Welcome to the 2021 ranked season! We've made a bunch of changes to prep for this year's climb. Here's what you need to know!
If you're new to ranked, we'll use your performance in normal matches to determine your initial placement rather than start you at a default position. This also improves match quality for everyone else since new accounts will be matched with players actually close to their skill level.
For ranked veterans, the start-of-season rank reset is less drastic this year. Once you've finished provisionals, you'll start your climb closer to where you ended last season compared to years past.
There are no more promo series between divisions (ex. Gold III -> Gold II), and any excess LP rolls over when you're promoted. Be careful—inter-division demotion protection is gone, too. If a loss drops you to 0 LP, losing again will drop you into the next division down.
You'll still go through promos between tiers (ex. Gold -> Platinum), and still have demotion protection between tiers.
Matchmaking will now check that your teammates and opponents are close to you in their displayed rank, not just their MMR.
Between placing higher, LP rollover between divisions, and removing division promos which granted no LP for the required wins, we're adding a lot of LP to the system. Left unchecked, that would slingshot everyone upward and prevent ranked informed matchmaking from working. LP gains and losses will be slightly smaller this season to keep matchmaking healthy.
If we detect an AFK on your team, you'll lose less LP for a loss (and the AFK will lose more) depending on how the game was going before the AFK. LP mitigation is stronger if your team was dominating but may not result in any LP difference if you were super far behind. There's a weekly cap to how many games LP mitigation can apply to.
Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger are open right now. Check Riot Support for your region's tier sizes. Who'll win the race to Challenger rank 1?
Players in Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger can no longer duo queue. This improves match quality at the top of the ladder where the matchmaking pool is small and ensures the top of the ladder is representative of the best individuals on each server.
Diamond now uses the same banked-game decay system as Master+, though with more relaxed tuning:
Best of luck on your Season 2021 climb!