WCS Sports Product Strategy Recommendation: League of Legends

Introduction and Overview

WCS Sports’ mission is to empower sports businesses around the world to create the best sport video content possible.

The tools we provide businesses allow them to automagically create beautiful high quality video highlights and recapitulations for sports games, on demand — entertaining millions of fans around the world.

Our current strategic goal is to grow our presence by providing video solutions across more industries and by creating new and innovative products.

Today, eSports is one of the top markets in the sports industry, with global esports revenues growing to $1.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year growth of +15.7%, up from $950.6 million in 2019. Currently, our product supports CS:GO, one of the top grossing games in the eSports industry.

Therefore, we’d like to further increase our presence in the eSports market, as this market has huge potential.

Introduction to League of Legends (LoL)

League of Legends is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games, and currently the most viewed eSports game in the world.

League of Legends has multiple tournaments that run games all year long, including LCS, LCK and the World Championships

League of Legends is highly competitive, action packed, and would be a perfect target for our video solutions. The highlights and recaps in this game are one of the most important aspects for the fans.

User Needs

Similar to some of our other clients, LoL organizations would like the ability to generate and edit highlights featuring certain players or plays.

One use case would be during the tournament itself — making it easy for video engineers or other staff members to easily produce highlights for sports casters and viewers to see during the event itself.

The other use case would be post game — as with our other products, to provide the ability to collect relevant highlights from past games, by player, or other parameters, and produce videos based on certain themes. This could range from player comparison, champion comparison, top plays, etc.

Solution

We would provide a specific MVP solution, leveraging our existing technology and services to provide a minimal solution to the different organizations.

I have listed some of the important events that happen throughout a LoL game. These events can be extracted in real time, or post game, and would be the basis for our solution.

Possible Features for the MVP

I have prioritized the features by the impact that I think each feature would bring — based on how important the event would be for the highlights, compared to the difficulty of implementing each feature.

The most important highlights, in my mind, are killing a champion — a very important event that happens constantly througout the game, and it should not be too difficult to implement this, as we should have the data.

Next, a critical event would be destroying a turret, one of the important game objectives.

And finally, a team fight is the most important and critical event, however, it may be trickier to spot when this is happening with the data, and to contiously decide where to focus the camera, so the development time would definitely the be highest here.

Example Teamfight Gameplay

After the MVP, we can focus on getting plays according to the player, side by side play comparisons, and other popular features that we know so well.

Go to Market

As mentioned before, LoL has multiple tournament organizations:

Riot Games — The creator of the game which holds the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). Is also associated with some of the other league organizers

TencentPro League (LPL) in China

KeSPA: Champions Korea (LCK) in South Korea,

GarenaPacific Championship Series (PCS) in Asia

And beyond that, there are multiple other regional tournaments such as: Vietnam Championship Series (VCS), Campeonato Brasileiro (CBLoL) in Brazil, Continental League (LCL) which includes Russia, Japan League (LJL), Liga Latinoamérica (LLA) of Latin America, which each have organizations.

I think the best idea would be to start talks with Riot, and demo an MVP to showcase our capabilities. Later on, we could contact other league organizations and create partnerships to further accelerate growth.

Successful partnerships with these organizations could lead to requests for more types of eSports games, unlocking a very large market segment, and we could leverage this success with more eSports organizations.

Metrics

Besides adoption metrics, such as how many new users are using our product, the key metrics I would be looking at in this scenario would be, specifically for LoL:

Number of videos created *— would be our north star. This would tell us how often our platform is really getting used for the most critical feature

Daily/Weekly/Monthly active users to observe general health

CSAT to understand level of satisfaction from the tournament organizations and how much the users enjoyed the videos.

*I am not aware of our pricing model, this might affect the metrics to look at.

Drawbacks/Risks

One risk for this strategy would be the difficulty of getting organizations to adopt this solution, some organizations may have streamlined their process, and may not to want to change their methodology.

Another risk for this strategy is that we have not seen a large profit from CS:GO, another eSport — for different reasons. Maybe we will see similar results for this solution.

Finally, maybe live events are popular, but watching highlights later on isn’t as popular compared to the NBA. Maybe LoL organizations wouldn’t see have a strong need to use our solution. Further research would be required.

Implementation

It seems that an official API exists to extract game data from LoL games. In the below example we can see that it is possible to retreieve all player data from the playerlist API call.

Available API:
https://developer.riotgames.com/docs/lol

This can save us a lot of engineering work when reaching the implementation stage. After we have the data, the next steps would be to feed that into our system and create events and insights.

Summary

League of Legends is one of the most dominant and competitive eSports as of today, and the action packed type of gameplay suits WCS Sports’ technology extremely well.

There are some risks, such as organizations not wanting to adopt our video solutions, or similar results to CS:GO for similar reasons. Our engineering’s time is valuable, and we should make sure we make the correct strategic decisions.

However, this move can lead to a potentially large outcome. LoL organizations adopting our technology would be monumental. Entering the League of Legends scene would be a powerful strategic move for WCS Sports, allowing us to drastically strengthen our position in the eSports market.

Partnering with LoL organizations and becoming a major player in the eSports scene would lead to extremely large growth, tying back to WCS’s original goals and mission statement of empowering sports businesses around the world to create the best sport video content possible.

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