Riot’s current TOS is set up, it would also be difficult  to enforce an IP ban (should Riot wish to implement such a penalty, it may be possible, but the TOS would likely need to be reworded).

EULA Violations:

A forced uninstallation (i.e., an injunction) could only occur through a EULA violation (although this doesn’t stop vigilante players from wishing it to upon less-than-desirable teammates). The terms of the EULA are much less relevant to most players.  However, they do clarify an interesting point: violations of the EULA would probably end up in court (or “mandatory arbitration”). This is where Riot would claim you’ve somehow overstepped the “fair use” of their product, perhaps by selling downloads to unsuspecting users, or attempting to “reverse engineer” their game to create your own, etc.  They’d be suing you for damages, injunctions, and possibly attorney’s fees, depending on the nature and extent of the violation.

To date, I have yet to see any pending complaints by Riot against any of their players.  Suing your customers is not the custom and practice of most business entities, and on top of that, Riot tends to be more forgiving to its player-base than most companies in the industry.  If they have had issues with EULA violations, it’s likely they have been taken care of using cease & desist letters – very common in the realm of IP violations.

TL; DR: The Terms of Service and EULA are legally enforceable contracts.  If a player violates the Terms of Service, their access to the service may be suspended but not necessarily their access to the software – that would require a violation of the EULA.

 

Like the article? Have any comments or suggestions? Post below and follow me on Twitter @VCDragoon

Special thanks to Chefo for working on images and formatting!

 

TeamCoastNew1

 

Introduce yourselves for those who may not be familiar with you.

Coast:  Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaya – Top, Danny “Shiphtur” Le – Mid, Josh “NintendudeX” Atkins – Jungle, Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard – Support, and Apollo “WizFujiiN” Price – AD.

 

Before we get into spring promotion, I want to talk about your recent run in the Challenger scene. You performed extremely well there, and finished with a 3-1 victory over Complexity in the NACL. What is it like playing at the challenger level?

Coast: The team enjoys playing in the LCS. We would prefer to never play another game at the Challenger level. That said, the process of playing competitively almost every day of the off-season will help us be more prepared for the next Split than the teams who took this time off.

 

What do you think the level of play in the challenger scene is, relative to the current LCS. Who do you think is the best current challenger team?

Coast: The NA Challenger teams we played in the off season are not close to level of play in the LCS. There did not seem to be a great deal of difference between the better Challenger teams.

 

What do you think are the biggest differences between the Pro and Challenger scene?

Coast: There are some good individual players at the Challenger level, but the teams do not play in the same coordinated fashion as LCS teams. Pro players also have a deeper understanding of the game, and much better overall mechanics.

 

What changes or improvements do you think, if any, should be made to the challenger circuit?

Coast: As the money that players can earn in the Challenger Circuit (and the LCS) increases, the quality of the teams will improve proportionally.

 

Jumping into promotion, what was your preparation like leading up to the matches against TWZ? Were you confident in your ability to come out on top?

Coast: We worked very hard to get ready for the Promotion match. There was no doubt in our mind we would win over any of the Challenger teams. While the match seemed close, it really wasn’t.

 

Did TWZ surprise you at all? What do you think was the biggest factor in them not making it?

Coast: The two hour delay after Game 1 surprised us, giving TWZ time to re-group and get their wits about them. The biggest factor for TWZ not making the LCS was having to play us.

 

Had TWZ played Curse or EG, do you think they would have been able to make it in?

Coast: Both Curse and EG would likely have beaten TWZ.

 

Now that you are back in the LCS, what are your goals for 2014? Where do you see yourself finishing? Who are your biggest threats?

Coast: We want to play one game at a time, and play our best. We are very confident in the way our team stacks up against the other teams in the league. Because of the way the team is playing right now, we like our chances against any team we will face.

 

Can you give us a personal power ranking of the current LCS teams, or where you see them finishing?

Coast: We believe our team will have a very good Spring Split. The final standings will depend upon who plays consistently well throughout the season. Although it is hard to predict the way the Split will end, we believe we are in the top tier of teams. There are many pundits who don’t like our chances of finishing well this Split. However, if you were to ask the other LCS teams about the strength of Coast, you would get a very different story.

 

How has the team adapted to the preseason changes?

Coast: We like the preseason changes, and feel it plays into our strengths.

 

You recently acquired WizFuJiiN as your AD carry. What led to this decision, and how has he fit into the team so far in terms of synergy?

