After its ban over a year ago, Teamfight Tactics Lead Developer Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer announced Monday that the use of Matchmaking trackers is now un-banned.
The announcement comes after Mortdog revisited the idea of skill-expression in TFT. TFT’s matchmaking appears to be random to the average player but it’s not. Over a year ago, the algorithm was cracked and the matchmaking was found to follow a few rules.
What is the TFT Matchmaking algorithm
The first rule is that with seven players alive, a player cannot fight anyone they have played in the last four rounds. With six players alive, a player cannot fight anyone they have played in the last three rounds. With five players the number goes to three and so on. Essentially the rule of thumb is that a player at any given time can only fight three different players. There is still no way to track an exact match, but it is possible to narrow it down to a small margin. Players could do this in their head and originally Mortdog intended this to be a part of skill expression.
Then, third-party app developers started making add-ons that did it automatically. Mortdog saw this as an attack on skill expression and promptly banned them.
Why the unban is happening
Now a year and a half later, Mortdog has revisited the idea. While originally a thought exercise, Mortdog now thinks that tracking this on paper or in your head is just “busy work.”
Having to track this on paper or anything is NOT a skill test TFT is interested in testing. Very similar to League jungle timers, it's just busy work.
So because your current match making can be broken down and isn't pure random, we're going to allow these add-ons for now (3/4)
— Riot Mort (@Mortdog) September 20, 2021
“Having to track this on paper or anything is NOT a skill test TFT is interested in testing,” Mortdog said on Twitter. “Very similar to League jungle timers.”
A few years ago, those jungle timers that players can easily see in-game now were hidden. Players had to manually call out in chat when a jungle timer would be up and when one was taken. Eventually, this was added to the game as it is not a skill check in League of Legends. When asked if an official add-on would be added to TFT, Mortdog mentioned that the add-on ban lift is just a band-aid fix.
“Our goal is to someday change the matchmaker back to our goal of being less predictable,” Mortdog said. “One that happens these add-ons won’t work anymore.”
TFT Set 6 is introducing a new mechanic called Hextech Augments. One of these augments gives players the ability to see the exact opponent they will face next. This announcement appears to have nothing to do with this since the add-on unban can only narrow down the selection and not pinpoint it.