I was duo que’ing (in secret, of course) with a friend of mine the other day. We had just gotten into a game and it appeared that everything was going nicely. People were picking roles and champions were getting banned. It seemed like one of those rare drama free setups. Sud
denly, something quite strange happened. One of the players on our team suggested that my friend should play Diana. “Why?” we asked him. “Oh, because I looked him (my friend) up on LoLKing and he has a really good win ratio on Diana.” That was when I realized, a new LoL phenomena is upon us.
For those of you who are not familiar with LoLKing, it is a website where you can go and enter in the name of a summoner and find out a tonne of statistical information about them. You can find out what champions they play the most, how their last bunch of matches went, who they have highest win percentage with, all of their runes and masteries, and the list goes on and on. If you want to know anything about another summoner, and don’t want to wait until after the game to look up their profile in the LoL client, LoLKing should definitely be your first stop.
As stated on the site, LoLKing was created by a couple of programmers who played LoL and wanted to know more about their opponents. It turns out that lots of people wanted to know more about their opponents, and the site has become quite popular. And what does Riot think of all of this information sitting out there for anyone to view? Well, according to LoLKing, it is Riot that provides LoLKing with all of the statistics they use. Riot clearly has no problem with you being able to learn everything you want about your fellow summoners, so does this mean that this phenomena a good thing?
There are definitely some pros to being able to look up, before your match, the kinds of stats that LoLKing provides. You can find out what roles your opponent mainly plays, giving you some idea of how competent your opponent will be with their role. You can also find out how good they are with their current champion, giving you some idea of how comfortable they will be fighting against you. These stats don’t really give you a firm idea of how your opponent will play, but they can give you some idea of what to expect in regards to how good your opponent will be. In the same way, it can also give you some idea of how good your teammates are. For example, if you look up your mid player and see that they do not play a lot of mid, it might be a good idea to look out for that player or not to expect amazing plays from them. All in all, LoLKing is a useful tool for giving you a quick sketch of what you can expect to face and work with in your upcoming match.
The problem with quick sketches is that they do not always accurately capture the real picture and can even create a false impression. Several weeks ago, a player actually told my friend that he was tempted to que dodge and not play with her because LoLKing had indicated that my friend was on a fairly significant losing streak. At the time, my friend had lost a few games in a row but that is no indication of the type of player she is (quite a good one). I can also easily picture this kind of negativity being applied to the position you are playing. Just because I do not play a TONNE of mid doesn’t mean I don’t know how to play the position at all, but if you were to look at LoLKing you might think that I’m clueless in mid. This really shouldn’t be a problem, but if my experience in LoL has taught me anything, people will look for any opportunity to blame you for their defeats. The presence of LoLKing not only provides you with statistics to form opinions on your enemies and teammates, it also provides them with information to judge you with. This is not always a positive thing.
Many other games, like Starcraft Two for example, will allow you to access the same information about your opponents and teammates but not until after your match. Personally, I find that I do not really utilize LoLKing for myself because I do not like to form any kind of opinion on my teammates or opponents before the match starts. If I go into the match expecting my opponent to be inferior to me, because LoLKing told me that they never play that champ or that position, then it is more likely that I will be overconfident and make stupid mistakes. Similarly, I would much rather judge my teammates on how they actually play our specific match than on how LoLKing tells me they have played past matches.
There is one piece of knowledge I would be interested in knowing about my teammates before a match starts. I want to know how many times they have been reported. Honestly, if Riot thinks it’s acceptable to know basically ever other stat about someone, I think it is perfectly acceptable to know the character of the person I will spending the next 20-40 minutes playing a game with. I think if I was able to see that one of my teammates had been reported 1000 times more than anyone else it would give me some extra time to prepare myself to deal with that person. In the worst case scenario, it would also allow you the opportunity to seriously consider que dodging if you found out that your team was likely to be full of ragers. I don’t know about you guys, but there are times when I would rather go do something else for 30 minutes than deal with some of the nasty abuse you can receive in 20 minutes.
Whether you like to know everything about your opponent and team before a match beings or you would rather remain blissfully ignorant, there is no denying that LoLKing will make a difference in how people approach the game. LoLKing offers both handy utility and another opportunity for players to assign blame before even starting the game. Only time will tell how the majority of the community will use this intriguing tool. Until then, do you have any interesting LoLKing related stories? Did they not reply to your emails as well (shakes fist)? Is there a piece of information that you would like to know about your teammates or opponents that is not currently available? Be creative with this question, because you never know. Maybe someday we will be able to find out EVERYTHING there is to know about the people we play with – just short of their credit card numbers.