Glory of the Climb – Reviewing the New “League System”
It has been about a week since Riot released the new League System which aimed to revamp soloqueue into feeling like an actual ladder, instead of the endless and painful grind of spamming games to gain or lose rating. The new system has provided people with tangible ranks, divisions, rivals, rewards, and promotions, but was this overall a good thing for soloqueue and does it help alleviate a lot of the common problems and grievances that soloqueue grinders used to suffer from? Well I am here to give my humble opinion on the subject as a pretty avid soloqueue grinder and after only playing a handful of games in the new system all I have to say is…..
The new league system is absolutely amazing and does so much to make soloqueue an actual enjoyable alternative to playing Normal games compared to its old iteration. Soloqueue feels competitive again because the Color and Number divisions actually do an accurate job of distributing players based on their skill. Climbing the ladder to get to your placement matches also feels incredibly rewarding and satisfying and gives you realistically obtainable rewards to queue for compared to the old system. If you get about twenty League Points (LP) a win and need 100 to qualify for a placement, that means you only have to win five games before your hard work pays off. Compare that to the old system where after hitting 1520 rating to get gold you had to get another 330 rating to get platinum! You could even lose rating and slide past your previous achievement into a lower color; which brings me to the other best part of the new system, once you have achieved a certain color (bronze, silver, gold, etc) you get to stay there! Talk about actually getting to reap the rewards of your hard labor!
So What Does It All Mean?
Well the thing that I am noticing when I queue up now is that I am much less stressed when it comes to winning, trolls, and not making progress. The League system has remedied all these things quite nicely. I was put into Platinum Division IV to start and played a few games, win some lose some, until I eventually got to my placements to move up. I quickly lost my first 2 placement matches and was back to building up my LP to 100. One game later I got back to placement, took two quick wins and got promoted to Platinum Division II. What I learned from all of this was that I really didn’t care if I won or lost though. The burden of stress had been lifted and I think part of that was that I knew I was always going to be locked into Platinum. I never again have to worry about sliding so far down the ladder into areas where I greatly outskill the players on mine and the enemy team, and this made losing much less stressful. Another thing is, when you enter a new division and are starting anew, you have no pressure at zero points because you can only go up, never down. I never find myself grinding my teeth anymore and I am always having a good time even when I lose because I know I can queue up again and get an equally challenging game that actually caters to my appropriate skill level. Also, because you cant go down in color (you can go down in division but its unlikely) your skill becomes tempered and you always make progress. I can’t quantify how much my skill in playing mid lane has gone up by being in my current division, but I sure as hell notice a difference. I die less, I have better map awareness, my cs is good, and I carry more often. This also leads to positive feelings because if you can stick it out in your division long enough and actually learn stuff from the games you play then you will definitely rise and eventually be promoted.
The last thing I want to briefly touch on that is a problem in soloqueue is trolls. Now I will say that with the new system I find that people are much more cooperative and nice within the game lobby, they all want to win, but people still rage a TON in game, especially if they are in placement matches. There are also still some “lobby bullies” lurking out there which are the people that will call mid and even risk going double mid or double top to try and coerce you out of picking the role they want. The new system did nothing to resolve these problems so every once in a while you will encounter them. However, it makes giant strides in removing the general stress and animosity people feel towards eachother in soloqueue under the pressure to win in order to gain rating, which I think overall is a great change to the environment and makes everything much more enjoyable.
So What Are You Waiting For?
If ever there has been a Season to clean up your act and finally achieve a specific color rating to really make yourself proud, impress your friends, and add a tangible value to your skill this is the Season. Riot has made giant strides with the game to make it more enjoyable as a spectator sport and also now to play as a casual fan of the game. Brush up on some of my past Season 3 articles if you want to have an edge over your opponent and I’ll see you on the Fields of Justice!
Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles: