Been lurking for a while hoping some sort of positive change might happen with Dominion for S3. Instead I come back and see balance is the worst it has ever been, and now Riot is basically killing any chance Dominion will ever grow. Not only will this mode draw most SR players looking for something new, but it's probably going to take away a large chunk of Dominion players fed up with the cluster**** that is currently Dominion blind pick balance. Without ranked, there's no draw for SR players and no incentive for current players to try to improve. I played a bit over the holidays, and blind pick is still a trainwreck of OP champions mixed with AFKs/DCs and SR players screwing around with Flash Ignite Nami or such. I'm not even going to talk about the brokeness of the current penetration vs resistances balance. You probably have better odds to win the lottery than consistently winning blind pick without a full premade.
Some people question why Dominion needs ranked, normal draft is sufficient no? There are three gaping flaws with normal draft that killed it.
One, there's no restrictions on premades. The top elo players rolled everyone with full premades vs pugs, causing the high elo to stop playing so they wouldn't be fodder for the premades, causing queue times for everyone above a certain elo to increase drastically. Even at my elo at the time (1700-1800 or such) queue times starting hitting 6-7 minutes for a game mode that was supposed to be about shorter games. It's not just Dominion either, high elo SR draft normals is apparently dead as well due to pretty similar issues. Soloq ranked would put a stop to 4-5 man premades curbstomping everyone.
Two, the dodge penalty - and don't fool yourselves, draft was flat-lining before the dodge penalty mysteriously disappeared for months - for normals is trivial. Jabebot triggered a frenzy of ******baggery. Enemy team gets firstpick? Dodge. Your team's firstpick wasn't the best available champion? Dodge. Jabebot says your teammates have 2% lower elo than you? Dodge. Watching something on youtube? Might as well troll Dominion for a while and dodge some games. I counted how many dodges it took to start a game once, and the record is 10 for myself. Needless to say people got fed up and time to get a game going increased to the point where the mode was no longer deemed playable by anyone above 1600 elo; and then the queue penalty somehow got dropped and finished things off as the number of dodges quadrupled. Ranked has a MUCH harsher dodge penalty, making people think twice about pushing the X.
Three, there are no season rewards for normals making it seem like a casual mode to the general population. The top players I'm sure all have elos in the mid-2000s and would trash a top SR team challenging them to a game of Dominion, yet if any of them wanted even a bronze icon for S3 they had to go play TT or SR. Dominion elo essentially means nothing to the general LoL community. This keeps a lot of SR and TT players from bothering with Dominion, and now with ARAM no longer going to have custom game limitations it seems Dominion's chance of ever growing and getting ranked is going to drop to 0. $100 bucks says ARAM gets balance and support considerations long after Riot abandons TT and Dominion once again.