League of Legends ranked skins and rewards transformed in Riot’s MOBA

League of Legends ranked skins and rewards are due a massive overhaul as the coming update for the Riot MOBA game outlines gold, silver, and chroma for 2023

League of Legends ranked skins and rewards transformed in Riot’s MOBA. League of Legends champion Annie grips a teddy bear in Riot Games' MOBA

League of Legends ranked skins and rewards are scheduled for some dramatic changes in 2023, as an upcoming update for the Riot MOBA game looks to offer extra incentives for lower-ranked, silver players, while maintaining rewards for the upper gold ranks, all driven by chroma skins and a reworking of how unlocks will be delivered across the next two splits.

2023 will bring two ranked resets to League of Legends, with the first split coming in January and the second at an unannounced date in the middle of the year. Promotion series between tiers is changing down from best of five to best of three, while visible rank influence is being removed from players’ matches completely. Elements of these changes will start appearing on LoL’s public beta environment “soon.”

“There are a number of reasons why we’re doing this,” Chris Roberts, LoL’s product lead, explains. “At a high level, most players reach their goals for ranked by the middle of the year, leaving them with little to do. Some folks continue their grind, but others drop out of ranked entirely or turn to smurfing, and that goes against some of our core goals for playing ranked League.

“At the end of the day, we want you to always have a goal to be able to chase, and to reward you for your accomplishments along the way.”

In that spirit, the upgrades you get from playing ranked League are being upgraded to include Hextech keys, chests, and other items you can unlock through each split’s progression track. Each ranked game will offer you split points – naturally you get more for a win than a loss – with the objective being to simplify how you can earn ranked rewards.

League of Legends ranked skin changes

With two ranked splits come two ranked skins, but how these are earned is also changing. As of the next League of Legends season, ranked skins will be available for everyone to unlock, not just players at gold or above. Nevertheless, additional and more colourful chromas can still be earned based on your final rank at the end of the split, so you can keep climbing to get more and more gear.

Riot is also making League of Legends rewards more numerous and quicker to acquire, planting more of them along the progression strand in each split to motivate players to keep ranking.

“The rewards track wasn’t doing its job of making players feel rewarded for their time spent in ranked, not to mention it also wasn’t motivating players who don’t play a lot of ranked and therefore missed out on the rewards completely,” Chris Wallace, game designer on LoL, explains. “We’re increasing the number of rewards and placing more earlier on the track. At the same time, we reduced the number of games required to reach each of the existing rewards.”

League of Legends victorious skin changes

The League of Legends victorious skin is also being reworked, with the system for how it is unlocked being changed by Riot for the first time since 2011. Until now, players are rewarded with the skin if they finish the split at gold. The problem, according to Riot, is that players who begin each split at the threshold from silver to gold will simply play a few games, hit gold, get the skin, then bug out.

Likewise, players who are gold already can finish a few matches, just enough to keep their rank, then unlock the skin for doing very little. It’s unfair on silver players who are putting in dozens of hours trying to improve, but Riot is now proposing an alternative, offering players who aren’t gold, but put in enough time, ways to obtain the skins.

“We wanted to strike a balance between rewarding skill and rewarding your time spent playing ranked,” Wallace explains. “We still want to reward players for climbing higher and higher, so gold players and above will still earn the skins and chromas that will be distributed at the end of the split right after completing placements.

“But now, players below them will have a chance to earn the skins as well—if they put in the time. For these players to earn it, they’ll have to play a much larger number of games. On top of that, as soon as a silver player hits gold, they’ll unlock the skin, even if they drop back down to silver, so your best shot to earn it is still to improve and keep climbing.”

With such radical changes, League of Legends ranked play could look very different as of 2023. We’ll see how it shakes out once the split starts in January.

Until then, get ahead of the curve with our League of Legends patch 12.23 preview and get up-to-date on the best League of Legends champions. You should also keep an eye on League of Legends ranks and our LoL tier list, so you know who to main once the next season starts.