Tag: League of Legends

Behind The Play #6 – League of Legends Match Analysis

Last night, after a long hiatus, my friends and I sat down for a casual game of League of Legends. I recorded the match with LOL Replay and decided to do some match analysis of our amateur play, primarily to point out the mistakes we made. I find that sometimes, rather than pointing out what you’re supposed to do, it’s more effective to point out what not to do. It’s a fairly long video (as are most BTP’s), but it covers a lot of content and will hopefully get some basic understanding of LoL strategy in your head.

The lineup was as follows:

  • Veigar (mid)
  • Wukong (top)
  • Ashe (adc)
  • Xin Zhao (jungle)
  • Karma (support)


  • Zac (top)
  • Soraka (support)
  • Annie (mid)
  • Vayne (adc)
  • Amumu (jungle)

Thanks for watching and leave some feedback if you’d like to see more or have suggestions or criticisms.

Behind the Play #003, League of Legends basic strategy

This week I’ve got an extremely comprehensive League of Legends guide for new players and spectators! I literally crammed every possible aspect of beginner level play into this 1 hour and 38 minute show. This is the “uncut” version too, meaning that eventually I’d like to trim it down and perhaps even cut out certain sections to upload on their own. We’ll see though, I’ve been really busy lately. Anyhow here’s the video, hope you enjoy:

Other Tags: BTP, LoL, MOBA, ARTS, tips and tricks

Why Dota 2 is considered more hardcore than League of Legends

Last night I posted a new video discussing why Dota 2 is considered more hardcore than League of Legends. The video and MP3 are available at the bottom; directly below are the show notes:

Hello and welcome to an opinionated eSports piece about why people consider Dota 2 more hardcore than League of Legends.

So first, as someone interested in all of eSports, one of my goals is to be impartial and appreciate all genres and aspects of eSports. So when I loaded up Dota 2 after significant time playing League I went in with an open mind. I’ve also spent some time watching Dota 2.

So why is Dota 2 considered more hardcore? Well first, if we look at the companies and their games from a non-gameplay perspective, they seem very similar. Valve is known for developing competitive titles, nurturing the competitive communities (at least to some degree, CS fans might disagree), and maintaining their games for the long term. Riot is also very supportive, arguably even more so, but they haven’t been around long enough to see how loyal they are to eSports. Both games are designed with competition as a core aspect, both have features for supporting eSports like in-game match spectating and advertising events. So basically I’m not interested in comparing companies or the interface or the programming behind the games. This evolves, both seem supportive, it’s not worth considering in my opinion.

What is worth considering though, is the strategic elements since this is generally what makes a good competitive title good. StarCraft 2 is incredibly deep, with serious meta elements to consider, and evolving strategy. Even something like Quake Live which seems very simple, is so pure that the strategy happens through the players and can be surprisingly deep (reference my QL strategy video). But what about Dota 2 and LoL?

Well it seems pretty obvious once you join the game that Dota 2 must be more strategic simply because there are more elements to consider. To say otherwise would be foolishly arrogant. For instance:

  • Movement varies between champions altering playstyles, used for balancing as well
  • You can manipulate your own minion wave which allows you to manipulate lanes
  • You can deny creep by stealing last hits
  • Most items have an active effect + more useable items like pots/bonuses
  • Orb walking in Dota 2, seems controversial if it exists in LoL (animation canceling)

Because of these differences Dota 2 seems less forgiving, more difficult, but with deeper strategy. However, there are consequences to this and I think it explains why League is more popular than Dota 2:

  • It seems less exciting to watch since shallower games tend to focus more on action
    • Remember people think movies like Transformers and The Avengers are “really good”, meaning that they like to be visually rewarded, not intellectually rewarded
    • Analyzing gameplay in Dota 2 is probably too difficult/time consuming
  • In League champion survivability seems much higher meaning team fights are longer
  • Higher entry barrier to new players, higher requirement for strategic knowledge
    • This problem was addressed in a previous video I did about competitive FPS
  • I think the movement variation will turn people off, especially the delay
    • The delay makes the game feel slow and thus slightly more boring
    • In League it’s cool that players can “dodge” skillshots

One question I have for viewers, that I couldn’t easily find, is “in League it seems games often tip towards a team fairly early on and if you understand the strategy you can usually tell who’s going to win. Is this the same in Dota 2? Or with the deeper strategic elements, do you find teams improvising more and pulling out of these holes?”
I would think so, since teams have more choices in how to reverse the scales and regain momentum, but the enemy team also has more choices. How does work out?

