Ranked Solo/Duo has been the same for a relatively long time, since 2013, disregarding the addition of pre-selecting roles. Before League Points and Promotional matches, there was an ever-changing ELO ranked system much like that in Overwatch. You could move throughout tiers seamlessly without the blockade of winning three out of five games. While LP and promo games are here to stay, 2019 is going to bring some changes to a long-used (debatably tired) system.
Riot Sapmagic noted four key things that they thought ranked should do:
Give clear feedback after each placement game.
Surface a diverse set of challenges throughout the season.
Provide regular milestones and meaningful goals regardless of skill level.
Reward deep and ongoing investment.”
Beginning in 2019, you will be able to see your lowest possible entry rank, called a provisional rank, while you're playing your first 10 games in ranked. This is the rank that you would get if you lost every single game of your provisionals. When you are playing your 10 games you will be able to see yourself gaining LP as it happens and you will be protected from LP loss. During provisional games, you will not have to play promotionals and will simply advance from one division into the next.
2019 will also bring positional matchmaking, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll be matched based on the skill you play the role you’re queueing for and will actually allow one player to have five solo/duo rankings if they were to play all roles. It will also mean that you see a direct and accurate reflection of how good you are at each role. You might be a Bronze Mid-laner but a Gold Marksman and now you'll know. As you can see in the photo below each position will have its own rank including its own promotional games and its own placement games. Rito is looking for a way to incentivize people who might take advantage of the system and not take off-role games seriously and we are excited to see what they come up with.
2019 will bring ranked borders at the beginning of the season, instead of the end, allowing players to watch their border change and grow throughout the season. Now if you look slightly right on the picture above you'll notice a split section. The season will now be divided into three splits, and your rank will not be resetting each split. Splits are going to help riot with the reward part that they want to address, but we don’t have many details as of yet. Some possible rewards mentioned were icons, rank border upgrades, and maybe even some in-game flair.
There will be two new tiers coming to ranked in 2019. The largest concentrations of players are located in Bronze, Silver, and Diamond. This has caused Bronze and Silver to feel very similar while there is little definition between the different divisions of Diamond. These two new tiers should bring definition to the tiers that they surround and have allowed Riot to squash the number of divisions in each tier from 5 to 4. So unless the new tiers are below bronze the lowest ranking will be Bronze 4.
That wraps it up for our Ranked in 2019: TLDR! We hope you enjoyed it and we hope we were able to break it down and make it quick and easy to read and understand. Keep an eye out here for all the upcoming ranked changes here. Have fun on the rift, Summoners!