The higher ranks of League of Legends are a dream for many players, but only a few are worthy of it. The percentage of summoners who manage to reach the highest ranks speaks for itself: 0.034% reach the Master rank, 0.028% reach the Grand Master rank and only 0.012% reach the Challenger rank (figures by leaguofgraphs ).
However, Riot Games doesn't abandon its best players and some (big) changes are to be expected for the pre-season, such as the suppression of the duo queue and the unlocking of the final stages at the beginning of the season.
Modifications for the final levels
Several problems have been noticed by Riot Games this year, such as the consistent quality of the games and the way players feel about what is supposed to be the "cream of the crop" on each server (there are huge differences from one region to another in terms of games' rates and the expectations for climbing the ladder).
One of the biggest problems is the difference between players who play solo and those who play as a duo.
Riot Games wants to emphasize that players at this level are the best individual players. If in Challenger, your team consists of two solo players in the bot and you end up with an opposing bot playing as a duo, the game may be unbalanced.
To make the game more balanced, the duo queue will simply be removed for all players at the Master and higher levels during the pre-season. Due to the small number of players, it is more complicated to find duets at the higher levels in order to offer balanced matches and it also increases the time spent searching for a game.
This modification also aims to improve the overall quality of the matches at the highest levels by reducing the difference in skill level between teams, reducing auto-fill and secondary role allocation, as well as the duration of the matches.
Unlocking the final levels at the start of the season
Whereas in previous years, the final tiers were open at some point at the beginning of the season (all players above a certain ranking or number of PL were automatically present in these tiers), they will now be unlocked at the beginning of the ranked season.
The reason for this change is simple. Some players found themselves in a tier that did not correspond to their real level overnight.
In order to reach the different levels, the new rules are as follows:
- Unlocked immediately: Master
- 200 PL : Grand Master
- 500 PL : Challenger
In summary, you will reach the highest levels as soon as you have obtained the required number of PL.
At high level, the biggest impact on the games comes from the fact that a player whose position has been automatically assigned can end up against a Challenger who is in his preferred position (which of course can cause a huge disadvantage for the autofill player). Bad news, nothing is planned on the issue for the pre-season but the studio promises to seriously look into the matter.
Finally, in trying to balance the matchmaking filters as well as possible, the studio believes that the first few games of the season will depend more on individual performance and less on which team has the highest percentage of imbalance on the map.