A walk in the Sportify Game Center

Recently we launched the second version of our Game Center on our website. The Game Center is a collection of widgets that provide insights into a game with our expected goal models as the foundation. The widgets are currently available for Champions League, English Premier League, LigaMX and Major League Soccer from the 2011/12 season to the present. Results for a match in the present season are typically available within ten minutes of the final whistle – the timing depends on when Opta ends data collection followed by a three minute processing time in our system.

Game Summary

The widgets include a game summary with a grade for each team’s performance in four key competencies: offense, defense, possession and goalkeeping. (The grades are based on our models and will be more deeply explained in future posts.) Three of those four competencies are detailed in the remaining widgets. We are working on a third iteration of a defense widget, and we will publish it with the collection once we are satisfied that the insights it provides are relevant and significant.


We will be making corrections and updates as we encounter bugs, so if you’d like to report a bug or suggest a feature, please do contact us. No timeline yet on the delivery of luck, heart and fighting spirit widgets.


Interactive Shot MapsOffense Widget

Each team’s shots are mapped in an individual offense visualization. Every shot made taken by a team is represented by a circle, and the diameter of each is determined by the cQxG value of the shot. The circles are color coded based on the result of the opportunity: green for goal, blue for on target, orange for woodwork, and red for off target. Penalty goals are excluded from the visualization. More on this in a future post.


Hovering over a shot reveals the name of the player who took it, it’s cQxG value, the minute the shot was taken, and which body part (right foot, left foot, header) was used to make the shot.


The widget does not yet distinguish which shots were saved by the goalkeeper or blocked by the defense; however, you can view the goalkeeper widget for more insights on the shots that made it past the defense.


Goalkeeper Views

The goalkeeper widget has two exchangeable views: front and top. Every shot that beats the defense is visible in both views.


Like in the offense widget, shots are represented by color coded circles: blue is a save, red is a goal conceded. Unlike in the offense widget, however, we present a shot’s saveability (1 – sQxG) value and the diameter does not change with the value. In addition to the shot’s saveability, the shot detail in this widget includes the shot taker, the minute, and the distance from goal.


Possession Ends

The final widget in the collection is a map of possession ends. Similar to the more common heat maps for possession, concentrated possession turns to red; however, we don’t treat all elements of possessions equally. We map only where a possession ended to illustrate how close to the opponent’s goal  a team was able to take a particular possession. The next version will include a line that marks the average possession start.


More to come

We are working to improve the widget performance, add additional information (like the cQxG total per team in the offense widget) and publish a defense widget. Take time to explore the Game Center – from researching past seasons to Saturday mornings after watching Arsenal kill it in the Premier (no?). We’re always open to feedback via Twitter and remember to share!