Riot Games continues to show that it cares about the opinions of the players with their latest big announcement, sure to change the ranked system for the better. They have announced in an official article in their developer’s blog “Riot pls,” that the ranked scene will be changing drastically, and it will look a lot more like it did before the big changes of the 2016 season, but bringing with it the best aspects of the current system, which should prove to be a very good move on their part.
They get into the details very specifically in their official article that I linked in the last paragraph, but I’ll lay out the important bits. In the 2016 ranked season, Riot released the Dynamic Queue, which allows players to queue up for ranked specifying two roles that they’d like to play (or electing to fill into any needed role, but let’s be honest, most of us didn’t do that), and group up with any number of friends to hop into a ranked game. This looked like a good idea when they first announced it, the theory being that you weren’t limited to playing ranked games with only one other friend and you could specify a role you wanted, so you weren’t expected to know how to play every role well just to queue up for ranked, replacing the slightly-more-barbaric system of calling roles based on pick order in the lobby that we had beforehand. Again, that seems like a good idea on paper, but in practice, it unleashed many more monsters.
With the season winding down and ending next month, we’ve had almost the entire season to reflect on why Dynamic Queue consequently blew up in our faces. There seems to have been one glaring issue that almost every player has experienced since the release of Dynamic Queue, and that is the fact that a team of 5 solo players can very possibly be pitted against a team of 5 friends in a premade group. The game’s favor quickly leans towards the premade group, due to the natural increase in communication and synergy, and the other team is a rag-tag group of solo queue players trying to trust one another, but ending up looking like The Avengers before Captain America gave them their pep talk: wanting to kill one another. This issue was addressed by Riot a few months ago, but resulted in largely increased queue times, and even then, it could not be completely prevented. Another issue was that you might be the only solo player on your team, and the 4-player premade group starts to pick on you because, naturally, they wouldn’t want to pick on their own friends if the game started going south. These were the largest issues, and because of this, the player-base of League of Legends consistently complained about it on Reddit and the League of Legends forums for the entirety of the season.
Enter the 2017 ranked season, and Riot Games listening to the onslaught of complaints.
The changes for the upcoming season promise the return of Solo and Duo Queue ranked games, meaning you can only queue up for ranked games by yourself or with one friend, just like the ranked system before the last season. The only difference between then and now being that they are keeping the ability to choose which roles you want to play, which seems to be the greatest piece from the Dynamic Queue system that we all want to stick around.
Don’t worry, you can still queue up with more than one friend for ranked, if you want, but it will be an entirely separate ranked queue with an independent rank from the solo/duo queue. The ranked 5-player Summoner’s Rift queue (Ranked Teams) are being combined into this queue, and if you reach at least Gold, you will have a special flare added onto your regular ranked border that you would have earned in solo/duo queue when rewards roll around at the end of the season.
We at Doran’s Blog are very happy about these changes, and we think it’s great that Riot can still make decisions to benefit the greater good of their players even though they are well past being able to make decisions on the fly like they used to, due to the sheer size of the game and the company now. Kudos to you, Riot!
TL;DR: Dynamic Queue leaving. Solo/Duo Queue returning. Role selection staying. Ranked 5’s queue being combined into one queue similar to the current Dynamic Queue, but having an independent rank from solo and duo queues.
Thanks for reading!