Games have become longer in leagues around the world... Is this what Riot Games intended?


The games in League of Legends professional play are getting longer in the 2020 spring split. Over the past few years, they had been getting shorter, but this season, the four “major” regions are playing about two minutes longer compared to last summer.


Last summer, the LCK games’ lengths averaged 33 minutes 38 seconds which became 35 minutes 39 seconds this spring. The LPL also averaged 33 minutes 32 seconds compared to the previous season’s 31 minutes 55 seconds before the games were postponed.


This was the same in the LEC and LCS. The two leagues averaged 32 minutes 15 seconds (LEC) and 33 minutes 42 seconds (LCS) in their 2019 summer seasons. This spring, LEC recorded an average of 34 minutes 35 seconds, the LCS, 35 minutes 29 seconds.


League 2019 Summer 2020 Spring Difference
LCK 33' 38" 35' 39" 2' 01"
LCS 33' 42" 33' 32" 1' 47"
LEC 32' 15" 34' 35" 2' 20"
LPL 31' 55" 33' 32" 1' 37"


Every season, the patches seemingly have been aimed at reducing the game duration and mostly, pro games had been getting shorter in the leagues around the world. For example, the average game time for the LCK was 39 minutes 23 seconds in 2015, 38 minutes 3 seconds in 2016, 36 minutes 45 seconds in 2017, 36 minutes 32 seconds in 2018, and 33 minutes 56 seconds in 2019. Although it’s early in the season, this is the first season that the games got longer.


One of the biggest reasons the games have become longer is the change with the dragon. In the new season, the Dragon Soul was added, which can be accumulated by getting four dragon stacks. After a team acquires the soul, the Elder Dragon appears.


An official from a team said, “The impact of the Dragon Soul and Elder Drake buff has become bigger but the value of the dragons before the 4th stack has become a lot smaller. Since the value of early dragons reduced, there is no reason to fight. Less early game teamfights mean longer games.”


Not only the games have become longer but there are fewer early game fights as well; many fans are complaining that the games have become loose. Looking at how the patches were directed during the past few years, the current state doesn’t seem like what Riot intended. Will updates come that would change this meta?

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