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A random forest approach to identify metrics that best predict match outcome and player ranking in the esport rocket league

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posted on 2021-10-18, 08:49 authored by Tim D. Smithies, Mark J. Campbell, Niall Ramsbottom, Adam J. Toth
Notational analysis is a popular tool for understanding what constitutes optimal performance in traditional sports. However, this approach has been seldom used in esports. The popular esport “Rocket League” is an ideal candidate for notational analysis due to the availability of an online repository containing data from millions of matches. The purpose of this study was to use Random Forest models to identify in-match metrics that predicted match outcome (performance indicators or “PIs”) and/or in-game player rank (rank indicators or “RIs”). We evaluated match data from 21,588 Rocket League matches involving players from four different ranks. Upon identifying goal difference (GD) as a suitable outcome measure for Rocket League match performance, Random Forest models were used alongside accompanying variable importance methods to identify metrics that were PIs or RIs. We found shots taken, shots conceded, saves made, and time spent goal side of the ball to be the most important PIs, and time spent at supersonic speed, time spent on the ground, shots conceded and time spent goal side of the ball to be the most important RIs. This work is the first to use Random Forest learning algorithms to highlight the most critical PIs and RIs in a prominent esport

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History

Publication

Scientifc Reports;11, 19285

Publisher

Nature

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

SFI, IRC

Language

English

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