/dev: Split 2 Ranked Update

Our learnings from Split 1 and upcoming changes for Split 2 to make your climb smoother.

As we come to the end of Split 1, we’re here to check in with what we’ve learned and what changes you can expect in the ranked experience for Split 2. These changes aim to make your climb have fewer feels-bad moments and make your journey more fun and rewarding. To do this we’ll be making a range of adjustments from placements to demotions to more quickly get you to an accurate rank based on your skills.


Players can anticipate four major changes in Split 2:

  • Players will be able to place as high as Diamond III after provisional games (prev Emerald I)
  • Demotion protection between divisions (eg. Silver II > Silver III) will be removed. Players will fluidly transition between divisions
  • Demoting from tiers will place players at 25 / 50 / 75 LP depending on the player’s MMR at the time of demotion compared to their rank
  • Master Duo will be enabled in most regions (and will stop again at Grandmaster)

Fine-Tuning The Ranks

In 2023, we observed that many players were experiencing frequent negative LP gains. Specifically, in the Emerald to Master tiers, approximately 50% of players were encountering negative LP gains (+21/-29). In the Master+ tier, this percentage was even higher, around 80%. This trend arose from our earlier decision to boost LP gains, which was aimed at making promotions more attainable. However, it soon became apparent we hadn't corrected for the gains well enough, leading to an inflation of ranks for numerous players over time.

To resolve negative LP gains and improve match quality, we made several adjustments during 2024's first split. Here are some as a recap:

  • Fixed an occurrence where Iron IV players were being placed in Iron II
  • Fixed negative LP gains affecting Diamond I players
  • Reduced the LP gains/losses from 28 > 25 below Emerald to decrease inflation
  • Adjusted edge case handling around demotions (some players not being demoted properly)
  • Ceased placing new Ranked players into Platinum (if they were playing Normal games)
  • Implementing 50 LP demotions to decrease inflation
  • Reduced queue times below Silver by 40%
  • Made ranks within your team closer together by 40% in games below Silver
  • Adjusted how players who play ARAM, Bots, and Normals are initially seeded into Ranked (~average Silver IV, but can be as low as Iron IV and as high as Gold III)
  • …and ~10 more bug fixes, tunings, and adjustments
Graph of players with negative LP gains over time in Ranked Solo/Duo. In January, we can see the large Master inflation drop from the Diamond I fix. In February, major events included the smoothing of LP gains/losses, fixing the seeding of new Ranked players into Platinum, and edge-case handling of MMR and LP dynamics. The early March drop corresponds to the reductions in queue times and within-team LP gaps below Silver (these had positive knock-on effects to other skill brackets as well). The second March drop corresponds to 50 LP demotions.

We’re happy to report that after these adjustments, negative LP gains are now down by ~37% (currently at ~3% and in most skill brackets, close to 0).

Starting Where You Should

With the new three split system, Apex players are experiencing more fatigue when re-climbing to their previous ranks, as they need to climb further than other players. To address this, we’re increasing the max rank that players can be placed after provisional matches from Emerald I to Diamond III. We’re continuing to work on seeding and placement tech to get players into the right spots as soon as possible, but with the adjustments made this season we believe that reaching the rank you deserve will be faster on your main account than it will be with a new account. Where we want to be with placements is: If you’re a player who were to create a new account and play normally, you should be able to do that and be matched with players of the correct skill level.

However, the integrity of the Ranked system is still very important to us. If you’re a player who wants to make a new account, run it down, and beat up lower-ranked players for fun, we want to detect and ban your account. If you are a high-ranking player who wants to run up accounts to high ranks and sell them, we want to go after those, too. We're exploring opportunities with newly implemented tools that will be able to quickly and confidently identify who these accounts belong to. Our goal is to get manipulated accounts out of the path of legitimate players faster.

Making Demotions Dynamic

Getting demoted to 50 LP when dropping divisions (eg. Silver II to Silver III) felt pretty bad, but was an emergency lever we needed to pull to keep inflation under control while working on a better solution. This split we’re removing that drop and making demoting between divisions more fluid by moving your LP smoothly between divisions. So basically, if you lose at 10 LP and lose 25 LP, you will move to 85 LP in the division below.

Demoting between tiers (eg. Silver IV to Bronze I) will still have protection as we want to give players an opportunity to protect the rank they’ve earned. However, this does come with a slight adjustment: when you demote down a tier, you will demote to either 25, 50, or 75 LP depending on how far off we determine your actual skill level is. If you’re exactly a Gold IV 0 LP player, you’d be going through a lot of promotions and demotions each season, so we don’t want to slap you with a -50LP each time you go through that.

On the extreme end, if we’ve drastically misplaced a player too high (eg. if they hop into Ranked when we don’t have much information on them, our Ranked seeding is off or there’s a bug), then demoting to 25 LP is intended to let a player have their visual rating catch up quicker than how it worked in Split One. We understand that might feel frustrating to players, but this is only meant to happen in extreme situations and will result in the player reaching their actual rank much more quickly. This creates a much better experience than slowly and painfully suffering a +15 LP / -35 LP until their rank and skill are aligned.

Overall, we expect these changes to demotions to result in players having a smoother experience in all ranks, but—as always—we’ll be keeping an eye out for player feedback.

The Return of Master Duo

In 2021, we removed the ability to queue duoed in Master+. And while this improved some aspects of match quality (queue times and match fairness), it has also made playing League in Apex tiers more isolating and hurt content creators. We want to support those who play Ranked League as a social competitive experience.

Having said that, we also want to value competitive integrity. Duoing in the highest sections of the ladder can cast doubt on the legitimacy of Rank 1 and make queue times extremely long. It is extremely difficult to find a fair match when Gumayusi and Keria are duoing, while also trying to respect role preferences.

Therefore, in an effort to strike the best balance between competitive integrity, queue times, and social play, we’re moving the duo queue cutoff up from Master to Grandmaster. We think including duos in Master will allow more players to hit the Rift with friends while still protecting the competitiveness of the highest ranks.

We’ll be piloting these changes in all regions except for China and Korea. Different regions have communicated different sensibilities around where that balance point is, and players in China and Korea have presented as significantly more divided on bringing duos back than elsewhere. We’ll be listening closely to players in those regions to ensure we’ve landed in the right spot, but are open to re-enabling Master Duo Queue in those regions as well if that’s what we hear from players.

The Climb Continues

We still have a lot of work to do on Ranked and matchmaking. We’re still working on ways to better optimize on-role vs off-role balance, we’re continuing to improve seeding for Ranked-starters and new players, we’re investigating how to get alt accounts out of the way of legitimate new players, and we’re looking out for how to better handle Ranked eligibility requirements and further optimize queue times.

We’ll share more on these as we continue to explore these spaces, and hope that the changes we’ve made so far have made a meaningful step at improving your Ranked experience.

Good luck and have fun in Split Two!