League of Legends’ season 12 ranked reset has come and gone, but how does it work?
Riot Games‘ reset of players’ ranking was more complete than previous seasons, changing how the ranked season’s start has played out. If you’re noticing large swings in your provisional or early rank, there’s an explanation for that.
With a soft reset from 2020 into 2021 causing issues with inflated matchmaking rating, or MMR, high-level ladders stuck in soft lock, and players finding it incredibly hard to make progress, Riot Games decided to make changes. The League of Legends developer took a look at season 11’s opening struggles before deciding how they wanted to remedy these issues for the twelfth season.
Riot Games’ solution for the ranked reset was to more drastically reset everybody’s rank and matchmaking rating. This has a few effects on the new ranked season.
Firstly, more players are being reset into ranks where they can match into one another. Platinum players are being rolled back to a place where it’s not unlikely to end up with a Gold or even Silver player from the previous season. Because of that, swings in rank are more common as lower-ranked players defeat higher-ranked ones, or at least face them, in more games.
This year’s reset was intentionally made less soft in order to allow players to climb to new ranks without their previous MMR holding them where they were. Whether this decision results in a healthier and more exciting ranked environment has yet to be seen.
It’s possible that a harder reset could lead to players spending the early season struggling with less skilled teammates. In an ideal world, it allows players who were struggling to climb to better set themselves up for success in the early season while things are volatile.