We’ve all had games where it feels like several players on our team are autofilled, or where we’re trading roles through the lobby so everyone gets something they’re a little better at that isn’t their main role, to begin with. How does this happen? Why does this happen? Let’s break it down.
Nobody Wants To Play Support
The problem with League queues is that the majority of players choose to queue up to play either ADC or solo-lanes, while jungle remains more popular than the black sheep of the family Support as well. This would apparently lead to untenable queue times if we let everyone just wait to fill their desired role, so instead Riot instituted ‘autofill’ to reduce queue times.
The last time Riot talked about autofill on their Dev blog they stated “about 70% of autofills are for the support role.” This means that regardless of what role you play, it might be worth it to find a few champions you’re comfortable on to play support – autofill comes for all of us eventually.
How Does It Work Though?
The longer you’ve gone without filling (or playing support) the higher your odds of autofilling are, until you’re finally pushed into an autofill game. If you choose to queue for support or queue for fill, your odds of autofilling go down compared to other players who continually queue for their main role. Dodging does not lower your chance of autofilling, and if you dodge a game where you’re autofilled your odds of autofilling stay the same – meaning you are still destined to autofill very soon.
The one saving grace is that you’ll now be guaranteed one of your two chosen roles during your promotional series, so gone are the days of being forced into a role you never play during your most important games.
Riot has allegedly been testing a feature called ‘Autofill parity’ for some time now (though announcements about it have been relatively quiet since 2020) where they will attempt to make the system more even with autofills – if you autofill a role, they’ll try to place you against someone also autofilling the role.
They’re also hoping to reduce the amount of times your team has several members autofilled and the enemy team has no member autofilled. I think we’ve all seen games where that isn’t the case, but any improvement is welcome. It feels terrible when your jungler is googling “How to jungle” right before the game starts and they’re against a 1 million mastery Lee Sin main.