"Upset Potential" - An Analytical Fallacy
an Analytical Fallacy
This is a specific topic that I think exists very prominently in the Western scene and it leads to a lot of flawed and biassed opinions on matters as well as poorly managed and unrealistic expectations. I feel like it had to be addressed and is important to topics coming up, especially in regards to international competition with MSI happening.
"Upset Potential" - This is something I hear a lot more from notably Western fans in the scene, who will use this as a basis to predict in favour of their preferred team. However this isn't analytical and it creates a lot of unrealistic expectations to the extent where it can potentially become a problem, even to the extent where some professional Analysis will actively vote in favour of the popular choice, in order to provide fan service. In analysis, Voting for the underdog is always easy: If you're wrong you lost nothing, but if you're right you've gained much more respect and popularity than you otherwise would have. In fact, it's often advantageous to do so, but this isn't necessarily positive. During the 2014 World Championships, Alberto "Crumbzz" Rengifo formely of team Dignitas made an appearance on the analyst desk to provide an insight from a pro-players perspective. Great idea and decision from Riot, pro-players tend to have a slightly altered insight from typical analysts who don't quite see the game from an inside perspective. However, he would more often that not, predict against the favourites. He quickly was deemed "Crumbzz the Profit" for predicting more upsets than anyone else, but was his analysis accurate? Well, no. Compared to Montecristo's outstanding prediction rate throughout his career dating back through the Season 3 world Championships being the only one to correctly back winners SKT T1, monte was not greeted to such a claim. It was to be expected of him.
Fans who opposed Crumbzz' analysis referred to him as "Dumbzz"
So fundamentally, why is this a bad thing? Well, it completely undermines facts and reasonable predictions. In fact, it becomes advantageous and more exciting to do so for a lot of the less pedantic audiences. This automatically creates a circle-jerk and creates unrealistic expectations and effectively breeds a fanboy like attitude and regional bias. Analysts who pull the same approach are effectively rewarded for making bold and unrealistic predictions however, the whole purpose of analysis is made redundant in the process and confirms a lot of foolish biases. Regardless of who wins, biased fans are given an argument to use for why they predicted poorly and immediately these fans start running in circles looking for excuses, which ultimately alters the credibility of analysis because it creates misinformation. An analyst isn't there to provide entertainment by pandering to fans, they are there to be experts providing valid insights and manage realistic expectations for fans, which ultimately creates much more tension and gives you that nervous feeling when the team you love is going to lose and somehow pulls it back. SKT fans will vouch for this after watching CJ vs. SKT, which damn nearly gave me a heart-attack. It's the realism and the being told the underdogs that make underdog stories that much more exciting. Imagine had the season 2 TPA squad been predicted to win from the beginning? The entire tournaments impact would cease to exist.
montecristo conducting the Korean Hype Train in Season 3
I mean, fundamentally there is nothing wrong with voting for the underdogs, but for people who's job it is to teach and provide insight into how teams fair up, it does a bad job of helping new viewers get a realistic grasp on the scene. The thing is with League, is that casters have contracts and ultimately no-one is expendable which is why they can get away with fan-service. In CSGO, analysts get 1 tournament length contracts and tend to use it to their maximum effectiveness to the extent where they need to back up their claims that they are an expert because otherwise they wouldn't see another contract.
Feel free to disagree(obviously). This is my first article and I wrote it specifically as I felt it was an issue that will pop-up a lot during MSI and future international events if not properly addressed.