This Week in eSports : 1/13 - 1/19 + eSports AMA

Posted on at 10:28 PM by Glyceroll
The first week of the 2014 League of Legends Championship Series has come and gone and I couldn't be happier! On top of our other eSports new,  We had an exciting  six days of non-stop League of Legends action to kick off the season.
(Warning: There will be spoilers after the jump! If you'd like a spoiler free LCS experience, check the original posts for NA and EU. )

Continue reading for a look at the current LCS standings, other eSports news, and a recap of the recent eSports AMA on reddit!


Competitions

  • [NA] Here's the current NA LCS standings after week 1:
  • The NA LCS returns on Satuday, Jan 25th for the start of week 2.

  • [EU] Here's the current EU LCS standings after week 1:


  • The EU LCS returns on Thursday, Jan 23rd for the start of week 2.


  • [KR] NLB wrapped up this week (the secondary league in Korea to OGN). In first place is CJ Blaze, followed by Najin Black Sword and Samsung Galaxy Blue in second and third respectively. 

Team News & Roster Changes

  • [NA] Nydushermain announced he will be leaving The Walking Zed (One of the currently qualified teams for Challenger Series) via Twitter. 

  • [NA] XDG announced that they would be role swapping Xmithie and Zuna. Zuna will be the new jungler and Xmithie will be the new AD Carry. Full post can be found on Reddit.

  • [EU] SK Gaming announced they will be picking up the roster of Kappa Prime

  • [EU] As some of you may have noticed, Deficio announced he would be leaving Ninjas in Pyjamas in order to become a caster. He jumped straight in and was one of the casters for EU LCS this week. Full post can be found via twitter. He will be replaced by Amin on the team. 

As always, feel free to leave any eSports questions you may have for me in the comments below! 


eSports AMA

Prior to the start of the LCS, Riot's Esports Team visited reddit for an 'Ask Me Anything' about their department and the esports scene.

The following Rioters participated in this AMA:

  • RiotRedBeard, VP of Esports
  • RiotMagus, Director of Esports
  • RiotNickAllen, Esports League Operations Manager
  • RiotRavenBeauty, Player Relations Manager
  • RiotChopper, Associate Esports Manager
  • RiotShantzilla, Associate Esports Manager
  • RiotHitstreak, Esports Social Media

With special guest:
  • Phreak, Tons of Damage Manager
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Q. Are there any plans to include more stats on the lolesports.com site?
"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 ;)" - RiotMagus

Q. How about a map with hotspots, where the darker the red the more the champion has been there, and have it configurable so that it can be viewed at different times in the match?
"heatmaps are awesome. :)" - RiotMagus

Q. It would be really cool to see real time updates in text form of the matches for people with bad internet/computers, kind of like Premier League does with football matches.
"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." - RiotMagus

Q. What do you guys think about getting soundproof booths (like the ones on OGN) for days with a larger audience, given what's been happening (the fans shouting to the players)?
"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." - RiotRedBeard

Q. But with the booths and the headsets combined they won't hear anything, if you want this game to become "mainstream" you can't have fans giving their favorite team information. This whole "fan experience" thing is bull****.
"Fan experience isn't bull****, it's what we're all about. If a sport doesn't have a good fan experience, it's doomed.
That being said, competitive integrity is important, you can achieve preventing fans from giving information by delaying what fans at the venue and online see vs. what the players see. What a dude in the seats sees is actually delayed and thus if he's trying to warn someone - say Dyrus - that a gank is coming, the gank's already happened. We think that's far more elegant of a solution than booths that still leak sound and don't fix the problem (other than the perception of the problem)." - RiotMagus
"Guess we can agree to disagree. Ensuring there is no sound leakage is certainly at the top of our priority list, but the 'fan experience' is also hugely important and we won't take the easy out of putting them in glass booths to fix this.
And for the record, becoming 'mainstream' is not a goal of ours, we aren't trying to compete with traditional sports; our goal is to appeal to League of Legends fans by creating the most fun and awesome experiences for them." - RiotRedBeard

