League of Legends is played by all kinds of players. Some enjoy casually playing Blind Pick and Draft pick with their friends. Others like to queue up for ranked and test their skills against other players. The ranked queues are further divided into two parts so you can play with however many friends you want.
Ranked Flex Queue allows you to queue up as 1,2,3, or 5 players pre-made. There is no rank restriction in placements or ranked games in Flex Queue. The average MMR of the game is decided by the average MMR of all players involved.
While Ranked Solo is far more popular than Ranked Flex, both of these modes are played by a large enough portion of the player base to warrant separate matchmaking systems. Ranked Solo and Ranked Flex aren’t directly connected to each other so players must play separate placement matches for both of them.
What Is Flex Queue?
League of Legends has two main game modes for its competitive ladder. One of them is Ranked Solo which requires you to play alone (as the word solo implies) or with a duo partner until a certain rank. The other one is Ranked Flex which allows you to queue up with multiple people and play as a pre-made team.
Ranked Flex is less popular than Ranked Solo among players that prefer to grind the game solo. Ranked Flex is mainly intended for players that want to play with multiple friends and still have the ability to compete against players of similar skill.
In the past, Ranked Flex was much more restricted than it is currently. When it came to Placements, you could queue with anyone you wanted, as the ranks were not determined yet. But after placements, players could only queue together for Ranked Flex if all of them were within one division of each other.
This caused a lot of complaints as players who wanted to play with friends could not do that because of the rank gap. A diamond player could not queue with his Gold friends, etc. This led to the change done in 2020, where Riot Games declared that players would no longer be limited by ranks when queueing up for Ranked Flex.
Flex Queue limits the premade to 1,2,3 or 5 players. No party of 4 is allowed because it can give too much power to the 4-man stack and could lead to verbal abuse or mass reporting against the solo player.
You can, however, still queue up as a solo player. You will not be matched against a 4-stack because of the reason listed above. This will allow the game to be more even and will prevent the solo player(s) from being targeted.
Placements & Ranked
Placements for Flex Queue are not restricted to ranks anymore. If you and your friends are unranked, you can easily queue up together and play your placement matches. As mentioned above, the games after your placement matches originally required you to be a single division apart to be able to queue up. This is no longer a requirement.
There has been a lot of talk and speculations about how the MMR works when matching you in your placements games for the first time. A lot of players agree that your Flex Queue placement MMR might be taken from your Ranked Solo games.
This means that if you are Diamond in Ranked Solo, then chances are that you will play your placement games in Platinum MMR when you queue up for Ranked Flex. Of course, this may vary depending on the MMR your friends have. Since matchmaking is based on the collective MMR of all the players involved.
Dodging In Placements
Dodging in Placements works similar to dodging in Ranked Solo. If you dodge a game in placements, then that game is counted as a loss against you. You will also be put on a penalty timer. You have to wait for this timer to run out in order to queue up for a game again.
LP Gain In Placements
LP Gain in Placements heavily depends on your MMR. Placements tend to start by placing you fairly low and providing you with massive LP gains so that you may climb to your real elo as soon as possible. If the system judges your actual rank to be close to your placement rank, you will receive reduced LP gains to compensate for it.
Does Flex MMR affect SoloQ?
Some players are afraid to jump into Flex Queue because they fear that the poor performance in Flex Queue might affect their MMR in Ranked Solo. Thankfully, no matter how poorly you perform in Flex Queue, it will have no effect on your Ranked Solo MMR or rank.
These are completely different ladders and will not directly or indirectly affect your ranking in the other. So feel free to play Flex Queue with your friends while maintaining your grind on the Ranked Solo ladder.
Also check: What Is The Best Role To Climb In Solo Queue?
Ranked Flex is popular among players that tend to play in large stacks (more than 2). Ranked Flex allows players of any rank to group up together and play as a team. This makes this game mode relatively more casual compared to the Ranked Solo game mode. Feel free to queue up with players of any rank and enjoy Flex Queue separately from Ranked Solo Queue.
Check out this article that explains how MMR works in LoL.