Former ESPN broadcasters shares his thoughts on how to improve LCS production.

LoL /r/leagueoflegends /u/Roboticways 367 comments

Hey all, so I have recently seen the rise of criticism against NALCS production. I was honestly curious if it was really as bad as people were saying. Luckily, I had a great reference in my life that would be able to give some thoughts. I didn’t give permission to share his name, but my (recently married into family) stepdad has extensive knowledge in this field, teaching broadcasting classes and a storied career on the broadcasting team with ESPN. I asked him to watch LCS and to take some notes. Here are some of his thoughts.

  1. The analyst desk is not as terrible as you think it is, he was actually quite surprised with how professional they managed to make it look during this pandemic. He was impressed with Dash, but did note that it didn’t feel like a lot of the analysts had a “purpose” outside of being a talking head. He suggested they have their own segments or “niche” , like maybe one of them is very knowledgeable with draft and they make mock drafts before the game that would suit ‘x‘ teams playstyle or would beat ‘y‘ teams strengths. Or you could have a “build guru” that highlights new trendy builds with side by side comparisons of them both in work. This works into the next point.

  2. Show, don’t tell. He noted that during both the analysts desk and game time, the crew had a tendency to explain too much with no kind of visual representation. It is more of a preparation issue than it is a problem with the personalities. Your opinions should never ‘just’ be your opinions on the analyst desks, it should support a point and that point should ideally have a graphic or a highlight to visually represent it. He said “why should I care what this talking head thinks if I can’t see for myself”

  3. There needs to be more challenger players or ex-pros on the broadcast. There is a reason why traditional sports hire ex players or retired semi pro athletes as personalities, and it’s because they can look at the game holistically with personal experience playing competitively. Soloq ranking is irrelevant. He did note that the casters were knowledgeable and was quite impressed with the on air casting talent. But he did mention “what are this guys credentials anyways aside from watching good players play” specifically during the analyst desk. (He 1000% approves of the casters, he just says they need more support from production)

  4. Mentions again that the analyst desk is not structured at all and is just a hot-take, stat comparing fest that relies heavily on Dash to keep it together and structured. Says he doesn’t hate the analysts, just their content. Mentions again that the analyst desk is sorely missing an experienced ex pro. (Or two)

He didn’t mention much about the graphic overlay, but he did say that it was a bit difficult finding information and suggested they streamline what is “need to know” and what is not.

All in all he gave a 7/10, saying that while he was very surprised with just how developed this hidden scene was to him, they have a lot of work to do. He left me this quote in his own words.

“They have to look at their production like a living, breathing creation. It just feels artificial. Everything should have relevance and support. Everything should feel natural with the way it progresses. Your analysts should have purpose, not just be talking heads. There’s a reason that some guys make their living on sports talk shows and others make their living as analysts. You can’t put a talk show guy on an analyst desk, because he will treat it like a talk show. It’s not his fault, it’s just a skill set thing; and the preparation is widely different. I also don’t know why, but it feels like the content is very reactive. It doesn’t feel like there are any graphics or video prepared to support any specific points aside from statistics. It doesn’t feel prepared, and how can you nail the follow through with no preparation?“

Edit : I know Pr0lly and Crumbz are ex-players, I didn’t tell him this. When he says ex-pros he was meaning more big named, seasoned veterans. Ones that use their experience for info but also have the right personality for show business. Like Shaq and Barkley, or Shannon sharpe. Like if meteos/aphro/Doublelift were to retire and join the desk. People who have played LoL as it was and then as it is today.

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