League of Legends to remove ranked promos in Season 11 - Dexerto
League of Legends

Riot remove League promo series in major Season 11 ranked shake-up

Published: 18/Sep/2020 4:23 Updated: 18/Sep/2020 4:44

by Isaac McIntyre

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League of Legends will officially be removing its iconic inter-divisional promos in all competitive LoL ranked queues starting from the Season 11 preseason, Riot Games has announced.

Players will no longer have to play a three-game series to be promoted to the next division within their ranked tier, Riot developer Cody ‘Codebear’ Germain confirmed in a Season 11 blog post shared on September 17.

“Inter-division promotion games were initially implemented to provide compelling goals for players to tackle between LoL tiers,” Germain said. 

“[However], at best they were a source of relief, and at worst a source of major frustration when you were bounced out for the fifth time in a row.

“We wanted to revisit the decision, and solve the unnecessary frustration and climbing blocks between queue divisions. As such, at the start of preseason, we’ll be removing the inter-division promotion series in both queues.”

League of Legends ranked promos have been in Riot's title for nearly ten years.
Riot Games
League of Legends ranked promos have been in Riot’s title for nearly ten years.

After moving from one division to the next, Riot will hand you all your leftover LP to continue your climb. There will also no longer be inter-division demotion protection, which previously gave players on a losing streak a three-game buffer before they are dropped down a division.

The planned ranked series changes will not extend to promo series between tiers, like promoting from Silver to Gold. These major ranked movements will still require League of Legends players to win a best-of-five series to move into the next tier.

“We do still believe between-tier promos are an important part of keeping progression between tiers meaningful and challenging,” Germain explained.

League players will still receive a
Riot Games
League players will still receive a “Victorious” skin each season for finishing at least Gold.

Season 11 will also see League’s back-end MMR come under Riot’s microscope, the devs confirmed. The core goals heading into 2021 would be “matchmaking quality” and “ranked transparency,” to promote more balance in solo queue.

Finally, Riot has taken aim at smurfs in their Season 11 ranked update too.

“We’re testing in some select regions a Matchmaking upgrade that takes into account players rank, along with MMR,” Mark Yetter said. “This has many benefits including grouping smurfs as some of you have already caught on to.”

Apex Legends

What does Branthium mean in Apex Legends? Horizon & Ash Season 7 teasers

Published: 27/Oct/2020 15:07

by Calum Patterson

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Amid all the teasers for Apex Legends Season 7, one word has been on the lips of a number of characters: Branthium. But, what is this? Now, we finally have an answer to the mystery: but we’ve got a whole load more questions too.

The first time we heard the word Branthium in Apex Legends, it came from Ash, at the end of the Season 5 Broken Ghost quest.

Ash is the villain from Titanfall 2, who was recruited by Kuben Blisk, before she “died” at the hands of Jack Cooper, was put back together again, her memory wiped, and then her head split into parts and spread throughout Kings Canyon.

Once the Legends put her head back together, she spoke to them, and, as part of an unintelligible message, said: “all roads lead to Branthium.”

Ash saying Branthium in Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Ash was the first time we heard ‘Branthium’ in Apex Legends.

What is Branthium in Apex Legends?

After the mention from Ash, in the first Twitter teaser for Season 7, Horizon (expected to be the next playable Legend), repeated the word “Branthium” in among all the static.

It later became clear that Horizon was repeating what Ash said – or, perhaps Ash was repeating Horizon.

Is Branthium a place?

The saying, “all roads lead to Branthium”, is undoubtedly a play on the common phrase “all roads lead to Rome.” Typically, this saying refers to “all paths or activities lead to the center of things” – it comes from Ancient Rome in the literal sense, when all roads started from the capital city.

So, at first, most theories believed Branthium was a place, possibly related to the planet Psamathe and its city, Olympus. Ash finished her monologue by saying “Welcome to Olympus.”

But, a spanner was thrown in the works of this theory by Horizon. In the latest Twitter teaser, Horizon says: “Just got to figure out how he can fuse the Branthium (or Brantium?) without critical mass.”

So, is Branthium actually some kind of element, or fuel, or material? This remains unclear, but it wouldn’t make sense for Ash (and Horizon) to say “All roads lead to Branthium,” if it was simply some kind of element.

The truth about Branthium revealed

It didn’t take long for Respawn to reveal the truth behind Branthium, confirming that it was in fact an element that the people of Psamathe needed as an energy source, to solve their looming energy crisis.

Branthium Energy Crisis
Respawn Entertainment
Dr Mary Somers (aka Horizon) was tasked with finding Branthium to solve the energy crisis.

Unfortunately, after retrieving the Branthium, Somers was betrayed and left to die in the abyss of space, which is where the Season 7 story is about to pick up.

Horizon holding Branthium
Respawn Entertainment
Horizon retrieved the Branthium – before being betrayed.

Horizon kept the original sample of Branthium for herself, before she set out to fulfill her promise to her son.

This could line up with the involvement of Hammon Robotics too. The Planet Harvester which launched in Season 4 is being used by Hammond “to gather precious metals from the core of the planet for reasons unknown.”

It’s still possible that Branthium is both a place and an element, with the latter named after the former.

Season 7 is set to start on November 4 – a week earlier than initially planned – so we should learn a lot more then.