Let me first say that the current implementation of the loading screen borders is an experiment, and I'm willing to change how they work if and when I'm convinced that it would be better for the health of the game. What does "health of the game" mean in this case? A couple things:
1. You guys want to show off your accomplishments with your best foot forward. I hear that and it definitely weighs into the decision. Some of you also feel like we didn't give you enough warning on how the borders would work, which is a fair point. We should have locked down how they would work earlier and let you know in the original announcement.
2. I want there to be less toxicity in the game. There are reports of players using the borders as an excuse to belittle other players. The question here is: would those players have been toxic anyway and it's just taking a slightly different form? Or is it creating toxicity where there wouldn't have been any? I'll be looking over the data in the coming days to start to make that distinction.
Some people are saying that this is an example of Riot shunning competitive 5s or indicating that Ranked Teams aren't as important as the Ranked Solo queue. That's simply not the case. I'm one of the biggest advocates for Ranked Teams in the entire company. Since I've been at Riot we've seen huge increases in the popularity of Ranked Teams, and we're only just getting started. The Season 3 Path to Pro that the eSports team put together is a great example of this. Did you know that you can eventually qualify for the Season 3 Championship Series just by making it to the top 32 of the Ranked 5s ladder during the preseason? I don't think a lot of people realize yet just how big of a deal that is. This means you play League of Legends professionally, receive a salary, play in a season with weekly scheduled matches, and compete for millions of dollars.
However, as much as I like Ranked Teams, it's a fact that doing well in those queues is as much about who you know as it is about your own individual skill. And generally I'm totally okay with that. I'm fine with people showing off their Platinum and Diamond badges on the forums even if they might not have been able to achieve that in solo queue (yes, even Morello). But when it comes to the loading screen, I'm much more concerned about the accuracy of what's being portrayed, because it's natural to read a lot into it in terms of raw player skill. Is it really better for everyone if we have Diamond borders showing up next to Silver borders in normal games? I think it would be confusing ("Why am I matched with these Diamond players if I'm Silver?" or "I don't play ranked, does this mean I'm a Silver player or a Diamond player?") and I think it could cause even more elitism than we're already seeing.
Going back to the point about the borders being an experiment. Originally, they were only going to be shown in Ranked games. You all asked for them to be shown in normals as well and after much deliberation I changed it to the current incarnation. Clearly not everyone is happy with that, so I'll keep gathering data and reading what you guys have to say, and make further changes if and when they're warranted.
So for short, I agree with you on all points. I'll continue to stay tuned in to know what is going to happen about those boarder. I hope for this to be resolved for season 3. Also, anything about 3v3's team tournaments?