After a tarnished promise of Solo Queue surfaced, the community was in a frenzy. Solo bronze players are now getting choked out by a 5-man DQ squad well on their way to silver. Meanwhile, an aspiring young talent’s dream is torn up as the confetti of elo rains down on an LCS party’s accounts. In sum, Season 6 rank ladder is WWE.
So cut the drama for just one second and take a breath. When things change- especially from a longstanding tradition- people tend to get upset without actually evaluating it’s worth. To make matters worse, a large majority of the community shares that opinion so the positive aspects can’t shine through. So let’s look at the positives
- Encourages competitiveness at lower brackets
When you queue up with a few other friends it seems a lot more tryhard. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call these lower brackets below Diamond. Even though it might not be LCS for the average Silver, with four other friends you can feel like a coordinated unit looking to win every game.
- Decreases Toxicity
This might seem untrue, but in theory you won’t queue up with a toxic friend, and if you do you’re probably used to him and are not offended. Yes, you won’t always have a 5-man, and as a result the odd-one-out could be as toxic as last season. However it definitely decreases the chances of having a toxic teammate, much less to the extent of having someone AFK. From my experience after 150 solo ranked games this season so far, i’ve only had 1–5 AFKs. Although there’s no evidence that it’s because of dynamic queue, the new season has had less AFK’s in my experience.
- Players get their preferred role(s)
Season 6 has spoiled us somewhat since literally speaking we only need to know 40% of the roles in the game. This is a pro however because one, there’s less champion select hostage situations. Someone can still desperately want mid and threaten to feed if he doesn’t get it, but that seldom happens now they are content with their second role- they aren’t getting relegated to their least favorite to provoke them to troll. Two, you can bet people will perform at least a little better since they aren’t slipping past their second role. Given that some people are still one trick ponies, the quality of your players should rise.
- Preferred Champion
Despite the claim that this phase is a waste of 15 seconds, it has a surprising amount of merit that people blow over. Even though they aren’t forced to hover their preferred champion, the times that they do sometimes literally saves team comps from being all AD or too heavy in AP. With this meta specifically AP junglers are rampant and AD mids are very strong with Maw. The fact that my mid lane notified me that he’s playing Zed, let’s me change my top Darius to an AP Ekko and now our team comp is much more rounded out without a work exchanged.
Now for the part i’m sure you’ve all been waiting for. The reddit hate threads personified.
- Queue times
This mostly pertains to high elo but the tremors of it are still in the low elo brackets. Before season 6, 5 minutes for a silver game was unheard of, but now they can even reach up to 10 minutes. Generally this isn’t a big issue but the fact that Riot’s algorithm is so busy finding how your preferred role fits with four others like a puzzle piece, means that queue times will be longer naturally. But when you get to Challenger, finding a 5v5 game where everyone gets one of their roles can take ages.
Out of the 25–50 challengers queuing at a given time, it is near impossible to find 5 challengers to pit against 5 challengers. Which brings me to my next point.
Since Riot’s algorithm is frantically trying to find you your premade of 3–4 your preferred roles AND finding suitable partners, there can be a large gap in Elo between the two teams; usually with the favored elo collectively being stronger on the Dynamic Queue side. This is mostly a problem among high diamond being matched with Challengers and Masters, basically anything the system can find within an 100 mile radius of your elo.
Poor Froggen is a victim of both of these
Boosting has always been a problem since ranked queues were invented. Boosting was a thing before boosting was even called boosting. Maybe your friend who is better than you helps you out to get to his elo so you can duo. This is one of the main issues that now Challenger Teams must face. Four challenger players can quite easily boost a mid-Diamond player up to Challenger or at least high masters through Dynamic Queuing. The meme of “abusing dynamic queue” is actually quite a real threat and clutters high elo with players who were more or less boosted by cruising on the Dynamic queue elo train.
The Risk of No Solo Queue
This is perhaps the most taxing of all the cons. A few months ago solo queue was a promised thing. People were messing around on Dynamic Queue attentively waiting for the old ladder system to come back. However, recently Riot has retracted their promise of Solo Queue leaving it as a possibility.
Rush’s conspiracy theory aside, his opinion that Dynamic Queue and Solo Queue can’t coexist seems to be coming true. Riot has stated that they don’t like splitting the community. Making two separate ladders is the most drastic example of splitting a community. Dynamic Queue would be dropped completely for Solo Queue by the community and would discredit anyone’s Dynamic Queue rank as being illegitimate.
What does that mean for you?
Well as it stands, we only have Dynamic Queue, and it’s a very real possibility we will never get solo queue back. Assuming this to be true, what this means for you is to accept what we have now and perfect it. Would Solo Queue ladder have these elo disparities and long queue times? Not this severely at the least. But you also have to look at the positives, you can play with friends and cash in on some free elo by “abusing” the system. Short term; as long as the problems with Elo disparity and Queue times are fixed, Dynamic Queue is fine. However, long term Dynamic Queue is detrimental towards the competitiveness of higher brackets and stunts talent growth in every region. For now, make your voice heard, but not for solo queue. Make your voice heard for the problems Dynamic Queue currently faces and then enjoy it afterwards as best you can.