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New Split, New Overlay, New Problems

LCS Intro Summer 2020

As is normal for pretty much anything, an extended absence leads to changes. Riot is no different as they unveiled the new overlay for the Summer Split. With change comes resistance to change, and fans have made it known they are not okay with this new overlay. One factor is that the overlay remained relatively unchanged for years, only changes were repositioning of some information. But what are some changes that will make it palatable?

New UI vs Old UI

Top is the new Overlay and bottom is the overlay from Spring 2020.

Bigger Text

Watching games on a 720p TV is nearly impossible due to the small font sizes. Yes, in 2020 some people do have 720p TVs, don’t judge. There is a ton of empty space inside the top overlay, and utilizing it with larger fonts would be a logical step.

In previous years, the kill counter had always been significantly larger than pretty much anything else on the overlay. Which they changed and made the kills and towers the same font size. Previous splits had a clear overlay allowing viewers to see the exact game state. The new color choice, or maybe lack of color, also makes it difficult to tell the towers and kills apart unless the viewer has been watching more than one game. In theory white numbers should allow viewers to easily see the text on a dark background. But, the text is small which makes it appear blurry due to the contrast. They also made the tower icon much smaller making it nearly unidentifiable.

The team records are also harder to read with the new overlay. Although this is not as important as other aspects of the display, increasing the size would easily solve this issue as well.

Edited Top Overlay for League of Legends
Maximizing the use of empty space in the overlay.

It’s Not All Bad

The addition of displaying the exact gold is very much welcomed. The older “xx.xK” was always susceptible to rounding, and exact numbers are always preferred. Exact figures are just that, exact and without rounding they give a better understanding of the state of the game.

Also, the top overlay is way more compact. Which allows for more room for on screen activities. The new display of dragons captured created some apprehension at first which quickly turned to acceptance because it frees up more space on the screen. After these few minor adjustments, Riot will have a clear and informative overlay that is equally visually pleasing.

Other Possible Improvements

Champion Skins

Riot does not display the skins on the loading screen for the LCS. Why should anyone care about what skin pro players choose? For newer viewers/players, it gives them a heads up that something is going to look different.

As good as it is for new players/viewers to know the skins, Riot is missing out on money. The easiest way to get skins is to purchase Riot Poitns (RP) and buy the skins from the shop. If they at least displayed the name of the skin, they will get a sale. The players are literally showcasing skins and creating sales for Riot. Using the $5= 650 RP conversion, skins range from $3 to $25.  Even if only 1% of the 175,000 average viewers (1,750 viewers) buy a skin, that’s between $5,250 and $43,750 a day. It would only require a small coding edit that will pay for itself very quickly.

SKT vs KT from Summer 2016 showing which skins were selected for the game.

On top of that, they have done it before. LCK back in 2016 had the skins displayed for every game. Which was very much appreciated by certain people who were just beginning their League of Legends journey. As much as reverting is a curse word to some people, this would be welcoming and progress.

Character Statistics

For Spring 2019, the LCS Broadcast stop displaying the character statistics in favor of ad placement. Which is a great move because who doesn’t need more ad revenue. Although with this implemented, viewers are not able to see how many “stacks” a champion has accumulated. Many runes and items stack and the viewers have no idea how many stacks, which affects the understanding of the current match. For example, Master Yi is drafted and the team runs the Dark Harvest rune on him. The difference between a 1 and 20 stack Dark Harvest Master Yi completely changes the state of the game. Currently, viewers are unable to tell the difference.

Featured Image courtesy of LoL Esports on Youtube.

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