Feel free to add and suggest changes to what I was able to come up with. I'm not perfect, and i'm sure even through loads of research, experience, and reasoning i'll probably make at least one mistake, or leave something out. Should be noted that these are just the thoughts of an average Plat2 player as well, so anything I mention about divisions below or above me should be taken with a grain of salt.
DuoQ has changed the game to be less competitive. This is probably the biggest and most destructive thing DuoQ has done to ranked. It’s no longer about just playing the game, because DuoQ injects third-party hurdles that simply wouldn’t exist, or at the very least; wouldn't be as prevalent in SoloQ or TeamQ.
The most noticeable way it has accomplished this is by quarantining the very top% that do DuoQ into one small cumulative safe space. Good players being matched against other good players is a thing of the past, as they’ve come together to create the highest numbers advantage possible to the extent that finding a potential even matchup would not be possible even if the matchmaker wasn’t terribly flawed. Ranked SPvP has devolved into an all around farm as a result.
There has always been golds and silvers farming ranked for the rewards; never at all worried about winning, losing, competition, and now we have a fair chunk of the top% of players farming those golds and silvers with the exact same intentions. The people who get punished the most are people who actually try. Those who sit in the middle or upper-middle of the ranks, or really; anyone who decides to queue for a ranked gamemode with some sort of expectation of fair and competitive matchmaking.
And that’s just the main way DuoQ makes ranked less competitive. There’s ~3 problems that come to mind that just add up:
(1)There’s no cap on how far apart two ranks can queue together, so top players hop on low-rank alts and queue with other top players to avoid decay and keep LB spots with total impunity, all at the expense for the low-mid level players playing at that hour.
(2)Actual players are forced into using methods outside the game itself just to cope, all of which promote not actually playing. No longer can you just queue up. Now you have to check Twitch first to make sure no teamstacking is going on, or follow people you don’t care for just to see when they’re active, or get in the habit of Qdodging every few games to avoid certain DuoQs. Heck, the very concept of going out of your way to find a DuoQ is in itself an exclusive third-party hurdle.
(3)Top rated DuoQs often exploit everything they can about the gamemode. Class switching? They got those. Exploiting the matchmaker? They got you, boo. Almost all these issues are exclusive to DuoQ. With SoloQ you can’t really abuse Class Switching, and matchmaking is less tractable.
People can blame all this on the low population all they want. If the population really is too low to play a competitive gamemode competitively, then DuoQ has to go either way. If SoloQ was barely sustainable, there is absolutely no excuse for DuoQ to exist. Low population is an argument against DuoQ, not for it.
DuoQ also promotes and facilitates wintrading(Match manipulation.) Getting a person or people, alt or alts on the opposite team is leagues easier when you have more control over who gets into your match & team, and guaranteeing one person to your team increases your odds by 2/5ths or 20% of a match on its own. Although, I will say that classic wintrading seems to have fallen off to some extent with DuoQ.
Not because DuoQ has finally solved the age-old issue, but because the means; the game, have both changed. Those 3 issues I just mentioned have replaced classic wintrading, because there’s no real reason to throw or leave a game when you can exploit DuoQ and the rest of ranked’s broken fundamentals and get a BETTER and cheaper turnout. Even when wintrading was at its worst, the winrates weren’t anything like they are now, with a lot of the top 25 carrying 80-90% winrates across multiple alts. I know this is DuoQ’s doing, because winrates like that between multiple alts just wasn’t a thing in SoloQ.
Before anyone says “you can’t blame DuoQ for your losses, get good” as i’ve heard no less than 257 times since I started complaining back before Season 13, i’m not blaming DuoQ for losses. Only the problems i’ve mentioned, which; I think contributes moreso to poor match quality than it does for solely bad losses.
Legends and plat3’s together with silvers and golds, no matter if that’s with or against; results in pretty terrible match quality. If you want to make a new or less-experienced player feel truly insignificant and hopeless, just pair them with or against a DuoQ consisting of the #1 and #2 rated players in the game. The resulting blowout match is going to feel bad for everyone else whether they win or lose in that scenario.
TL;DR There is no way to fix DuoQ or merged queues to accommodate ranked PvP without significant changes to the matchmaker. Changes that everyone knows wouldn’t work, because they’d be waiting in queue for hours, but that just shows that DuoQs really have no place in this game to begin with. DuoQ has ruined the competitive aspect of ranked. I could go on forever, because there’s as many reasons DuoQ shouldn’t exist as there is poorly contrived excuses to try and justify it, but; this is already getting too long. Please, just remove(Not restrict behind some rating threshold) DuoQ for Season 18 and all future seasons.
EDIT(8/7/19): Due to a lot of confusion on the subject, I just want to make it clear that this is not a call to restrict ranked back to SoloQ only. It is purely an argument against DuoQ and any sort of merged queue existing in this game.
Remove Ranked DuoQ pls&ty