After an almost two months-long break between LCS splits, NA’s Champions Queue Summer Season is coming back online.
North America’s solo queue problems have always been very commonly talked about. To help with this and promote newer players towards a professional career, LCS and NALCS Players Association came up with the Champions Queue. In this closed system, select solo queue players, amateurs, and pro/academy players competed for a $400K prize pool.
However, on April 14 Riot announced that Champions Queue was to close down between Spring and Summer Splits of the LCS to give the players downtime. This was received with criticism among fans, as most saw this time between the splits as an opportunity to ‘grind’ Champions Queue. Just the same CQ has been closed since the announcement without much news.
Until yesterday, May 30, when LCS Academy Director Zach ‘Riot Whoopley’ Elliot announced that the Champions Queue will be starting again for its Summer Season today. In his tweet, Riot Whoopley also announced some systemic changes coming to CQ.
CQ Summer Season kicks off tomorrow!
Here's some of the highlights coming alongside it:
-MMR is now implemented (Thanks @TimSevenhuysen for help with the design)
-LP gains are now tied to MMR (instead of flat values)
-New in-game CQ icon awarded to top 10 players each Season pic.twitter.com/oJ3xkgoO1I
— Whoopley (@Whoopley) May 30, 2022
The most important being the MMR changes. In the first two splits, the ELO system was based on flat gains and losses, -5 for a loss and +10 for a win. However, starting with this split, Riot is implementing a new MMR system with the help of Oracle’s Elixir’s Tim Sevenhuysen.
This new system will help balance matchmaking according to players' abilities, and the LP gains will be adjusted to the MMR. But once there is an MMR system, there is always a question about the long queue times, a problem Champions Queue is supposed to help with. To combat this, Riot’s matchmaking system first will create a game with 10 players, then it will divide them into two balanced teams according to their MMRs. Even though it may not be the ideal solution, it will help with wait times while also helping with team balancing.
Before it closed down, Champions Queue had two finished seasons, each one-month-long. Spring Split one was won by the eventual LCS champion, Evil Geniuses. Native prodigy mid laner Joseph Joon ‘Jojopyun’ Pyun. Kim ‘Olleh’ Joo-sung and Muhammed ‘Kaori’ Şentürk came in second and third, respectively.
In the Spring Split 2, the eventual winner was the CLG Academy top laner Niship ‘Dhokla’ Doshi. Coming in second was Cloud9’s role swapped support Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen, and the third-place prize went to CLG Academy support Brindon ‘Breezy’ Keesey. Zven was also the Spring Season winner with his good performances in both Splits.
One of the biggest advantages and talking points of Champions Queue was its prize pool. In the upcoming Spring Split, the first-place finish will earn a $12.5K reward, while the second and third will get $8k and $4k respectively. The overall season winner also wins a $25K prize.