Ranked changes announced

Coming in 2019, there will be wide, sweeping changes to Ranked play. Let’s take a look.

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Riot recently announced significant changes to Ranked mode for solo/duo queue. Although these changes won’t land until 2019, Riot is giving us plenty of advance notice on the planned updates, to give us a chance to give our feedback. We look at some of the main changes below.

Introduction of new tiers

The 2019 season will see the introduction of two new tiers in Ranked and the compression of the number of divisions to four.

These changes are aimed to create a smoother climbing experience for players in bronze, silver, and diamond in particular. Riot feels that there are either too many players in these tiers or that there is too wide a skill gap between players. The addition of two new tiers should have smooth out those problems.

Changes to placement matches

One frustration of the current Ranked system is that you don’t know what tier you’ll be placed in until you’ve completed all 10 placement matches. 

In the proposed changes, you’ll be given a provisional tier after you’ve completed your first placement match, which you cannot drop below, even if you lose the rest of your placement matches. However, you will still have the chance to improve and place in a higher tier if you perform well in the rest of your placement games.

This sounds like a great proposed change as it takes away a lot of the uncertainty and frustration when going through placement matches.

Up to five individual ranks

Under the new Ranked system, players will be able to have an individual rank for each role they play, with up to five individual ranks across all roles.

This is one of the most significant changes to come to Ranked, but it’s easy to see why Riot wants to implement this change.

Currently, you only have one rank, regardless of the role you’re drafted to when you play a Ranked game. So if you’re a mid main, but get autofilled to the jungle, the game will still assume that you’re as good in the jungle as you are in mid. This can lead to an element of unfairness as you can be pitted against enemies that are more skilled than you if you’re in an undesired role.

Under the new system, if you get auto-filled or put in an off-role, then you will be matched with players that have a similar skill level

Changes to ranked borders

Ranked borders will also be unlocked much sooner in 2019. As soon as you’ve completed your placement matches, your border should unlock. The border will then change as you rank up throughout the season.

The border will also be shown on your profile, hover card, and in the lobby, so there are plenty of places to show others your skill.

Three splits per season

In another major move, the season will be divided into three splits in 2019. However, your rank won’t change in between. Riot hasn’t released many details about this development, but we’ve been promised more updates in the coming months, so hopefully we will hear more soon.

You can read the full announcement here.

What do you think about introducing role-specific ranking? Let us know in the comments below!