Q. I personally think that a spectator delay is much more devastating for the fan experience than sound proof booths. Many times the ending of a game was ruined because we could see the winning team cheering... xPeke's backdoor vs SK being a very, very notable one. It was sooo clutch, but we could already see Fnatic cheering a few seconds before they actually won.
"Ah, touche - we thought of that too :) We run a replay close to the end of the match and then go 'live' during that replay (or during downtime if we have no replay to run - our observers are pretty good at it). Additionally, the player PoV cams are also delayed until we go 'live' so people at home can't tell the difference.
Ultimately what bugs me about soundproof booths - in addition to separating players from fans and making camera shots way worse - is that they're primarily there for perception and only partially for effectiveness. Do they make people feel better? Sure, yeah. Do they solve the problem? Only somewhat." - RiotMagus

Q. Why don't you just boot fans that attempt to cheat via calling out players' positions?
"We have and will continue to boot fans in the live audience who attempt to do such things. That being said, we also should work to pro-actively prevent them from doing so in the first place.
I mentioned this in a couple other places but we go back to live before the end of the game in order to capture those truly epic celebrations :)" - RiotMagus

Q. Do you guys plan on changing the whole bye system for worlds this year? This doesn't seem like the best way the most important tournament should be played.
"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." - RiotNickAllen
"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" - RiotRedBeard

Q. What steps are you taking, if any, towards making merchandise for the LCS?
"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 jerseys of their favorite players!" - RiotRedBeard

Q. Most popular game in the world and yet the only merch I can find is third-party t-shirts, pins or mugs.
"Yea sorry - we know, and are building out a team that will be focused exclusively on merchandising efforts!" - RiotRedBeard

Q. Will there be any plans to include an official audio only stream for those of us who want to follow along but can't watch? (Like work, driving, school, etc)
"No current plans. When I drive and LCS is on, I boot up the twitch app on my phone to listen." - RiotMagus

Q. Twitch app is relatively buggy on iOS at least. Even at home where I don't worry about data usage I avoid using the Twitch app...
"Mobile streaming has a long long long ways to go. We're interested in exploring the mobile/tablet space with respect to what it can do for esports. Streaming's certainly the baseline but I wonder what else we can do..." - RiotMagus

Q. What kind of international competition will we see this year outside of All-Stars and Worlds?
"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!" - RiotRedBeard

Q. Are you going to introduce a MVP-system this year?
"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." - RiotMagus

Q. Will the chosen MVP have other benefits(e.g. bonus salaries or something similar) of being the MVP or will it be just the title? Or do you guys have other plans in that case?
"We're currently working on the cool stuff an MVP would get." - RiotMagus

Q. Do you see the amount of teams in LCS increasing? Or is 8 teams pretty much the cap?
"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." - RiotNickAllen

Q. What do you guys do? Like preparation. One LCS week ends, then what are your responsibilities until the next LCS week starts?
"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. :)" - RiotShantzilla

Q. Why is there that rule that doesn't allow one organization to have two of their teams in the LCS? I mean, if these two teams are good enough to qualify, why not let them? Good teams are what makes a good show - shouldn't this be your priority, rather than making sure there are no two teams with one name?
"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." - RiotChopper

Q. Why aren't you running ads during the 3-5 min breaks? It's much more entertaining than looking at the "starting soon" screen, and it can provide big earnings, given the size of a typical LCS audience.
"We are. If you're running ad-block or we're out of ad inventory (more viewers than ads, crazy right?) then you don't see ads." - RiotMagus

Q. Why not incorporate ads into the stream? Many people use adblock.
"That's an annoyance of online ads - advertisers like the strong tracking capabilities of an ad system, but those are vulnerable to ad block." - RiotMagus

Q. The updated LoLesports website looks great. But would Riot ever consider putting more information about teams on their pages? A lot of these teams have websites, social media profiles, and their own content to put on display. If the LoLesports team profiles had links to these places it would allow more exposure for individual teams. Is it possible to allow General Managers to control the team profile and put those links on there on their own?
"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." - RiotMagus

Q. Sounds good! I can't wait to see the Challenger series on the website too!
"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" - RiotMagus

Q. How does Riot eSports feel about media surrounding the LCS? Many websites such as onGamersCloth5GosuGamers, and Surrender@20 consistently provide excellent coverage of the pro-scene. But many times these websites rely on sources like reddit to upvote their content to get exposure. Has/would Riot ever considered putting an "eSports feed" on the LoLesports website that would provide links to coverage websites like these?
"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 :)" - RiotMagus

