Riot Games have made a massive change to the League of Legends ranked system, removing the Positional Ranking system in North America and Korea.
In 2019, Riot began to roll out a “positional rank” system for the first time. Rather than having one rank that is applied in all cases, players in North America and Korea were assigned separate ranks for each position.
The idea was to maintain fair matchmaking when players are not placed in their primary role – a Platinum Support player may not be able to keep up at mid-lane in a Platinum game, or vice versa, for instance – as well as allow people to try out positions they’re less comfortable in without worrying about sacrificing their main rank so much.
Unfortunately, the response to the change hasn’t been especially positive. Not only have there been several bugs and exploits that have allowed players to manipulate their ranks, but players have also complained that not having off-roles affect the ranking of their main position as much reduces the incentive to try as hard when filled into a different position.
As a result, Riot have decided to roll back positional ranking, reverting to the single-rank system of previous years. Going forward, players’ highest positional rank will be used as their new single rank. Any rewards, promotion series status, or other progress will be carried over.
The positional rank experiment hasn’t been a total failure, however. Not only do Riot say they’ve made other improvements to matchmaking in the process of working on positional ranks, but they’re also considering implementing positional matchmaking without separate ranks in order to keep games more fair.
Also coming some time in March will be a much-requested ranked reset for the higher ranks, which have been most significantly affected by some of the bugs and exploits in the ranked system. The following changes will be made.
- Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger players will become Master 0 LP. Resetting the top of the ladder will accelerate the demotion of players who got to Master through exploiting early season bugs and help normalize LP gains.
- Diamond players will be demoted one division, floored at Diamond IV. These demotions will improve—but not completely fix—LP gains for players who got to higher ranks than they should have early in the season.
- You’ll keep your rewards, but they’ll match your new rank. You won’t lose any reward progress, but if you have the Split 1 emote or armor upgrade, they’ll match your post-reset rank.
- Grandmaster and Challenger will temporarily lock. Grandmaster will unlock one week after the reset and Challenger will unlock the week after that.
Riot have yet to confirm a specific date on which this reset will occur, although they are currently targeting late March.