Riot Games changes Champions Queue following complaints
Oct 6, 2022
Riot Games has officially announced upcoming changes to its elite-level matchmaking service, Champions Queue, ahead of the World Championships.
These changes come on the heels of complaints from community members and professional players about aspects of the Champions Queue experience headed into the World Championship. Riot Whoopley, Riot Games’ Academy Director, announced expanded access and new requirements in a now-deleted Reddit post.
Champions Queue changes set the stage for Worlds 2022
In a Reddit post now deleted by the moderators of the r/leagueoflegends subreddit, Riot Whoopley laid out upcoming changes to Champions Queue. Complaints about amateur players and low-ranked collegiate players being in the same games as superstars like Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok were leveled at Champions Queue as Worlds began, and Riot wanted to be vocal that it was taking steps to curate the experience for Worlds.
The changes outlined come down to a few key changes meant to keep the population of the bespoke matchmaking service as elite as possible. Firstly, Riot would be expanding access to ex-professional players so long as those players had placed in Challenger during the current season. While it was meant to help develop North American talent, it needs to serve a new purpose when its home region is hosting the best players in the world.
While Worlds is underway, Champions Queue will have its access restricted more than usual to amateur talent from North America. Amateur players now needed to have attained the rank of Challenger this year before continuing their access to the server while Worlds is undergoing.
What is Champions Queue?
Champions Queue is a custom matchmaking service for high-level League of Legends players in North America. The Riot Games-run service was proposed after widespread complaints came from the professional community about the state of regular ranked play. It aims to create a small version of the Chinese ‘super server’, a game server with elite prerequisites that ensures only the highest game quality for current and aspiring professionals.
With teams from across the world visiting for the World Championship 2022, Champions Queue has become the practice ground for the best of the best. This initiative of adding visiting international teams has been dubbed “CQ Worlds” by Riot Whoopley.
For the most part, it’s worked, but that hasn’t stopped complaints about the quality of games both during Worlds and well before.
How does Champions Queue work?
Champions Queue is an invite-only matchmaking service run on a smaller version of the League of Legends ranked servers run out of California. This is meant to ensure low ping for professional players competing in the LCS, which takes place in Los Angeles. Professional, ex-pro, amateur, and collegiate talent apply to be a part of the server and can then queue up for games through a customized Discord server that allows the players to use voice communication since League of Legends lacks voice chat outside of parties formed pre-game.
The announced changes are meant to streamline the experience for visiting Worlds-qualified teams and make sure that time spent practicing isn’t spent playing with anybody below Challenger. It remains to be seen if these changes will change the perceived quality of CQ Worlds games.