League of Legends has already made significant changes to their gameplay, but now it appears Riot Games has more huge plans for the start of Season 3. It appears that Riot will be updating League's entire ranked ladder system, taking heavy inspiration from StarCraft II's tiered leagues. While the matchmaking system behind the ladders won't necessarily change, the new league system is aiming to bring a more measured and personal experience to the grander League of Legends experience.
As far as actual gameplay or matchmaking goes, nothing will change for players. What will change is how players view and consider their rank and progress. No longer will skill and placement be measured by a specific number -- a player's Elo. Instead, the player-base will be broken into six tiers, from Bronze to Challenger, and then each tier will be broken into five divisions. Moving up and down is a simply a matter of winning games, but with a few extra complications.
Once placed in a division, your goal is to acquire 100 points, which are earned or lost in a similar fashion to Elo. Once you've earned 100 point you're either put in a best-of-three Divisional Series or if you're in the top division and potentially moving up a tier, a best-of-five Promotion Series. The specifics of how these series work isn't clear, but more details will be coming soon.
"When you’re ranked 290,000 and have 289,999 opponents left to pass on the way up, that process can seem meaningless and interminable. Tiers and divisions also provide milestones and manageable goals you can strive to achieve at your skill level."
All in all, how you play League of Legends will be changed very little. Players will still be matched against comparable players, but the numbers that determine that matchup will be hidden. The new system will instead simply provide a more rewarding measuring stick. Rather than being stuck counting Elo, tiers and divisions seem like a glorious alternative. Read more over at the League of Legends home page.