Coast: WizFujiiN is an extremely strong AD Carry both mechanically and as a contributor to team play. The chemistry in our Bot Lane between Wiz and Daydreamin was on display during the Promotion Match. Wiz has a great attitude, and has brought a positive influence to the team.

 

Was Chaox ever a tryout for Coast? If so, why wasn’t he picked up?

Coast: Chaox did try out for Coast, and played with the team quite a bit. Chaox is a great guy…we have nothing but good things to say about him both as a player and as a friend of the team. At the end of the day, we felt WizFujiiN was the best overall choice for the team.

 

What is it like in a typical game for Coast? Is there a primary shot-caller?

Coast: One of the changes during the offseason has been improved team communication. Everyone on the team is more involved in shot-calling and making sure their teammates are aware of what is happening in the game.

 

What is your attitude when playing from behind, and how do you keep your head in the game?

Coast: Because we have experience coming from behind many times, we always try to believe we can win. Communication and a positive attitude help to keep everyone moving in the right direction.

 

How does the team spend time together outside of the game? Do you play other games besides League?

Coast: Being gamers, we pretty much play any game that involves someone winning and losing.

 

Something unknown about yourselves that you’re willing to share?

Coast: We secretly want to win the LoL World Championship.

 

Shoutouts/etc?

Coast: We’d like to thank our sponsors CyberPowerPC, LoL-Class, Corsair, and ClickPoint Software for supporting the team.

 

 

esports AMA banner

An AMA on E-sports, from the people who bring you lolesports.com, live broadcasting and epic times!

 

Reddit AMA Breakdown


 Rioters who’ve taken part in this AMA: RiotMagus, RiotNeckBeard, RiotNickAllen, RiotChoppers, Riot Hitstreak, RiotRavenBeauty


 

LoL E-sports Website

 

 

Any plan to include more statistics on the lolesports site such as Baron kills, Towers, First Blood, etc.?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: Stats are freaking awesome – thank you for this question. Please note a lot of stuff is in the works and don’t expect them week 1 of the LCS.

1) We’re trying to make real-time stats. We’re working some awesome devs to make this a reality.

2) We want stats in the broadcast. It improves the viewer experience and that’s a good thing.

3) We want stats to be interactive. Graphs for consumption and stuff is cool and all, but we want fans to have them at their fingertips and be able to look at cool trends. Look for more of this on lolesports.com and in our API in the future.

4) It would be even cooler if we could take all these real-time stats and make a fun meta-esports-game out of this… We’ve fantasized about this for awhile now ;)

edit: apparently I double posted so I deleted the less detailed one, gg.

 

 

Will you add more information about the teams on your website?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: The web and content teams worked hard to get the first iteration of the new design out, and we’ll be looking to add some bells and whistles over the next few months. We want a stronger team presence there but want to balance team access with quality consistency. Teams often contact us if they want their profiles tweaked / updated, etc., so we have a good relationship with them there.

 

 

How about text updates for those who can’t tune in to watch a game?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: Gamecast on ESPN is another great example of what you’re referring to. Real-time stats unlock so many features we take for granted with today’s sports.

 

 

 

Will the Challenger series be added?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: We won’t stop with Challenger – our goal is to cover all leagues on lolesports.com :) Need to hire up a team first!

Shameless plug: http://www.riotgames.com/careers/esports-web-content-coordinator

 

 

Suggestions / Improvements

 

 

Will you make changes to the bye system?

 

RiotNickAllenButton Rioter RiotNickAllen: As kick ass as Worlds was in Season 3, there are many ways we can improve–especially in terms of format. You won’t be seeing byes at the 2014 World Championship.

 

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Yes, we got a lot of feedback from the fans on our format this year and so we will be tweaking it accordingly. Can’t share too much information, but the short answer is ‘Yes’, and it’s going to be awesome :P

 

 

 

How do you feel about adding soundproof booths?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: We don’t like the glass booths, they actually aren’t fully soundproof (players still complain about sound leakage) and think they really isolate the players from being part of the fan experience.

We are always evolving the technology of the headsets our players use, and think with some tweaks and refinements on that end it accomplishes the same thing without separating players from the crowd.

 

 

Follow-up: Do you feel that players shouting game information can give an unfair advantage to either team?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: One cure to this is that we’ve started incorporating delays into the live feed, so if an audience is cheering so loud it may be a tell, that moment will have already passed. We catch-up during replays throughout the match so a team isn’t celebrating while the live audience is still watching a game end.

 

 

Are there plans to include audio-only streams, like radio?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: No current plans. When I drive and LCS is on, I boot up the twitch app on my phone to listen.

