I just completed the Fall 2016 semester at the University of Michigan and found some time over break to do some data analysis on my current favorite video game, League of Legends. I decided to try out the Riot API. Most use the API to build websites that provide users with statistical data about champion Win/Loss or champion Kill/Death. I however, wanted to do some big data tracking to find some differences between high level players, and low level players (myself).
Riot saves each kill timestamp and kill position for every League of Legends match, and provides it to us through their API. I began my process by downloading 200 bronze matches, and 200 challenger matches. I was able to save these in CSV format that which recorded timestamps, xPos, and yPos columns.
I then took this data and created density heat maps in R-Studio for Mac to show the density of kills as the games progressed. The heat maps below show the density of kills at a given position on Riot’s Summoner’s Rift map for 200 Bronze and Challenger matches.
After taking some time to examine the graphics, I’m sure many of you can relate your own games to what is being presented here. For the first 10 minutes most kills, in both Tiers, happen in the three main lanes. The major differences between the two leagues begin to appear around the 20 minute mark. Looking at the 20 minute kills in the Bronze games we can see a slight bulge near the Dragon pit. This suggests that in the bronze games I analyzed, the players don’t start fighting for the first objective until the 20th minute. This is significantly different from the trends in the Challenger Tier. At the 20 minute you see a bulge to the Baron pit. This suggests that players at this Tier are much better at timing the objectives and forcing fights around them. This trend continues in the Challenger games through to the 40th minute. Most of their kills occur in the top half of the map near baron. You can even see that around the 25th minute they enter the mid game where team fighting is prevalent in the top jungle.
By examining the Bronze Tier tendencies you can see a pretty clear lack of game knowledge. There doesn’t seem to be any fights near the neutral objectives, more so just a push back and forth along the main diagonal with some fights around the objectives appearing late in the game.
If Bronze players are looking at this information trying to improve, I can suggest one important thing: Focus the objectives. It is clear here that bronzies fight in the mid lane, while pros focus the objectives.
Make sure there is something worth dying for before you engage in a team fight!
If you want more of the data email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a link to a reddit post I did in r/LeaugelofLegends