Milo W. May 14, 2019
Fans and players making suggestions regarding “fixes” for League of Legends’ ranked system are pretty common, but it's not every day that a Riot employee brings such a proposal to the table.
Riot Games gameplay data lead Nathan “Blaustoise” Blau took to Twitter to discuss how the current ranked system operates, and presented how he thinks the ranked ladder could potentially be improved.
His four goals include reducing the ladder’s feeling of gatekeeping, centering the distribution of ranks around Gold, making Diamond players feel better about being at the top without being the most elite rank, and providing more transparency to players at the Master tier.
Blaustoise described how he believes the current structure of League of Legends ranked play is gatekeeping players and is far more restrictive compared to other competitive games. Blaustoise suggests shifting some players from Bronze and Silver to Gold and potentially Platinum. The reasoning behind this adjustment is that games like Dota 2 and Overwatch have a much more evenly distributed percentage of players among their lower to middle tier ranking.
League of Legends’ player pool is largely maxed out at silver.
Blaustoise created an analogy for the situation using the Salty Spitoon and Weenie Hut Jr from Spongebob Squarepants episode “No Weenies Allowed”. Blaustoise describes the Spitoon design as being too “gatekeep-y” while Weenie Hut is too generous. His aim to land somewhere in the middle.
“LoL is BY FAR the most salty & Spitoon-y. S9 is CLEARLY an improvement on... whatever was going on in S8. But LoL still looks rough,” Blaustoise said.
Another big change Blaustoise suggests is establishing a clean one percent of the player base at Masters rank. Once an individual reaches Masters they will be given a raw rank which will be openly displayed similar to Hearthstone’s Legend rankings. Challenger rank would remain touched.
These ideas may be coming from an official member of Riot Games, but it is unclear whether any of these changes will actually be put into action any time soon.