Q. RiotGames seems like the first western developer/publisher since id software in the late 90's to embrace the "esports idea" and massively support it. Many other companies were historically hesitant to jump on board. How did Riot first approach and consider supporting eSports? Why did they decide to end up doing it? Has Riot always have a vision of eSports like the LCS? And did Riot ever take inspiration from the defunct CGS? Nevertheless thanks to Riot's actions you guys have spurred competition amongst many publishers and developers to support eSports, thanks for that.
"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 :P" - RiotMagus

Q. What is going to happen to the Challenger Series regarding the ELO boost bans? New teams to replace the disqualified ones?
"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." - RiotChopper

Q. Are you trying to get LCS on TV or is that not something you are trying for?
"Getting on TV isn't something that's too high on our priority list. We think Twitch, YT, etc. are all such easy mediums for people to consume the content that TV hasn't really been viewed as that additive.
More focused on something like an XBox live app...Microsoft plz!!" - RiotRedBeard

Q. We've seen plenty of cases now where the managers/team owners have been complete scumbags or have completely failed at doing their job. Do you plan on trying to regulate the owners/managers so that the players don't get a raw deal or are you going to take the free market approach and let the players decide for themselves whether an organization is reputable enough to sign with?
"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!" - RiotChopper

Q. What's going to make the LCS broadcast different than last season? And was there anything planned for the S4 broadcast that didn't make it to production?
"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." - RiotMagus

Q. Is Deficio indeed a new shoutcaster?
"Deficio will be casting in Week 1 with the EU LCS team. He'll be one of a few new casters you'll see this year. His game knowledge is top-notch and that's something we're looking to add to the EU LCS caster team." - RiotMagus

Q. Going forward, do you plan to expand to the east coast (NA) at all (having a studio over here, having an east coast server, etc.)? Is there any hope of LCS games being held on the east coast?
"We'll eventually see an LCS road trip to the east coast, but there are no plans to having a permanent studio out there." - RiotMagus



Q. Will there be more integration with social media other than Twitter Questions, during LCS?
What about those who have complained about not receiving prizes after months of waiting? What steps have been taken to prevent this in the future?
Does social media cover Twitch chat? And if so, will you be incorporating it with the LCS at all?

"Awesome questions -
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." - RiotHitstreak

Q. What does that typical day of someone in the Riot eSports department consist of?
"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 stuff, 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." - RiotMagus

Q. Why not double elimination? In my opinion, single elimination is very good at finding the best team, but is terrible at providing the viewer with quality games.
Double-elimination might be a little harder to understand and probably isn't the streamlined viewer-experience you are looking for, but when it comes to the integrity of League as an eSport you should be uncompromising.

"I'm curious what about the integrity of a tournament is questioned when a single elimination format finds the best team?
I'll let Nick Allen tackle the details, but you already answered part of it - double elimination is harder to understand and isn't streamlined as a great viewer experience.
I think we should be as uncompromising about the fan experience as we are about integrity." - RiotMagus
"Here to chime in! Double elimination was the right format for IPL5 for a a few reasons, but the main one is that we had a limited schedule (one weekend) and we wanted to fit as many games as possible into that weekend. Double elimination gives you more games, and we wanted to maximize our investment of flying in teams from all over the world. At Riot, we don't have the same time constraints, and I honestly believe single elimination is better for the sport, overall. Many of you have hit on the points, but here are some of the thoughts on the matter:
  • Double elimination is less intuitive from a viewer perspective. While casters and graphics can help to clarify, having to overly explain a format can cloud the information. Single elimination is straight up and to the point. The best team won all of their games and its hard to argue with that; versus a double elimination where you'd explain that even though a team lost, they got a second chance and came back.
  • Single elimination leads to a more compelling finals. Double elimination will have a game or set advantage, which means there isn't an equal playing field for both teams. Some people would argue "then get rid of the advantage," but then you aren't giving a team the advantage they deserve.
  • Single elimination gives a larger chance for an upset, which is amazing for the fan experience. If you look at traditional sports, people can pretty easily remember the upsets, but people have a harder time remembering games where the favored team won.
  • From a storyline perspective, the only storytelling advantage double elim has over single is that there are more games, but more games doesn't necessarily mean better storytelling. For me, its about how the broadcast communicates the information, and showing the emotion behind the players and teams. I think we've done a pretty good job at that so far!
There are definitely pros and cons for each format, and we're currently of the opinion that single elimination is the way to go." - RiotNickAllen

