8th April, 2016
League of Legends entered it's sixth ranked season in January but this season feels wildly different. We've come to expect huge game play changes during the mid season and Riot delivered on this with the marksman rework but this year the League of Legends ranked system saw an overhaul with the release of Dynamic queue.
Dynamic queue is designed to allow friends to queue together in a ranked environment. While this role was previously filled by the ranked team queue Riot decided to make the change and merge solo and team queues into one master queue. Dynamic queue gets its name because you can queue with 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 slots filled all in the same game mode. Unfortunately not all of the community agrees with Riots decision.
Dynamic queue has split the community in half. Some players have not played a single ranked game in season 6 while others say that this is the most fun they've ever had in ranked League of Legends. Riot have tried to silence this outcry by continuously promising to release solo queue but after 4 months they have yet to deliver on this promise.
The idea of dangling a tasty hot dog over an angry mob of hungry people doesn't seem like a great way to deal with the situation. Here's some of the reasons why we think dynamic queue sucks.
Dynamic Queue allows players to play in groups. Larger premade groups are going to have an advantage over teams that are made up of smaller groups because their communication will be superior. Communication can massively change the outcome of games and this will result in players that group more often climbing faster than those that don't.
To further add to this problem, groups that consist of 4 highly skilled players can carry lower skilled players to higher Elo's then they belong. This means some players will have an MMR higher than their actual skill which in effect will devalue the rank, as well as effect the chances of their team winning when they play alone. Eventually they will fall back down to an MMR where they belong but this journey will damage the players around them.
The devaluation of the ranks and the ability for players of a lower skill level to climb does destroy the competitive integrity of this queue and since this is the only ranked game mode available we think its an issue Riot really needs to address.
Since League of Legends ranked game mode is 5v5 this means that a group of 4 friends need just one random player to complete the team. This unfortunately drags a single wandering soul into a game with a team that are probably using voice communications and won't talk to them all game. This is a huge disadvantage for the team as a whole and makes the game anti-fun for the solo player.
Unfortunately this has to happen under the current system. There are no other combinations for a 4 man premade than 4+1. This means that every time you queue up alone you might find yourself in the situation above.
To further devalue the experience of playing alone there are no benefits or rewards for being a solo player. Party rewards encourage players to form bigger groups and the new chest system gives an increase chance for a key if the group is bigger. All of this basically punishes the people that make dynamic queue work.
Without the solo players dynamic queue wouldn't function (or at least 4 man premades) and yet there are no incentives to play dynamic queue as a solo. It's an ill thought out system that feels rushed.
Let's assume that solo queue was released. Now barely anyone would play solo in dynamic queue which would mean the queue times for a group of 4 would be too long to be feasible. Players would stop queueing in groups of four and this would basically limit dynamic queue to only groups of 2,3 and 5. Riot would then be back where they started because they would have in effect have a solo queue and a group queue. Welcome back to Season 5 right?
The problem here is that Riot have said they are going to be bringing back solo queue, but it just can't happen. Riot wouldn't dare split their ranked player base with a solo queue and they just don't want to admit it. The situation has been poorly handled and the player base doesn't seem to be impressed. This only adds fuel to what's quickly turning into a bonfire.
Some would argue that you should put a wounded animal out of its misery.
Dynamic queue isn't a really bad system. It's just bad. There are some positives to dynamic queue such as providing groups of friends (smaller than 5) the ability to play together in a ranked environment but it this comes at the expense of the hardcore players and pushes the game towards the more casual market.
While the casual market needs love too there already exists a normal queue and ranked is supposed to be a competitive environment.
There are only two realistic solutions for Riot to consider, and neither solution will please everybody. If Riot could use Zilean to rewind time and go back to before this mess I think the would be the recommended solution.
As we previously discussed Riot cannot leave dynamic queue in place if they decide to recreate solo queue. One of their possible solutions is to replace dynamic queue with solo queue (and maybe team queue) but this would mean Riot need to admit that their dynamic queue was a failure and we can't see this happening any time soon.
The other problem is Riot will have to deal with a bunch of people angry that they removed Dynamic queue so they can't play ranked with their friends anymore. This will lead to another angry mob.
Riot could remove the ability for 4 and 5 man premades to queue which leaves dynamic queue feeling less dynamic but answers the solo queue players prayers. This is probably the best solution Riot has to the dynamic queue problem but it's not going to fully solve the competitive integrity issue.
An important point that keeps arising in this argument is that people enjoy the new Champion select and don't want Riot to take it away. Players seem to be confusing dynamic queue with the champion select. If Riot decide to remove dynamic queue then they won't be changing the champion select. Champion select isn't related to dynamic queue and will remain the same whatever ranked queue you decide to play.
We thought this should be mentioned because it's usually brought up in this argument.
What's your opinion on Dynamic queue? Do you like it or do you think Riot should admit it's failed and go back to the old system of Solo/Duo and Party? Let us know what you think below or on our social media by tweeting @unrankedsmurfs - If you want to play League of Legends but don't want the grind to level 30 then check out our awesome smurf accounts by clicking the button below.