Olivia R. September 8, 2019
Valve is experimenting with the option to turn strict solo queues on and off.
Strict solo queues were introduced to help individual players without parties get into better games. In theory, this would make the teams more even and the game more fair, since both sides would have a similar lack of planned coordination.
This was seen as very important, since many solo players ended up playing against coordinated teams who were trying their best to win thanks to their Matchmaking Rankings bonus. Meanwhile, the solo player's team may not have been as competitive.
But now Valve believes this implementation has created unbalanced matches since the number of solo queue players may not be high at certain ranks. This caused higher ranked players to often be paired with inexperienced players with lower rankings.
What are the effects of a strict solo queue in Dota 2?
This change had an initially negative response from the Dota 2 community. Many felt that turning off strict solo queue would run players the risk of facing heavy stacks while they themselves would have random players on their team, many of whom may not even be using a microphone. In a game that requires a lot of teamwork, this possiblity can seem dire.
Players who choose to play alone when their friends aren't online also found this concerning. Many players on Reddit, for example, felt that they could end up with a team in which their teammates are ignoring them while talking privately together in a separate Discord chat. This is less than ideal for solo players.
Despite this backlash, Valve is sticking to its decision to make strict solo queue optional. The developer stated that the difference between solo queue players and players in parties is "not as pronounced now as before."