League of Legends is the world’s most played game, available exclusively on PC. Hosting over 32.5 million active players last year, Leauge of Legends’ presence is not just a strong one, but dominantly so as the face of professional and PC gaming. Paying out a one million dollar prize to the League of Legends World Championship team, Riot Games controls the single most successful title in the world, creating collegiate programs and amateur avenues for players to step into the prestigious scene at the peak of their skill.
Today, Riot Games is changing the game again. Launching globally for the game’s first publicly launched open Beta test, Team Builder will be available to all users. Using Team Builder, players may choose any of the available standard “meta” roles for playing on the five versus five Summoner’s Rift map. Upon selection of your preferred roles, players are expected to more easily be able to arrange their team in the champion select lobby. This change compares with other MOBA titles, and League of Legends historically as users would not queue for roles, but rather shout them out in chat in hopes of playing what they prefer. Timed rollout for the Beta began today, and will take course through the 7th, according to Riot.
Because this is a beta test on live servers, each region will open Team Builder testing for 48 hours through a staggered roll-out starting with RU and EUNE the week of March 3-7.
Riot Games will measure the success of this public test through a few categories; Player toxicity, queue times, and customer feedback.
Implementing the new queue system comes with many concerns for Riot. Given that around 3 million players are online at any point globally according to Riot, queue times may not fall drastically, but we can expect that where finding a group of players used to take an average of one minute, players queue times will now vary a great deal. Traditionally combat in the three lane map can appear to be more fun when a user plays a “carrying” role – a mid-lane spell caster, bottom lane right-clicker, or top lane face checking bruiser. Supporting roles in League of Legends, the “jungle” and “support” positions, have always been less popular roles to play and may result in extremely short wait times to find a new match. This is fantastic for less popular roles, but if people don’t have an open mind to play more than one position then finding a match may take a very long time. That’s bad for Riot if these timers take too long, as players may jump ship.
So let’s say that you’ve queued up for a match in the past. The focus of this patch is to avoid that awkward moment where everyone wants to play the mid-lane, or no one on your team is comfortable playing in the jungle. That being said, Riot games will also be looking to avoid any tension before the game actually begins. In many games we have all witnessed the vulgarity of a toxic player being upset because they lost their preferred role, or a player locking in their favorite character and going where they like, disregarding the team’s agreements. If this Beta test clears up a lot of reported player tickets as a result, overall enjoyment of the game may go up quickly, and rake in more fans than the League has ever had before – stapling the title in as a professional gaming league that isn’t leaving any time soon.
Of course, there is the case where all of this goes wrong, and despite Riot’s best efforts the players are disgusted with the format. That situation would certainly bring all benefits of the system to its knees, as the consumer needs to enjoy the title their playing if Riot wants to continue production.
League of Legends is available for free-to-play download on LeagueofLegends.com. For more information regarding Riot’s latest statement on player base, view the image below. Miss out on some of this week’s LCS matchups? Revisit the matches over on our YouTube Channel.