LoL Ranked Changes for the Next Season

October 7, 2016 - Esports

Before this League of Legends Ranked season, which is about to conclude, Riot Games announced their intention to remove Solo/Duo Queue and Team Ranked in favor of Dynamic Queue, with a promise to reintroduce Solo Queue as an option soon(tm). The community immediately expressed their doubts about the new system. As it turns out, the community was right.

People said that if the Dynamic Queue system would replace Solo Queue, a player’s rank would lose meaning because you could never know if his skill actually matches his rank or if his Diamond friends got on a Bronze smurf to boost him to Gold or Plat. The players’ concerns turned out to be mostly true. Soon, games became dependent on whose premades were better, making it a very frustrating experience for those players, who like to play alone.

Dynamic Queue wasn’t working, Solo Queue was late, so unsatisfied players soon raised a big stink, prompting Riot Games to respond to the concerns of their customers. In short, the devs promised to improve Dynamic Queue to minimize the problems raised by the community and admitted that the plans to reintroduce Solo Queue have been scrapped if there even was something like that planned in the first place. There were a lot of angry gamers. A lot of them.

Now, with the season drawing to a close and League giving ground to other games, like Overwatch, Riot Games announced that they plan to essentially go back to the old system, keeping the champ select feature from Dynamic Queue. Now, you will be able to choose your two preferred positions and veto your worst role if autofill is on or you chose fill as one of your preferred roles. You will also be able to Duo with a friend. This mode is intended to reward the “solo carry” mentality and test your individual skill as a League of Legends player.

The second Ranked mode available will be called Ranked Flex and function similarly to Solo Queue, while being separate. According to Riot, it’s supposed to serve coordinated groups of players or simply people who would like to practice more team-oriented skills. This mode’s success will heavily depend on the number of players who value individual skill over teamwork, so to speak. If you thought that Dynamic Queue ruined Ranked integrity, you probably won’t touch Ranked Flex with a ten foot pole. If there are a lot of players who think along the same lines, Ranked Flex’s queue times will suffer heavily. Riot gave themselves an out in such a case, they will just turn it into the old Team Ranked with some polishing up, utilizing their algorithmic improvements, made when trying to make Dynamic Queue not suck.

You won’t hear anyone else complaining about these changes. Most people say that the only problem is that even when completely revamping the system they rammed down players’ throats for a year, Riot still tried to spin it to be a good thing instead of just straight out coming out and saying, “Mea culpa, we fucked up, we knew you were right, but we didn’t want to admit it.” You know, if Riot said something along the lines of, “Hey, guys, you’re right, Dynamic Queue sucks but we can’t just switch back to Solo Queue with the Ranked season in progress. Would you mind terribly if we kept it for this season and introduced Solo Queue back next season?” That would have been cool, that would have been transparent, that would have reduced the animosity towards Riot, felt by the community. This is one of these rare instances, where PR is bad. Just admit you fucked up, players will respect you for it. Well, at least they are fixing it now. We will have to see how it goes, but most players seem to be optimistic.