It's been pretty evident Riot has been encouraging play with more friends, as a group. The main evidence for this is the highly controversial Dynamic Queue, but there's other systems like IP party bonuses, earning a hextech chest when anyone in your premade gets an 'S', winning with friends gives you a higher chance to get keys, and most recently, the party IP rewards from the MSI event.
There's several possible reasons for this - Riot have stated:
> We want League of Legends to become a global sport that lasts for generations. We’re not just talking about the LCS (or LCK, or CBLoL, or NACS, or…); we’re talking about League as a way of life - a competitive hobby, pastime, or activity that stays with you through the years.
_Generations _ is a large goal, which isn't a bad thing - it's always good to have ambition. But when you put solo players at a distinct disadvantage, it becomes a problem.
I'm not going to address Dynamic Queue and all it's problems in full detail here - but here's my TLDR:
- Solo players are put at a such a big disadvantage and it's unfair for them to play against premades - being able to queue up as 5 in the same queue where you can queue up solo _won't_ work. There's no adjustment that can fix this in terms of numbers or fixing queues and whatnot.
- It's a less accurate rating of a player's skill.
There's probably more, such as it possibly being not as competitive, but I want to talk more on the 'friends' idea Riot is promoting. I think one of, if not the main problem with this is** you can't sustain a relationship with someone else purely online**. I've had so many friendships just fizzle out and die because you simply_ don't care_. You add someone after a good game and play with them for a couple more games, then the next day you're think: "Oh! I remember that guy, he was good!", but by the end of the week it's more like "Who was that guy?"
The most communication I tend to have with other players I added was "where do you come from?" and "what time is it there?", and it's never really been the case they want to join a Skype call or some sort of communication programme to actually play together properly. They might not speak good enough English, they might not have a mic, they might not be able to run both programmes at the same time, or they simply may not want to. I understand this, because at the end of the day, you're not speaking with a friend, you're speaking with a complete stranger who you know almost nothing about. Even if you do share hobbies, you can rarely do them with each other because you're in different countries.
Then, weeks later, you end up with 20 or so 'friends' cluttering your friends list, whom you can remember nothing about, and whom have no interest in playing with you.** Playing premade with strangers is just a way to get extra IP - people don't actually care about trying to make friends because it simply doesn't work.** Riot might see a pattern of "more opportunites to earn extra IP = more people playing in groups = more friends playing together", but that's a false representation of the situation.
The only true way to play with friends is to play with real friends (people you actually know from school/work, etc), and it's these premades that dominate Dynamic Queue. You have friends online and can play together? Awesome, have fun competing against the other premade and stomping the poor solo players!** People simply don't have that many friends to consistenly play and climb together, and this can't be solved with shiny IP or Hextech rewards for queuing as a premade.**