With incredibly complex games being built by the studio, it’s easy to wonder how good Riot Games employees are at League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics?
Recently, Teamfight Tactics lead developer Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer hit the highest possible rank of Challenger. In a developer blog post, he spoke about the expectation for developers to be able to play their games at the top level. Does it matter how good Riot Games employees are at League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics?
How good are Riot Games employees at LoL and TFT?
Obviously, not every single person who works at Riot Games should be expected to perform at the very highest levels of either their MOBA or auto battler titles. There’s little use in public relations, human resources, or other disciplines to high DPS or knowing the intricacies of wave management. However, the developers who design and balance the game are often accosted with the accusation that their judgments are misguided due to a lack of game understanding or skill.
In Mortdog’s post on his climb to the highest rank in Teamfight Tactics, he outlines a few core issues with expecting designers to reach high ranks. Already spending 40 or more hours a week working on a game is a colossal commitment, and every developer shouldn’t be expected to grind competitive play in their off-hours. This sort of demand would lead to inevitable burnout, which is the last thing players should want from the designers of a game. The question of how good Riot Games employees are at LoL and TFT also misses out on much-needed audience understanding.
Mortdog details the grueling experience of making Challenger, and how he’ll likely never try to reach it again. Trying to optimize gameplay to compete against the very best can make developers lose sight of the reasons their game is appealing to a wider audience in the first place. Nonetheless, League of Legends’ balance teams are peppered with Masters, Grand Masters, and even the occasional Challenger player.
The individual skill will vary widely, but the truth seems to be that it matters less than fans might like to imagine. As long as they can craft an engaging, fair, and fun experience, developers don’t need to dominate ranked play.