I also feel like League is more visually appealing than Dota 2 since it has an almost WoW look to it, something friendly and cartoony. Dota 2 looks more serious and polished, but I wonder at a statistical level how many players might choose a game that “looks better”

  • Example, say just 1% of MOBA gamers will choose LoL over Dota 2 because of visual appeal, that could be ~400-500k players if the MOBA base is 40-50 million players.
  • This isn’t really relevant, but just another thought I was considering
  • I really like the look of Dota 2 though, especially the interface

All-in-all the games are both fun and cater to different communities. I think it’s safe to say that Dota 2 is more hardcore than League, however I don’t believe Dota 2 will ever beat League in popularity. League is easier to get into thus will be many players first MOBA and the one they’re loyal to. I also think it’s more fun for people because there isn’t all the subtle challenges they face in Dota 2, like learning hundreds of active item effects and movement variations. Dota 2 will also suffer from the same fate that SC2 suffers, having no “fun mode” for new players to get sucked into the game. There will be that high frustration and ladder anxiety that stops a significant percentage of players from enjoying the game. This is a very serious problem too, since eSports needs larger audiences to grow. If we select games like Dota 2 and SC2 for the premier competitive titles, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We need games like League to open the doors for new players, especially since people who play a specific game or sport, tend to get really into spectating it as well. For instance, people who’ve played soccer or football personally, will often times be more attached to spectating it than non-players. eSports will be no different.

And of course here is the actual video:

And as requested via the YouTube chat, a link to the MP3 download of this broadcast.

Other Tags: LoL, MOBA, ARTS, Dota2

Shout Out: Heartland eSports


Back in 2011 I was publishing posts under categories for teams, websites, and videos. They were known as Top Team Tuesday, Website Wednesday, and Feature Friday. Now that I’ve relaunched the blog and revamped its mission, I decided to do away with the corny titles, and simply publish “features“. These articles focus on single topics like a player, team, website, or podcast, and [hopefully] deliver relevant information about them. I plan on publishing these articles because I also want to share them in the eSports database.

For this first feature I want to cover a non-profit organization located in the Midwest. I discovered them last week via Reddit and decided they’d be perfect for the first feature of 2012. Here is a snippet from their about page:

“We are a volunteer-run, non-profit corporation based in Lincoln, Nebraska organized and operated by representatives of participating gaming communities throughout the Midwest who have joined together in HeSA to promote collaboration towards a single goal: promoting the growth of amateur and professional competitive gaming in the Midwest.” Source

Heartland eSports incorporated on August 4, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska as the Nebraska eSports Association (NeSPA). Their website, NebraskaEsports.org became a hub for promoting and hosting local tournaments, and educating people about competitive gaming. On May 21, 2012, it was announced that NeSPA would become part of the Heartland eSports Association, the newest vision to unite various gaming communities under a single banner. Soon other organizations like Kansas StarCraft, TP eSports, Razorback Gaming, Iowa Gamers Online, and the UNL Electronic Gaming Club would join forces to better support one another and spread the word about their tournaments and events.

So for fellow eSports enthusiasts living in the Midwest or those that like to support grassroots efforts, be sure to check out Heartland eSports (HeSA) and all the great work they’re doing!

Website: http://heartlandesports.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HL_eSports

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heartlandesports

Other Tags: Shoutout, LoL, SC2, StarCraft II, FGC, HLeSports, HL eSports

Major League Gaming: Columbus (2011) – My Live Experience

The weekend has wrapped up and MLG Columbus is officially over. I had the pleasure of attending in person and I wanted to enlighten my readers with my thoughts, insights, and suggestions.

First, if you have the money, DON’T drive. Myself and three others drove 11+ hours to get to MLG, in a small car on horribly bumpy roads (apparently Illinois doesn’t actually use the toll money to improve their highways). If you are going to drive: DON’T drive back hung over on the hottest day EVER with NO air conditioning! Monday’s 11 hour car ride back was disgustingly hot and sticky…

Second, upon arriving in the host city, make sure you actually check out the hotels connected to the convention center. When we arrived we chcked out the Drury, expecting it to be booked or extremely expensive. Instead they had rooms for a reasonable price that included free breakfast and dinner! It was a pretty sweet deal.