Q. Has the outcome of the spring split any influence on the teams that will compete at worlds or will it be like last year?
"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." - RiotRedBeard

Q. What is all of your favorite champions?
"I started as a big fan of Gangplank but the Saltwater Scourge has a difficult time in the toplane these days so I never play him any more :(
Since the launch of Vi, I've really enjoyed playing as fathands so I consider her my favorite now." - RiotHitstreak
"Sivir FTW!" - RiotRedBeard
"I'm real ADD with my champs. I swap around to another set of 3 about every four months for ranked play. I pretty much love anything that has the potential to troll, though...
and Jungle Darius!" - RiotShantzilla
"I was a Nocturne main in S2, played a decent amount of Leona and J4 in S3, and am playing a lot of Kha'zix right now." - RiotChopper
"Ahri, Ezreal, Lux, Anivia are my favorites (mid/adc are my main positions)
If I'm jungling, Amumu, if I'm support, Zyra or Leona, if I'm top, Shen." - RiotMagus
"Jayce, Irelia, and... teemo. Downvotes incoming!" - RiotRavenBeauty

Q. What are the plans for the last spot opened up by Supa Hot Crew XD in the Challenger Series?
"We actually took alternates during our ladder freeze just in case something happened to one of the three prequalified teams; we are going to run 24 teams (all from the Ranked 5's ladder) in the first round of the Play-In Stage and play down to 6 teams, who will join NiP and MYM in the Top-8." - RiotChopper

Q. Where do you see the LCS in five years time?
"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." - RiotRedBeard

Q. One question, how did you all land these jobs? I would love to be organizing or managing these events (I would even be the coffee boy who fetches everyone their lattes). Currently there is no way to get hired as there is no way to get experience. The only experience I have is being staff at EuroGamer, and some programming stuff I do in my spare time.
"Lots of different routes:
Some people write or make videos. There are tons of websites that are happy to have content creators make stuff for them. Mostly, they're volunteer positions. I had one for around 5 years in high school/college because I enjoyed it.
Some people learn graphic design, web design, etc. Whether it's lolesports.com itself, or the graphics we use during the show, someone had to make them.
A lot of our in-person production (camera, production, script writing, sound, etc) all have what I imagine are fairly "traditional" routes. But this isn't an area I have a lot of knowledge about.
If you want to do event production or refereeing, there are a bunch of tournament organizations as well, like NACL, WellPlayed, ESL, etc. They got their staff somehow." - Phreak 
"Phreak gave a solid answer to this question. The only thing I'll add to that is that "you can't get a job without applying." The best way to apply is through someone you know, but applying through the website and reaching out on Reddit/Twitter/email to follow up and show just how passionate you are... that helps as well.
I had a solid early career in finance/consulting and was at Google. Google's awesome - the perks are amazing and the people are super smart. However, I wasn't happy with what I was working on and secretly hoped to get into gaming. I led a top 30 US raiding guild and through there, met some people who got me an opportunity with Curse. I eventually worked at Curse for three years leading the product initiative and made websites/products (lolpro.com, the new curse.com, curse premium, etc.). I've played League since beta and met a bunch of Rioters at industry events, etc. They were all awesome and eventually I decided that I wanted to be there. It took a couple years working up the courage to apply (and convincing my wife that moving us away from San Francisco was okay), but eventually I applied through a friend I played League with and the rest is history.
TLDR: doing what you love is what I hope each person eventually gets to do, and if you want something, go for it!" - RiotMagus

Q. Least favorite thing about the LCS?
"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." - RiotMagus
"pauses and technical delays :P
And Ocelote not being in the LCS right now...I love that guy." - RiotRedBeard
"That we have to have an offseason? We're all such huge fans, and love watching the matches. It's really cool to see how many people from Riot outside of esports have pinged me this week saying how hyped they are for the matches! #We'reBAAAAACK!" - RiotChopper
"I think our offseason will only get more awesome over time as fans develop around teams. Sport offseasons allow teams to regroup, players to move, fans to build anticipation for the next season. So yeah, having an offseason is fine :P" - RiotMagus

Q. Wait, Magus, you are from NA, right? What the **** are you doing awake at this hour? And if it is something to do with EU LCS, what are your responsibilities as director of eSports with the other side of the ocean? Do you do the same for NA and EU or do you delegate to someone in EU?
"I work out of the NA office but right now I'm in Cologne to help support the EU LCS opening week and visit the new esports office we opened here.
I'm responsible for esports at a high level. We have an NA team focusing on NA, we have a Korea team focused on Korea, we are building an EU team focused on EU, etc. etc. I help those teams set their strategic goals and ensure that the global ecosystem is working together as well as possible and driving towards our mission - which is to deliver an awesome esports experience for our players/fans.
Edit - I'm usually awake until 2am even when I'm in LA... gamer lifestyle haha." - RiotMagus

Q. How much does the competitive scene shape the patches we get?
"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." - RiotShantzilla

Q. In which country will the All-Star 2014 be held?
"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." - RiotRedBeard

Q. Are you planning to include more spots at Worlds aimed at those newer regions, like Brazil, Latin America North & South and Oceania?
"We're definitely talking about it! We love the passion of the emerging regions, and having them participate on a global scale gives them not only a spectacular end goal, but also gauges the region's abilities next to the best in the world. We're still discussing the details, but you'll see at least one International Wildcard team represented at Worlds in 2014." - RiotNickAllen

Q. I think alot of people are worried that teams arn't going to take this split seriously enough because it wont affect worlds, Are you guys going to add anymore incentives for ladder standings to make all the ENTIRE LCS feel more competitive?
"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." - RiotRedBeard

Q. In how many years do you think eSports are accepted as "real" sports?
"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..." - RiotShantzilla

Q. How do you prevent cheating and are you actualy checking if the players are "doped" like in regular sports? Are there any rules regarding this?
"Let's just say that Snoopeh's headset size may have also grown significantly over the split during that whole 'Get Fit with Snoopeh' thing....
On a serious note, we are very concerned with preventing cheating. We have referees standing directly behind each team during every LCS match to ensure full rule compliance, and have various monitoring processes on the stage computers to make sure nothing illicit is occurring." - RiotChopper

Q. 1. How hard is it to get such a job at Riot? What are the required qualifications? 2. How does a typical day look like in your job?
"Thanks for participating! Let me take a stab at your questions...
  1. 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.
  2. 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 :)" - RiotRavenBeauty

Q. If you've seen all the "hype" videos and stuff, how do you feel that youve (almost) created a really emotional game/sport for people?
"We see the reactions esports fans have had to the Moments videos and it feels great to see all of those fully stacked tears." - RiotHitstreak

Q. What champs do you feel will be the most dominant picks this coming year? Are there any champs that have not been released yet that you feel will be used a lot in the coming year as well? (no names needed, just a yes or no here)
Also, are there any champs you believe are sleepers that are going to come out of nowhere to be strong picks this coming season?
Lastly, who is your favorite caster?


  1. "Yasuo is going to make a huge splash in the LCS, given his insane skill-cap potential and the game-winning ability of Wind Wall. Can't tell you how pumped I am to see him in the hands of the very best-of-the-best!
  2. Yes, definitely more champs coming. Looking at the recent trend in champion releases over the past year, you can see a pretty marked increase in high skill-cap champions (Thresh, Yasuo, Zed, etc). High skill-cap champs tend to have a reciprocal degree of potential power, so LCS players are gobbling them up.
  3. We see sleeper hits every year. I still have my hopes for jungle Poppy... :(
  4. Whoever has the most facial hair at the time. AKA never Jatt." - RiotShantzilla

Q. Are you looking at ways of encouraging development of League of Legends as an esport in lesser known, but growing scenes and if so, how?
"We are certainly looking to promote LoL esports in new regions, as evidenced by our Wildcard entry into Worlds. We have someone on the team here in Santa Monica whose primary job is to sync with the international regions and help them develop; we are currently evaluating what it would look like to have these regions implement additional LCS-style leagues once they reach a certain level of maturity." - RiotChopper

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