Broken Bounty System Needs Balancing

Bogus? Brilliant? Bonkers? The discussion over the bounty system continues as we are reaching the mid point of the split.

In case you missed it, Doublelift went on twitter this past week taking a stand against the bounty system. His argument is concentrated around the controversy of receiving a bounty when you are 0-0-0.

His tweet caused for many to respond including a Riot employee that argued for comeback mechanics using the oddest analogy about him in a 1 vs 1 with Lebron James. The example was so bizarre that he had to explain it.

Although I personally agree with Doublelift in this matter, I want this post to emphasize a different argument against the bounty system. If you are interested in reading more about Doubelift’s tweet and the many who respond to it, here is the reddit link that documents everything:

So, when a game is even in gold (or close to being even), there is absolutely no reason for any bounty to be introduced. If bounties are meant to be a comeback mechanic, then implement bounties when the game is on the verge of becoming unwinnable, not when one team has a trivial gold lead over the other team. I would argue that “trivial gold leads” could range from >1K at 15 minutes to 3-4K at 30 minutes. However, we are seeing more and more illogical bounties arising that make you scratch your head and question the validity of this system.

Let’s take a look at an example of an even game that introduces a bounty. In the first game of week 4 day 1 of the LCS, TSM faced off against Optic Gaming in a fairly close match. At 14:55 of the game, Crown’s Zoe receives a bounty while being 8 cs down against his lane opponent . Now, Optic does have a slight 700 gold lead on TSM, but does this really warrant a 550 gold bounty on Zoe? If anything, perhaps Meteos’s Olaf deserves the bounty at being 19 cs ahead of his counterpart. Here’s a screenshot of the game when the questionable bounty is placed on Zoe.

A few minutes later, a team fight breaks out and Zoe is killed. So please Riot, explain this bounty because it makes NO sense to me.

Moving onto another example that occurred in the very next match between Golden Guardians vs Team Liquid (Week 4, Day 1, Game 2), this game actually infuriates me when analyzing the bounties. The spectators provided a view of the individual gold leads several times in the GGS vs TL game that help us better understand the state of the game and the nonsensical bounty system.

At 11:29 of the GGS vs TL game, we get our first glimpse into the individual gold leads (screenshot below). For GGS, Hauntzer has a 900 gold lead on Impact and Deftly has a 700 gold lead on DL. For TL, there is no major gold lead that should be considered. Now, I do not believe there should be a bounty introduced in such an even game and it’s good there isn’t any bounty, but let’s take a look at who has one five minutes later.

Once again we are fortunate that the spectators gave us another view at the individual gold leads at 16:30 (screenshot below). Doublelift has caught up with Deftly, Hauntzer has increased his gold lead to 1,700, Jensen has a gold lead of 900 over Froggen, and the team have almost the same amount of gold. I’ll say it one more time – NO bounty should be introduced at such a point as the teams are even in gold yet have differing advantages around the map. However, Jensen is the one targeted with the 450 gold bounty. If Jensen has a bounty, why doesn’t Hauntzer have a bounty too?

These are only a few examples of the illogical bounties that we have seen in the LCS, but they are happening around the globe in the LEC, LPL, and LCK. It is my opinion that the bounty system is broken and either needs to be fixed or dropped. When a game is even going on 15-20 minutes, teams need to learn to play around their advantages rather than targeting a juicy bounty to collect.

Thanks for reading! I hope we can get some serious discussion about the system so that Riot is forced to reexamine the logic behind bounties.

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