Around the end of season five, League of Legends players heard of some big news affecting how they would climb in the upcoming season. That news was the instillation of Dynamic Queue. This lovely little gem of Riot’s would allow players to queue up with their friends — so long as they were within one ranked tier of each other — and commence the climb they always dreamed of. Visions of escaping “elo hell” with the help of their compatriots played in their heads and all would be right with the world.
There was another side to this, however, and that was the sect that didn’t want or need the help of their friends. Now, they would be forced to be the odd man out if their team was a group of four or three. Worse even was the idea of playing against a group of four or five friends, all voice chat connected, with nothing but the in-game chat connecting you and your motley crew of teammates. This fear, much like the aforementioned dream, came to pass.
According to Riot, this preseason saw a 45 percent increase in ranked games played relative to last preseason. So inevitably players have risen–and unfortunately fallen–in their ranked rankings, and over the past week this has been influenced by the new Dynamic Queue. While there aren’t any hard and fast statistics to show that players have wholly benefited from this new system–like showing the majority of players have risen in ranking or something of that nature–we have seen it being “abused” at higher elos with whole LCS teams queuing together.
Abused is an interesting, and possibly incorrect, word to describe this, however. It’s possibly incorrect because this is what the system was literally designed for. The LCS players did nothing wrong and actually played against Master tier players; Master Tier is the second highest ranking in the game below Challenger where most professionals are. Dynamic queue was created to allow people to play with their friends and climb together. This case was unfortunately its actual intention and biggest fear rolled into one. Since then Riot has fixed the issue claiming that 96 and 98 percent of people that queue as five or four man groups, respectively, are now playing against other groups of the same size. This isn’t the only way they’ve rectified the situation, though.
New to season six, in the coming weeks, will be a Solo Queue ladder; where not even duos are allowed. This ladder will be completely different from the Dynamic Queue ladder. Your future MMR and ranking in Dynamic Queue will also not influence your ranking in Solo Queue, but your current Solo Queue ranking will influence your future Dynamic Queue ranking if you haven’t already completed your placements in them. So you can technically be a Gold tier Dynamic Queue player and have a Bronze Solo Queue ranking as they are once again two separate ladders. Even more interesting is that you’ll still be allowed to queue solo in Dynamic Queue and rewards at the end of season, once again according to Riot, will more than likely trend towards Dynamic Queue.
So essentially, Solo Queue is there purely to sate the interests and pleas of those who don’t want to play ranked with their friends, or as the odd man out in a random group. While it’s hard to imagine a group of players not getting rewards at the end of the season Riot still doesn’t know what they’re going to do about that, but they have more than enough time to figure it out. What also makes this a big change is the affect it will have on the game in the big and small markets. These ladders and queues will be wholly separate depleting from each other. Meaning queue times for each will be longer as opposed to there being just one. While this may not be a huge problem for North American, European, or Korean servers it more than likely will be a one for places like Turkey and the upcoming Japan servers, and then there’s the added problem of match quality coming into the picture.
On smaller severs players will more than likely be forced to play against much higher ranked opponents as opposed to those in their bracket decreasing their overall enjoyment of the game, and if the split is great enough they likely won’t find respite in either queue. They also might face long queue times because the game will be reluctant to place them with the higher tier players. This could possibly be fixed by dropping a queue completely from the picture for these areas as they’ve already done that in some cases, but what happens to Solo Queue then?
This is going to be an interesting season for League of Legends as Riot tries to work out the kinks and satisfy two different sects of players. Will your Solo Queue ranking actually mean anything in the end and why is it so hard to just give everyone above Gold the rewards like before? That problem alone and Riot’s insistence on Dynamic Queue being the new “thing” is probably going to have some major effects on their player base. It’s sounding like Solo Queue might be treated like Twisted Treeline rankings — 3 v 3 for those not in the know — meaning you’re not getting rewards even if you’re above Gold.