When I first got into League of Legends, watching it as an esport became a transformative experience for me. I went from having zero interest in sports or esports to watching my LoL teams play every single week. I had complaints, sure, but I was always counting down the days until the next big event or weekend scuffle.
About three years into my watching, I started getting on the same hype train as most of my friends: NA will never be competitive if we don’t switch to best of three matches. I believed it. I shouted about it. I cheered when it finally happened. But when it eventually came to pass, I found that the joy I had was gone. I hated watching every weekend because it simply got boring.
Much to my excitement, Riot announced that Bo3 is going away and best of one is coming back. My joy for watching League has already been re-invigorated, and between watching Worlds and getting hyped up for the 2018 Spring Split, Lol Esports is lookin’ pretty good to me right now.
But all of this makes me such a hypocrite. I wanted more than anything for us to switch to Bo3 and then I turned my back on the game as soon as it happened. Is this a “grass is always greener” situation? No, I just think Riot bit off more than they could chew, and I encouraged them to do it.
Best of three seems like it should be such a fun experience. If you take out all of the random bullshit that makes League games a little inconsistent, the actual competition should be that much better. Right? Yes, actually. Nobody would ever tell you that Bo3 isn’t best for competition. It teaches you to adapt as a series goes on, and the best team usually wins.
But it is so ... boring.
Taking out the “bullshit that makes League games a little inconsistent” actually robs League of what makes it so special. When you have Bo1, that upset game isn’t just a fluke that will be forgotten when the better team wins the series. Instead, it means something.
Is it frustrating to watch some team beat your favorites because they went with some weird early game strategy? Absolutely, but I will take those lumps in favor of exciting games any day.
I think basketball is an amazing sport and while I don’t watch the regular season, I enjoy the playoffs as much as the next guy. Basketball games are four quarters long, and the final quarter is by far the most interesting. This says much more about me and my attention span than anything, but I find the first three quarters of basketball to be hard to watch. But once that fourth quarter tension hits, I’m there with the rest of you.
To me, Bo3 is kinda like basketball. Once a Bo3 gets down to a 1-vs-1, the tension has been raised to such a degree that I can’t look away, but before that it’s hard to get invested. Maybe I’ll miss that two match build up once Bo1 is back, but that’s a question for another day.
I can’t wait for things to go back to the way that they were. Yes, games will be more random, more prone to upsets and more punishing to inconsistent teams (CLG fan right here; I don’t have high hopes). But, with the loss of easily predictable series comes the absolute cluster-fuck that is Bo1 NA League of Legends. I have missed that, and I can’t wait to see it again.