Playing ranked in this League of Legends preseason seems like a terrible idea. The situation is such that Riot Games even advises players against joining these queues. The studio is indeed changing the MMR system and therefore the LP earnings … without warning the players.
Preseason 11 League of Legends has somewhat disrupted the Summoner’s Rift, including the addition of new items that have turned the meta upside down, a meta that’s struggling to stabilize. As a result, many balances – the majority of which have already been announced – are planned with patch 10.25. As usual, Riot Games is keen to communicate on the evolution of the game and on the changes to come, but this time the studio has, it seems, forgot to warn its players about a modification that the one could qualify as major.
Indeed, the studio is currently working on major changes regarding the MMR and the ranking system. Even if it has been known for a while that the ranks will change in 2021 (elimination of promotion series within a division, improvement of player placement, etc.), this is only a question of technical developments that will not deeply impact the final ranking of players based on their actual level. We are talking here about a profound change in the algorithm of the game with regard to the MMR and therefore the gains and losses of LP.
MMR is a hidden stat that’s not shown anywhere in the League of Legends ecosystem, but LPs and Rank are, and it’s what everyone uses to judge a player’s level. MMR determines LP gain or loss based on the outcome of the match, but you have no way to assess your MMR without the help of third-party sites.
Since the deployment of patch 10.24 three weeks ago, many players who launch in ranked queues suffer large LP losses if lost and less LP gain if they win. But it was above all a response from Riot Games support that ignited the powder. A player, amazed at the fluctuation of his LPs during his games, legitimately questioned the system.
“This is due to a few changes that have been made to the MMR system, but you don’t have to worry since it’s not something that will happen every time, everything will be back to normal after a few games. Unfortunately, we do not have an exact figure. Also keep in mind that the season has been over for a while, so there is no point in playing in the ranked lineups.”
The rioter therefore literally advises players NOT to play ranked during the preseason, in a rather awkward way. It is true that many players abandon the ranked lines between two seasons to indulge in other modes or even test new things in draft, without pressure. But there is another category of summoners that continues to grind the ladder, even if the season is over. Continuing to play in ranked allows them to improve their MMR and thus hope to have a better ranking at the start of the new season. (Even if the system is reset before the start of the season, and any MMR wins you get during the preseason are halved). You should also know that these famous players, who choose to play in ranked out of season, allow a better overall balancing of the MMR for the next season – so many would probably have chosen to wait for a stabilization of the system before launching in the ranked queue.
But the real problem is not the support response per se, but rather the fact that Riot Games did not clearly communicate on its plans before starting its work on MMR. We can also assume that communication between developers and support is not as clear and fluid as one might imagine and that, unfortunately, support is not necessarily aware of the changes taking place in the game. It remains certain that if the players had been warned beforehand, the reaction of the community would probably have been less virulent.
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