Welcome to the Lab

Alex C. — August 21, 2018

Welcome to Doran’s Lab! We are a research group at North Carolina State University composed of undergraduate students, graduate student mentors, and a small but talented development team brought together by a shared passion of League of Legends and data science. We’ve been hard at work analyzing League of Legends data since the the winter of of 2017 and are so excited to be able to share our work with the community. Whether you’re a competitive player, an analyst trying to get an edge, or a beginner who’s just curious about stats, we hope you’ll join us as we embark on a journey of data-driven League discovery!

Our summer session students hard at work

Doran’s Lab: A Quick History

  • Founded in December 2017 as the inaugural NCSU College of Sciences “Grand Challenge” with a cohort of 14 students from diverse backgrounds, including majors in Psychology, Philosophy, Engineering, Mathematics, Graphic Design, and Computer Science
  • Held weekly meetings during the spring semester to brainstorm project ideas, discuss readings, learn statistical concepts, and develop core data science skills like writing code to manipulate tables of data; attended a talk by “data artist” Jer Thorpe and were lucky enough to be visited by an analyst from Pew Research and two data scientists from Epic Games, who came to our lab to talk about data analysis in their respective fields
  • Granted access to a “production API key” by Riot, which lets us pull gigabytes of League of Legends game data every day (we now have over 3TB of data!)
  • Students and mentors worked together to carry out original research on a wide variety of topics, drawing on Riot’s API data as well as data we collected (painstakingly) by hand
  • Continued working our butts off into the summer of 2018 to produce this website!

Spring 2018 students

Our 2018 spring semester students in action!

Winners of 3v3 showmatch

Post-game “interview” with the winners of the 3v3 Doran’s Lab Invitational in spring 2018

Upcoming Projects

  • More cool data analyses: follow-up posts for our current articles and more analyses in a similar style
  • The Doran’s Lab Manual: a free online textbook featuring a friendly and principled introduction to data science tools and concepts, all motivated by League of Legends problems
  • Secret projects (still in planning stages, not ready for announcement 😉)

We’re not in this to make money—we don’t want your dollars or ad clicks. All we hope for is that you’ll join us in a conversation about League of Legends and data science and get in touch! How can we improve? What would you like to see next? Got a cool idea for an extension of our work? We’d love to see what insights you can generate with our data, so we’re sharing plenty of it. If you come up with something cool, we’ll put it on the site (with your permission).

Finally, we are very grateful for the support of the NC State College of Sciences, the endless hours of work from our mentors, consultants and development team, and Riot’s generosity in making their data accessible.

Now let’s do some data science together!

Alex & the Doran’s Lab team

Cool class of spring 2018

The Doran’s Lab team: tons of damage AND tons of coolness!