I talk a lot about how end of match data isn’t always good enough. What I really want to see are the growth rates of CS, GPM, XPM, and Net Worth, along with the order and timing for item progression and the match context of individual Kills. datadrivendota on reddit put together a pretty cool image set describing a match. This is the kind of direction I’d like to take match statistics in, though the presentation currently is still a bit rough.
Ideally there would be two variants. The first would be specific to the match, highly visual, and user friendly. You search for a small set of matches that interest you, like say Meepo tournament victories, and then get a detailed breakdown of how each match developed over time.
The second variant would be highly abstracted. It wouldn’t be very useful for looking at specific matches, but it would allow you to easily compare a huge set of matches in useful ways. Say we take 5,000 Meepo matches in the Very High bracket. We could then try to determine what features most impact his success based on measurements of their creep killing patterns, teamfight participation, initial laning location, teammate behaviors, item progression, etc.
For now the API will do, but it’s always going to be limited compared to the power of detailed parsing. Even then, you can still use the API to quickly create a controlled sample of games that have the features you’re looking for, so it’s never going to become completely obsolete.