Riot updates on ranked matchmaking. From autofill to punishing inters, what to expect in 2020

▲ Graphic Source: Riot Games


In their most recent dev blog, Riot devs laid out their roadmap for 2020, including tweaks for matchmaking, punishments/bans, MMR transparency, etc.  They're also addressing autofill, which has been one of the biggest requsts from community members across all elos. 


First on the roadmap (which they claim is "almost here") is their ranked matchmaking system, which will soon balance each games' autofill and duo amount. That means if blue team has one autofill player, red team should too, and if blue has one duo, the same again. Each side matching duos and autofills should increase game quality, but it's still a bandaid solution of sorts, so Riot has more in store.


Further on in the year, Riot will take that one step further by matching the specific role that was autofilled, so the autofilled players on either side are matched against each other. They'll also be looking at players' playstyles more holistically, and they'll be attempting to place them into more ranked games that more accurately reflect their true skill level with hopes of cutting down on unnecessary grinds for fresh accounts. 




In the second half of 2020, the devs plan to bring down the hammer on "disruptive play" like inting, AFKing, and win trading. They will also make updates to how players understand their rank, providing clarity on matchmaking rating (MMR) and it's links to the actual ladder. That would provide some insight on a player's actual perceived skill by Riot's matchmaking system and help them understand their gains and losses, as well as overall matchmaking.


Furthermore, Riot plans to implement changes in the promotion system, making the climb less frustrating. Players often complain about promos and how opponents always seem incredibly stronger in those series. 


▲ Image taken from Riot Games Forum of a promos complaint


Finally, Riot is diving in on Flex queue, trying to find a way to make it more valuable and clearly defined. Currently, Flex is used both as a "quasi-competitve queue" and as a "social queue," but doesn't necessarily excel at either.   Players have grumbled over the loss of a true 5v5 team ranked queue for years now, but Riot hasn't hinted at its return. However, improvements in the Flex queue could relieve some of those pangs for teamplay. 




Riot concludes their update with a confession. "Many of the changes we're working on are frankly overdue, and we want to make up for lost time by being as attentive and responsive as possible as our updates roll out through the year." These tweaks won't fix everything, but hopefully some of the deepest issues in the ranked environment will see improvement over the year.


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