The Overwatch League announced Wednesday that it is releasing its internal statistical tools for the first time. The newly released Stats Lab, currently in beta stages, gives fans access to a treasure trove of data that had previously only been available behind the scenes. The brainchild of the league’s Stats Producer, Ben “CaptainPlanet” Trautman, the Stats Lab is currently live with data from previous Overwatch League seasons.
The feature is a welcome addition for fans who have long been clamoring for meaningful statistics. In the past, the only publically available stats have been basic per 10 minute stats like eliminations, deaths, damage and healing. That changes dramatically with the introduction of Stats Lab.
What Is It?
Stats Lab is divided into four main sections: Players, Heroes, Matches and Teamfights. Each section has a number of tabs that provide handy graphs, charts and tables to answer any queries a fan might have. They also feature a variety of filters that can narrow a search down to extremely granular data sets.
The Players section includes data about player performance. Career totals, per 10 minute rankings, single game or map records and stats from individuals matches are featured here. This tool also includes the Fleta Deadlift tab, where fans can see which players have managed to score over half of their team’s final blows over the course of a map.
The Heroes tool features data on hero usage that can be filtered by team, opponent, map and time period along with other criteria. Those statistics can also be compared to league-wide data to see how certain teams differed from larger trends. For example, Menghan “Ameng” Ding of the Chengdu Hunters played Wrecking Ball at a rate of 55%, nearly five times higher than the league’s 12% figure. The section also includes a graph showing how hero usage has changed over time.
The Matches section gives some broader stats on team performance in various situations. Fans can check out how their team fared in Map 5 scenarios or what their win rate was on a specific map. It also includes the fastest completion time for each team on every map.
The final tool is for Teamfights, and it might have the most illuminating data of all. Captain Planet dove further into this topic and why teamfight stats are huge in Overwatch last year. Now fans can see how their team performed fighting with or against certain compositions. The tool also shows winrates after a number of key events like First Elimination or First Death, along with where those crucial first kills are coming from. In short, if fans wonder why their team is winning or losing, a lot of the answers could come from this tool.
What Does It Mean?
Overwatch has always been held back by its lack of statistics. Analysis was limited to what could be found through VOD review. Content creators struggled to accurately assess both player and team performance. In short, figuring out and explaining required a deep understanding of the game and a lot of time.
The Stats Lab opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Statistics will give context to the results that play out each weekend at Homestands across the league. Fans who want to argue about their favorite players now have data to back up their opinions. Analysts can dive deeply into the data to find important insights. Storytelling around players and teams can flourish with records and stats to bolster narratives.
This change is massive and one that fans have been desperately wanting. To get it now, right before the start of the league’s third season, can only serve to ramp up the hype. Now all that remains is for fans, teams and creators to make the most of the incredible tools they’ve been given.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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