Now onto the actual convention. The lines to get in were pretty long. You’ll either want to get a VIP ticket like I did, arrive really early, or arrive after the doors have opened. Otherwise you’ll be standing for quite awhile. The upside to standing around is that you can meet other gamers and if you’re lucky the players.

Which brings me to my next point: meeting the pros, casters, and community “celebrities” for the first time was actually pretty weird. You kind of realize that these are real people and not just mystical figures you see on streams and casts. One thing to note here is that if you’re planning on meeting the casters, guess again. They are even more busy than the pros and constantly behind-the-scenes working. A few rare times you’ll catch them running around, half-awake, frantically trying to figure something out. My recommendation, say hi, but let them be so they can do their job. If you stick around long enough, they’ll more than likely have a moment to pop out, sign autographs or talk with you.

Speaking of casters, I heard the stream was pretty good this time. The only real upset I heard was when that epic storm hit and flooded part of the convention center. But otherwise it was good, right?

Now let’s talk about the matches. First be prepared, after attending a live event like this, to forever be disappointed with watching streams and replays alone. The roar of the crowd added such powerful emotions to each match, it was simply amazing. The first day when we got seats at the main stage I literally almost teared up to see how much passion and intensity was surging through the crowd. eSports at its finest. I would say the best moments were: the opening match between Idra and MC, TLO’s nuke against IncontroL, the Moon vs Slush baneling landmines, MMA destroying his own command center, the Losira Nydus worm network against MC (starts at 1:00:00), the speech Sundance gave us just before the final matches, and the final matches themselves. Obviously there were plenty more, but these ones really stick out in my head as ones where the crowd went absolutely nuts.

Personally the most disappointing thing about MLG was Idra. Here’s why. When you were growing up did you watch Indiana Jones (the 3 originals)? Well I did and I loved them. Harrison Ford is the man, and I had such a great time pretending I was an adventurer like him. Well when I heard they were making a new movie, I was obviously ecstatic. I eagerly awaited the release and when I finally saw it I was crushed. So much build up, so much anticipation, and then BAM! My world crumbled around me (thanks Spielberg, you asshole). Anyways, this is what Idra’s matches were like. I like watching him, I rooted for him all event, and I was so excited for his game against MC. But when it finally happened he early GG’d and just gave them away. I couldn’t believe it. All this hype just to be completely thrown away. That was by far the low part of the weekend for me.

Alright those are the few fleeting thoughts and opinions I wanted to throw down in an article. Now it’s time for what I normally do on Spawn Room and provide you with a long list of resources so you can find everything you need to review this epic event! As usual, if I miss anything that needs to be included, email, Tweet, or Facebook me a message. Thanks for reading!

Brackets and Results

The full championship braket and open bracket on MLG.

The leaderboards on MLG.

Comprehensive team results on Team Liquid.

Matches and Videos

Official MLG Columbus VOD’s on MLG.

MMA Hadoukens Idra (or Kamehameha, whatever).

YouTube channels with coverage: MLG, Team Liquid, WellPlayed, AskJoshy, Team Complexity, Cyber Sports Network, Edward Starcraft, Evil Geniuses, and ESFI World.

HuskyStarcraft also covered a few matches. MrGlobalHD uploaded a bunch (or all) of the matches on YouTube.

Photos and Image Galleries

Official MLG photo albums.

Team photo galleries: Team Dignitas, Team Complexity, Team FNATIC, vVv Gaming

The Calm Before the Storm by Team Sixjax.

WellPlayed on yfrog. AskJoshy on twitpic. StarCrackShow on yfrog.

Raelcun’s two photo threads on Team Liquid: one and two (warning: may take awhile to load).


All you need to get ready for MLG Columbus by MLG.

Sixjax Gaming has a few MLG blog posts that are interesting and full of pictures.

NEW: Milkis, the translator for the Koreans, wrote up a two part article/post on Team Liquid: Part 1 | Part 2

Note: I’ll be adding more to this article as I find useful or interesting things to add.

Other Tags: MLG, Pro Circuit, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, LoL

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