TL/DR; LCS/LEC colour casters could be so much better if they gave analysis that isn't obvious, is actually correct, and stop using the narrative as a crutch for downtime. Doing so takes skill and effort, but the results could be worth it.
I love watching LCS and LEC, and I like listen to the LCK vods while I eat or commute to work or something. But recently I started to wonder why I, an NA resident and western fan, seem to enjoy listening to KT vs. JinAir more than half the LCS/LEC games. And I think it comes down to the colour casting (sigh I know, it's the annual shitpost on casters, but they exist for a reason, and hopefully this one is constructive).
Now I know every region has its own style of casting, but I think in general, people would enjoy it more if the following three things were adjusted for:
- Giving analysis that the fan wouldn't know on their own. It is helpful to point out a CS differential, once in a while, if the action elsewhere has been distracting from the fact. It not helpful when 90% of the analysis is "CSD", "Turret difference", "Gold lead", "Baron is up", "Sivir has three items". I understand why casters do it. It's easy, it takes no prep, and you can't be wrong. But it's like watching someone read off a powerpoint word for word, it gets really boring. If you have some time to do a bit more research, the cast could be much more informative.
- Giving analysis that is actually correct. I do appreciate the effort (and a bit of bravery?) to give non-obvious analysis, but sometimes the information just isn't correct. For example, Sona Taric down some CS isn't a catastrophe, they scale well into team fights. There was a C9 game last split where Poppy was ahead against Jayce, the casters were freaking out like it was 2016 meta, but it turns out Poppy was favored into Jayce early and as soon as Jayce built BorK he dominated the side lane. And LEC had a rather insane amount of misunderstandings of team comps and map movement last spit, though I can't speak for summer since I haven't watched much yet. It takes skill and time to give accurate, predictive analysis, but the results could make the cast so much better.
- The Narrative. The Old-New-Kings meme comes from this one, and I honestly appreciate that most casts limit "Misfits is a superteam" to once a game. But nowadays we get the 10x "Kobbe is the backbone of splyce, a rock solid player, back solid rockbone stoned player." To be fair, some players deserve this cast. Crown, for example, is literally Optic's sole win condition. But most of the times its a bit too much, and feels like a panic button for casters when they have nothing else to say.
Now the LCK broadcast isn't perfect, but when it comes to analysis they are miles ahead of the west. Some may call it a gap. Just tune in to any Papasmithy broadcast. Any. Doesn't matter if you don't know the teams or the players, doesn't matter if you have your eyes closed, doesn't matter if there is a 40 minute pause, you will probably find it enjoyable. LS is a bit more preference based, but he will tell you things you didn't know, and there have been multiple occasions where his predictions have been spot on. And a special shoutout to Atlus. Go watch the SKT vs. AFS series, Atlus as a play-by-play does better colour casting than most western colour casters.
It takes dedication and confidence to do the research and make useful, predictive analysis, but the results really show. Every LCK broadcast teaches me something about the game I didn't know before. And only the LCK broadcast can make me care about 9th vs. 10th place match in the 3rd best region (XD) as much as I did, a match that I entered knowing 20% of the players but came out 100% satisfied.
Finally, just a quick thank you for all the analysis western casters do very well. Most laning/jungle match-ups are explained very well; Alistar into Sivir, Olaf into Sejuani, etc. Flash and item cooldowns are noted, objective timers are highlighted, and the more black and white team comps like TF or Sona-Taric-Camile/Hecarim are very well explained. Keep it up 🙂
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© Post "Just a personal opinion, but I think LCS/LEC colour casters can benefit a lot by learning from the LCK casters." for game League of Legends.
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