When I first got into LoL, it was because of some good friends of mine. We were looking to have a few adult beverages, sit back and play a game together. Naturally, I fell hard for this particular game (even though one of my friends has since given up) and still enjoy playing it with friends to this very day. Funny thing is, as I looked to get better at LoL i quickly found out that playing with friends is not always considered a good thing.I still remember my first ranked game where I declared “I am playing with (insert name here).” Oh the rage I got. “WTF, DUO QUER, great now we’re going to f’ing lose” and other stuff much less tame than that. Before the first minion had even spawned I was already labelled as a complete and utter failure simply because I wanted to play the game with my friend.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know there is some logic behind this rage. Though it is hard to find any official documentation on the subject of duo que’ing, word on the street seems to suggest that duo’s tend to end up fighting in games containing players anywhere from 50 to 150 elo above where those individuals would be if they were solo que’ing, depending on how close the partners are to each other in elo. Generally, this means that if the partners are close in elo, they will be among the lowest elo players on the field. If they are far apart in elo, the one with the highest elo will likely have the highest elo on their team, which can result in the other team having more players of higher elo on average. Sound kind of confusing? Yes. Does it make people mad? You bet. Unless of course you are aphromoo duo que’ing with dyrus, then your team loves you because the two of you are going to hard carry everyone to victory. But let’s face it, we’re not all aphromoo’s, but many of us do want to play with our friends.
Personally, I think the “oh you made the other team so much better” argument is worthless. If the people you are playing with can’t beat someone 50 to 100 elo above them now, do they really think that will change when their elo goes up? I doubt it. Doing well at LoL is all about having a strong understanding of both your character’s mechanics and the flow of the match itself. If you don’t have those down, the elo difference provided by a duo que pair alone is not going to change how YOU play the game or affect your odds of winning any more than the other hundreds of variables that can govern this game. And if you’re in the opposite position, have a high elo and are worrying that your duo might be the weak links on your team, they might be. But keep in mind that your mid, who is playing by him or her self, is just as likely to be having a bad night and totally throw the game.
Sadly, the stigma against duo’s is unlikely to end any time soon. My advice to those of you looking to do some ranked with a friend is to never admit you are duo que’ing. Sure a lot of people will be fine with it, but there are definitely those who will use it as an excuse to blame everything on you (even before you have done anything blame worthy) and make your game less than enjoyable (unless you have skin much thicker than mine). I swear by this rule and have taken it so far as to not admit I was duo que’ing with a friend even when a particularly dickish AD carry challenged me to prove I had friends. My second tip is that you should make sure that you and the person you are playing with can comfortably fill 4 of the roles on the team, and at least once of you should be able to ad carry. This isn’t mandatory, but it will allow you to have two people you trust in important positions and will help if the positions you and your friend mainly play are immediately called by others.
Solo que will always be an adventure. Personally, I think adventures are best enjoyed with a good friend at your side. If you intend to duo que just keep in mind what the perceptions are and how others might react to it. You and I know their focus is better directed at actually playing the game, not worrying about the fact you have friends. So unless you have thick skin and are prepared for the fallout, keep your head low, play the game the best you can and know that there is nothing wrong with playing the game with a friend, unless the two of you are very drunk ;).
If you have any stories of duo que related rage directed at you or that you directed at someone else, I’d like to hear from you. And if you have a better understanding of the duo que system than I, by all enlighten me 🙂