With the 2019 ranked season being only a couple a week away, now is a nice opportunity to have a last-minute overview of all the changes that are going live in Season 9. Since there is still some confusion in the air about all the updates taking place with the beginning of the ranked season on the 23rd of January, here is a list of all the changes in one place and a quick look at some pros and cons.
Here is a quick list of the upcoming changes:
- New tiers
- Fewer divisions
- Positional ranks
- Three season splits
Please note that this article is focusing on the changes that impact gameplay and not the various visual changes. #BringmyOldDivisionEmblemBack
At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if Riot decided to add a wooden division! With the new tiers added in Season 9, the ‘Bronze V’ memes die and with them die several years of ‘Bronze’ tradition, as well the reason to harass your friends for never escaping Bronze IV 15LP!
With the new tier system, the ladder looks like that: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grand Master, Challenger.
The new system is designed to reflect better the players’ skill and reduce the skill gap that has been evident between several divisions (e.g. huge skill gap between Gold V and Gold I).
The grind seems endless. And frankly, it is not very convincing that the new system will close the skill gaps.
Another change that puts the gravestone on ‘Bronze V’: The new system drops Division 5 from all tiers, in an attempt to make the ladder climbing easier. According to Riot, “The end result of these changes” ( i.e. the two new tiers coupled with the compression of the number of divisions) “is a climb that emphasizes the high moments of hitting new tiers without exposing you to more division promotion series.”
Possibly less of a hassle to climb multiple tiers.
No more ‘Bronze V’ memes. (This cannot be stressed enough)
Say hello to position-specific ranked play, meaning that you will now earn a separate rank for each position you play. The main goal of this change is to ensure that the rank of your ‘main role’ effectively remains untouched by any autofill games you play.
There’s a lot of room for discussion concerning this change and some may have mixed feelings towards it. But for now, let’s stick to some quick pros and cons.
For example, as much as someone may love playing top lane, they might be terrible at it and every time they get autofilled top, they simply pray to God not to lose lane in the first 5 minutes! Therefore, this change will be a huge relief since you will not be expected to perform at the same tier-level you would normally play on your main role.
Incoming trolls: Why should you care about playing an autofilled game when the LP you gain will not impact your main rank? That being said, Riot plans to incentivize players that get autofilled with bonuses that apply the next time you play your primary position.
THREE SEASON SPLITS
2019 ranked season will be divided into three splits. While your rank won’t reset between splits, this change aims to give you the time to reflect on your current rank and set new goals, at least this is what Riot aims to achieve. Despite the fact that all the details have not yet been finalized, it is certain that there will be rewards at the end of each split and there will be no time off between them. Also, Riot made clear that end-of-season rewards will still be a thing.
More incentive for players to not quit ranked games in mid-season. There’s more to ranked games than just early-season and end-season grind.
There may not be any apparent cons to that change but then again, it is not clear either how and if this change will have any particular impact on how players grind or casually play ranked games throughout the season.
All in all, any confusion or mixed feelings over the changes in the ranked season is understandable. It is also understandable where Riot is coming from, and there is definitely some potential and positive impact on the game. Whether this impact will last or not, is not guaranteed. Regardless, the new ranked season is almost upon us, so we will find out soon how impactful and meaningful these changes will be.
Featured image via League of Legends /dev.