 

 

 

Are you planning on switching the format up for Worlds this year?

 

RiotNickAllenButton Rioter RiotNickAllen: We’ll definitely be making some changes for 2014. I can’t reveal all of the details just yet, but one thing is for sure–no more byes!

 

 

 

Will there be more integration with social media, other than Twitter Questions, during LCS?

 

Riot HitstreakButton Rioter Riot Hitstreak: Awesome question

I worked closely with the broadcast team on getting social more integrated with the broadcast this season. All of this takes a bit of time to ramp up but by the end of the season esports fans can expect the social experience to be much more compelling.

If we do contests this season, we’ll be bringing the prizing in-house to resolve the issues we had with prizing.

Social doesn’t cover Twitch chat. There are too many dongers. We are investigating ways to create more conversations on lolesports.com though.

 

 

LCS

 

 

Are you going to introduce an MVP-system this year?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: Hey – good question. I’ve tackled this in a Reddit thread about a week ago. We’re going to have a weekly MVP for NA LCS and EU LCS. Each split will also have an MVP that is selected by journalists, coaches, casters, etc. (industry insiders). Lastly, we’re also adding an MVP to Worlds this year.

 

 

Have you planned on making merchandise for the LCS?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: We are working on this as part of our larger merchandise efforts that are now underway (unfortunately still a ways away), but this particular aspect is something we know will be cool for fans and can’t wait to offer!

Will be so cool to see fans wearing jersey’s of their favorite players!

 

 

Follow-up: Why do we need to resort to third-party sellers for T-shirts, mugs and so on?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Yea sorry – we know, and are building out a team that will be focused exclusively on merchandising efforts!

 

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: We should just ship Fizz trident’s across the globe…that’d be awesome.

‘Boy, that escalated quickly. Brick killed a man with a Trident!’

 

 

Do you see the amount of teams in LCS increasing?

 

RiotNickAllenButton Rioter RiotNickAllen: We are constantly evaluating the number of teams in the LCS and the appropriate time to expand beyond 8. We take a lot of things into consideration: Ecosystem support, player talent pool, and schedule implications to name a few. For example in our current LCS format, adding even 2 more teams would add significantly more games to the year.

After making these considerations, we thought 8 teams was a good number for where NA and EU are as regions. With the new Challenger Series being introduced, as well as how strong Amateur level play has leveled up in the last few months, growing beyond 8 teams is something we will be seriously considering going into 2015. I apologize if that sounds like the safe answer, but we just want to be super careful that the time for expanding beyond 8 teams is right.

 

 

What’s going to make the LCS broadcast different than last season?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: Live audience in NA and a larger audience with a new studio in EU. More crowd noise is a great thing. We’re looking to incorporate more real-time stuff like stats and facts. We’re bringing on new casters. We’ve already added new music.

TLDR: Lots of subtle, small upgrades. The LCS broadcast was one of the better things in S3, expect more small upgrades and tweaks rather than massive overhauls.

 

 

How does Riot eSports feel about media surrounding the LCS?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: We think a thriving esports media is great for the LCS and all of the LoL esports community. Good media outlets drive fan discussion and interest in the sport, which benefits everyone. We try to promote good articles written by those outlets on lolesports.com as a way to bring attention to them. I think your idea for an esports news feed widget is an interesting one and I’ll pass that along to our web development team.

I hope that media outlets continue to grow the quality of the journalism coverage out there. Esports journalism started in the stone age – poor writing, consistency and story-telling, and the industry still has a ton of growing to do. However, I’m starting to believe that we can get there :)

 

 

Has the outcome of the Spring Split any influence on the teams that will compete at Worlds or will it be like last year?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Same as last year with no influence on Worlds, but we will be introducing a new wrinkle that should be very exciting for fans and teams competing for the Spring Championship.

 

 

 

Will you add more incentive for teams to take the split more seriously, given that the results won’t affect Worlds?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: We expect teams will take it very seriously.

There is a lot of money at stake, there are sponsorship deals that probably reward winning, there is pride , and of course the scary thought of promotion/relegation.

 

 

Where do you see the LCS in five years time?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: That’s a really tough question to answer. If you asked me a year ago if we would be able to sell out Staples Center I would have probably rolled my eyes.

It’s growing faster than we could have ever imagined, but honestly our main focus is creating the most exciting and memorable experience for our fans, so we’ll be laser focused on that, who knows where it will take us.

