You’re at the selection screen. You soft-pick Ringo, your mates do the same with Adagio and Ardan. You think to yourself this is a good team comp; you can slow them with Achilles Shot, Ardan can drop his Gauntlet forcing the enemy team into Adagio’s Verse of Judgement.
Twenty-five minutes later and you’re staring at a Defeat screen. Your opponents weren’t exceptional, both teams had an equal amount of teamwork, and that amazing combo you thought of right before the match never really came to fruition. So what made the difference? Communication.
In the example above, which has happened to me before, all three of us built weapon power. I had assumed Ardan would go his traditional protector route, while Adagio would roam with crystal power, and I would be the hard carry with weapon power. That didn’t happen.
Why not? Many heroes can successfully be played with varying play styles. Adagio and Skaarf are two great examples: Adagio can be a WP carry in the lane, a CP jungler, or even support (and I’m probably missing a few options). While Skaarf, a traditional laner, can dominate the jungle with the right player. But it can be frustratingly difficult to express your intended play style to your teammates from the selection screen.
Back to the solution, communication. I’m not calling for voice chat for solo queue or even more pings. What I’m asking for is a way to clarify during the selection screen what role you wish to play. Again, no voice chat. I’m not thrilled with the idea of random people talking to me through my iPad quite yet, plus, many players will play a match while in a quiet place such as a college library, so voice chat is out as an option.
Instead, SEMC should implement a Pre-Match Role Clarification system. Nothing too fancy or obtrusive, just simple symbols to represent which role you aim to play. The shop symbols for Weapon, Ability, and Defense would work phenomenally. Along with new symbols to clarify the position you plan on playing, whether in the lane, jungle, or roam.
After highlighting your hero, you would be able to select between Weapon, Crystal, or Support in one row and Lane, Jungle, or Roam in a second, both located just above the tooltips for your heroes abilities. Within the small box that shows which hero you’ve highlighted, the selected symbols would appear. If you’ve locked in your hero, you should still be able to change role symbols so that, even if you’ve locked in a hero, you can let your team know you’re still willing to adjust.
While nothing beats being in the same room or the same TeamSpeak, pre-game planning can ultimately change the outcome of close matches. Hopefully this is the solution to a few of our solo queue woes.
How would you change the pre-game selection? Let me know in the comments!
Wolf-Hands is a Hotness Celeste & support Glaive main. He’s been playing and streaming Vainglory since January 2015. He also runs the Vainglory LFG twitter account