League of Legends drafts
As we more thoroughly discussed in our Dota2 take on the same problem, there is a lot of emphasis on the draft in professional MOBA matches. But how much do drafts actually matter? How well can League of Legends players recognize a winning draft?
To test that, we questioned the relationship between background, skill, and draft preferences. We asked about participants’ “LoL status”; are they players? amateurs? professionals? casuals? Which rank are they? Are they casters? just fans?
We showed ten pairs of League of Legends drafts, and the players could answer which draft they favor. All matches that we picked were played on patch 11.13 (start of July) taken from big League of Legends leagues. We specifically picked games that did not have a clear favorite (nothing above 75%) according to betting sites. By doing that, we were left with games in which both teams were considered similar in skill.
After choosing their favorites for the first ten games, participants had the option to continue or finish the experiment.
We shared our questionnaire on Twitter, and after some filtering, we got 168 valid responses. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who participated and retweeted!
All the results should be taken with caution. The sample size for some groups is too small, but most of them hold a solid statistical significance. (Also, big thanks to Sami, our intern, for all the hard work!)
105 casual players, 17 casters, 38 amateurs, and 8 pros took the questionnaire.
There were 18 bronze players, 22 silver players, 36 gold players, 30 platinum players, 24 diamond players, 11 master players, 1 grandmaster, and 1 challenger player.
The overall average of the correctly predicted score was 55.3%, casters averaged 50.8%, casual players 55.6%, amateurs 57.2%, and pros 57.9%.
When looking at the players’ ranks, Bronze players averaged 53.9%, Silver 55.8%, Gold 54.2%, Platinum 57.2%, Diamond 54.8%, Master 60.3%, and our only two Grandmaster and Challenger players had the same 60% score.
This questionnaire is not detailed enough to make strong conclusions, but it is enough to think about certain concepts about drafts in League of Legends. It is pretty clear that the better you are in the game, and the higher rank you have, you are better at predicting the correct winner of the game. But how much better exactly? Is the 2.3% difference between pros and casuals really that big?
As in our Dota 2 questionnaire, we see that the casters are especially bad at predicting the correct score. Do they lack gaming experience, or are they biased for some reason?
When comparing our League of Legends results to our Dota 2 results, we see that the participants in our LoL questionnaire were better at guessing the correct winner. Are LoL enthusiasts just better at predicting the winner, or do drafts matter more in a League of Legends game?
We will leave you with our verdict from last time: To be fair, pro games are as balanced as it gets regarding drafts, but if even high-ranked MMR players and pros don’t see a big difference between a losing and a winning draft, how important are drafts really? We hear people using “outdrafted,” but should we read it as “this team just stomped them last game, so I am going to pretend that this draft is so much better”? Should teams try out crazier drafts and focus more on other aspects of the game like execution, decision making, prioritizing, etc.? What do you think?
We hope you enjoyed our simple analysis of the relationship between background, skill, and draft preferences. If you have any ideas or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us or reply to our Twitter post, we would love to hear what you think!