 

 

Least favorite thing about the LCS?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: This is probably biased because I’m watching NFL playoffs, but right now I wish LCS playoffs were longer so fans could savor the drama of a tense post-season.

 

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Pauses and technical delays :P And Ocelote not being in the LCS right now…I love that guy.

 

 

 

What interesting changes can we expect for this year’s LCS?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: Having loud live audiences in NA and EU will improve the overall experience tremendously (both live and online).

 

 

 

 

Regulations

 

 

Do you plan on regulating owners/managers of teams so players don’t get cheated out of earnings?

 

Button Rioter RiotChopper: Great question. We are definitely taking steps to try to ensure that teams and managers hit a certain bar of professionalism and responsibility, but want to protect the rights of the players to work with the people they are comfortable with. We’ve seen some examples of great managers with no esports experience or formal business experience, and don’t want to do anything to prevent them from helping teams!

 

 

Why can’t one organization have two of its teams enter LCS?

 

Button Rioter RiotChopper: This is definitely an important point, glad you asked. Given the fact that our teams face each other four times per Split, we felt it would diminish the value of those games, and lead to many questions about incentives and the integrity of the match. We applied this rule to both EU and NA LCS because owning teams in multiple regions also leads to concerns about fair trades, Worlds matchups, etc.

We realize this is something permitted in other regions, and we are currently discussing (internally and with the regional teams) the systemwide effects of implementing that policy in those regions. We’ll continue to iterate on this policy as the ecosystem develops.

 

 

Coke Zero League

 

 

When does the Coke Zero Play-in start?

 

RiotNickAllenButton Rioter RiotNickAllen: The Challenger Series Play-In starts tomorrow! We won’t be streaming the round of 20, but will jump in to the round of 10 immediately following the LCS on the 2nd and 3rd days of Superweek. From there, you can expect CS nearly every day directly after the LCS broadcast.

 

 

What’ll happen to the Coke Zero League after the ELO boost bans?

 

Button Rioter RiotChopper: The elo boost bans actually came out after the ladder freeze and roster confirmation, by which point the team of the affected individual in NA had actually already disbanded. No team was DQ’ed from Challenger because of a single player’s elo boost ban, nor would they; teams can always pick up new players, and simply need to maintain 3 players from their ladder freeze roster.

 

 

E-sports

 

 

How did Riot decide to approach and support E-sports?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Riot had always planned on developing League of Legends to become a competitive sport. It’s in the DNA of the game – tons of compelling and unique strategies that can win out in any given match, no 2 games are ever the same, it’s relatively easy to pick-up but impossible to master, teamwork is a core competency, etc.

While we knew it would be competitive and fun at all levels, we had no idea it would turn in to the professional / spectator sport it has now become, and it’s pretty humbling to see it surpass any of the expectations on that front, and then some. After seeing the fans show up in droves at our Season 1 finals, we knew if we focused on building a compelling experience it would grow, but nobody ever expected this.

Brandon and Marc are both huge esport fans (even Brandon’s wife watches most of the LCS matches), and they’ve both really driven the passion and furor around esports that resonates throughout the whole company. I’m glad they decided to make it such a core focus, otherwise I would be out of a job

 

 

In how many years do you think eSports will be accepted as “real” sports?

 

RiotShantzilla Button Rioter RiotShantzilla: I don’t think any of us consider it to be a binary “accepted” or “not accepted”, but rather a gradual process. Right now there’s plenty of people the world over that consider esports a real sport (myself included). We’ve already seen tons of progress in converting viewers to this perspective.

At the end of the day, I fully expect to be watching eSports with my kids (that’s about 5-10 years away, hopefully). They’ll grow up thinking of digital sports in the exact same light as traditional phsyical sports. Who knows, by then there may be a hybrid product..

 

 

Rioters in E-sports

 

 

How do you guys prepare for events?

 

RiotShantzilla Button Rioter RiotShantzilla: Believe it or not, the days in BETWEEN broadcasts are generally the most busy. There’s an incredible amount of planning and preparation that goes into each week, but the unique responsibilities of each person differs pretty widely. Add on to that any special projects or forward-planning plans, and you end up clocking quite a few hours a week. :)

 

 

What does that typical day of someone in the Riot eSports department consist of?

 

MagusButton Rioter RiotMagus: It differs tremendously from day-to-day. Logistically, my role involves a lot of meetings, as I work with each group within esports. I’ll do meetings for most of the day (10am-7pm or so) and then spend several hours or more answering emails, reviewing projects we’re working on, brainstorming new stufff, etc.

