“We’ll be honest: there’s definitely a world in which solo queue doesn’t return, but we’d rather keep it on the table as we work through these issues before making a final decision.” – Riot Socrates
From the tone of Socrates’ tweet (and from the surrounding context), it looks like Solo Queue mode probably will be delayed indefinitely. Many of us have waited for a couple of months now, but it just isn’t coming.
You’ve got a lot of different perspectives, on this one, but public outcry from many professional players has been suggesting support for solo queue to still be released. I firmly believe in the importance of open discourse as one of the only ways to hold Riot accountable and responsible to its player base. So whether it’s professional players, streamers, or you yourself, I value your input, and would strongly encourage you to speak your own mind on this.
Here’s my two cents.
I kind of see Riot as the government of our day as League of Legends players. They almost hold a monopoly when it comes to decision-making, but are still self-interested: their goal is to expand the size of their empire. And for us, this really is a good thing. It at least means that Riot needs to be minimally responsive to public outcry.
But the announcement of solo queue, then withholding of this mode from the player-base has once again re-affirmed the monopolistic nature of our relationship with Riot. My first concern is that this decision heavily deteriorates the integrity of Riot’s word.
When I think about the practical implications of this decision though, I really am saddened. It was competition that planted the seed of my passion for League of Legends; dynamic queue has really been taking away from this. While I do enjoy playing with friends sometimes, the core of what has made this game so successful is its competitive design. Players love to compete, usually hoping for the purest form of competition possible, so it’s extremely disappointing to see competitiveness take a backseat to casual recreation. I don’t want to see this become the default.
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Effect on eSports
It’s currently a far stretch, but if Riot continues to walk down the path of casual gaming, the eSports scene will suffer. Look at the surrounding history and we can see that Nintendo and Sakurai have made this mistake in the past. They were proponents of Super Smash Bros Brawl, over the much more competitive and popular Melee. The community had to toil for years just to re-emerge from the underground. While Riot is obviously pushing eSports as a whole with their competitive leagues, the spine of hardcore gaming comes innately from grassroots competition.
I’ve seen so many more people on my friends list get carried into higher ratings by a single smurf. Dynamic queue has been encouraging this sort of behavior. I believe the ultimate consequence of this in particular will be the illegitimacy of achievement. People won’t feel as good about their ranks anymore, since so many more people around them will be ‘undeserving’ of their ratings.
I want to see the resurrection of pride in solo queue. The best players no longer sit on top of the ranked ladder. League of Legends is a fun game, but it’s the addictive competition that captures the hearts of so many. I don’t want this fire to be extinguished.