For those of you who play ranked games in League of Legends then you’ve probably experienced the dreaded dynamic queue and it’s problems. We recently reported on why dynamic queue sucks and Riot have attempted to fix some of the issues we addressed. With an update for the NA region recently going live a new “autofill” feature has been enabled for the dynamic queue. Although it’s only been out for less than 24 hours a number of players have already reported problems with it.
Back at the start of season 6 Riot announced they would be replacing the solo/duo queue with a dynamic group queue. Using this new system you can climb the ladder with any number of teammates .e.g solo or with 4 other teammates. A key feature of the new system was the ability to pick a primary and secondary role. Meaning you are pretty much guaranteed to get one of the roles you selected. This feature was meant to reduce arguing over roles in the lobby and match players to the appropriate roles.
Although it all sounded good in theory when Riot released it, major problems started to arise shortly after its release.
The first problem was that people didn’t like the ability to queue with 5 teammates as it increased the chances of being against a premade. Even though Riot stated “If you’re in a premade 5, there’s a 95% chance you’ll run into another premade 5” this was definitely not the case. There were a lot of reports of 5 individual solo players being up against a premade 5 which obviously isn’t fair. Not only does it ruin the game and experience but basically gives the premade 5 a big advantage and basically a free win.
There was also the problem if you join the match as a solo player and the other 4 members on your team were premade. This can cause disputes with other members of the team with them threatening to report you if you don't do what you’re told. Basically it's 4 against 1 and the whole system punishes solo queue players which players disliked. A lot of players were happy with the original solo queue which limited the max ranked game queuing to 2 players.
Another recurring problem was the fact that the dynamic queue adjusted the MMR ratings when searching for other players depending on the estimated queue time. This meant that if you were in Diamond 1 the system would start searching for other Diamond 1 players. If for any reason there were not enough available then instead of waiting for other players the system would start to search for lower MMR players.
In this example the system would start searching Diamond 2 players and so forth until it could find a fair team. This feature of the system doesn't always work as intended and some Gold players have reported being matched with Diamond players. As you can imagine players are not happy with this problem.
It’s clear that Riot are trying their best to reduce the wait times of ranked games, the problem is they are not necessarily fair match ups.
Now enter the autofill feature.
With a recent patch update Riot has introduced a new feature to the dynamic queue system and they call it “autofill”. This new feature tries to reduce the queue times for all players but specifically high elo players. From an official Riot statement they say “If players enter queue with excessive estimated wait times, the matchmaker will potentially assign them a role other than the two they selected.”
Basically this defeats the whole purpose of the queuing system. It’s common knowledge that high elo queues take a long time as there are not enough players of that skill available. If you’ve ever watched a professional's stream waiting in ranked queue at a high elo they can sometimes wait 40 minutes or more. In order to combat this Riot introduced the autofill feature.
It seems the two main techniques Riot use to reduce queue times are:
Search for lower ranked players until enough are found to form a team (standard Dynamic Queue)
If there are enough players at that rank available but they are queuing for different roles - force them to switch roles (Autofill)
The original dynamic queue is what option a above describes, while the new autofill feature is basically option b as described above.
Riot stated that the autofill feature will only be enabled when the queue time estimates are long. They also say players will be notified of this before they join the queue and that there is no guarantee they will get the primary or secondary role.
A lot of professional League of Legends players have taken their views to Twitter to show just how broken the new update is.
Pro player Bjergsen who is currently the Mid laner for the Team SoloMid recently posted a picture of his experience of autofill on his Twitter. This picture shows a match he had recently played were the assigned ADC is saying “i dont play adc”. As you can see from the picture the player's name is ChumpJohnsVlad and says he joined to play the champ Vladimir. A normal lane for Vladimir would either be top or mid which is what he was most likely queuing for as his primary and secondary role. But thanks to the autofill feature he was forced into the ADC role.
Doublelift, the current AD carry for Team SoloMid also posted a picture on Twitter saying he has quit playing ranked games until Riot fix the the queuing system. In the picture you can clearly see the bad matchmaking by the dynamic queue system. Doublelift's team mainly consists of Challenger league players while his opponents team is mainly Diamond 1 with even a Diamond 3 in there. Talk about unfair matching!
There have also been reports from Bjergsens Twitter that his fellow TSM teammate Hauntzers was given a support role after only 3 minutes in the queue. His selected roles were actually top and mid but the dynamic queue system decided to place him in a completely different lane in order to speed things up.
When dynamic queue was originally released and it received a lot of criticism Riot suggested there was a chance in the future that solo queue would return. Since then Riot has confirmed that solo queue will not be returning. This has angered a lot of players as after waiting all those months for a potential update on when it will be returning. Riot have just decided they won’t be bringing it back at all and instead will be focusing on improve the new dynamic queue.
Riot recently released a statement to defend their actions of keeping dynamic queue saying “We agree dynamic queue standings don’t reflect pure individual skill as well as a solo ladder, but they also don’t inhibit competitive team experiences, and that’s a trade-off we want to make”. As you can see it’s clear that Riot want one ladder for dynamic queuing while the players just want their solo queue back. Hate it or love it for now it looks like dynamic queue is here to stay.