It’s a very social, hard-working environment. We try to freely share ideas so that anyone can poke holes in them and make them better. That means it’s incredibly fun because the people on the team are awesome, but you also need to be the type of person that likes to give and receive constructive criticism in order to thrive.

 

Button Rioter RiotRavenBeauty: A typical day in Esports is pretty atypical at Riot. Some days are filled with meetings about upcoming scheduling and logistics, syncs with the LCS teams, ideating with our video producers, catching up on 1-on-1s with other Rioters.. and other days start bright and early at the studio, to put on the best damn show we can for you :)

 

 

What’s the most satisfying part about your job?

 

RiotShantzilla Button Rioter RiotShantzilla: Hands down the best part of being in esports for me personally? Seeing players cheering at live events. Before I worked at Riot, I was a cheering player right along side the (small) events I could attend. To be able to see Staples full of people having a great time… feels good man.

 

 

How hard is it to get such a job / what are the required qualifications?

 

Button Rioter RiotRavenBeauty: Tbh, it’s not an easy feat to get your foot in the door anywhere in Esports, and the candidate pool for Riot is quite competitive. Don’t let that scare you from applying though! Different roles require different attributes and levels of experience, but there are some fundamental qualities we look for in all Esports candidates: Intelligence, Passion, Strong Communication Skills, Problem-Solving Prowess, and Culture Fit. If you’re interested in seeing more detailed requirements for each role, you can check out our careers page,http://www.riotgames.com/careers.

 

RiotShantzilla Button Rioter RiotShantzilla: We pretty much don’t have any specific requirements (generally looking for all-around rockstars). But if you’re looking to aim your career towards eSports, I’d say get in some eSports experience before you apply. Because it’s such a developing and “wild west” part of the industry, you can’t exactly follow a set academic path, for example (no schools have an “eSports Management” major yet :P). If you’re in college, get involved with your local eSports club (or start your own). Already past those years? There’s a myriad of opportunities for people to get involved with amateur events, article writing, starting their own show, etc. Show us your passion through your past actions!

 

 

Other

 

 

In which country will the All-Star 2014 be held?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: I’m actually in Cologne at the moment with RiotMagus and Ariel Horn to kick off the EU LCS, and then we are doing some final site visits (outside of Germany?) before we let all of you guys know where the magic will happen.

 

 

 

Will we get Silver Scrapes back again?

 

Riot HitstreakButton Rioter Riot Hitstreak: Silver Scrapes is here forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twtW2qG8P0g

 

 

 

What kind of international competition will we see this year outside of All-Stars and Worlds?

 

RedBeardButton Rioter RiotRedBeard: Not much, to be honest. We know the fans love seeing international competitions, and Battle of the Atlantic was a fun tournament, but we want to ensure that Worlds remains pretty special in that regard. It’s why the World Cup is so infrequent, or why each sport has their once-a-year events like the Super Bowl, World Series, etc.

There is still IEM Katowice!

 

 

How much does the competitive scene shape the patches we get?

 

RiotShantzilla Button Rioter RiotShantzilla: It’s definitely a factor, but absolutely not the only one. The competitive scene is ultimately an incredibly small portion of the total player base, but is looked to by players of all skill ranges to guide the meta and showcase what new champions can do.

When our kickass Core Gameplay team works on balance changes, they not only have to take into account what an Irelia nerf will do to the Diamond 1/Challenger players, but also to the Bronze V players who main her.

It’s a complex and incredibly delicate dance, and those guys work freaking hard.

 

 

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CW_YoungBuck

 

 

Introduce yourself to those who may not be familiar with you.

Youngbuck:  I am Joey ”Youngbuck” Steltenpool and I play the top lane for Copenhagen Wolves.

 

What was the process behind the addition of FORG1VEN and Amazing to the team? What were you looking for in replacing them?

Youngbuck: I’ve always held Amazing in high regard and knew he was one of the best junglers in Europe and Shook also recommended him so he was a very easy pick for us.

The ADC role was very hard because we needed a very high mechanic player that could replace Rekkles. Forgiven was the third or fourth guy we tested and it so turned out we accidentally found the best ADC in Europe.

 

Do you think the current roster is stronger than before? How has your playstyle changed between the two sets of players? Was it difficult adjusting or was there some type of natural synergy?

Youngbuck:  I think we are a lot stronger because we started to focus a lot more on training teamwork and stopped relying on individual skill completely. The synergy came very naturally aswell as the new players communicated very well with us.

 

Of all the teams you have been on, do you feel this one is the strongest?

