Statistical analysis isn’t pretty, but Mobalytics would like it to be.
Anyone can head over to op.gg, poke around the numbers, rub their chin, and say, “Hm, interesting.” But it’s much harder to figure out what those statistics actually mean.
That’s where the team behind Mobalytics comes in. The phrase “personal performance analytics platform” may make most League of Legends players zone out entirely, but if you’re hoping to improve your game, it can be a powerful ally.
Basically, Mobalytics collects information from players’ games, crunches some numbers based on a variety of statistics, and spits out a graph. The result looks like this:
Taken together, these eight categories define you as a player (or so Mobalytics hopes). From there, the tool will link players to streamers, articles, and a variety of other tips that will help them fix categories that they’re lacking in. For lower elo players, it’s a literal game-changer.
We chatted with Mobalytics co-founder Amine Issa about the platform’s goals, how it helps up-and-comers, and what Mobalytics can do to make League of Legends pros the best they can be.
“We’re a bunch of old guys who used to play competitively and decided to create this tool to make our lives easier,” Issa said. “And make everyone else’s life easier.”
“Our main objective is to get data to all players to help them improve,” he continued. “The biggest problem is that most people will go to these stats sites and look at their data and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool. I get more kills than deaths, but what does that mean?’ What we do is tell them what it means. We put it all into context.”
After messing with the tool a bit myself, I’ve found that it’s incredibly useful, even in its current pre-release form. It’s by no means perfect or complete, but the folks at Mobalytics are constantly working to make it better.
“Our consistency and versatility [ratings] are okay, but they’re a mess,” said Issa. “In my mind, they’re a mess. But I agreed to release them for our user base because they’re good enough. We want to do a lot of work on them.”
Their constant iteration is necessary, considering the Mobalytics platform is still in private beta. But as they improve, they’re hoping to make it accessible and useful for the average player and pro teams alike.
For the latter, an initial glance at the simplified Mobalytics landing page belies a powerful stats behemoth that is more than capable of helping even pro players understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It’s just a matter of presentation.
“We have two parts of our platform,” said Issa. “One is consumer-facing, and the other is designed specifically for analytics for professional teams. Basically, we help them answer all the questions that they want to have answered regarding different conditional situations in the match, we help them scout players in solo queue that might make good fits onto their team. We look for habits inside their team and match that to what they’re looking for.”
We’ve already seen some of the results of that more in-depth version of the platform. In early March, the Mobalytics team was boots on the ground, helping out Team Liquid in their search for an AD carry following Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin’s move to the mid lane. Mobalytics believes working closely with pro teams is necessary for their platform to succeed.
“The only way to create a tool for professional teams is to be able to work with them,” Issa said. “You’re not going to create one in a vacuum. I’ve had a relationship with [TL co-owner] Steve going back way when. A lot of the stuff we published in our Team Liquid article is a lot of manual work. It’s not us just using a tool. There’s always going to be a human element.
“The tool that we hope to create, Liquid will always have access to it until it’s released. The tool that we hope to create is one that all amateur and professional teams would be able to look at and think that it would be very powerful for them.”
The statistical graphs in the Team Liquid article were powerful enough for the astute eyes of pro players and analysts to figure out who they represented, despite Issa and company’s best efforts to keep players anonymous
“We de-identified everything, called them Player A and B, removed everything, and they were like, ‘Oh I bet that’s Deftly!’ That would never happen in science! But these esports people. [laughs]”
Issa hopes that by allowing everyone access to this kind of information, the best League of Legends teams the world has ever seen can be created.
“What if we gave teams this access to stats that were super important and contextualized for every player in the league? What would happen to the level of play? Now that everyone has access to that stuff, who becomes better? Then it becomes time [for teams] to step up. Who’s willing to do that? That’s the ultimate hope at the end of the day.”
But can they use these stats to create the perfect player? The perfect team? The perfect game of League of Legends? Shouldn’t that be the end goal?
In short, no. But that’s just fine by Issa.
“In my opinion, there’s no perfect game, which is why I love video games,” he said. “I think that people try to do that with the perfect game of GO, the perfect game of Chess, there’s all these AIs that play it. But the fact that they still lose to humans occasionally, even at the very highest level, even if they beat them more often than not, means that there’s no perfect game. If you look at something like chess, you’ve got something like a million well-defined openings. League has something like 2 billion for the pick/ban phase. I know you can narrow those down because there’s a lot that’s not useful, but it’s still going to be more than chess. How do you define a perfect game?”
His goal is a bit humbler than that. Issan just wants to help people get better at League of Legends. And eventually, other games.
“I want the level of play to go up, that’s all I care about. How high can the human get? How far can anyone push for excellence? That’s what we do, we push for excellence.”
If you’ll excuse Taylor Cocke, he’s got to look at some numbers and get better at League of Legends. Follow him on Twitter @taylorcocke.