Solo Queue, Todd Harris, Marc Merrill | Esports Nutshell News

  • Riot brings back Solo Queue for high ranked players admitting dynamic queue was a mistake saying “it’s taken us too long to get here and we apologize for the delay. We did it again, we played with your heart, got lost in the game, oops”

Welcome to Esports Nutshell News, I’m Mark Register.

  • Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris breaks down his lessons learned about Esports at the GDC saying You can’t dabble in Esports, not every game should be an esport, and you have to build a competitive game first with a high skill curve between beginners and experts.
    • Other lessons he brings up include: you have to build your audience by pulling them with great content, being transparent, and working with experts when setting up tournaments because it’s really complicated.
    • It’s important to have sizable prize pools early on as those players competing will find every flaw in your game and exploit them acting as super beta testers.
    • Once the tournament gets up and running and players are revolving their life around it provide regular prize pools and give them a cut of in game item sales with their branding so they can financially commit to your game.
    • Community and content is more important than advertising. Always find ways of being more open and engaging with the community and empower community leaders.
    • And finally, don’t jump into it like people do with puppies, it’s going to take 10 – 15 years to really build a solid Esports community and tournament system and guess what… when it poops on the sidewalk you have to pick it up with your hands.


Marc Merrill continues the heated online spat with LCS team owner Andy Dinh about the current state of the LCS tournament system. Which over the last few days has garnered what some might call a very enthusiastic community response. Marc expressed remorse for his last statement saying

  • “I reacted emotionally…My initial response to him read as a direct attack” Marc… it wasn’t “read” as a direct attack it was a direct attack, own it and move on.
  • Marc goes on to say “My post was clearly not the best way to engage in this complex topic, it did spark a larger conversation about a topic that we’re all passionate about: the future of League Esports.”
  • “Team costs are rising faster than team revenues… [because of that] our 2017 plans include in-game team-specific items with revenue-sharing for teams and pros… working with teams to sell more jerseys… and we’re exploring league sponsorships, franchising, and media rights.” Great!
  • “There is no road map for this and we need to continue to learn together with our partners”
  • “we haven’t gotten some of our major patch timings right when it comes to esports… We will do a better job of communicating sooner and will ensure that changes such as these that significantly impact esports happen earlier on in the split to give players more time to adjust.”

Bravo Marc. You’re at the home stretch of the ugly and the beginning stretch of the good. Now, let go of focusing on the one person who brought up the issues and just address the issues. It’s ok to dislike someone who makes your life worse not better, we all have those people in our lives. Spending half your twitlonger on telling us how much you like someone that makes your life worse is analogous to saying how much you love your mother in law’s cooking when it causes internal bleeding. Just don’t say anything, if you’re asked directly, “Marc do you like the food,” say “yes, thank you,” take a bite, then move on to talking about anything else but the food so you don’t have to uncomfortably lie about liking it and if you keep busy talking about something else you don’t have to eat any more of the food.

Now go open and maintain dialogue through a group slack chat with team owners and weekly in person meetings until the worst is over. Then move to monthly meetings to keep everyone growing with each other minimizing the growing pains. Marc, you may not like ALL of the LCS team owners, and that’s ok, but you got in bed with them and made an Esports baby and now you have to raise that Esports baby together. So be good co parents by talking with each other regularly, and if you need to fight don’t fight in public in front of the kid.

I think we’re almost done our counseling sessions gentleman, now go sign off twitter & reddit and get back to work.

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