Youngbuck:  I think it is the strongest one, the previous CW being a close second one and Samurai in Jeans or Curse.Eu being a good third.

 

You reached LCS on your third try. What is it like to finally achieve your goal and how did you stay motivated? What was your mindset like going into each promotion series?

Youngbuck:  I stayed motivated because it was something I wanted bad enough and I knew I could do it. The first two times I knew I could very well qualify but also had the possibility of losing in my mind. The third one made me the most nervous moment because the situation we found ourselves in was too perfect, a team this strong against a team this weak made me think it was a now or never moment.

 

What are the goals for the team now that you have made the LCS, heading into 2014?

Youngbuck:  We are looking to survive the first split and gaining the LCS experience and the second split we are looking to qualify for worlds. I wouldn’t be surprised if we would finish in the top 3 in both splits but I wouldn’t be surprised with 4th-6th either.

 

Are there plans for a gaming house,  and does the team plan to stream?

Youngbuck:  We are actively looking for a gaming house but as of now we are going to practice in the Riot studio while staying in a hotel.

 

What is your practice schedule like? Is there a lot of research involved?

Youngbuck:  We are practicing at least 5 hours a day with the team and besides that players are free to solo queue. Research usually comes the last days before the games and we talk a lot about the strategy and champion select the 2 days leading up to a match.

 

How do you think you will perform in the upcoming split? Do you expect to make it to Summer without entering relegation?

Youngbuck:  I think we can make it into the top 4 but this is by far the split with the strongest teams ever in EU LCS. Anything can happen I only see LD and SK ending in 7th and 8th in almost every scenario.

 

Who do you think are the strongest teams in the upcoming split and can you give a brief reason why?

Youngbuck:  Alliance is looking to be a favorite this season with strong individual skill in every role and a good showing at BotA. Gambit has also looked incredible the last months winning  BotA and IEM Cologne.

 

Which top laners give you the most trouble? Who do you feel are the current best top laners in europe?

Youngbuck:   Zorozero gave me the most trouble in practice but having said that NiP was one of the 2-3 teams we scrimmed leading up to the LCS. The best top laners right now are Wickd, Darien and Soaz.

 

What are your thoughts so far on the preseason changes? Is there anything in particular you like or dislike? Have they had an impact on your playstyle? What changes would you like to see, if any?

Youngbuck:  I love the new changes. It feels like teamplay is rewarded a lot more and at the same time laningphase is much more about individual skill and matchups because trinkets allow for safer dueling.

 

What is the current state of top lane in your opinion? What do you feel top laners can do to make the most impact in game? Thoughts on current itemization(& items in general)/changes you want to see?

Youngbuck:  I like the meta a lot since I excel in the tanky meta myself. One of the things yo usee often now is that the toplaner with the best matchup proxy farms behind the tower a lot, making sure the enemy stays under the top tower while the proxy farmer is able to put pressure in the jungle or roam towards mid.

 

Which champions do you feel are the most dominant right now? Are there some tops who are currently undervalued? Is there anyone you’d like to see make an appearance or return to competitive play?

Youngbuck:  The strongest toplaners are Mundo, Shyvana, Rengar and Renekton. Each having a skill set that is just a little bit different, Renekton being stronger early on,  Shyvana being a great proxy farmer and pusher while Mundo has a somewhat weaker early but beast lategame. Rengar is a jack of all trades but really excels at lategame splitpushing and roaming during the mid game.

Who should I play top if I want to wreck soloqueue?

Youngbuck:  Renekton, strongest early game hero and a safe pick with almost no counters.

 

Who do you think is the best Renekton player in the world?

Youngbuck:  I think I am the best Renekton, but I’m also the only one who has mained him since the start of Season 2 and played him often in Season 1 as well.

 

As the captain, what exactly is it you do in game? How is shotcalling handled within the team? What type of role do you play outside of the game?

Youngbuck:  When we are in game the shotcalling is done by everyone however I do call the champion selects often and make final decisions if people are disagreeing. I also schedule the scrims and am a vocal point for the team if something is going wrong.

 

What is your favorite soda, besides Vanilla coke?

Youngbuck:  Dr Pepper is a close second but I also like chocolate milk a lot.

 

Tell us something unknown about yourself.

Youngbuck:  I used to train in Mixed Martial arts and Kickboxing.

 

Shoutouts?

Youngbuck: Shoutout to my fans, friends and family and thanks to CW and our sponsors; Steelseries, Obutto, Komplett and Cooler Master.