Riot shares coming changes to reduce decay in high-ranked play

By Christian Vejvad


Jul 21, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

With the final months of League of Legends season 11 coming up, Riot recently shared a competitive gameplay update that included a look at what is to come for ranked play. 

In the update, Riot discussed some upcoming changes to ranked decay that will help high-ranked players stay in their respective ranks even when taking a small break. When playing in the highest divisions right now, players will have to play frequently to maintain that rank. While it’s still Riot’s goal to have the best current players in the highest divisions, there will soon be a reduction in ranked decay that will keep true talents from plunging if they decide to take a vacation. 

To help players at the highest divisions hold onto their ranks during breaks, Riot will be looking at better options for decay in Master ranks and higher, as well as some changes for high Diamond players. These changes will likely allow players to step away from the game for a few weeks without being pushed down into a division where they don’t belong. 

“Apex tier (Master+) and high Diamond players that take a few weeks off from League are decaying further than we’d like,” Riot said. “We’re looking into better options for the decay rate that we can roll out in a low-disruption way before the end of the season.”

Even though the changes to decay aren’t completely specific yet, it will be a sigh of relief for many high-ELO players to see that there will be changes. In the current system, players who have several high-ranked accounts will be in a constant rush to avoid decays. This means playing games on different accounts almost every day to avoid being punished.

While these players need to work consistently to stay at the top of the leaderboard, the current system doesn’t allow any breaks. Staying at the top of the Challenger leaderboard is effectively a full-time job, which has clearly gone too far also in Riot’s eyes. It’s unknown when these changes will start to roll out but players likely won’t have to wait long. 

Riot to implement a social comparison ranked leaderboard

The other major update that was presented by Riot is a social comparison leaderboard for ranked. As of right now, all players with a rank are divided into divisions with players of the same rank. These players are randomly chosen and there’s no guarantee that the players in the same division have or will ever play together in a game. 

This has made all ranked divisions very impersonal without any real connection between the players. To change this, Riot will be implementing a social comparison leaderboard which will likely allow players to compare ranks and other metrics with in-game friends. 

“Ranked leagues with people you don’t know, and almost never see in games, are hard to feel a connection with,” Riot said. “We’re experimenting with a more personal social comparison leaderboard right where you need it, directly in the ranked lobby.”

There’s still no exact date of when this social leaderboard will hit the live servers, but according to Riot the first iteration will show up soon. The first patch to potentially include some of these changes will be patch 11.16, which is set to go live on August 11. 


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