Season Nine Ranked System
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Want to Climb through Ranked? Then Check out the New Changes

Dec 6, 2018

League of Legends ranked 2019 will see quite a few changes this year. In fact, this will be the largest shakeup in the League of Legends ranked system since they implemented role selection. They are changing the way that the entire ranked system works, and breaking each player down into roles. They are also adding two new ranked tiers that players can be placed into in order to more accurately represent a player.

Two New Ranked Tiers

In addition to the existing seven tiers (Bronze through Challenger), there will be two new tiers added. The new tiers will be called Iron and Grandmaster. As their name implies, Iron will be the new lowest tier, while Grandmaster will be placed between Master and Challenger. The goal here is to better represent League of Legends player rankings. Right now the Bronze and Silver tiers combined encompass over half of all ranked players, so saying that you are in either tier is fairly meaningless.

Similarly, the difference between Diamond 5 and Diamond 1 is massive. As a player who has pushed to Diamond 3 as my highest, Masters players absolutely destroy me. The players who are good enough to be in Diamond 1 and pushing for Masters are simply on an entirely different tier of gameplay from players like myself in Diamond 3-5. Part of this is where the “Diamond 5 scrub” meme has come from, and it was something that they said they were specifically targeting with the introduction of Grandmaster.

A vast majority of players will never touch either of these new ranks. However, it still allows players to better represent themselves, so it will provide better clarity, if nothing else. In addition, each tier has been reduced to four divisions, rather than five. This means that the Diamond 5 scrub meme has not only been addressed, but eliminated.

Overall, they eliminated five divisions (one from each tier, Bronze to Diamond), but they added five as well (four in Iron, and one in Grandmaster). The only major change here is that it will be easier to represent a player’s skill level by saying what tier they are in.

Ranked System in a Nutshell

The new League of Legends ranked 2019 system has a lot of nuance to it, some of which we will be going over. However, it is important that you understand what the new system is, in layman’s terms.

The new system is basically designed to allow players to play roles other than their main without feeling bad. It separates the ranks for each role, and allows players to play their off-role without affecting their main too much. You can practice Neeko without fear of it wrecking your Jungle ranking. This is a great system to promote player diversity, as well as decrease the hatred that comes from getting your off-role, especially in a promotion series!

Role Detection

If you’ve played League of Legends at all for the last few months you’ve seen that Riot ‘detects your position’ at the end of each match. This was honing the system that they are implementing in order to detect what role players are playing here. This is to help avoid players trying to manipulate the system by playing a role different from the one they queued up for.

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For example, if I’m better at Jungle and ranked much higher there, I would queue for, say, Support, then tell people I’m a god Jungler, destroy the enemy, and get my free Support game win. Except it won’t work like that, because the system will detect that you’ve changed roles and will award the game (at a reduced rate) towards your Jungle rank instead. The other team should also be losing fewer points since they were against a higher ranked player.

This system also ensures that players who pick for another player still have their points go towards the correct role. This way it is still beneficial to first pick for a teammate or swap with your duo partner.


The other huge ‘exploit’ that has been addressed before it could become an issue is that of role disparity. That is to say, a Challenger player playing in a Silver ranked game on his off-role because he simply never played it until then. This will not happen. There are several systems in place that will drag up your secondary roles as you win, and similarly drag them down when you lose. In addition, the higher you progress the stronger the tether will be.

Season Nine Ranked System Tethering
An example of tethering in the Season Nine Ranked System. Find this and more information here.

A Gold player will be able to play games in Silver on their off-role without too many issues. However, a Masters player will have absolutely no difference in rank between their main and off-roles. As you progress upwards the tether pulls you along, ensuring that you’ll never be in a situation where your opponents are more than a few ranks below you.


Just like current League of Legends, there are streaks. You may be wondering what I’m talking about. In current League of Legends, your hidden rank, which truly decides who you play against, is strongly manipulated by going on winning or losing streaks. This system is designed to put players where they belong as quickly as possible. It is debatable whether it is the correct system to use, but that’s a different argument.

The new system will blatantly show the numbers you win or lose, increasing as your streak increases. The example that they gave was that your off-role in lower ranks would only go down three points (to the main role’s 20) when you lost a game. However, losing consecutive games could push it all the way up to losing 15 points per game instead of three.

Personally, I think this is a terrible idea and defeats the purpose of allowing players to experiment with new roles, but I’m sure there are many who would disagree. Regardless, it’s part of the game.


The new League of Legends ranked system has a lot of changes. Many of them are good, and some of them I personally question. However, it is clear that the system has been well thought out, and any holes that I can think of have been plugged. Whether you like the new system or not, it’s certainly worth giving it a try. Hopefully none of you hit Iron, and all of you hit Grandmaster!

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Stephen Draper
Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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