This is the underlying question that should be answered for how Storm League should work: are we playing storm league to compete? Or are we playing it for fun with friends?
For me personally, I play ranked entirely solo and I always have. This is partly because I dont have friends who are near my rank in this game and partly because I want my rank to reflect only my actions, I bring this general mindset from my days of playing Starcraft 2 and grinding from silver to diamond, skills from that game actually translated very well to MOBAs.
I have been playing HOTS since Beta and have been Rank 1 back before Bronze – Grandmaster was a thing. I played ranked solo consistently until Hero League and Team League were combined and I was high diamond or masters every season. I have not spent much time grinding ranked since because it is no longer a measure of individual skill, queuing solo puts you at an inherent disadvantage against those who queue together (at similar ranks).
I hoped the addition of voice chat integration would help offset this, but the majority of people I encountered since it was added simply do not use it, the few who do have usually been tilted and overcritical which really just makes things worse so it may as well not be there at all.
So from my perspective, I am happy with the recent change. I dont play ranked modes to play with friends who are silver, gold or plat at best (which my friends would be if they played ranked at all), I play ranked so I can mostly assure that people know what they are doing and are experienced enough with MOBAs to use basic mechanics like stutter stepping. I still see oodles of players in my QM games who don't stutter step, I should not be seeing those players in my diamond ranked games, I expect diamond players on both teams.
I do not want silver players in my diamond ranked games, so I dont queue with them and I dont want other diamonds to queue with silvers either.
I recognize that people will still do this anyways, but at least now, there is a negative incentive to do so (if you care about winning) since the other team will be comprised of diamonds and will not have silvers or golds tossed in to balance by bringing down average MMR, as it worked before the change. Given enough time, those who insist on doing this will eventually settle on where their team MMR should be, which will be lower that the diamond players original MMR.
Frankly, I preferred the team league system since you would get a team MMR for playing with your friends, you could be free to play with your silver friends in there without negatively influencing your solo MMR or other peoples solo MMR if they have the misfortune of being placed on your team when you queue with your silver friends. When HL & TL combined, there was no differentiation between solo rank and team rank, which devalued thr individuals contribution to his own rank and muddled the entire player pools MMR to the point that rank doesn't mean what it used to anymore.
Unfortunately very few played team league, just as very few play unranked today.
The difference between team league then and unranked now, is at least solo players had some solo ranked mode with hero league, this change is one step back in that direction for which I am personally glad, despite the other issues this change brings.
I just kinda vomited my thoughts on this here to further the discussion on this topic, id like to hear the perspective of others.
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