Riot Claims Loser’s Queue Does Not Exist In League of Legends

Shoaib Akter Himel
By Shoaib Akter Himel
9 Min Read
Image Credit: Riot Games

Riot Phroxzon strongly claims that the perceived ‘Loser’s Queue’ does not exist in League of Legends.

League of Legends ranked experience is one of the most controversial topics of the game’s decade-long history. Most of the debate arises from the matchmaking process in ranked queues, especially the solo queue. There is a great divide between the player base as to whether or not a ‘loser’s queue’ exists.

Loser’s queue is a term heavily used in LoL to refer to a scenario where a player claims that the system is intentionally putting them in a bad team to make the match unwinnable for them. Contrary to popular belief, this claim is not without base.

Because the proponents show statistics where, in many matches, they simply got placed with teammates where multiple of them had abnormally low win rates. Not to mention, the opponent team, in such a scenario, usually had a regular win rate.

Yet, Riot counters it by arguing that in the long run, each player faces some occurrences, and that finally it all balances out. So, if you consistently play well above your elo, you will be sure to rank up. Players who are at the top ranks are used as examples to solidify this argument.

However, there are more nuances to it. For example, you can naturally ask why one has to play so many games to get their desired rank when Riot could just fix their matchmaking to make it more balanced. Not to mention, Riot could fine-tune LP losses in circumstances where the individual played well, but the team performed horribly. There are so many cases to consider and so many answers to analyze for each.

In this article, I will be presenting to you an analysis of Riot Phroxzon’s argument so you can get more insights concerning ranked experience in League of Legends

Read More: League of Legends Patch 14.4 Notes – All The Changes

Loser’s Queue: Myth or Real?

Why would Riot want you to lose anyway?

Riot Phroxzon has confidently declared that the loser’s queue does not exist at all. Because from a business perspective, it makes no sense for Riot to make you lose. I disagree on this point because if a player mostly won the ranked matches, they would reach their desired ranks too quickly, hence losing all motivation to keep up the ground. So, strictly controlling the routine losses can stimulate rank grind.

Losing despite high KDA

His next point states that the people complaining about loser’s queue, had they analyzed their ‘high KDA’ lost matches by experts, would realize 100s of errors. This is true. But I have another perspective. What about the high-ranked players who managed to climb successfully? Would they not have 100s of errors as well? Can we say for sure that the errors they make are less severe than those made by the hardstuck players?

Also, not to mention, there are challenger streamers out there, who often face different experiences in their different accounts, literally on the same day. In fact, I have experienced it myself as well. Although, Riot has promised to resolve that discrepancy. But it cannot be denied that there exists enough evidence of some accounts receiving those marginal favors of matchmaking gods, just enough to push them to the next rank.

A high KDA ratio, more often than not, is associated with good gameplay, given that you are doing the basic macro plays right. Usually, the people who make grave errors get punished, resulting in more deaths. Riot Phroxzon seems to have taken the KDA concept in a vacuum just to support his initial argument.

Yes, there are cases where high KDA is artificially achieved by not participating in crucial fights or being very passive. But you cannot take edge cases to justify the entire argument. Especially considering, we have all been in the position where there’s no objective to take in the map, so you are farming to increase your advantage, but your team takes on a 4v5 anyway. And this isn’t a one-off occurrence either.

Enemy team also makes 100s of mistakes

The 100s of mistakes we make are applicable to everyone, so it is not sufficient to use this alone to establish that the loser’s queue doesn’t exist. Even Tyler1, someone who has reached challenger in all ranks, faces unfair treatment in many of his matches where the team is clearly not on the same level as enemies.

Riot Phroxzon says that we should have a non-giving-up mentality, play to our win conditions, and review every death to improve our lacking and have a growth mentality. But he doesn’t talk about the cases where a player does everything right, and is supervised by a coach, but still doesn’t see improvement.

However, I agree that if we reviewed our matches, we would find things that, if done differently, could have given us different results. But this is the same for the enemy team. If they did those things correctly, they would still win. So why blame only the losing player?

In the scenario where both teams do the same number of things correctly, the team with better players would win. That’s where matchmaking plays a big role because if your 4 teammates’ summed-up skill level doesn’t match the opponent’s, you cannot do much unless you are a smurf.

Smurfs can do it, right?

Yes, smurfs can do it. But they have the experience from the higher ranks. And this ‘unfairness’ is stopping people from getting the said experience, one might retort. Also, Riot Phroxzon doesn’t answer why someone has to play to their fullest just to reach even platinum. Like why can’t you win a match by just ‘barely’ outperforming your counterpart in the enemy team? Why do you have to make sure you ‘make up’ for your team’s weakness?

Riot claims that if you play better than your counterpart, you will indeed climb after a time. But why does one have to wait for 100s of games for that? Also, you can just get lucky after 100s of matches anyway. A fair game should reward the player on the basis of his individual performance too.

MMR reduction from others’ mistakes shouldn’t be a thing

Riot Games just doesn’t want to do that. You can’t even prevent LP losses in matches where someone leaves right after the 30-minute mark. Yes, LP loss mitigation exists, but a loss still affects your MMR.

Finally, the ones who seem to talk against the existence of the loser’s queue always seem to be the minority, usually belonging to the higher ranks. Who is to say that they aren’t the lucky ones who didn’t feel the wrath of the matchmaking algorithm?

We don’t have internal insight as to whether Riot really implements a loser’s queue, but their arguments don’t really tie up the loose end.

In conclusion, Riot’s response to the loser’s queue seems like an assuring promise, but without enough evidence to back it up. To unearth the myth of the loser’s queue, Riot needs to show more relevant statistics and a better interpretation.

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Shoaib is a League of Legends writer at GameRiv. He is passionate about Video Games, Anime, Movies and TV series. He loves deeply analyzing the media he consumes.