In traditional sports, making the transition from amateur to professional usually means the individual has acquired the skills the professionals have. It typically means the amateur has mastered the game the same way the pros have. Most importantly, the amateur has trained and been accustomed to the situations he will experience in the professional scene.
In soccer, depending on what country one plays for, kids practice in smaller environments than professional-size football fields. The idea is that by having smaller teams, typically 8 players instead of the normal 11, kids will get accustomed to the basics of the game more quickly. In a smaller setting, one is constantly in the “game”. What that means is that in a professional game, if your team is attacking, a defender can feel as though he is not participating, whereas in smaller teams, children as well as professionals, have more opportunities to practice positioning and getting the ball.
I assume flag football is a variation of the kind. Flag football has added benefits in training that are particular useful without any of the dangers that regular football has. When kids are starting to play the game, practicing the subset of skills that flag football provides without the drawbacks that regular football has could be advantageous for the future of the kids.
How does all that relate to League?
One of the current problems in League of Legends is that solo queue players do not practice the skills necessary to play competitive League of Legends. In any other traditional sport, amateur Leagues have almost identical settings of the professional leagues. It would be hard to think that a basketball player could make the transition to the NBA without knowing basic strategies of the game, unfortunately that is the reality League of Legends is played in. It seems unthinkable that a soccer defender played professionally without knowing how to position himself relative to his teammates, this is a crucial skill in soccer because of the offside rule. It is the first thing any kid learns when he is introduced to the game, and most certainly if he is part of a team. Unfortunately, the reality is that in League of Legends an ADC can get picked up by a team and make the transition to professional, without ever having to participate in a lane swap.
League of Legends has, as a game, the drawback that solo queue is not a great measure of whether a player understands the game or not. Solo queue is a better measure of someone’s skills and we repeatedly hear analysts say that the great risk of teams picking up an amateur is that you never know how they are going to perform in the scene with the added strategic challenges that come with playing as a pro. The only example where someone performed at an elite level his rookie season was Faker, famously solo killing Ambition in his first game, back when Ambition was considered the best midlaner.
Dynamic Queue will be a first step towards solving a big problem in League of Legends, but it has its drawbacks. If solo queue was eliminated and everyone was forced to play in Dynamic Queue, then everyone would have to learn the skills of Dynamic Queue, which are the same as those in the professional scene. Dynamic Queue will be an opportunity for players who understand the macro-level strategy to shine this season. Dynamic queue seems like a step in the right direction towards making a smoother transition from amateur gaming to the professional scene.
It is not clear as to how Dynamic queues will be shorter without compromising on the competitiveness of the games. It is also unfair that players that do not have many friends or choose to not play with friends, have a disadvantage because they do not communicate with their teammates. In this scenario it seems that Dynamic Queue must have voice communication between players in order to eliminate any kind of unfair advantage.
Dynamic Queue seems a step in the right direction and I am excited to find out if it improves the game.
Courtesy of kotaku.com and na.leagueoflegends.com