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Dec 26, 2012

Why Duo Queue Isn't a Great Idea

Beep Boop. 1400 + 1700? Bzzt...match with 2400s

So lately I see a lot of people looking to duo queue in ranked, and I think to myself "that's probably a bad idea". Why? Well unless the person you want to duo queue with is grossly underrated, duo queuing will probably end up hurting, more than helping you.

Why is this?

Check it out: Riot's matchmaking system isn't dumb (regardless of what you might believe), and it knows that duo queuing offers a distinct advantage over people who solo queue.

This means that every time you duo queue, Riot adds on some extra Elo on top of your regular Elo. This comes out to something like this:

Example: You and your friend are both 1450 elo.
Riot's Math: Beep Boop. Two 1450 Elos + 50 duo queue elo each. Beep Boop. Match with 1500s. Beep Boop.
Your Team in Riot's Eyes: 1520, 1510, 1505, 1500, 1500
Your Team in Your Eyes: 1520, 1510, 1505, 1450, 1450


If your Elo happens to be too close to your duo queue partner's Elo, you'll almost always be the last two picks. If you're planning on duoing often, prepare for one of you to start maining support.

On the other hand, if your Elos are very far apart, then yes, it it likely that one of you will be first pick, and the other will be last pick. However, once again, Riot's Matchmaking might pair up something like this:

Riot's Eyes: 1900, 1850, 1800, 1750, 1700's Eyes: 1900, 1850, 1800, 1750, 1500

Once again, Oops.

I'm not saying duo queuing is a bad idea, in fact, it makes the game much more enjoyable and indeed makes it easier to communicate strategies to each other. However, unless you're both underrated, one of you mains support and the other mains everything else, duo queue is not going to be the holy grail of escaping Elo Hell that you expect it to be.

While the numbers supplies are not set in stone, more often than not, you'll notice that similar things happen...if you're looking for a challenge, then maybe this is your cup of tea. Just know what you're getting yourselves into!

If a player is solo queued, the strength is determined by his personal Elo rating (i.e. ranked team rating for ranked team, normal games rating for normal games). 
If a player is in a pre-made team, his rating is the average Elo of himself and his team members, along with an increase based on the number of people in the pre-made in order to ensure that you get tougher opponents, because being a pre-made team is a proven advantage.
Good luck on the fields of justice summoners!

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  1. I always claim support in ranked so no problemo for me :D

  2. SSJSuntasticDecember 26, 2012

    Haha, I think duo queuing is how I learned how to play support in the first place/ A lot of people really hate supporting though; you always get people who main Mid/AD carry duo queue, and they end up forced into Jungle + Support instead. Not easy to win when neither of you are allowed to play your main roles...

  3. DontExhaustMePlzDecember 26, 2012

    I'm scared to go in alone.

  4. SSJSuntasticDecember 26, 2012

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering...

  5. and then you get the classic elo hell inhabitant "OMFG DUOQ GON FAIL TOP I FEED"

  6. SSJSuntasticDecember 26, 2012

    Oh those inhabitants...

  7. I think you shouldn't play ranked if you can only play one role. You can't always get what you want, it might suck but you'll always have kids locking in. That is one of the biggest problems, people who don't want to play different roles. Every role is important for the team an in some way fun to play. If only people could see that

  8. It's dangerous to go alone, take tons of damage with you

  9. DontExhaustMePlzDecember 26, 2012

    Haha!!! I'll try. :3

  10. SSJSuntasticDecember 26, 2012

    That's definitely true Caitlin, I think it comes down to being able to play more than one role at the Elo that they're currently at though, that's the hard part. Most players "can" play all the roles, but just not equally well, which isn't all that bad.

    For instance, I can play support or jungle all the way up to 1900, but my mid laner capabilities peak out at about 1600 at best.

  11. As you've mentioned in your article, maining duo ad carry / support is a strong counterargument for it's title. Also our team gets a perfectly merged and polished bot lane. i also play mid/adc/top/jungle (in that order) but still supports are my primary interest. my fellow carry also posesses both the skills and the champs to go elsewhere; still 90% of ranks we play toghether @ bot, no matter 5 or 2 premade. this strategy brought both of us up from hell twice, so i think its viable.
    yours truly, red cat

  12. SSJSuntasticDecember 26, 2012

    Hi Pyro, that's a good point, if you play the AD carry/support combo bot lane, you can generally secure the role. It still means you'll be playing against more difficult opponents than usual, but as long as you can make up for the skill gap, I guess duo queue could still be beneficial in that case!

  13. Durem FeetkillerDecember 26, 2012

    If i am honest with myself i'd say that my main problem supporting in solo queue is that i ALWAYS believe that i am better than my ad carry, and sometimes i really am, so i get really frustrated supporting at 1450's where you can get some partners that can't even reach +100 creps before 20 min mark :(
    Also want to learn in deep midlane, so well.. i just call the pick.. if i feed, LOSE ELO AS YOU DESERVE.
    nice post

  14. I can play all roles pretty good, but at my 1400 elo you'll get scolded anyway. Almost every game I play I get someone that for example only plays top and you place them mid, they will go 0/11 or something

  15. SSJSuntasticDecember 27, 2012

    That's true Durem, it's frustrating to support for AD carries that have difficulty CSing :[

  16. You sir are amazing.

  17. SSJSuntasticDecember 28, 2012

    I do what I can.

  18. disqus_crfCUNTtMwJanuary 19, 2013

    When i solo Q i usually end up jungling, now its not that i dont love the jungle its just as the jungle you have certain obligations that your team needs to understand and compensate. as in i Can always jungle some amzing super tank so please give me either A" heals or B" another soak.

    :Summoner Felnyght

  19. Honestly duo'ing is really bad if you're trying to rise. I did that when I first started out and had the worst time climbing, as all of our other teammates kept "feeding". It is so much easier to climb in solo queue. Also, as an ADC/support main - the comments regarding CS is all relative. Sometimes you have bad CS in 20 minutes like maybe 100, and other times you have 250. It really depends on the lane matchup and how the game flows. Like for instance, whenever I play caitlyn versus a Kalista, I will make sure Kalista will be super underfed in lane. It's really easy to keep her with like 50 farm or under in 10 minutes.

  20. Is this advice still pertinent today? Just curious since I know at least the pick order by ELO has been changed, and I often, though not mostly, duo queue with a close friend.


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