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So I made the mistake of queueing into solo ranked the first day it was out. I played 4 games in a row, did well and still lost due to consistently bad team members. Of course, this is to be expected when players join without any initial measure of their skill, but I was just excited for draft mode and didn't think it through.
As you can imagine, my rating plummeted. By the end of week one, I was on the lower end of 1100. Every game that I didn't completely hold my team's hand and carry them to Victory, we would lose. Not to mention the leavers and the times when my draft mode window would lock up and I would be forced to dodge (before they implemented the correction).
So now I'm stuck in the 1000s bracket with no way to get out of it. If I pick a tank, our team's carries sit and around and do nothing and typically feed. If I pick a carry, I'm among 3-4 others on our team and we have no tank so I get focused and we lose.No matter who I pick or how I play, I'm destined to lose from the very start of the game.
Now I know I'm not the only one who this happens to. I have a friend who has the same problem. His rating is even lower than mine and every game he gets a leaver or someone who just afks because they didn't get mid. With all the people this must be happening to, why has nothing been done to address the problem?
You might ask, "How would you fix it?" Well, it's a pretty complicated problem, but there a number of small solutions I would suggest to make solo ranked queue more tolerable:
Firstly, there's the problem of starting rank. All level 30s that start their first game of ranked start in the same spot. This is a problem because not all players are of the same skill level when they first hit level 30. What I would suggest is slowly adjusting a player's ranked ELO with their normal ELO until they're level 30. The ELO changes, however, would have to be much more slight in order for it to be an accurate measure. This would make players with a lower normal ELO start at a slightly lower rating in their first ranked game, and players with a higher normal ELO start higher.
Secondly, in the lower ELO brackets of ranked, there's a problem with leavers. Out of my 30 or so solo ranked games, I've had at least 7 with leavers. That's almost a third of my games. I believe in ranked queue, leaving a game or afking in the fountain should be completely unacceptable. Although I understand that real life situations happen in which you can't finish a game, it shouldn't happen consistently. I believe a "three strikes, you're out" policy should be applied to leaves and afks in ranked, excluding queue dodges. After a player leaves an in progress game or is afk all game 3 times, they should no longer be allowed to join ranked queue. This may seem extreme, but there's no excuse for leaving a ranked game that many times. Of course, this change would not be retroactive.
Lastly, I think that a system should be put in place to adjust the ELO loss / gain at the end of a ranked match based on player performance. This would be the hardest change to implement and would take a lot of time and data, but it would be the most beneficial. More points should be added to victories and less should be subtracted from losses for players based on K+A / D ratio, tower kills, minion kills, damage done, healing done, and many other very measurable stats. This would allow players that put in more effort to suffer less for defeats and gain more from victories and overall lead to a more balanced system.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this gets through to someone with a red name.