Riot Games Announces Three Ranked Splits and New Season Schedule for League of Legends
Overview of Changes
Riot Games has declared some pivotal changes to the League of Legends Ranked system starting next year. The alterations include shifting to three Ranked splits and modifying the timing for major gameplay changes. This article dives deep into the reasons for these changes, their impact on the Ranked experience, and the gameplay schedule for the upcoming year.
Key Dates for the Upcoming Season
Riot has released an important timeline for players to keep in mind:
- The current ranked split will now extend until January 3, 2024
- Major gameplay changes for Preseason 2024 will hit PBE on November 20
- Patch 14.1, which includes these gameplay changes, goes live on January 9, 2024
- The first split of the new year also commences on January 9
- The second split kicks off in May
- The final split begins in September
Rationale Behind the Changes
Riot's decision to move to three four-month Ranked splits comes after this year's successful experiment with two splits. They aim to maintain player engagement throughout the entire year and provide flexibility for those who wish to take a break from Ranked play. Offering three splits also grants Riot three distinct windows for implementing major gameplay updates, ensuring that the playing field remains dynamic.
Benefits for Players
For players exclusively interested in Ranked play, the extended season offers year-round engagement. Others who prefer variety will find it easier to take a break from Ranked, given that missing a single split will no longer compromise a full 10-month climb. Additionally, players now have the chance to earn up to three Victorious skins per year, one for each split.
Managing Potential Risks
Riot is fully aware that such sweeping changes carry inherent risks. Before committing to this new structure, they have rigorously evaluated potential pitfalls, particularly regarding the stability of both Ranked and Esports.
Ensuring Ranked and Esports Stability
To mitigate the risk of instability, Riot will release the gameplay changes on the PBE early, targeting November 20. This strategy aims to allow time for adjustments before the changes become official. Pro players will also have access to these changes on tournament realms to prepare adequately for the season.
Riot highly values player feedback, particularly bug reports and insights on specific game interactions. While they may not act on every qualitative review instantly, they monitor this feedback closely and are prepared to make subsequent adjustments based on ongoing player experience.
Why Play in November and December?
Since the current Ranked season will extend into January, Riot is offering additional gameplay content in December, including the second run of the Arena mode, to keep players engaged through the end of the year.
Rate of Change Throughout the Year
Although Riot is consolidating Preseason changes into January, they have no plans to introduce major updates with each new split. Instead, they aim to roll out a mid-season sized patch in May and a smaller one in September, ensuring a consistent and manageable pace of change.
Implications for Ranked Ladder Downtime
Riot believes that the new system of frequent, shorter splits will provide players with adequate time for breaks without feeling compelled to engage in Ranked play constantly. They will closely monitor player behavior during the current extended split and next year's Split 3 to adjust the system as needed.
In summary, Riot Games is introducing significant changes to the League of Legends Ranked system starting next year. The transition to three four-month splits aims to maintain player engagement throughout the year while providing more flexibility for gameplay changes. They have taken into account potential risks, especially concerning Ranked and Esports stability, and have mechanisms in place for community feedback. As League of Legends continues to evolve, these changes mark an exciting chapter for both casual and competitive players. For a more visual explanation of all these changes, check out the following video: