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Solo queue in League of Legends: an inconvenient truth

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League of Legends has something of a problem with its community. The majority of players are at a consensus that the community as a whole is one of extreme toxicity. This lends significantly toward one piece of advice that veterans always have for new players: “mute everyone the second the game starts.”

Voyboy speaks out about toxicity

Sadly, this toxicity doesn’t just remain in the lower levels, but rather, it extends all the way up to the highest tiers of play. One professional player recently took to Twitter to voice his concerns yet again regarding the horrible state of the community and the impact it holds upon the game. In this video, he outlined that the player base in solo queue has become far too toxic. This doesn’t just mean that players are flaming their teammates all the time, but also that they’re actively working against the team and are trying not to win.

Voyboy, professional League of Legends player and streamer, posted a video to Twitter. In it, he discussed the extreme levels of toxicity that consumes the community. He further mentions the recent growth in the toxic player base to the point where the game becomes nigh to unplayable at most levels, especially his.

“It’s just been getting worse and worse and worse every year, and I think that there’s a lot of factors that have contributed to this over time,” says Voyboy. With regard to the last five months of season 10 that he’s played, he feels this is the word period of play in his life. Voyboy mentioned even traveling to Riot’s headquarters to discuss the issues of toxicity in 2018 with Riot representatives. During this discussion, he said it would soon reach a critical mass.

The problems created by trolls

Voyboy described some of the problems that other high-level players have described in the past. This includes soft inting, players going AFK, ghosting streamers, queue sniping to throw games for players they don’t like, and a general attitude of trying to lose intentionally. All of this lends toward an overall atmosphere of disrespect between players. They’re disrespectful toward the integrity of the ladder system, they’re disrespectful of the competition, and they’re even disrespectful to their own fellow players.

Voyboy went on to say, “I have had absolutely the most miserable, worst experience of my life – and I’m not the only one. I’ve talked to a lot of streamers, a lot of pros, and almost everyone is agreeing with me.” This part seems quite true. Consider one of the first responses from Yiliang Peng, also known as Doublelift, one of the best players in the LCS. While there’s some profanity in the response, it’s safe to say that he agrees with Voyboy.

The Riot solution

But where is Riot amid all of this?

“Riot has really made it clear through their actions… that they don’t really care. If they did care, they would’ve done something by now. They would’ve addressed these problems as they’ve been building up,” Voyboy continued. It would appear that Riot is hesitant to properly punish people that grief and intentionally feed. As a result, Voyboy consistently runs into the same problematic players over and over again.

Voyboy’s testimony is just one example of the massive issue that plagues the League of Legends community. It’s hard to believe Riot will do anything to address the issue, considering that little-to-nothing has been done so far to address this ever-growing problem. But maybe this could help start a greater movement to have this addressed.

A possible solution

One journalist has gone on to suggest a possible fix that might address the problem of toxicity in the player base: Dynamic Queue. Folks didn’t like Dynamic Queue when it first came out in Season 6. They called it any number of names. But look at the state of the game now.

Players complained about the Dynamic Queue, saying it “unfairly disadvantaged solo players” and “made them game decided by whoever had the better premade.” But how does that compare to the state of today when the game is decided by whoever has the worst player? Which is worse?

Using Dynamic Queue, players control their gaming experience by queuing with as many friends or like-minded players as they want. You could find players in clubs, message boards, or anywhere else on the internet to queue up with and climb the ladder. You could form your own squad of three or four to have greater control over the destiny of the match, while also minimizing the risk on getting a troll on the team. Today’s odds of getting a troll are quite high.

The problem with the solution

What was everyone’s problem with the Dynamic Queue?

Players claimed that it didn’t adequately measure a player’s competency. It effectively allowed bad players to queue up with better players and be carried away to an artificially high rank. Riot then implemented tier restrictions to who could queue together, but that wasn’t quite enough. Years later, players in high elo complain about “unskilled” players who have been in high elo because they abused systems to inflate their MMR. And it still hasn’t corrected since.

The complaint also arose that the Dynamic Queue created an environment of uneven games. It effectively allowed a full five-man against five solos. Riot confirmed that their matchmaking was matching like-sized groups against each other. But players complained that matchmaking creates extreme mismatches and put autofilled players on their teams. Riot has yet to fix these matchmaking issues.

All of the issues that people complained about during the height of Dynamic Queue have not only persisted beyond its removal, but have even worsened. Worse still, a new issue has crept into solo queue that didn’t exist back in the days of Dynamic Queue: lack of competitiveness.

Even back in Season 6 when Dynamic Queue was introduced, you didn’t have players behaving as badly as they do in the Season 10 solo queue. You never saw teams of three queuing up to snipe a streamer and grief him all game. You didn’t see four-man premades intentionally losing the game for their solo teammate.

The reason behind this was simple. Players had control in Season 6, whereas they don’t now. If you wanted to minimize the risk of playing with trolls, you’d queue up with people you knew would play effectively. You could find a five-man team that would support you.

In conclusion

The Dynamic Queue is by no means a perfect solution. But it does sound better than keeping the community on this downward spiral. Give players some control over who they team up with and then it’ll reduce the likelihood of running into trolls. After all, we’re just playing video games to have a good time. How is it fair that trolls be allowed to run rampant and ruin that experience for us?

What solutions would you suggest to overcoming the toxicity of the community? Let us know in the comments below or tell us on social media @SlashShout.

Ryan Goodrich

Ryan has been writing since long before he could even write. He's written resumes, software user guides, consumer electronic reviews, and myriad web content spanning a variety of industries. But now he's writing about video games, which is much more interesting.

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