Official data from Riot Games is a big part of the League of Legends community, but those days might be over as Riot is looking to potentially shut down the providing of match data from competitive games.
Over recent days, it has come to light that Riot might be looking to limit data from professional games, and potentially more than that with time. A tweet by Schalke 04 head analyst Rodrigo Oliveira raised the first concerns that Riot doesn’t show any interest in making esports data available and will likely remove match history links for professional games in the future. If this were to happen, it’s unknown if Riot has an alternative in the making or if the goal is to limit data completely from third-party websites.
Context: Riot’s ACS (access control system) works as a backend for the matchhistory website that we know today. I HOPE they will introduce alternatives to it, but hahahah XD we all know what will happen pic.twitter.com/uDHmt5qB5J
— Rodrigo Oliveira (@rLT_lol) April 27, 2021
A change like this to the LoL data could spell doom for several popular third-party websites in the community. Over the past few years, sites including Leaguepedia, Oracle’s Elixir, Gol.GG, and others have been commonly used by many working within the LoL industry. Sites like these have opened up for analysts, coaches, and players to gain information and statistics about opponents in the competitive scene. Third-party sites are also used by casters as well as by reporters to gather information about certain players or teams.
With Riot potentially cutting this data off, it could leave many sites without any source of information and ultimately force them to cease operations. As of right now, no potential alternative is known, which could mean that Riot is looking to present all the data themselves through LoLesports.com or other new websites.
I am incredibly concerned about the changes that are being teased and the removal of online match history pages for LoL.
If this happens without a very thorough alternative being put in place, Oracle’s Elixir will literally die. https://t.co/IpZZjJEe9w
— Tim Sevenhuysen (@TimSevenhuysen) April 27, 2021
For now, only match data from professional games seem to be at risk of cuts by Riot, but it might go beyond that in the future. In the current state of the game, sites are able to track data from solo queue games and use it to display match histories, ranks, champion statistics, and much more.
The most common site that does this is op.gg, which has been a go-to site for players all around the world to track their own games and those of other players for years. The site can be used to scout opponents in champion select, check out the match history of former teammates, or even to scout potential players for competitive teams. The tools on sites like op.gg are endless and will likely change the whole League of Legends landscape if it was to be limited in the future. Not only would it hurt regular solo queue players, it would also affect the competitive scene from the biggest leagues all the way down to the grassroots level of competition.
It’s still unknown how tightly Riot is looking to restrict data and what alternatives might exist, but a potential danger for third-party LoL websites has certainly presented itself.