Today Riot Games notified the most successful League of Legends players in the world of upcoming changes to their ranked ladders. Currently, the system caps out at Diamond 1, with a limited 50-player or team Challenger tier reserved for the best of the best. With the upcoming changes, however, a new tier named the "Master" tier will be added on top of Diamond 1. There's no player or team limit in Master tier, but the big difference is to Challenger. Challengers will now be the top 200 players in the Master tier, refreshed every 24-hours, and with immunity removed.
Riot Games has long been unhappy with the current Challenger system in League of Legends ranked play. More specifically, they're unhappy with how the Challenger system concludes at the end of the season. This is largely due to an "Immunity" for new Challengers, a system that prevents them dropping back into Diamond 1 for seven days. Players are able to qualify for Challenger promotion, then wait until the seven days until the season ends, perhaps qualify and then no worry about being knocked back down to Diamond 1 -- whether they deserve it or not!
With the new system, no player will be safe. Consider the Master tier to simply be the Diamond 1 tier of tomorrow, except a bit more exclusive. Challenger will take the top 200 players or teams in Master tier and give them Challenger status. This check for the top 200 occurs every 24 hours. There's no immunity and players are all measured on the same metrics. The top 200 will be the best players in League of Legends at the moment the ratings are measured. No other systems will interfere with each players rating.
The result will be, as Season 4 comes to a close, what in my mind is equatable to a League of Legends blood bath. As opposed to players qualifying, earning their immunity and sitting in wait of season's end, everyone in Challenger will have to keep playing to keep their rank. Imagine that last week, those last 24 hours, with each Challenger fighting game after game to climb a few more ranks, or fearing falling out of the top 200. Glorious.
Here's a quick recap:
- All new "Master" tier
- Players qualify for Master tier through promotion from Diamond 1
- Master tier has no player or team limit -- it holds as many as can qualify
- Challenger tier still the top of the League
- Challenger reserved for the top 200 players in Master tier, or all those in Master tier until more than 200 qualify
- Becoming Challenger no longer grants immunity, though qualifying for Master tier does
- Challenger's top 200 recalculated every 24 hours
League of Legends is a free-to-play MOBA available on PC. Odds are if you're reading this that, like me, you're never going to reach Master tier, let alone Challenger. Still, best of luck.