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Riot will not bring solo queue back to League of Legends, is implementing matchmaking changes

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Changes are coming to role selection, queue times and high-level premade parties.

Riot Games

The much-loved "solo queue" will not return to League of Legends, as announced in a post about dynamic queue on Riot's website. This has been one of the most heated issues within the League community since dynamic queue was released at the start of the year.

So what's been the problem?

Previously, when playing in League's ranked ladder, players could only queue up as a solo player (solo queue) or with a similarly-skilled partner (duo queue). When dynamic queue was introduced, it brought with it three major changes:

  1. The ability to choose two roles you would like to play, assigning roles to players in champion select and getting rid of the previous rush to claim your preferred role first. This change has been widely accepted as positive for the game.
  2. The ability to queue up as a party of up to five, instead of just two. This change has been the one subject to wide controversy, especially from players at the highest level of the game (including professional players).
  3. Excessively long queue times for high-level players, often in excess of 30 minutes.

The main complaints about dynamic queue are: one, it can allow an unskilled player to climb up the ladder quickly by having skilled friends (thus making the ladder a less reliable representation of individual skill), and two, playing as the sole person with a four-person premade can be a miserable experience, especially if they are all on voice chat and you are not.

Additionally, higher-level players are much more likely to encounter a five-man premade when not in a five-man premade themselves.

Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Plat solos, duos, and trios battle a five-player premade in about 1 game out of 1000 (slightly more often in Plat). In Diamond, the odds of encountering a full premade jump to 1 in 150, and then skyrockets in Masters+, where players encounter a five-stack as often as 1 in 25 games

Riot addressed the first complaint in the post:

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

And while the role-selection feature has efficiently cut down on the number of people who scream "MID OR FEED" in chat, the "fill" option might as well function as a second "support" button. And if support is in either of your two role selections, you're almost guaranteed to get it. Other positions, not so much.

In the post, Riot also said if you queued up in the current system with mid as your primary position and support as your secondary, you would only end up with mid 16 percent of the time.

What is Riot doing to address the problems?

  • Limiting Diamond 5 and higher matches to solos, duos and trios.
  • Increasing the likelihood you get your primary position.
  • Trading guaranteed positions for shorter queue times: the system will still try to assign you one of your two roles, but if queue times are too long it will add fill as an option (mostly for high-level players).

This will remain a hot-button issue in League, but there seems to have been changes made for the better for those players at the top of the ladder, who were suffering more than most. We'll have to wait and see how everyone else responds.