5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Watch NA LCS This Week

It’s Week 8 and we are sick of it. Much praise has been given to the best of 3’s system, but I believe its ugly head is starting to creep in, and if you don’t believe me, let me spell out five reasons why you should:

 

REASON #1: WE GET IT

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Courtesy of league lol.gamepedia.com

We really get it. TSM is going to come out first, Phoenix 1 is never going to play in the LCS again, and CLG will eventually get their game together.

Normally, as we approach playoffs, predictions become quite clear regarding what teams will push through. But this season, that predictability has been largely enhanced by the overwhelming amount of content, and I for one, am getting bored.

Over half of the games in the current LCS showcase good teams stomping bad teams, or bad teams clashing against each other, and nobody cares anymore. If you promised me IMT vs TSM every weekend, you know I’d be buying out the LCS Box Office. If you asked me to watch Apex battle Echo Fox in a best of one, I might give you that time. But you want me to watch multiple games of this? Off it.

Just by looking at this upcoming week’s games, let me tell you what is going to happen:

IMT vs NRG IMT Wins
FOX vs APX APX Wins
CLG vs TL CLG Wins
NV vs C9 C9 Wins
TSM vs P1 TSM Wins
APX vs IMT IMT Wins
NRG vs TL TL Wins
TSM vs NV TSM Wins
C9 vs P1 C9 Wins
FOX vs CLG CLG Wins

 

Alright, maybe two of those predictions were semi-challenging (and you can decide which ones they were), but as a whole, NA LCS lacks surprises. The thrill of watching a close, back and forth, Worlds-Caliber game, simply does not exist.

REASON 2: PLS. NO MORE LANE SWAPS. PLS NO.

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Courtesy of twitch.tv

You came to watch an eSPORT, not 20 minutes of teams mutually agreeing to farm and take down uncontested structures. Pls no. I came to watch a match, not twenty minutes of players setting up said match before anything happens. Similarly, Cull has to be the worst item currently integrated into competitive play. Sure, ADC’s always needed to farm up and spike, and in a sense Cull escalates this process – however, Cull feeds into the larger problem affecting competitive league: the lack of action.

If a team believes that a lane swap will grant them a higher chance of winning the game, then said team SHOULD lane swap. I’m not blaming the teams, I’m blaming the meta, and I guess I’m pseudo blaming Riot. I never hate the player, but I occasionally hate the game, and watching Sneaky, Smoothie (sorry, Bunny) and Impact knock down the bot turret uncontested makes me want to turn off Ad Block and watch those Pizza Roll commercials.

REASON 3: IT’S ALL A SCRIM. IT ALL FEELS LIKE A SCRIM.

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Courtesy of

Yes, esports exists to excite players for League of Legends. Yes, the split serves to build this hype and create narratives for fans. But ultimately, the competitive point of the split is to make playoffs. That’s what we want: a hard fought fight to the single-elimination rounds.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of serious competitors, the split has devolved into the “practice room” for playoffs. It is not uncommon to see teams switch rosters and experiment in the regular season on the basis that they feel “safe” to do so (look at Fabbbyyy and Smoothie), given their only punishment might be coming in 4th instead of 5h, and who really cares because they solidified their spot on the big stage anyway.

But I am tired of watching scrim-like games. In the Best of 1, this problem was not as loud, mostly because there was a much more pronounced “try-hard” attitude to the split – you only had one game to prove yourself! – but I can’t tolerate three more games of C9 swapping rosters because they can. Even though teams may be at the same level as they normally would be at this point in the season – if not further ahead – I have watched them so much that the differences between good teams and bad teams has become astoundingly pronounced.

 

REASON 4: RNG

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Courtesy of team-dignitas.net

I have podcasted about this issue, I have tweeted about this issue, and I am now writing about this issue: RNG ruins the competitive League of Legends environment.

If two teams run identical compositions, make identical plays, against identical opponents, using all the identically same identicals, then the same one team should always emerge with a lead. But that’s not League of Legends, baby. WildTurtle can crit C9 a million times with 40% crit chance, or Cloud Drake can be the only thing that ever spawns on the map.

Some may argue that crit is the solution to the staleness problem within the game, but the randomness in crit offers more harm in a competitive environment than excitement. You know what should promote excitement? Players outplaying each other. Not randomly generated numbers outplaying players.

REASON 5: SO. MUCH. CONTENT.

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Courtesy of https://robsaid.com/

The content over-saturation has detracted from the excitement of watching the NA LCS. The best of 3’s, while exciting at first, have provided a seemingly infinite amount of matches that one man cannot possibly be expected to watch all of it.

I get it, this also happens in other sports. But unlike other sports, some of these teams that are being allotted a 2 hour slot of my Friday do not have any fans. I believe in giving the smaller teams the spotlight in order to grow, but when we are giving everyone a two hour set, the truth is some teams cannot hold the crowd. So the crowd leaves, and God forbid they begin playing Overwatch.

Just last weekend in Vegas, EVO showcased fast, action-packed Super Smash Brothers finals, and the whole event wrapped in close to an hour. That was an hour that you could not turn away from. But if you asked me to watch a lane-swapped filled series of six teams I do not care about in order to get to that one match of Week 8 that I am interested in, I may be tempted to turn on my Battle.net as well.

On top of that, the overwhelming amount of matches we need to watch removes all the hype and speculation that individual games create. For example, theScore eSports just posted a video with a title along the lines of: is FOX TSM’s Kryptonite?

No.

They beat them once, in one game, and then got stomped.

But see what happened here? Give us a best of 1 format, and all of a sudden that one game that FOX took from TSM creates a story, momentum, and a reason to follow FOX in the run for playoffs.

Do not get me wrong. I want to watch NA LCS. HELP ME watch NA LCS. But until some, if not all, of these problems are addressed, I worry for our future LCS watching community.

 

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