Dear Riot, Please Remove Autofill from Ranked
*DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece.*
As a journalist who has been covering League of Legends for awhile now, I fondly remember the first time you announced the autofill feature and the reasoning behind its launch; to reduce the time from entering the queue to getting into a game, thinking it would be better to force players into filling a role. However, as you can clearly see, this has backfired.
The community consensus, from what I have seen, is that players would rather wait to be put into their role as opposed to being forced into support, where the vast majority of lower ranks begin trolling if they are forced into a role they didn't pick. This, in itself, devalues the game, as players feel like they are not being put in their strongest position to help the team win.
Now I get the argument for those in favor of autofill; that players should be able to play all roles going into ranked. However, if you set up a system that allows choice for roles best suited to the individual, and you force him or her off their choice or comfort zone, then you are asking for insecurity in what should be a place for a player to showcase their skills and rise through the ranks. This is why autofill is more suited for casual play, or non-ranked game types.
Autofill also makes matches lose their quality. The vast majority of players would rather be put with a person who mains support or mains ADC and knows what they are doing, compared to being forced to play besides someone who has little to no practice in the role they were given through autofill. It just isn't a good environment and can promote hostility in the long run.
I have not seen this much backlash since the removal of solo and duo queue for ranked, and that only lasted one year, so I can't imagine how long autofill will last with this amount of negative feedback.
Regardless of how you take this advice and how the community perceives these changes, I feel it is only a matter of time until the autofill option is removed, at least from ranked, to improve competitive play.
Adam Newell is a journalist for @ and can be contacted in ways displayed below. If you have any tips or want anything covered, be sure to let us know:
Photo credits: Riot Games