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League of Legends could fix 80% of teamwork problems with one question

League of Legends can easily figure out what players think is important, and then put people with the same mentality on teams together.

If I play a match-made game of League of Legends with random strangers, I will end up with one of two teams: 

  1. My team is going to think very much like I do, and we are all going to work together like a nerdy version of The Avengers.
  2. My team will be irreparably different from me, and we will fight each other harder than we fight the other team.

But it doesn’t matter how much I type with caps lock on, or how many exclamation points I use, or how nicely I try to negotiate with Yasuo: Team B will never come together.

That’s not to say that Team B can’t win, but even if we do, it’s not an enjoyable experience.

There are so many games where a fictional Random Player can actually be making a major contribution to the team, but if that Random Player isn’t contributing the same way that the other people on his team would, they’re still likely to think something is wrong with Random Player.

A Compatibility Survey Eliminates 80% Of Arguments Before Matchmaking Starts

We all want to get on Team A, but with random matchmaking, whether we will is up to chance. But we could use a team compatibility survey to fix that.

A good teamwork compatibility survey would ask this one question:

“What is the most important thing in a game of League of Legends?”

  • Farming and playing skillfully
  • Staying alive and maintaining vision
  • Grouping and helping teammates in need 
  • Taking objectives like towers and dragons
  • Having fun

Although the distribution may end up being unequal, let’s assume that with 5 choices, 20% of players fall into each category. If Riot Games asks every player to answer this question for their account, Riot can then match them with similar players.

With this model, when Random Player decides to take his Lee Sin back to base instead of trying to help Akali run away from Udyr, members of the team can decide whether Random Player lived up to his own self­-stated priority, whatever that may be. 

Of course, there will be some subjective interpretation here, but at least the players have all announced their principles, and everyone can anticipate what their team is going to focus on. I would gladly still argue from time to time, but maybe only 20% as much as I currently do on League of Legends - so about 19% of every game.
 

There Is No Right Answer To The Survey, But People Will Enjoy Playing More

The disputes on how to play a game of League of Legends are akin to those that arise when you ask a group of five people how to row a boat together. There is more than one way to row a boat, but if everyone is rowing differently, the boat is never going to get to shore.

It’s not about finding the single right answer, because if that were the case, Riot Games would just try to indoctrinate its players into one priority culture. It’s about finding one answer that works for all five members of the team. And the answer for one team may not necessarily be the answer for another.

A team that answers the same way on the compatibility survey is likely to have many other psychological factors in common that will make them more capable of working together.

  • People who prioritize having fun will be more empathetic, which should lead to a more enjoyable gameplay experience, win or lose.
  • Players who prioritize taking objectives may be mostly concerned about small goals, and will be more mindful of the present rather than worrying about the fate of the game.
  • If you prioritize farming and playing skillfully, you may not be very interactive, which is normally better if your team isn’t trying to interact with you either.
These are just a few ideas of psycho-graphics, but I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of more complex and less tangible similarities.
 
And besides - I’d rather lose with a cohesive team than win with a divided one. Even if I know the division is nobody’s fault!
 

With Compatibility, The Skilled And Strategic Players Will Stop Getting Stuck In Elo Hell

With the current randomness of matchmaking based solely on rank, terrible players often win because their team carries them, and talented players can lose just because the team didn’t operate in unison. Because of this, the talented and untalented players end up with the same net result, leading to them being matched together again. It's like some interminable purgatory.

Put players in an environment where they can thrive. Then if they still lose, they’re clearly picking the wrong champions, making strategic mistakes, not playing with skill, or their computer is a toaster with a dial­up internet connection.

Until we get our compatibility survey, if you're looking to build your own highly-compatible team and get out of the random matchmaking, Gamer Launch offers some smooth options for team management. To create a team, just make a Gamer Launch account, then visit the site creation link. You can send messages, schedule your team's play, and recruit for your team.

If you want to set up both teams for a scrim, or a scrimmage game with pickup players found through Gamer Launch, visit the Gamer Launch community portal.

Riot Games Should Know That Happier Players Spend More Money

If players aren’t worn out from fighting, or stuck at a lower skill level than they deserve, do you know what happens? They keep playing! Not only does teamwork (and effective team matching) help people spend more time on the game, it also means they'll stick with the game for a long time.

And what do players do when they’re always on League of Legends? They spend money, that’s what they do. They buy skins, they buy champions, they buy icons and wards, and all sorts of junk.

Give players a teamwork compatibility survey, and they will give you their money.

Riot plox. 

Published Oct. 11th 2015

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