Attaq Online was formed on the concept that all gamers enjoy competitive gaming, regardless of ELO. Normally, competition environments are reserved for those at the topmost skill levels. In League of Legends, those people are typically high Diamond, Master, and Challenger ranking. AO offers the same competitive environment to anyone with a level 30 account on the North American server that has completed the 10 preliminary ranked matches. And, right now, it’s in beta mode so it’s completely free!
I’ve been beta testing on AO since early this year and have mostly enjoyed the process. I’ve compiled a list of reasons you should be participating in Attaq Online Beta Tournaments and some things to watch out for while the developers fine-tune their platform.
Why You Should Participate
Meet new people
This is a great way to meet potential duo or dynamic partners. Unsurprisingly, the League ranked environment does not foster long-term friendships (weird?!), especially at low ELOs. AO still has a smallish player base, relatively speaking, so that you build relationships over time. I’ve personally met 3-4 people I commonly duo with from this platform.
The platform mixes ELOs. It’s not uncommon to have five people who range from Bronze to Diamond in the same game. The balancing has improved significantly, so I am placing this squarely in the pros column because I have met a number of people I wouldn’t normally run across in dynamic queue. I have learned so much from higher ELO players and, in turn, have the opportunity to mentor lower ELO player. It’s been a delightful bonus from my participation in the AO beta.
ELO is great for bragging rights, but you can’t spend it in a tangible way. Currently, AO is offering cash prizes for beta testers who participate in tournaments. They also reward return users, or people who play for the entire open beta session on a given day by doing daily and weekly prizes. Who doesn’t love that!?
AO has partnered with Discord for their platform, so that each player is assigned a team and Discord channel to use for each tournament. Voice chat is built into the tournament in a simple way. Not all players choose to use voice chat, and it’s not currently required to participate.
Responsive Beta Updates
The AO team has fostered open communication with their beta testers. Developers have proven to be very responsive to comments and concerns from beta testers and update their platform accordingly. For example, a full tournament can take an hour or more and, from time to time, players have something come up or they disconnect and cannot return. The AO development team has now included a built-in substitution mechanism accessed through a real-time support ticket. A sub can now be found quickly and easily. There are updates approximately every week, so the platform gets better and better!
Responsive Customer Service
One of the most outstanding features of the AO platform is their customer service. As with any beta test, there are bugs and issues from time to time. AO has real time access to moderators both built-in to their platform and through general Discord chat.
Targeted banning and role selection
Unlike general ranked League, you have access to the names and gameplay history of your opponents. This means that you have a few minutes prior to picks and bans to do basic research on their main champions, likely roles, and recent W-L history. This feature of the platform is currently linked to their ranked match history, but upcoming patches promise tournament-specific stats for each tournament player.
Personal Skill Rating/MMR
Even if you do not regularly participate in the AO platform, this is an excellent feature for all League players. AO’s player MMR summary details each player’s overall MMR, but also their individual MMR in specific lanes and with specific champions. For example, at the time of this post, I’m currently Plat 5 overall, but Plat 2 with my main champion, Nami, in the support role. (Don’t mind my Bronze 2 Top Lane, though!) Once you’ve linked your account with the AO magic engine, you can update your profile once an hour to get stats on your individual champion and lane MMRs.
Watch Out For
If you have ever played League of Legends, you know this is not specific to the AO tournament platform. There are currently mechanisms to report individual players for toxicity based on screen shots of their behavior in chat (recommended) and reports of their behavior in Discord. This can be reported at the end of the tournament when your tournament points are awarded.
Currently, queue times are quite variable depending on the day of the week and time of the day. If you are lucky enough to queue as soon as the platform goes live, you’re likely to get an instant queue. Once the first tournaments are up and running, it can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes to be placed in a tournament. I use this time to play another game, like Stardew Valley or slither.io, work on additional projects or chat with my stream. As the player base grows, by the time of go-live, this is likely to be significantly reduced.
Small Player Group
I realize that I placed this item in both the pros and the cons. It is nice to form relationships over time. Since you’re entering and exiting tournaments with a certain group of people, it can feel like you play with the same 20 people over and over. Again, this seems to be a beta-specific issue that will resolve as the player base grows.
At this stage in the beta, assignment in tournaments is based solely on soloqueue. Developers have mentioned future plans to include tournaments for premades at some point in the future. I only mention this because, as a Support main, I do occasionally prefer to “BMOA” (Bring My Own AD)
Since both teams are likely to be composed of a variety of ELOs, it occasionally works out that high ELO players are mismatched on roles. For example, I may be the high ELO player on my team, but I’m a support main and often I can’t compensate for a lower skill AD in my lane. Meanwhile, the other team’s high ELO player is a jungler who is making plays all over the map. In a positive sense, this is worked into the tournament; if our bronze-ranked player does not win his lane against a gold player, but also doesn’t feed, and their bronze-ranked player does not play conservatively and feeds our midlane, then we win (and vice-versa)! In a sense, that’s a skill match up between individual level players. Just be aware of this. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the mixed-ELO tournaments!
You can sign up for Attaq Online open beta here. (Please do read this guide on how to get started as it will save you a lot of time!)
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Have you played the AO Beta?? What features have you enjoyed and/or not enjoyed? Leave me a comment!