League of Legends autofill changes hit ranked queues early

Victorious Graves in League of LegendsRiot Games

A bug has caused changes to the League of Legends autofill mechanic to hit ranked queues one patch early. Riot are planning more changes to the queue function in LoL patch 12.18, due to launch later in September.

The autofill function in League of Legends is a contentious one. While it’s handy for keeping queue times down, players don’t like loading into a ranked game in a position they’re not comfortable with.

For mid and bot lane mains, this is especially true, given they are often handed secondary roles or autofilled ⁠— just due to the sheer amount of players wanting those two positions.

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It’s not been entirely equal. Supports have generally been guarded from this via autofill protection, with Riot guaranteeing players one of their preferred positions if they have played a game in the role recently.

However, that is soon changing as League of Legends players noticed autofill protection was removed for supports as part of LoL patch 12.17 ⁠— without any notice in the patch notes. Riot confirmed this was a legitimate change pushed early due to a bug, with more updates coming in LoL patch 12.18 later in September.

Victorious Lucian in League of LegendsRiot Games
If you want to get Victorious Lucian, you’ll have to hit Gold by the end of Season 10.

“We have changes to autofill protection planned for patch 12.18,” developer ‘Auberaun’ said. “This part going out a little early on its own is a bug.

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While some players were displeased with the change, Auberaun added autofill is a necessary part of the ranked experience to keep waiting times down. The changes extend far beyond what players can see now though.

“Autofill needs to exist for reasonable queue times unfortunately. There are some recent under-the-hood improvements we’ve made to team role parity and planned work for hostage taking I hope to be able to talk about soon.”

Riot has attempted to adjust autofill earlier in the year, pushing teams towards “autofill parity” in ensuring each side has an equal amount of filled players.

As for what will be included in the LoL patch 12.18 update to autofill? The specifics aren’t included, but expect a different ranked experience to finish off your Season 12 climb.

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