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General

Research With Riot

  • Apr 28, 2017

We’re truly humbled you want to do research on League. That’s awesome! We get lots of requests, and in many cases you might be able to answer your questions without any extra support from us. To find out if you need our help, and how to get that help if you do, read on!

FINDING DATA FROM OUR API OR BY REQUEST

The most common requests for collaboration we receive request data from the game. Maybe you’re running a lab experiment to relate personality traits to compatibility of bot-lane duos and need to know their current league, or maybe you need to know how many Trundle games your respondents have actually played. Stats like these, and so many more, are available on our public API. Check it out!

Additionally, if you’re pulling data from our API but the request rate limit is problematically low, consider applying for an upgraded developer key. You can read more about rate limits here but if you’re willing to share a little about your research we’re happy to help negotiate increases.

There are some types of data that aren’t in the API, and to be as transparent as possible, our default answer to requests around those is no -- we’ve got a lot of data, there're a bunch of reasons we don't share some of it, and the stuff we feel cool about sharing widely is already super public so please tap our APIs for that. If you still think we should share more of our data with you, convince us why specifically we should treat your proposal as a yes. We know our reservations here usually resonate with practicing researchers, but we still want to mention them up-front.

WE ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT SHARE:

  • Any data with personally identifiable information without consent.

  • Spending data, both player-spending and item-sale performance.

  • Any data we determine could cause harm to players or their privacy.

AS A GENERAL RULE WE DON’T SHARE THE FOLLOWING DATA, BUT WE MIGHT BE ABLE MAKE EXCEPTIONS WITH PLENTY OF CAVEATS:

  • Chat data - We take player privacy seriously, and chat data can be especially tricky to deploy appropriately in research collaborations

  • Raw matchmaking data - Ranked League placements are a good approximation for many questions related to this.

  • Behavioral (penalty) data - We’ve got concerns around player privacy here, too. Combo that with how some of the details of our secret sauce are drizzled all over this data set making this hard to share.

THAT’S FINE, BUT I WANT SUPPORT THAT I CAN’T GET FROM THE API

The API doesn’t have everything you need, and you still want to make sweet, sweet science with us? Your next step is to write up a research proposal.

Research relationships are a long-term commitment - they can take months or even years to complete. If you’ve got several hypotheses, your first proposal should focus on the hypothesis we can test quickly and expect interesting, shareable results from. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you, but it also helps quite a bit if you know your yordles from Skaarl or have a favorite champion.

WRITING A PROPOSAL

In just a few pages, tackle the following:

Main hypothesis or research question

  • What do you hope to learn?

Specific data or support needed from Riot

  • Be sure to check the API to see what data is already available

Get specific where you can, so we better understand your approach

  • What do you expect to find?

We’re looking for research that makes a meaningful contribution, but it’s even more important to us that it puts players first!

  • Tell us a little about yourself and why you’re an expert in the field. Where and how do you usually publish?

Methodologies and techniques you’ll apply to the data

  • Predicted outcomes of the analysis

How does this advance the field?  How does it help players, or help developers make better games?

  • Why are you the best collaborators to do this work?

SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL: TIMELINE AND NEXT STEPS

Once you submit a proposal, we’ll send you confirmation so you know we’ve got it. We’ll always share a rough timeline for when we’ll reply regarding whether we’re moving forward or whether revisions to the proposal are needed. We’ll try to catch proposals needing revision faster than a Rammus barreling down mid-lane, but sometimes we’ll need more details and clarification to proceed.

To submit a proposal, email thirdpartyresearchrequests@riotgames.com