IPL Operations Manager, Nick Allen, talks about IPL5 expectations and more
by Alan LaFleur September 20, 2012 @ 03:09pm
IPL5 Tournament Format
We were able to talk with the Operations Manager for IPL, Nick Allen, about their expectations for IPL5 and other going-ons with IPL.
IPL4 was an incredible experience for people on stream and at the event, do you think IPL5 will be able to 1-up the IPL4 experience?
IPL5 is going to be our largest event to date. We hope to improve on every aspect of IPL4 and really took a lot of viewer feedback into account. A lot of people have been asking "Are you going to be able to do a better job than IPL4? Are you going to do a better job than Dreamhack/IEM/MLG?" I tell them our goal is to surpass those and more. We want to put on a better show than the World Championships.
Do you feel that the current teams qualified for your League of Legends competition will bring in the viewers needed? The absence of CLG, Dignitas, Fnatic has to be a little worrying.
Our strategy isn't to bring in teams that can draw viewers. Our goal is to bring in the very best teams and let the competition drive the viewership. We would definitely like to have CLG, Dignitas, Fnatic, and SK there, but at this point, we can't have all of them. However, we feel confident that we are bringing in the best teams from around the world and that is the essence of what we are trying to accomplish.
A month or so ago you guys introduced IPL Elites and IPL Challengers, what is the current state of those competitions?
We had been planning on transitioning Elites and Challengers as our main circuit for a considerable length of time. However, with the announcement of Riot's Season 3 plans, a lot of the things we want to do have to be re-calibrated. We are currently in that recalibration process and cant say exactly what Elites and Challengers will look like after our IPL5 Qualifiers
Do you find that the volatile state of teams make it hard to create a league like structure?
The volatile state of teams doesn't necessary make the league itself difficult to create/maintain, it just makes it hard to be a live broadcasting organization. Teams forfeiting/shifting rosters is really common, it just takes a serious toll on a broadcasting schedule. In certain circumstances, teams will break up hours before a live broadcast leaving us scrambling to find a replacement. Live matches is where everything gets extremely complicated.
IPL5 Qualifiers have introduced some new up and coming teams. Which of these teams do you think will be able to break through to be a top 5 team, if any?
ELOBlade has a lot of my attention. They are a group of solo queue players with astonishing individual skill. They don't have a lot of experience, but have shown that they can take out some of the top teams in the world. A lot of critics say that solo queue doesn't mean a lot and that scrims are the real way to improve. Well ELOBlade is showing us otherwise so I am excited to see how they fare at a live event.
What are the goals for IPL League of Legends moving forward? Before and After IPL5.
At the end of the day, IPL is just a bunch of people who really like League of Legends and would be doing what we do now regardless of pay. With that in mind, we just want to continue to host games and tournaments that people like to watch. Before IPL5, we will be preparing for the live event. It has taken over most of our day to day operations and we are putting the time in to make sure the event will be amazing. After IPL5, we'll all take a short nap and start getting ready for IPL6 with more tournaments, more video content, and inevitably, more of my beard.
Will IPL5 showcase League of Legends more than StarCraft 2?
We don't like to think of it as showcasing one game more than others. We generally break it down in space allotment. We will be giving more viewing space to League of Legends this time around to accommodate a massive crowd. We will be giving more of our resources to League of Legends too, but we don't like to think of it in terms of a game hierarchy.
Thank you very much to Nick for the interview. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @NickAllenIGN. Also, it isn't too late to buy tickets for IPL5. The IGN Proleague League of Legends broadcasts are scheduled for Tuesday to Friday at 11 AM PST and 5 PM PST at www.twitch.tv/ipllol.