Nov 16, 2018
Nov 16, 2018

League of Legends: Ranking System

How do competitive LoL rankings work in 2019?

Breaking down ranking up in LoL

Knowing when it’s time to take a break

League of Legends: Ranking System

A lot has changed over the years with League of Legends (LoL) and its competitive scene. From the early days of queueing with four people calling mid to now specifying your role before you enter the queue.

In LoL, the grind is real, even more so if you are just starting out and are fresh to the competitive environment. It can be difficult understanding the various roles within LoL and also the different placements. What you need to understand is how you can fit into a team and also how you can progress up the Ranked tiers.

How do competitive LoL rankings work in 2019?

Since 2013, the competitive structure of LoL hasn’t changed all too much. You would play the ten placement matches and then it would allocate you a rank based on various factors such as wins, losses and personal contribution to the game. The system itself was flawed in many ways and had to constantly be adapted for Meta changes.

Over time, Riot began to notice that this wasn’t fair to players who played multiple roles and led to disappointing experiences for players who were probably above their assigned rank. Now that 2019 is approaching, they’ve decided to spice it up a little.

The core fundamentals remain the same for Ranked play, you do your placements, get your rank, climb the ladders, etc. As of 2019, once you complete your first Ranked match you will be assigned what is called a “provisional rank”.

A provisional rank is a rank that is only visible to you, nobody else can see it and it has been noted that it’s the lowest possible place you can finish your placements which means there’s still time to improve. As for the nine other placements, you will gain significant amount of LP whilst in your placements and skip promotion series and once you complete your ten placements, you’ll get your official rank.

I can just rank straight up to Diamond then?

No. But it was worth a shot right? Much like the system used previously, the system will place you a little bit below where you finished in the previous season, this allows you to re-earn your spot and surpass it.

Breaking down ranking up in LoL

It’s important to understand that in LoL it’s worth finding a role you can get fairly comfortable with playing. Much like any game that has a competitive system, there is going to be someone that wants to play a specific character, in a specific lane, using a specific role.

Thankfully, Riot introduced the role picker system before you queue into Ranked which allows for you to pick which role you’d like to go before you get into the lobby. This meant that the eventual calls for “Mid or feed”, “Top or afk” and “Duo bot” started to fade away.

If you are on a losing streak, it might be worth taking a break from competitive play for the day.

Something to keep in mind with Ranked as a whole, it’s a very competitive environment by comparison to the normal game mode. Within Ranked, people are there to bring their A- game and sometimes that can reflect in their picks and language that is used inside of the game which can also be interpreted as toxic behaviour.

Another huge advantage is reviewing the current Meta. There will be points (usually after a patch) where the Meta will shift. This shift can be beneficial if you have a character that you tend to favour and they’ve received a buff (an increase in stats or abilities), it can also work against you if that same character has received a nerf (a decrease in stats or abilities).

Most people will look at the Meta and probably want to take advantage of what is considered to be an over-powered (OP) champion. Most people tend to have a go to champion that can work in the persons favour regardless if they are considered a Meta pick or not as people tend to play better on the champions they are familiar with.

Whilst selecting your go-to champion could be beneficial to yourself and the team, early on, the team might consider it to be a hindrance. On the other hand, if you play Meta champions, there’s a higher chance that the team you play against would know how to counter-pick or counter-play that specific champion. It’s a catch-22.

If you started to point the finger during a match then nine times out of ten, you won’t be helping the team

A go-to-champion also works as a double-edged sword. You know exactly how well you play on that champion, the issue you will have is your team if they do not have faith in you or that champion as a whole. This could lead to frustration before the game even starts so it’s always beneficial to be aware of that factor before you start your Ranked journey.

Knowing when it’s time to take a break

So you’ve just come out of your game and you’ve lost. The team was feeding, the jungler went AFK (away from keyboard) and your support started to roam. At this point, you are probably already pretty annoyed and not in the best frame of mind.

It’s very easy to sit there and think to yourself, “It’s a one off, it won’t happen again” but there is a high probability that you are now in a negative frame of mind, even more so if you have lost multiple games on top of each other.

If you are on a losing streak, it might be worth taking a break from competitive play for the day. By this point, you are probably already frustrated with the multiple loses and you will need to bring yourself into the positives before continuing. What’s worse, if you continue to play and still fall short of winning, it could lead to toxic behaviour which is better avoided.

At this stage, if you have considered all your options and going outside for the rest of the day is the better option, take some time to evaluate your own performance within the game and understand what you could have done differently. It’s not easy to criticise yourself but if you do you will become a better player.

It’s also very easy to point the finger of blame, more so over the internet, but consider the impact you have on the game. If you started to point the finger during a match then nine times out of ten, you won’t be helping the team as that person is already aware they are under performing.

Rather than discourage the person, it would be beneficial to see how you could help improve their performance, either through chat or by making observations in the game to see how you could help improve their game.

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About the author

Stuart Bridges

Stuart has been actively involved in competitive gaming and the evolution of esports for the last 10 years. Along the way, he’s had the opportunity to work on many different projects, such as organising online tournaments and offline events. He now shares his expert insight by writing articles for Pinnacle.

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