Dynamic Queue matchmaking update

By Riot Aeon

A few weeks ago we shared plans to bring back Ranked 5s along with the introduction of ranked emblems and a deeper look at autofill. Now let’s talk about changes to dynamic queue matchmaking to address fairness issues, high tier match quality, and why it’s not easy to earn a solo badge.


Premade Advantage

Working together with teammates you trust--from the support who knows when you’re gonna make a risky Flash to the jungler who knows you like to bait enemy top laners into overextending--provides more than just a reassuring voice in chat.

At launch, almost-full and full premades were winning far too many of their games over smaller premades, and we prioritized accounting for the benefits of teamwork. When we released our roundtable discussion, we still weren’t where we wanted to be but we knew we were on the way. After optimizing the algorithms and sprinkling in some creative tuning, here’s where we’re at now:

We’re almost there. Overall, we’re happy with the result and we’ll continue to optimize the system, concentrating now on specific adjustments to account for different regions’ peak hours and different size populations to fine-tune the matchmaker at a local level.


Master Tier Match Quality

With queue times above Diamond settling in a more reasonable place (right under 15 mins, with many queues popping even before that), we’ve focused on narrowing the skill gap between teams competing around Master tier.

We’ve seen dramatically fewer imbalanced games, and despite lower tiers already having really close pairings, the changes made an impact at every level.


Solo Ranked Emblems

Before we get into what we’re doing next, we wanted to circle back to ranked emblems--and specifically the solo badge. We wanted to offer the opportunity for players to really demonstrate they’d earned their placement in pure solo fashion.

We knew we might disagree on exactly where to draw the line, because for someone who plays 100% of their games alone, even 1 or 2 dynamic games might be pushing their definition of solo. But even ignoring squeaky straw voices, it seems reasonable to say winning 13 out of 25 games without a premade partner doesn’t make a player a solo player. Even winning 20 out of 25 games on their own probably doesn’t qualify either because that’d mean a fifth of the time, that player is queuing with at least one teammate.

We settled on 90% because we wanted to maintain the integrity of the emblem. When you see it, you know absolutely that player earned a solo achievement. The buffer’s just in case a player accidentally enters a game with a teammate without realizing it, or duos very rarely.

The emblem is designed to represent a commitment to playing solo, so we couldn’t make it too easy to get, or it doesn’t actually do its job. The whole point is to show off that the player reached their rank by playing alone only. If you can still get a solo badge despite duoing or tri-queuing in 1 out of every 5 games, then having a solo emblem doesn’t mean anything.

The emblem isn’t permanent. If someone doesn’t want a dynamic emblem, they can change it by winning games solo. We’re still looking into future ways of representing individual skill. The emblems just show whether someone plays alone or if they team up before heading into queue.


Up Next

While autofill helped reduce queue times generally, we still see rare edge cases of long queue times at all tiers. Often, it’s a situation where a player doesn’t have a long enough queue time to trigger autofill, but then gets stuck in queue waiting anyway. However rare it is, we want to eliminate the edge cases if we can. We’ll also follow up with another update in the coming weeks.


2 years ago

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