On January 24, Doublelift posted on Twitter that he was going live on his Twitch channel. Immediately, many thousands of fans joined the stream and enjoyed while Doublelift played his first solo queue game of the day.
30 minutes later, Doublelift turned off his stream and used his Twitter to explain that Riot made him do it. Why? Because of the Academy Rush broadcast.
Many fans found the decision to be particularly harsh. For Riot’s part, the developer wants as many eyes as possible on its own show. Doublelift and other pro players often attract tens of thousands of viewers. Those viewers will always prefer Doublelift’s stream over a new experiment like Academy Rush.
Academy Rush is the newest addition to the LCS broadcast. It features the Academy teams and puts them front and center. Every Friday, four games from the North America Academy League are played simultaneously as the observer jumps from one game to the next. Each game has its own caster, and the host is responsible for the transitions between games. Academy Rush closes with one final game on a traditional broadcast.
If it sounds chaotic and difficult to follow, that’s because it is. The format is confusing and it is impossible to follow the action. The jumps between games are too fast and it makes it hard to catch up with whatever happened off-camera.
In the first edition of Academy Rush, fans were loud and clear about their opinion on the format. No one liked it and everyone wanted it all to stop.
The format doesn’t seem to work, simple as that. League of Legends is a complex game where the small details matter most. Understanding where the gold difference is coming from or observing the jungler’s pathing is the type of information the viewers will miss in this format. Jumping into a game halfway through a team fight might be exciting for a brief moment, but other than that, it doesn’t add much to the experience.
Riot Games is yet to react to the negative feedback.