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DoA on stats in Overwatch: “What stats are actually important? How do you judge roles properly?”

By Mark Register
Jun 13, 2017
Part 3 of the Blitz Spotlight interview with Overwatch League & APEX S1 & S2 caster, Erik "DoA" Lonnquist.

You made a lot of recommendations to the Overwatch developers and they've already implemented some of them immediately for the visuals, but also you talked about deepening the pool of information to pull from to analyze game play and strategy. What would you like to see in that department?

Well ideally at some point they'll release their API so that stat sites can draw info from games more directly. Right now in my opinion the best stats site out there is Winston's lab. WinstonsLab.com, there's a little plug for those guys. I love them, they're awesome. I think they're like two dudes in Germany that make this site. If I remember right. But they actually, they have a way to read the VODs to aggregate information. And so there's some fancy like software trickery there that lets them do all that and get all these stats, but once you know Blizzard allows more direct access to things then the opportunity for stats just goes through the roof right. And a lot of that is going to be really useful in the broadcast. But you know that brings us into the interesting conversation about Overwatch, and what stats are important because that's been one of the most surprising challenges actually.

I don't know if I'm getting too far from a question here but that's been one of the most interesting challenges in Overwatch is what stats are actually important because you look at the traditional kills, deaths assists. There's so many factors that go into it. You look at something like... If you want to judge a tank--I was just having this conversation with some of the guys from Blizzard at the office yesterday--how do you judge tank stats properly. And you're like well you know you could look at time spent alive, and you're like well yeah but you know what if their healer is having a bad day and or what if you know their Zarya is having a bad day, and she's not shielding the Winston when he jumps in. Or what if they're just playing more aggressively. Or what if it's like a Reinhardt that's too afraid to engage. So he lives a long time but it's only because he's not contributing like he should to the team. So they're like but what if you look at damage blocked, and it's like well you know again is damaged block really a good stat because yes sometimes it could be a sign of them preventing damage from hitting their team. Other times it could just be the width of Reinhardt's shield catching things that wouldn't have hit anyone any way. You know it could be a team that's you know too nervous to engage again so is that really a good thing. So there's lots of stats that look good on the surface but then once you think about it, there's so many extra factors that factor into that you can't really use that as a litmus for judging players. So yeah, finding the stats to judge players properly is going to be one of the toughest things to do in Overwatch.

I know that right now we're liking stats that are based on minutes. Like damage per minute for instance seems like a good stat. There's other stats that I like like time to first ultimate is a stat that I like. If you want to look at like one Tracer versus another Tracer, you know if you have someone who over a season consistently gets their ultimates or First Pulse bomb like five seconds faster than everybody else then I think that's a good indicator that that person is really good at getting in there and doing damage and surviving you know and building that ultimate. So there's some stats out there that I think will be useful, but it's going to be unlike any other esport so far statistically. And I'm terrible at math and all that stuff but it's still very interesting. I try, I try at least you know?

Mark Register profile
Mark Register
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief @ Blitz Esports. He was the creator of Esports in a Nutshell, led production @ the Young Turks for 5 years, and in his other lifetimes won an Oscar, recorded albums (on Spotify), and most importantly spent a summer as a SeaWorld performer.
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