Riot introduced Flex Queue to League of Legends a few years ago as a replacement for Ranked Teams.
However, many players could not Flex with their friends when there were big gaps in their ranks. Thus, Riot Games brought a minor change in the same last year. Since patch 10.15, the players could match up ranked Flex Queue with anyone without rank restrictions.
Flex Queue is a queue for competitive groups in League of Legends. In Flex Queue, players can queue solo or with groups of two, three, or five. Its ranking system is different from the dynamic queue ranking. Players can earn ranked rewards from Flex Queue at the end of a season.
Initially, Flex Queue was not considered to be a serious play mode by many League regulars. It was played mainly for fun. Then Riot Games introduced a few minor changes so that the players take the queue more seriously. Players got an option to play with their friends from varied ranks.
Over the year, nothing has changed. Flex Queue remains and ignored and underused mode of ranked play in League of Legends.
League of Legends' Flex Queue and its importance in pro play
Riot Games introduced Flex Queue to help players improve their coordination and strategic-play. This mode allows the choice of queue partners who can discuss strategies with a shared goal. League of Legends amateurs got a brilliant in-game practice mode through Flex Queue which could push them forward towards competing high ELO.
Unfortunately, this model remained under-used as many players could not make the best out of it. Riot's caster Isaac "Azael" Cummings Bentley recently tweeted,
Coming from a competitive Esports background in World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, Azael understands the scenario. He further stated the importance of queuing up with friends for grinding one's gaming skills.
Flex Queue could be a perfect model for the League of Legends players to grind and develop their skills to plan. Solo queues in team-based games often miss the benefits of competitiveness.
League of Legends regular and Redditor u/Iwishisawahippo elaborated on the sentiment expressed by Azael. The Redditor wrote,
I really do agree with Azael here, I think that because of the public outcry from how DQ was utilized and then the constant comparisons between DOTA’s party queue and League’s flex queue, flex never got a chance to shine, even now with clash being such a big deal, you rarely see people talk about partying up on flex queue to practice for clash.
Many players think that Flex Queue has no competitive integrity because of the players' huge skill variance. Thus, they lack interest in investing time. As a result, most of them do not have enough game-counts to be properly placed into their true ELO range.
Once League of Legends players start investing time on Flex Queue as they do in Solo Queue, the matchmaking would improve with the increase in player-counts of the same rank.