Hero League is becoming solo queue only-- here are some tips to survive.
Hero League and ranked play have been changed many times, but solo queue only has been a long, long time coming. Diversify your hero pool, understand your role, and start the next season off right!
Whether you are desperately spending the next 2 days trying to get Master rank for the sweet mount, or just barely trying to get out of Platinum, the big news about ranked play effects us all equally.
Players ability to climb the ranks Hero league has always been a mixed bag, but after the 14th, there will be no more excuses. No more stacked duo queues, no more smurfs creating imbalanced low ranked matches, and a no more stray Cho'Gall duos that, win or loss, are likely having a lot more fun than whatever solo queue players were in their game.
The 3rd seasons represents a bold departure from Heroes of the Storm's team-centric "play with your friends" attitude. Solo players are no longer a problem that matchmaking must account for and, as a result, personal MMR and skill level will be the only factor in determining whether or not someone rises in Hero League. It was already possible for skilled players to carry their team, but in a world of only solo queue, it becomes even more likely.
Only time will tell if this change breathes new life into Team League so, for now, here are some tips to make your new solo queue experience the best it can be:
- Play your best Heroes
With no more grouped friends populating either team, hero picks become less about synergy and combos and more about player experience and individual skill level. Hero League becomes less about "having fun with friends" and more about showcasing personal mastery. While it's still important to take your draft into consideration, under no circumstances should you play a hero you are only slightly experienced with. Save that for quick match and unranked draft!
- Let your preferred role known early.
It just takes a quick highlight of your ideal hero to help your first pick and ban captain make smart decisions that have huge impacts on the game. If you are committed to ranking up in a solo queue environment than sabotaging your teams draft by denying them information is an obvious mistake.
- Respect first and second picks. Save the niche picks for last.
If your Chromie is god tier, that's fine. But don't start first or second picking her just because of your own confidence. Some heroes can get counter picked so effectively that no amount of individual skill can make up for a one-sided draft. If you are lucky enough to get first pick, do your team a solid and pick a universally strong hero. Li-ming, Valla, Tyrael, Muradin, Auriel-- Heroes like these will always find a strong place in a team and don't have many hard counters.
Save the last pick for heroes that counter your opponents draft or are usually vulnerable to counter-picks themselves. Heroes like Nova, The Butcher, or Raynor can carry entire games if they are picked late enough and the enemy can't hard counter them.
- Focus on your own play.
Individual plays will never be more important thanks to Hero league being moved to a solo queue only territory. There will never be a stacked group of players all on voice comms against you, meaning that individual decision making and discipline from just one player can win or lose the entire game.
Above all else, perfect and focus on your own play. Unless you are positive you have made zero mistakes, it does no good to start negatively criticizing your allies.