The new league system, giving a new meaning to each game.

So the new league system is here, the new ranked system, and it's drawing the ire of the crowd. Unfortunately everything will draw the ire from the crowd and you really have to overlook it. The new league system I think is meant to make ranked more interactive, and less of a way to benchmark your ELO against arbitrary ELO numbers for what your rating will be. The system does have some fundamental flaws in it, overall though it does seem to be an improvement over what we used to have which was just a giant mosh pit. Progression has finally been added to the game.


It kinda feels like an MMORPG.

I mean this has nothing to do with the article as a whole but it's sort of a funny thing. It's the feeling I get lately. We're all doing different things, in different tiers, and some things matter to some people and they don't to others. For you this game might be your last try to win your series, for others it's tuesday. It feels a lot like an MMO where to one player these mobs are the requirement for his quest, and for another player they are simply something in his way. It's like joining an instance with 5 people all of whom want gear that drops off of different bosses. They're all here, and they're all on the same team, it's just some of them don't care as much as others.

The positive side of this is that everyone is off on their quest. I'm trying to get enough points to start my series. You're trying to win your series. And the other guy is just trying to not get demoted. 

The tiers are actually useless though for skill measurement.

Your matchmaking score determines what games you play. For the player who is only interested in playing good people and knowing who is good the leagues are useless. The placements meaningless. While ELO was never a terribly good indicator the leagues are even worse. Leagues while giving a general picture don't do anything specific. The only thing that really matters is that Diamond is generally better than Plat, and Plat is generally better than Gold, and such on. A diamond player will very likely obliterate a plat player in a real game.

So basically they're more bragging material than good material. You still get carried and carry or fail to carry just as hard as before. The same flaws always exist. If there are 4 good players and 6 bad players in a game, split evenly between the games, 2 good players lose ELO and 3 bad players gain ELO. Jungling still has no tutorial and becomes more of a crap shoot as to if your jungler knows what to do. The flaws are there, and they havn't been fixed. They are just as large as ever.

But that's really not the point, is it?

The league system isn't about measuring skill or anything like that. It's about progression.


The new league system is about giving Johnny B. Good a way to log on each day and feel like he's working towards something. An ELO number is just a number, and most people stayed within the same metal bracket their entire lives. Hell, over half the population never even GOT to be bronze. The new system is there so each game has a new feeling, each game matters. I don't have to just play this game and hopefully win it, I need to win THIS GAME. THIS GAME is the one that matters! If I can just win THIS GAME I can get up to the next division! That's what Riot is trying to achieve here. Those 4 games you log in and play each day for 3 hours now matter. They matter a lot. 

It still takes a good 20 games to get from silver to gold, but each one of those 20 games has a feeling and a meaning to it. You're no longer going from 1599 to 1600, you're going from division 2 to division 1. And you must win that game to achieve it! 

It's not about skill, it's never really been about skill.

Lets be honest, even at the top most portion of the game unskilled players ran rampant. I can play support xin at Diamond level to this day and still win games because so many people have no idea what they're doing. However, that's me and not you. I got CAL in CS, I was in leading edge raids in WoW, I got the best arena before anyone else. I got plat in S1, diamond in S2. At no point has this been difficult. All of the high rankers are going to remain high ranked because they're just better than everyone else. They might fluctuate a couple hundred ELO but that's it. There's no struggle to maintain diamond, no days of agony spent trying to simply get to bronze. 

The problem with the past system was that it overwhelming was rigged to make about 1% of players have fun. The rest of you saw little to no progression, little you could do to work towards something, and as a result your games often didn't matter and didn't mean anything. Even if you went from 900 to 1000 ELO that didn't get you anything. No bronze. Nothing. 

This is about you guys, the 99%. To reiterate from before, over half of you never even got bronze. This is making sure you guys can log on and do something. Something you feel matters. To diamond players going from bronze 5 to bronze 4 means nothing. To YOU that means a lot. The system is no longer about the 1% but about the 99%. It's making sure your grandmother could log in to play ranked and accomplish something. 

That's the end result, ranked play has now been given meaning.

Instead of numbers and games that seem to drone on endlessly each game has a new meaning. This is my game to get to 100 points. This is my first game in the series. My second. My third. This game I need to win or I'll lose my series. Instead of a simple "this is game 1493" each game gets an emotional feeling placed on it. The struggle has become palpable. 

That's the intent here and I think it's what everyone needs to pay attention to. It has NEVER been about assigning a skill rating to each player. Riot could never write a system to accurately assign a skill rating to each player. And when the ELO number was out there people took it to mean that's what this number meant. "My skill is 1633!" That's gone. Because that was stupid. What we have now is a way for each player to feel special and feel like they're doing something each game. That's good. I like it. I think we can all like that.

So what do you think?

Should we have retained the ELO rating and said "well I guess it's the closest we can get to a skill rating we'll ever get!" or should we have moved on to the league system and said "well skill ratings don't work so lets just ditch em and give the game some progression feeling."




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