I’m not a big fan of PvP games. The atmosphere is often toxic, with people jumping down your throat for the smallest thing. As a rule I try to avoid PvP games at all cost.
The exception to this is League of Legends.
And even with that it took me a very long time to play with a team full of complete strangers. ‘What if they’re all way better than me’ ‘what if they get mad at me’ In my head, I sounded like a child on their first day of school. I stuck to myself, grinding bot matches until I somehow reached level 27 on my EUW account and then, I stopped playing. My friends had grown tired of my only wanting to play bots and had moved on.
Fast forward a number of years, and I’m now Bronze 4 in OCE and Silver 3 in EUW. Not entirely sure how that happened but there you go. As a support you are stuck to the whims of your team and your match-ups. I couldn’t imagine going back to Bots as frequently as I did back when I first started. Sure the toxicity of the player base is pretty much the same, but I’ve learned to just play my best. And levelling up playing normal’s is certainly one of the best ways to get better at the game when you were as bad as I was. Never deviating from the suggested item builds combined with awful map awareness, my only redeeming quality was that, as a Morgana support, I could land my Q and land it well. I have since moved on to main Thresh. A champion who couldn’t 1v1 anyone, but is tanky enough that my deaths and kills are far outstripped by my assists, one of the signs of a good support.
When I was on a recent trip to the UK I discovered Draft normal’s, and it was by far the best way to progress from Level 27 to ranked. It allowed me to play my preferred position every time. No mirror match-ups in lanes plus getting to ban my least favourite match-up
(Blitz). I can understand Riots’ want to remove draft normal’s. It breaks up the queues and increases queue times, but surely there is room for a middle-ground? To adapt the blind pick so you can choose your position before the match begins, then go into the blind pick lobby. It would provide the best of both worlds, the ability to pick your role ahead of time, reduces the opportunity for those who insta-lock, and doesn’t leave landing your preferred role to those who join the lobby/ type the fastest. As an added benefit, it would get you into a game a lot faster than with current draft normal, where you have to go through the entire pick/ban process only for the last person to dodge, or miss their lock-in.
So while my experience with Draft normal’s is limited, having only spent two weeks with it, I still think a hybrid of Draft role selection and Blind champ selection would be the way forward for combining the queues, reducing the queue timers, minimising insta-locks and encouraging specialisation amongst players.