suggestion is as simple as the title suggests. Just get rid of the map bans.
When two players are matched, the system simply looks at the preferred maps of both players. If they differ, the map is picked either at random (50/50) or according to the preference of the lower-ranked player (as kind of a home advantage). A soft variant in between (ELO difference influences map choice probability) is also possible.
In the end, the details here won’t matter a lot except for the very top and bottom of the ELO range. So let’s assume for now the choice is random among the two preferences indeed.
What are the consequences? Again, let’s make a simplifying assumption. We have only three maps, 70% of the player base favor Arabia, 20% Arena, and 10% a third map called “Other” (use it as a placeholder for whatever you like). The numbers are just made up, but probably not too far away from the truth.
With the system above, a player who favors Arabia will get the following ratio of games: 85% Arabia, 10% Arena, 5% Other
A player who favors Arena gets: 60% Arena, 35% Arabia, 5% Other
A player who favors Other gets: 55% Other, 35% Arabia, 10% Arena
In reality the “Other” category splits into the five other available maps in the pool. If each of them is favored equally, a player who likes, e.g. Nomad, still gets it in 51% of the matches, whereas an Arabia or Arena player “has to” play that map only with a probability of 1%.
I think this is a fair system for everyone that has the advantage that every player gets to play their actual preference in at least 50% of the games, with much higher probability for players who like popular maps such as Arabia.
This is in contrast to the current system, where relatively often maps are played that nobody really wants but that just remain as the lesser evil when the respective preferences are mutually banned. All the gold rush variants are probably a prime example of that. It would then also remove the need for strategic banning of maps (banning a map without disliking it, just to increase the probability of getting the own preference), which is always a pain to think about.
While the example above is for 1v1, the same could be easily done to simplify team game matchmaking.
Obviously this will not satisfy the “my-way-or-AltF4” faction, but for everyone mature:
What do you think about this suggestion? Would you agree that it is better to always play the preferences of either of the players, or do you actually like the “lesser evil” approach of the current system?