Riot have rejigged LoL’s competitive infrastructure for Season 3 to make it easier to for top players to become pros. Ranked matches are to feature a new league system, in which all level 30 players with access to 16 champions can compete. I did say easier, though. Not easy.
Riot will introduce six different tiers of competition for ranked solo/duo 3v3 and 5v5 matches. Each tier will feature numerous leagues, which will be made up of around 250 players. Players can progress through five divisions in each league, until they qualify for the next tier up. Finally - and this is a ‘life’s work’ sort of ‘finally’ - players can reach the ‘Challenger’ tier.
How do they do that? Accumulate 100 League Points by winning ranked matches, and you’ll trigger an ‘advancement series’. You’ll need to win a best-of-three to move up a division, or - if you’re in the top division in your league - win a best-of-five to move into the next tier.
The best 32 5v5 ranked teams from the Challenger tier will compete in an end-of-season tournament, and the top eight will fight in a promotion tournament alongside the bottom four pro teams and four winners from partner events. And if any of those eight teams of amateurs make it into the top four, they’ll play in the Championship Series against the very best pro teams.
Confused? Yeah. Here’s a handy infographic.
On the one hand, it’s the longest shot ever conceived. On the other, there’s a very real possibility that half of the teams in Season 3’s Championship Series will be amateurs. And the new ranking system won't just affect the world's best - the idea, say Riot, is to provide regular milestones and more meaningful progression at every level of play. So, what do you think?
In related news, you can hear about what’s coming to Rengar, Lee Sin, Talon, Riven and the jungle in this preview of the Preseason Balance Update 2 patch: