League of Legends players say they're waiting up to 30x longer for a game after matchmaking changes

League of Legends
(Image credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends players on some minor servers are waiting multiple hours to get into a match thanks to some experimental matchmaking changes.

Last night, Riot Games dropped League of Legends patch 13.7. As well as the traditional balance changes, the update makes some tweaks to competitive rules, and is also testing matchmaking around an upcoming Quick Play mode. Riot says that it's "running an experiment" in the EU North East, Oceania, and Russian servers throughout the update.

The headline change is the removal of 'Autofill'; in Ranked League of Legends, players pick a Primary and Secondary role to indicate to the system where they'd like to play. To help prevent the kind of queuing issues that Overwatch 2 experienced around its dedicated Role Queues, however, there's a chance that Autofill will place you in a random role to help speed up the process of getting players into a game.

Autofill is seen as a necessary evil, and players are able to gently manipulate it, either by negotiating with their teammates or occasionally playing less popular roles. Its removal, however, seems to be grinding the queue system to a halt. On Reddit, one player says that they and two friends "have been queuing for two hours and are yet to find a game" on the OCE server.  Another OCE player says that they'd been waiting 90 minutes, attempting to swap out their secondary role every so often to try and boost their odds on a server where they normally only had to wait three minutes for a game. A third post suggests "Riot ruined EUNE for casual players," with queue times stretching to 30 or 40 minutes, even for groups of friends playing together.

Some players regularly wait a long time for games to start, but that's often only at the game's highest levels, where there are fewer players to matchmake against. That the experiment is limited to specific servers likely isn't helping; OCE and EUNE tend to be viewed as existing in the shadow of the NA and EU West servers, respectively.

For an online game like League, the ability to find a match is crucial to the overall health of the game. The community seems to think Riot will be relatively quick to turn Autofill back on, but there's a chance that these broken queues won't be fixed until the 13.8 patch rolls around, which will probably go down pretty badly.

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Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.