Reddit has been teeming over the past days, as no one is 100% sure how to feel about some new changes coming to the League of Legends' online tournament scene. Namely, removing it all together.
The Event Finder tool, an oft obscure service Riot has offered to help players find competitive play outside of LCS-related events and non-Riot sponsored events online, has been a bit of a creaking ship for years.
"We created the tool years ago with the goal of helping players meet up for live events as well as giving them a workable way to organize and obtain prize support for online tournaments," explained Riot staffer, Uracan, in a written statement on Riot's Forums. "Unfortunately, the tool hasn’t scaled well over the years - it’s only very sparingly used for live events, and the online prizing support feature is almost equally unknown while being heavily and repeatedly used by an extremely small minority of players (less than 1% of the NA player base)."
Riot - after internal analysis and assessment which surely has plenty to do with the rapidly expanding presence of eSports as a mainstream spectacle - has decided to make the tool more focused on promoting live events. At the same time, they'll phase out online prize support altogether. It's that last sentence that has people a perturbed.
Contention comes from the waning online prize support, which is an incentive to pursue these online tourneys for multiple reasons. One of them, like Maseroot mention's above, is to win RP they would otherwise have to buy. If only 1% of the NA player base uses the event finder tool frequently (and a significant selection of the 67 million global monthly players play in NA) and an even smaller amount of those 1% actually win prize RP from online tournaments, you're looking at a few hundred thousand people who will ultimately be affected this way. That's a lot of people, sure. With these new changes, if a person wants to use the tool to make their RP, they will have to consider participating in live or mixed (online and live) events.
That's a pretty good point. As tournaments can still be organized online by whomever, official prize support brought with it a level of competition that is hard to replicate when it's just bragging rights on the line. If you didn't live near target areas of active live competition now, will any of that change with the online option being removed completely? People like to play League competitively, but only without the pressures of Ranked ladders and the expectation that they're aiming to go pro. $10 in RP is its own trophy to some, and making those people travel to far away places for the opportunity to earn it makes it all unsavory. Ostensibly forcing people out of the competitive scene is a bit counter intuitive. So what do they want to do about it?
No idea, but the change doesn't have to be permanent. The idea that Riot is willing to exile so many actively competitive players - essentially the people they are more likely to cater when balance tweaks and other adjustments are made - doesn't make sense to many players. But with the increasing drive for League to be a sport that Riot wants fans to buy tickets to and come see live, coupled with the extensive difficulty with monitoring foul play in the online space, Riot is running out of ways to support that community efficiently. Both sides of the issue have valid concerns, but I think this is something both can find a mutual understanding in sometime in the future. Graves' cigar, on the other hand...
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Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.