LoL Ranked Season 11: start date, changes, placements, rewards
As Riot Games follows up the biggest change to the game with the shortest preseason ever, we’re less than a month away from Ranked Season 11 in League of Legends. Let’s look at when the season is scheduled to start and which frustrating time sink the developers have finally removed from the competitive mode.
Season 11 Start Date
Season 11 (officially dubbed as Season 2021) is starting on Friday, January 8. The ranked play two days after Patch 11.1 hits the live servers. This should give Riot Games enough times to verify the general stability of the client and possibly introduce a bug hotfix or two. Balance changes are unlikely to happen on such short notice unless a change from Patch 11.1 is not applied to the live servers properly.
As is tradition, the League of Legends developers are not doing a particularly great job of sharing updates online. Luckily, they have upped their client announcements game and you can see the date confirmation at the bottom of the launcher.
Should Season 11 have a rough start, we may have to wait for fixes a bit longer than usual. Patch 11.2 is bumped from January 20 to January 21, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day cuts into the regular 14-day development cycle. I would not expect the delay to make a major difference: anything that can’t be hot fixed (e.g. a broken champion ability interaction) will be isolated until January 21.
Season 11 Changes
Season 11 brings perhaps the biggest gameplay changes in the history of League. The developers revamped itemization by removing roughly a third of old items whie introducing a similar number of new options. You can find out more from our blog post.
Riot Games have finally removed promotional series within Tiers. You no longer have to play a best-of-3 series when advancing from Gold IV to Gold III: going past 100 LP will automatically promote you to the next Division. Promotional series between Tiers (e.g. from Gold to Platinum) remain the same: you need to win 3 games out of 5 to advance.
At the moment, it is hard to tell whether the removal of promotional series between Divisions will make the ranked experience better. The Preseason implementation of the change led to atrocious gains and unforgiving LP losses. The Gameplay Design Director of the game, Mark Yetter, promises that Season 11 will have slightly smaller gains and seasons to combat rank inflation. According to Yetter, Preseason required a harsher multiplier than one intended for the upcoming season.
No changes have been announced for placements in Season 11. SoloQ placements take 8 games while Flex Queue requires 10 games. You will see the provisional rank after the first game but it is not set in stone until you have played all placement matches for the queue.
As usual, new players are balanced around a lower baseline of Bronze and low Silver to prevent one-sided placement games. Seasoned players will be starting about a full tier lower than their Season 10 result (including Preseason results if you played ranked then). Just like in previous years, you can’t finish the placements higher than Platinum I.
Everyone is entitled to summoner icons. Players from Silver and higher will be receiving loading screen borders. Gold makes you eligible for a Victorious skin and the champion the skin is designed for.
The rewards above have been part of League of Legends for a decade, but developers keep exploring plenty of options. Judging from Season 10, we can expect a Chroma for the Victorious skin and possibly an Eternal.
It’s unknown whether Riot Games will once again divide the season into multiple splits. Should that happen, you will be able to get minor cosmetic rewards based on activity and/or performance within individual portions of the season.
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When does League of Legends season 11 start?
Season 11 starts on January 8, 2021.
How will League of Legends Placements work in Season 11?
You will have to play 8 placement games in SoloQ and 10 placement games in Flex. New accounts have a low baseline to avoid frustration for genuinely new players as well as seasoned Silver/Gold players that would have to deal with newbies.
How does League of Legends MMR work?
League of Legends matchmaking is notorious for seemingly putting you against high-ranked opponents while giving you trailing teammates. Unless you’re playing late on a small server, however, there is a reasonable explanation. It all comes down to the interactions between the visible LP and hidden MMR.
What is MMR in League of Legends?
In League of Legends, MMR is the sole criterion that the game employs to pick your teammates and opponents. You have separate scores for each queue, which could explain those Diamond players that you may occasionally run into while playing Normals. The good thing is that unless you have been queueing up with players that are way better/worse, Normals are a decent way to warm up or learn new champions.