In the competitive video game League of Legends, it’s five players against five on a virtual battlefield. But behind each professional team is a well-equipped coaching and support staff.
All professional teams employ at least one game analyst. The job of the analyst is to observe opponents to find out their tendencies and strategies, to develop counter-strategies against teams that might try to exploit a playstyle, and to watch the best teams in the world to get into their heads.
For teams, there are simple strategies that require hours of rote practice. But the role of the analyst goes deeper than managing stratefies. Often teams have communication issues and the analyst needs find an effective system for players to relay the critical information during high pressure situations. The analyst is a flexible role that requires a high level of critical thinking and attention.
We believe that improving the strategic resources for professional League of Legends teams we will increase the likelihood of team success and improve the caliber of play to build a more competitive environment.
We will know this is true when we see a marginal parity between the top 10 competitive teams. We will also know this is true by seeing a minimal amount of mistakes, compared against the average number of mistakes made by teams currently.
One of the areas which I specialized in was data tracking and predictive modeling. I diligently scoured match histories of opponents and built profiles on their tendencies. Those profiles would be used create strategies to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent by anticipating the decision making of the opponent.
The second area which I specialized in was in team communication. All five players must be able to communicate information reliably throughout the duration of the match. At the start of each game, each person has his own task and makes their own decisions as an individual. As the game progresses, the teams come together and decision making needs to be unified.
With 5 people working together, a shot-caller needed to be established. Additionally, other players would have to filter in the important information without cluttering voice communication. Another problem with communication arises when most teams bring in non-English proficient players.
To work around these communication issues, we created a communication system to condense information into short phrases with two-syllable words that are easy to enunciate. This allows foreign players to learn a short list of English phrases to understand the "playbook", as well as reduce in-game chatter.
These short phrases are often repeated several times in quick succession so the plan is understood by all. These tricks help make communication quick and efficient so that less time and mental resources are used to decode the communication and more effort can be put towards the execution of the plan.
Even though games last anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour, the game can be lost in a matter of seconds if a team does not execute a plan properly. Having an analyst improves the overall knowledge of the team and increases the chances that a team will win, and ultimately end up playing in the million dollar matches.
UX Skills Used:
Critical Thinking: Deeply analyzed what each person is doing at each moment during the game.
Attention to Small Details: Found subtle tendencies in behavior and the reasoning behind the action.
Creation of Communication Systems: Worked with the team to create a system to improve communication and split-second decision making.
Empathic Criticism: Offered critical feedback in a way that will improve the performance of the player without disheartening the player.