With Season 8 having come to an end, it’s time to be prepared for Season 9. And guess what? You can never be too prepared. Here are a few important things to note before the changes arrive in the coming weeks.
1. Ranked system revamped
In as few words as possible… Positional rank for every position, new tiers and new split! Every year, Riot makes some massive changes to the game to keep it as fresh as possible and this year, they are targeting the ranked system. The climb has not changed for years but this year will be different. It will feel more meaningful, less discouraging, balanced and quicker too.
Ranks are now based on positions
That’s right, in 2019, there will be a rank for each of your positions. If you are an ADC scrub like me, the Gold V rank that I am immensely proud of will be for the ADC position only! Every other rank will be of a lower rank and will reflect your actual rank in that role. No longer will you be stomped in a position where you are not familiar or auto-filled.
Does it means that League is going to get real grindy?
Not At All! Riot implemented a LP splash feature that ensures your rank will be close to your main role rank. Whenever you get LP in your games, your off role rank also gets a little bit of LP. So when you are placed in that role, you won’t be playing with bronze scrubs. Instead, you will be placed with rank that’s lower but closer to your actual main role’s rank. The same applies to the main rank when you are playing your off rank.
New tiers and emblems
Begone ELO HELL! . . . Probably. ELO Hell seems to be the reason why most players can’t get out of Silver Tier and into Gold. The difficulty spike seems to be much too high between Silver and Gold so Riot is doing some re-calibrating. They have added two new tiers: Iron and Grand Master. Iron will go below Bronze and Grand Master will go between Challenger and Master.
In addition to that, they are also removing a division from every tier to balance out the division added from Iron and Challenger. Bronze V players will literally no longer exists!
Hello, summoners! Here's the sneak peek of the new Challenger emblem—we're still iterating/polishing, but please share your feedback! I also went ahead and updated the side-by-side with the latest art based on the feedback we got so far.#leagueoflegends #ranked #season2019 pic.twitter.com/d4N9MkKAZN
— SapMagic (Ed Altorfer) (@RiotSapMagic) October 4, 2018
Players that are in the lower tiers will be able to feel more accomplished during their climb and the transition into Gold upwards will feel smoother. The exact same is also happening to the top of the ladder. Just like Iron rank, the Grand Master rank will help Riot re-calibrate as well and have players’ rank be better reflected based on their skill.
The season will be split into three!
Season 9 will now be split into 3… well… splits! The goal of this is to give players a better feeling of progression during a season. With 3 splits per season, rewards will be given at the end of each split based on accumulated points gained during that time period.
Other than rewards, you will also be earning emblems during your climb. So now the emblem that you earn will reflect your current rank instead of last season’s rank and this emblem follows you everywhere now. Home, Profile, Lobby and Loading Screen Banners, just to name a few.
2. New Outer Tower plating
Now it’s time to talk about some changes in the game, and let’s start with the outer towers’ plating. Outer towers in the current season give first tower gold and it’s really easy to obtain. One gank and it’s gone. Thanks to that, late game champions that rely on staying safe and farm till late game won’t get to farm up to make a significant impact to the mid game.
Now not only will it make it harder for teams to obtain the first tower gold, it will also make the laning phase much longer and more important.
Each turret will now have “turret plating”. Its health looks like it is now subdivided into 5 parts and breaking each individual part will reward the players with gold. Not only that, the turret will gain more resistance as each plate falls, making it much more difficult to destroy each time. Each plate has 1000HP, totaling up to 5000HP for each outer tower.
Of course, with pre-season, the numbers are subject to change but it doesn’t change the fact that laning phase will now be longer and lanes with bad match-ups will be able to farm for longer, thus scaling into mid and late game safer.
3. Runes no longer dictate Stat Bonuses
Runes will have a mini rework where stat bonuses no longer come from the runes themselves. The stats are now on their own separate rows, or as Riot calls them “Stat Shards”. This allows players to be much more creative with their rune choices because they will no longer be able to pick runes based on stats.
This small change brings BIG flexibility. Players now can tweak the runes not only based on their champions but also based on their opponents. If the opponent is an assassin-heavy comp, you can now have more armor bonuses in your runes, allowing you to survive more damage onslaught.
Season 9 is coming… and it’s coming fast.
Most of these changes will of course go through the Pre-season and it is coming sooner than you think. Pre-season will land on patch 8.23 which is just a few weeks away. At that point, games will be wild. Rank games will be uncharted territory while everyone else tries to figure it out and gets settled in, you will be ready for the challenges ahead of time. Aren’t you glad that you received this heads up?