Solo-only Mode might make its way to League of Legends


Riot Looks To Remove Duo Queue for Solo-only Mode

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Riot Games has been very experimental in Season 2022, right from the get-go and now it hopes to make the ranked ecosystem a bit better.
In a new developer post, Riot Games started the conversation around the concept of a dedicated Solo-only ranked queue which would prevent players from duo-queueing.
Riot believes that this Solo-only mode would make Solo Queue better and also improve the quality of Ranked Flex.

Season 2022 of League of Legends began in January this year and it has been quite the rollercoaster ride for the community. Riot Games has already introduced a multitude of changes to the state of the game and we had changes to Teleport, saw the rise and fall of Chemtech Dragon, witnessed the advantages that objective bounties bring forth, and now we are experiencing changes to runes and items on the whole as well. Riot is also actively working to tone down the power creep issue in League of Legends.

Riot has now given the players an insight into what it thinks of the current competitive season and also what players can expect to see in the coming months. A new blogpost was written by Competitive Gameplay Product Manager Cody “Codebear” Germain and Lilu “Riru” Cabareros of marketing communication. In an attempt to balance the competitive integrity of League of Legends, Riot is looking to possibly remove Solo/Duo Queue and replace it with a "Solo-only Mode".

Riot’s goals for the 2022 competitive season

Following are the goals that Riot is eyeing for this season

  • Competitive Integrity: Players have an even playing field in their competitive matches.

  • Progression Opportunities: Players have meaningful goals.

  • Team or Organized Play: Players are aware of opportunities to play with others of similar intent and skill and participate in the same accordingly.

Will Duo Queue get the boot?

In a section called the Ranked Queue Health and the “Premade Problem”, the developers wrote, “Solo/Duo queue is currently in one of the healthiest states we’ve ever seen. Autofill is at its lowest ever global rate hovering between 0.5% and 3% of player games. Queue times are at a 2 year low in many large regions and hovering firm in our small regions. Lastly, MMR accuracy is strong, where 99% of players are playing with those within a maximum of 2 divisions of their rank with a steady win-prediction accuracy to back it up.

Game modes in League of Legends

Game modes in League of Legends

However, it acknowledged the problems when it comes to accommodating premade duos.

We do see issues with Solo/Duo Queue that consistently point to our accommodation of premade duos–this directly adds quality and population volatility into the matchmaking mix,” Riot noted.

It added that duo premades sometimes have an imbalanced MMR (Matchmaking Rating) and it affects autofill/secondary rates, increases the queue timers, and also affects the game quality metrics.

Additionally, Riot stressed that there has been a significant decline in the health of Ranked Flex queue where queue timers and match qualities are jagged because of duos not queuing up in this ranked mode.

On the flip side, we’ve started to see a significant decline in the health of Ranked Flex queue where queue times (~7 min on average for 3 person parties) and match quality (2-4 division discrepancies between teams) have diverged significantly. The ironic thing here is that the total population in Ranked Flex remains healthy, but the premade distribution and make-up of that population has shifted to a point where it’s difficult to make matches at a quality bar we’d like."
Riot Games

As a means to combat these issues at hand, Riot is toying with the idea of a "Solo-only" queue, that would force premades into either Ranked Flex or a mode where all five teammates queue together as a team. Although this is only a tentative project, Riot strongly believes this Solo-only queue would not only reduce boosting but would tackle issues like autofill. It also hopes that Ranked Flex mode would be favored in general.

What is the Solo-only mode?

Solo-only ranked mode would allow players to climb in ranked all by themselves without a friend accompanying them. This rules out the possibility of attack-damage carry-support duos, or mid-jungle duos playing together in Solo Queue.

League of Legends

League of Legends

According to Riot Games, it expects to see the following results in the Solo-only queue

  • A further decrease in autofill and secondary roles

  • Queue times could decrease by up to ~5% for 99.9% of players

  • Winrate advantages due to team disparities would vanish completely

  • Boosting would be eradicated

  • Between-team and within-team MMR for 99% of players to be within one division’s rank of each other during peak hours

Riot also stated that it would dive deeper into the competitive system of all other models including ARAM (All Random All Mid) as the season progresses. Codebear and Riru said that they would provide more details on this “Solo-only” queue “if it is an area [they] can realistically move forward with.

Reactions from the community

Currently, the community seems to be torn over whether or not it likes the idea of a Solo-only ranked mode. Replying to a tweet that talked about this mode, a Twitter user pointed out, “IMO it's fine where it is in master+. Taking league seriously starts there and duos are already not allowed. There's a huge portion of the population that play league for what it is (a game) and want to play with their friend(s). This is a step towards making LOL even more unfun.

On the contrary, another user said, “[it] can be a good change tbh, might make flex queue actually worth playing + maybe add voice comms for flex queue only?”

As of now, Riot has not confirmed these changes to the Ranked ecosystem of League of Legends. With the season still developing and Riot introducing so many new changes, players can only wait and see if they all work out. Well, if they don’t, we can hope to see a similar kind of fate the Chemtech Dragon faced on the rift.

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Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant