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LoL needs a role-based queue (with statistics!)

Posted by Ryan on March 29th, 2013 at 9:44 pm

My goal for this post is to demonstrate, using statistics, that a role-based queue will:

1. Solve ranked League of Legends ladder inefficiencies (aka “Elo Hell”)
2. Reduce the quantity of in-game Summoner’s Code Violations
3. Be more fun for players

I started playing a lot of ranked games about three months ago. I felt, like many others, that I was winning and losing games in a way that was not reflective of my own performance in the game. I’ve read a lot of opinions about “Elo hell”, how to avoid it, how to get past it, etc. This is summation of the advice I found:

1. Have a good attitude
2. Fill roles
3. Dominate your role (there’s no pros stuck in Elo Hell, right?)

Cool. Sounds good. I tried that and I felt like that helped, but do I really have to play like a pro to get out of silver league? Should someone have to play at a plat level to be in gold? Doesn’t that sound inefficient to you? But was it? How could I know for sure?

How about some math?

I decided to start collecting statistics. The rules of my experiment were:

1. Have a good attitude and always follow the summoner’s code
2. Fill roles (never be the cause of a role dispute)
3. No dodging for any reason. If someone else dodges, it doesn’t count.
4. Record the win or loss, whether there was a duplicate role called in champ select, whether there was a dispute over a role in champ select, and whether there were in-game summoner’s code violations.

And so I played and recorded 45 solo-queue ranked 5v5 games of League of Legends. My overall win-loss ratio was 25-20. Not bad. After so many games, it didn’t really feel role calls had any effect. The math, however, had a different story to tell:

Win Loss Ratio

1. Win-Loss Ratio (total): 25-20 (56% win rate)
2. Win-Loss Ratio (involving no duplicate calls in champ-select): 11-7 (61% win rate)
3. Win-Loss Ratio (involving a duplicate call in champ-select): 14-13 (52% win rate)
4. Win-Loss Ratio (involving a role dispute in champ-select): 4-5 (44% win rate)

In-game Summoner’s Code Violations

1. No duplicate calls in champ-select: only 1 game out of 18 games. (5.5%)
2. With duplicate calls in champ-select: 6 in 27 games. (22.2%)
3. With disputes in champ-select: 5 in 9 games (55.5%)


The data makes it absolutely clear: if you want to have the best possible win-rate, dodge literally every game where two players event mention wanting the same role. Even if they don’t argue about it, your odds of winning is lower. And if they argue about it, the game becomes worse than a coin toss, and there’s probably going to be hostile trash talk all game long.


By being scientific in my adherence to the summoner’s code, my results should be skewed by 1/5, meaning that the correlation that I observed regarding disputes should actually be stronger in a blind study. Imagine these same stats but with more at least 1/5 more disputes.

The Fun Factor

The statistics indicate that enough people either don’t know or don’t care that there’s a pick order in League of Legends to create a hostile environment that affects wins and losses; however, regardless of the ladder inefficiencies, this data should tell us that people are not being allowed to play the way they want to. In 60% of games, at least one person wanted to play a specific role and weren’t able to. More to the point, this makes people upset, to the point of having 400% more in-game summoner’s code violations compared to games that don’t have duplicate calls. On top of that, they care enough to argue with their team about it a third of time, and when they do, in-game summoner’s code violations jump by 1,000%.

Let’s be specific

What LoL needs is a role-based queue which allows players to choose roles that they don’t want to play. Something simple like a checkbox for each role would suffice. The player can simply uncheck the roles they don’t want to play. That way, waiting times wont be inflated by too many people being forced to choose a single role, and players that are more flexible will be rewarded with faster queue times by being willing to fill more roles.

What could go wrong?

Riot may be adverse to enforcing a particular meta. I don’t think this should be a problem since the game is built and balanced around 5 distinct roles. Players can still deviate from the standard meta, but now they’ll have to talk to their team about it from the chair of their chosen role. If anything, I think this could encourage new metas and more actual planning before a game by eliminating the time wasted on jockeying for roles.

Riot also may be concerned about people getting pigeon-holed into playing a single role 100% of the time. I don’t think this will be a problem because people can simply choose their role under this system. Right now, if you want to get ranked practice playing top or mid, best of luck, you probably wont get a chance, ever, unless you’re first pick or are willing to risk a dispute. Under a role-based queue, less played roles will have a shorter wait time to get into games. At least you will actually be able to play different roles if you want to.

In conclusion

According to these statistics, with a role-based queue, Riot can:

1. Improve ladder efficiency by at least 20%
2. Eliminate summoner’s code violations caused by role disputes, resulting a 10 point drop in overall violations from 15% to 5%.
3. Help players have more fun by getting them the role they want 100% of the time
4. Increase profit! Happy players spend more money.

If you agree, let Riot know! Here’s my post on the official forums:


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4 Responses to LoL needs a role-based queue (with statistics!)



  2. i just had the same idea few days ago xD
    i fully support it
    but there’re few difficulties

    will normal games be affected or is it possible in them? what when you dont care what role you play? well i guess theres a “random” pick, isnt it? what if you want either one or the other role? would there be multiple roles to choose?
    the hardest thing will be about the meta: always a jungler? on low leagues is this comletely impossible, because without approtiate runes its just too hard too jungle!
    2-1-2 is the best way to learn the league, i think

    i hope it gets into LoL, but i dont want it to be the only queue!

    • I think the simplest method would be to simply have a checkbox for each role and let players uncheck the roles they don’t want. That way, they can fill roles and be as flexible as they want to be.

  3. Yip.

    I´d advice the queue model, WoW had/has. You queue with a role or more. As a game is found, one of the roles you picked is given to you, before even going into the group ( Championselect) you still have to accept the chosen role.

    I agree with you all in all, but don´t you think there still be trolls picking “Mid” but queue as an other role? This makes me doubt your 100% role-getting-number.
    But in a final conclusion, it would truely improve moral and quality of gaming.

    • I think it’s possible that “role trolls” will still exist, but at least at that point it’ll be easy to report without having to read through the chat log. If someone gets put into a jungle role and picks a mid champ and doesn’t have smite, it’s an easy tribunal case, especially if there’s fewer cases to review.