Duo Queue is one of the most fun and potent ways to play Ranked League of Legends. It cannot be overstated how helpful it is to have someone on your team who is always going to be on the same page as you, that said, despite working well together as a duo it can sometimes seem like you’re still not winning many games together.
Part of the reason for this is that the match-making system from Riot tends to match Duo’d players with slightly more skilled opponents to offset the advantage that communication brings to the table. This means that you need to be working hard and playing well in order to make up that skill gap that bringing a friend opens. There are critical things you can do to ensure that Duo Queue is beneficial to you, here they are:
1. Play Together
It might seem obvious, but Duo Queue’d players need to be playing in positions that seriously impact one another to make the strategy worth it. Technically within a game of League, any two positions can kind of buddy up, but unless you’re playing positions that classically synergize that is going to be a champion by champion call.
The original classic duo queue position is bot lane, with the ADC and support working in tandem to overcome the other pair. This is also the place where you’re most likely to run into another duo’d pair of players, not that you’ll really know that it’s happening.
Other good options are middle and jungle, but it’s critical that, if you’re playing these positions, you’re playing them in a way that can help one another. If you have one player on a champion that just wants to farm in the early game, like Azir, and a jungle who wants to do everything in the early game, you’re not going to synergize well as a pair.
Combinations like a snowball assassin and a CC heavy jungler is a fantastic combo that can absolutely win games on its own, but you need to ensure that you’re working with one another, or your duo-q is going to fall flat and actually end up as a disadvantage.
2. Okay Isn’t Good Enough
As we mentioned, Riot tends to match you against higher skilled players if you’re playing with one another. This means that your team is playing against people who, one average, are going to be better than them in order to compensate for the fact that they have teammates who are working with one another.
This means, as the duo queue, if your responsibility to win the game for your team if you’re going to win. If you’re playing bot-lane you can’t just sit back and go over on farm and expect to win if you’re playing with a friend. Just keeping place with your opponents means that you squandered a critical early game advantage.
Unless you are being absolutely camped by the jungler (which means you’re winning by absorbing and neutralizing jungle pressure) you need to be aggressive and make things happen for yourselves as a duo. If you’re not actively winning, you’re losing.
In many cases, this means it’s good to play aggressive champions as a duo-queue. Capitalizing on your communication in the early game to be aggressive, followed by capitalizing on being fed later is the best way to ensure victory in duo-queued games. You certainly can play scaling champions and do well in the game, but it’s not going to be as potent.
3. Have a Plan
Unlike other players in your game, you are able to make up a plan for the game as soon as you’ve finished champion select. This is critical to leveraging your advantage as a pair. Knowing and capitalizing on a strategy is key to winning games overall, but you have a much higher chance of doing this successfully.
For example, just knowing that the player in Mid is going to sacrifice some of their early farm to help secure the scuttle crabs is the best way to ensure that you aren’t suffering early. Beyond that, macro strategies like knowing that two assassins are going to run around as a ‘good squad’ are perfect.
A key thing to remember is that none of us are professionals, so easy to execute plans are better than hyper-complicated ones.
This one might be obvious but it’s probably the biggest barrier between players and victory as a duo-queue. If you listen to professional voice comms they are constantly communicating the their status and plans to one another. There doesn’t need to be constant chatter between you and your duo, but there should be a lot.
It’s easy to be kind of ‘doing your thing’ in League until you think of something that you should communicate, but this is how you end up in situations where you might as well not be on voice comms.
For example, if you as a Jungler are going for scuttle crab and your duo partner is mid you need to let them know that you’re starting scuttle and they need to be ready to contest. This allows them to prepare themselves, by clearing the wave and cheating towards your side, to help you should something come up. If you wait until the enemy champion arrives to tell them that you NEED help, they may have a massive wave they need to take care of, or be at the completely wrong place to help.
This ‘prepare’ communication is also great for times when there really isn’t time to talk. Communicating, ‘I’m trying to find an opening to jump on Sylas’ is critical to having your partner follow you AS you jump into the fray. Otherwise screaming ‘Going on Sylas!’ as your ability lands might mean they are already too late to follow up.
Overall there is actually a lot of pressure on the people within a duo-queue. They both need to preform in order to make it worth it, but there is also a reason that so many people consider it ‘so good it’s almost cheating.’ If you’re communicating and playing well, being part of a pair is both more fun and incredibly more powerful than playing alone.