NA LCS

[Editorial] LCS All Star Voting: A Popularity Contest

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Voting for the League of Legends Championship Series All Star teams is almost over, with people all over the world voting for the players they believe will best represent their respective region in the LCS All Star matches.  Voting ends on April 15, so there is only one more day to vote for the players to represent each region.  Over the course of the vote, a very clear pattern started showing: instead of a survey of who the fans believe are the strongest players in each role, it appeared to have become more of a popularity contest.

Before we go on, let’s take a look at the current NA and EU LCS standings.  For NA, from highest placed to lowest placed: Curse, Dignitas, TSM, CLG, GGU, Vulcun, MRN, and Complexity.  For EU: Gambit, Fnatic, SK, EG, Wolves, GIANTS, aAa, and Dragonborns (although this article will focus on NA).  What do we see in the top 4 players of each role?  They belong to the top 4 teams in their respective region.  Not only that, the difference in vote between players of the top 4 teams and the bottom 4 teams is alarming.

At several instances, players such as Brunch U and Sycho Sid showed up as receiving 0% of the vote (obviously this doesn’t mean that they received no votes, just that the percentage is so low, it shows up as 0%), while Scarra sat at a comfortable 55.39%, more than half of the entire vote for mid lane.  Not to mention, for any given role, players on the top 4 teams account for roughly 95% of the vote.

 TeSPA LCS all star 5 percent

(click image to expand)

3.54%, 4.87%, and 5.62%; Tryndamere gains as much crit chance after killing just one minion

(percentages may have changed since the time this screenshot was taken)

Why is this happening?  One can argue that naturally, a player on a top 4 team would be stronger than his counterpart on a bottom 4 team, and that the fans would know this as well.  But, MRN’s MegaZero is in Challenger tier, while Saintvicious and Doublelift are “only” in Diamond.  Both Link and KiWiKid have very low votes in the top 4 probably because they are relative newcomers to the pro scene, despite strong showings in their respective games.  Even Cop is quite low in the rankings despite having an astronomical KDA (and still holds the top KDA) for much of the season, and being on the first place team.  On the other hand, Doublelift has the most votes for AD Carry, even though CLG currently has an 11-12 record.  Speaking of AD Carries and KDA, both Patoy and Elementz, support players, have a higher KDA than every AD Carry other than Cop.  Sure, none of these statistics are a definite measure of how good one player is over another, but they at least offer a medium to judge one another by.

Quite simply, the players who have the most votes are the ones who have garnered the most attention, both in and out of game.  These five are currently: Dyrus, Scarra, Saintvicious, Doublelift, and Xpecial.  Take Dyrus for example, he has 116,349 likes on his Facebook page, with 92,074 subscribers on his Youtube channel.  To put it in perspective, Scarra, who has the highest percentage votes out of any player, only has 9,030 likes, and no Youtube channel.  To be fair, Scarra has other claims to fame, including, but not limited to, a Youtube video which has garnered over 600,000 views, and his stream, which has repeatedly pulled in over 20,000 concurrent viewers.  Saintvicious, Xpecial, and Dyrus have all gained popularity after winning first place at the last World Cyber Games, playing for the USA national team.  Lastly, Doublelift, who gained attention after being kicked out of his house by his parents while on Epik Gamer, is known as having some of the best mechanics in the game and for such controversial quotes as “I’m the greatest.  Everyone else is just trash.”

These players are all very active on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc, something that can’t be said for many of the other players in the LCS.  In short, these are the players that everyone knows and pays attention to.  It’s only natural that these are the players with the most votes, even though they may not have the stats or tournament results to back them up.  That’s not to say that they are bad choices though, as stats aren’t everything.  These five players have all been in the competitive scene since Season 1, and have no doubt played with, and against, each other on countless occasions.  In any case, the fans and player base want to see these players represent the US, and a team with purely the most impressive statistics would probably not resonate as strongly with the fans.

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