Hosting a LoL tourney at a lan - any advice, thoughts?

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Raef Wolfe

Recruiter

05-02-2011

I hope this is in the right section. I looked in a couple of other places but there didn't seem to be a right 'spot' for this.

I'm president of the gamers club at my school. Twice a year we hold a LAN party on campus. Last LAN we had to cancel one of our tournaments (weren't enough people) and held a LoL tourney instead. Considering it was last minute, we had 4 teams and one of those came specifically for the event. All said we had a good time.

Since then a lot more folks have picked up the game and play it avidly. We're going to run it as an official tourney in the fall, one folks will know about ahead of time, and one we can advertise.

But there's a lot of things I need to think about in order to run it properly. The biggie is that LoL is not a LAN friendly game - and I don't even mean latency issues, server problems, etc. It has nothing to do with it being run on the internet vs a LAN server.

My problem is with lvl 1 vs lvl 30 accounts. Lvl 1 accounts have only 10 champions they can access (that are totally random), no runes, and no masteries. You may not think it makes a difference, but it does, and a huge one. How can I run an event that makes people under lvl 30 more evenly matched with those who are lvl 30?

I can't say 'make a new account and use the free champs with no runes/masteries'. What happens if someone isn't that great with any of the free champions - but someone else has 4 of their mains free that week?

I could, theoretically, tell people that they have to wipe their runes/mastery pages - but there's no way for me to know that they actually did so. Teams may not be sitting next to one another at the event, so while I hover over one guy's shoulder and approve him, when I move to the next guy, the first could swap back. Frankly, I don't trust some of the people who will be playing in it not to do so, and it's very difficult for me to 'catch them in the act' once the game has started.

It's too bad there isn't a mode we could temporarily unlock where all champs, runes, masteries, etc are unlocked, but the win/loss doesn't show up in your record, you gain no ip/xp, etc etc. Unfortunately LoL is great for super-competitive scenes where everyone's been playing for a year and has everything unlocked they could ever possibly desire....but it's not so good for those of us working to get there or who want to play competitively for fun.

I didn't run draft pick last time - no bans, picks, etc. Just a custom game with 2 teams of five. I can't decide whether to run it as a draft or as a blind pick again - both have advantages, but my thoughts are to keep it blind pick so folks under lvl 30 with fewer champs have a better shot at doing well/having a good time; if they are only good with 2 champs, and both get picked or banned, that's not fun for them.

However blind pick create the issue is one of watching people play. Now, I watched a few matches a) because I'm tourney admin and had to make sure things were running smoothly b) because I was bored and it's fun to watch. However there were complaints from various teams about watching others play. After watching one match for 3 minutes I learned that one of the guys playing Twitch had no idea how to play Twitch - he would stealth, stay in the same spot for 3 seconds, then unstealth again. Fortunately I didn't end up facing him as Twitch but such knowledge would have been a disadvantage to them.

Then there was one team in particular that picked champions they knew would counter the playstyle of people on the opposing team (example - I played kog'maw twice, someone picked akali after watching figuring I'd pick him again). The team said after the fact that their Miss Fortune was picked to counter enemy Mundo they'd seen play in previous games as well - which one could argue isn't cheating, however since the tournament was supposed to be BLIND pick, is it truly blind in that way? Questions were raised: 'would they have done so well if they truly blind picked' and 'did they win because they watched us' and 'if we'd watched them would we have done better'. Only one team counter-picked while the other did not. IMO it's not 'cheating' but certainly went against the spirit of the event, but it's impossible to fix after the fact. This is a problem that would be hard to counter without draft mode. Unfortunately there is still the issue of watching and learning skill levels, but I don't know if there's really anything that can be done about that.

Perhaps, have no bans but draft picks? A reason I am not a fan of bans in smaller tourneys is that I've seen bans be used not to counter strong champions, but counter strong individuals. If you know the opposing team has 1 very strong player, ban the champions you know that person loves to play. It could turn into a big ****fest and people could take it personally. If you think I'm overthinking it, clearly you haven't hung out with enough socially-inept college nerds...

I ended up running the tourney round-robin style since there were only 4 teams (everyone played 3 games). Since we'll likely get more next time, how would you suggest I eliminate teams? Double-elimination, single-elimination? LoL matches take an awful long time to play, and since we have 4 tournaments at the LAN, times are likely to overlap with other events, so time is an important factor. Our event runs for 3 days, fri-sun. Likely LoL will start at 1 on saturday, but other tourneys start at 4 and 7 (we also have on on friday night). Most people who aren't local leave by 11 on saturday.

Only other rule I had was that a player disconnecting didn't end the match or cause a 'pause' unless it was clearly a server-wide issue. Fortunately no one disconnected.

Can't really think of a whole lot else but I'll be back if I think of anything. Regardless, anyone have any thoughts/ideas/suggestions on what to do to improve the tourney for the next time?


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Regniwekim

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Senior Member

05-02-2011

Dude... Do you really think you have enough people for a LoL tourney?

Think about it, each team is 5 people. Decent tourney needs at least 8 teams. So, you have 40 people showing up to your LAN party at school? Go ahead and cancel it now. Save yourself the embarrassment.


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Raef Wolfe

Recruiter

05-02-2011

We get a lot more than 40 people...last fall we had 75. We've had people come from out of state just for certain tournaments. This isn't your basement LAN party I'm talking about. The school built a special room, just for us (apparently it can power up to 150 comps, I've been told), because of what a big deal it is...anyway if we want to hold a LoL tourney with fewer people, so what? Doesn't make it less of a good time for those involved...


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Daganth

Senior Member

05-02-2011

I personally wouldn't bother trying to make it even based on the account level. The level 30 guys will win regardless. It is like coming up with a balanced set of rules for England's national football team to play my fraternaties soccer intermurals. No matter what; they'll still win so why bother.


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Raef Wolfe

Recruiter

05-02-2011

I'm not trying to balance for the lvl 1 folks who have never played this kind of game before, but the folks who go 'Oh, I've played DotA/HoN/whatever and could probably do OK'. If you download the game friday night and play it until the tourney saturday those folks would probably adjust really well. Hell one of the guys on my team downloaded it just before the tourney, never played the game before, and did very well because he was used to the genre. Another was in the mid-teens because he played DotA, tried LoL for a bit and didn't enjoy it, switched to HoN, but played LoL again for the tourney.

Anyway balancing for level isn't the only question I had in the thread...any thoughts on the rest of it?


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DrSkankyNun

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Senior Member

05-02-2011

I have no idea sir. Hope you can figure something out or at least coax riot into making a new mode just for these types of tournaments. Good luck!