What We Heard on Ranked 2019

Hey everyone! SapMagic, the lead for Ranked, reporting back in. A couple weeks ago [we announced some big updates to Ranked](https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/2018/04/dev-updates-to-ranked-for-2019/) for next year. You spoke up with valuable feedback on forums, social media, and surveys across the world. On behalf of the team: thank you. Today, let’s talk about why we’re working on Ranked at all, what we heard from you, and lay out how we’re gonna build this together over the course of summer and fall.   ---   **Why change Ranked now?** One of the big questions we heard was, “Who’s asking for changes to Ranked?” We embarked on this journey because we saw a bunch of long-time Ranked players had started to burn out. That makes a lot of sense given they’re doing the same thing over and over again for the same result. And it makes even more sense when you consider that our last major update to Ranked was more than two years ago when we added Position Select. Whether it’s a champion update or a big system like Ranked, we try to stay focused on what makes that thing fun and special. Then, we try to look at those essential elements from as many angles as possible. Are players telling us there are parts of it that suck? Is it under-serving players it should be serving? Is it driving a certain way to play that makes League less fun overall? In the case of Ranked, it’s really a combination of all of these. New tiers and placements are aimed at fixing obvious problems, and other changes are aiming to better serve players of all skill levels and add fresh ways for you to challenge yourself in Ranked. We think these are the right goals, but we still have a lot of work to do. So let’s talk about what we heard from you.   ---   **You’re worried we’re making Ranked too grindy.** With the addition of position ranks, it feels like you’d need to play twice as many games to reach your rank across two positions, let alone three, four, or five. We’ll go into detail on this in our next blog, but flat out you won’t need to play double the games to hit your peak rank in two different positions. We also heard we need to keep true fill players in mind. For those players, the prospect of making way slower progress in Ranked than they do today feels really bad. This is a great point, and we’re doing some homework here. Alienating fill players would be a clear failure to meet one of our goals: to give better recognition for breadth of skill. --- **You’re worried other players won’t take games seriously.** Position ranks promise to let you challenge yourself in off-positions without hurting the accuracy of your main. For a while, we’ve worried that that if we do this, some players won’t try to win off-position games because there’s less on the line. Worse, a few players might actively try to ruin your experience because they know it won’t affect the rank they care about. Match quality and competitive intent are critical because they keep Ranked legitimate. We’ve explored a number of solutions already, but your feedback reinforces this concern. We need rock solid fixes before moving forward. --- **You’re worried positional matchmaking can be abused.** We’re worried about this too. It’s actually the thing we’ve spent the most time figuring out so far. Specifically, there are two major cases we need to handle. First, we’re worried that players could queue up for an off-position and swap in champion select for favorable matchmaking. Second, some players could take that a step further by queueing up with a duo partner and consistently swapping positions. I want to be direct: we believe in position ranks as a part of the overall changes to Ranked because if we get them right, they could help refresh the game’s challenges. We’re in the middle of finalizing our plans to solve or mitigate these abuse cases into non-issues, but if we don’t believe we can, we won’t ship position ranks as part of Season 2019. Period. --- **The good stuff.** Outside of grindiness and abuse cases, the majority of the Ranked changes went over well for most players. Smoothing out progression with a couple extra tiers was a big hit, as were revamped placements. Splits and revamped rewards need some more work. We plan to do a deep dive on those later in the summer when we have all the details ironed out. --- **What’s up next?** Our next dev blog will target crossing big concerns off your hit list. Then, we’ll do this whole loop over again. Pitch. Listen. Iterate. Repeat. All summer and fall long. Buckle up and come along for the ride. In the meantime, let us know if we missed anything major.
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