The latest League of Legends season is almost here and this time around that means a whole new ranked system for some players.
This new system, called positional ranks, is being implemented in hopes that Riot can encourage players to get outside their comfort zone and play more roles without the penalty of playing against opponents who might be significantly better than them.
Also changing this season is the provisional ranking system which will now give you a rank after just one placement game in a role. But don’t worry, over the course of your provisional games wins will net you huge advances in rank while losses won’t negatively impact you at all. For most players this means the system works about the same was as it always did, but a little more transparently. As for high ranking players, that means that the climb will be even faster at the beginning of a season as you can be placed as high as Platinum I, but you can climb up through Diamond during your provisional games.
For all your other pressing questions about the new positional ranked system, we’ve scoured the information Riot has put out so far and created a helpful list answering some of the most pressing questions you might have about how ranks will work in 2019.
What exactly are positional ranks?
They’re exactly what they sound like: individual ranks for each position in League. While this may sound a little strange at first, the goal is for Riot to allow players to play other roles without bringing their team down. If you are a Gold I mid laner, but you decide to play a game as an ADC or get autofilled support, you’ll be playing at a lower level, maybe more like Gold IV, than games where you’re mid.
So, these other games are just meaningless for my main role?
Nope! The new provisional ranked system includes something called, “splashing.” Through splashing, every role will gain and lose LP for every game you play, just a smaller amount. So, games in your main role will splash LP onto other roles when you win, bringing everything up, and games on off-roles will still give you credit toward your main’s rank if you win.
So, which role is my main rank?
Whichever role you play the most games on is going to be your highest rank and therefore your main rank. If you decide to Fill every single game you’ll probably end up with support as your main role, because you’ll probably get it most often, but you’ll get a much higher splash on your other roles because the number of games played will be closer together.
What if I lose ... like, a lot?
Technically, this system should be really good for that. If you’re having an off day — or week — just switch to a new role for a while. You’ll play easier opponents while you practice and lose less LP than you would if you were losing on your main role and at your standard ELO.
And if I win a lot?
Okay, if you win all the time the system isn’t going to be that much better for you, and that’s probably a good thing. At the highest ELOs the possible differences in matchmaking are going to be much smaller, so don’t worry. A Diamond I player probably isn’t going to show up in a Gold III game just because they’re in an off-role. As the differences between these ranks shrink, eventually they’ll all meet up and just combine into one rank once you hit Masters.
Is this going live at the beginning of the season for every region?
To start with, this system is only going out to North America and Korea. Then, after the first split of the year — since ranked is divided in two this year — it should go out to some other regions. This is in order for Riot to make sure that these are actually positive changes for the community, as well as to ensure that balancing things like splash is correct.