League of Legends players are gearing up for the latest season of ranked play in the popular MOBA. As is the case every year, the new season comes with new content and big changes to the game.
Season 9’s New Ranked System
Riot has added two new ranks: Iron and Grandmaster. Iron is placed before Bronze, and Grandmaster is placed in between Master and Challenger. In addition, Division V has been removed from all ranks.
Moving forward, Riot is dividing each ranked season into three splits. Your rank will be tracked for each split and will give you a reward in the form of displayable “Ranked Armor.” Your rank will not be reset until the season’s end.
Riot’s final change to the ranked system is position ranking. Each player will have a separate rank for each position they queue up for. Winning in certain positions will grant LP for that position and smaller amounts of LP for others. This change is exclusive to the North American and Korean servers until the year’s second split.
In Season 9, Riot is attempting to slow down the pace of the game.
Baron buffs have been made considerably weaker in the early game. The buff has been cut in half, but will scale up to its previous strength at 40 minutes into a game.
Inhibitor and nexus turrets have also been given their late game bonuses of 70 armor and magic resist at all times throughout each match, making defensive positions more resilient early on.
Riot’s final big changes are in the jungle. Experience scaling for junglers has been reduced from 50% every level to 25%, with the aim being a reduction in jungler impact on the game. Challenging Smite’s damage has been reduced from 60-162 to 48-125 for the same reason.
Season 9 comes with the introduction of a new champion: Sylas.
Sylas’ distinct feature is the ability to steal ultimate abilities from other champions. How this ultimate steal works depends on the champion he’s stealing from, but it does work against every champion in the game.
Upon release, Sylas will come with a new Lunar Wraith skin. The Lunar Wraith skin will be customizable with six chromas available.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Riot is releasing the Firecracker skinline. The Firecracker skins will feature Vayne, Sejuani, and Tahm Kench.
Adding to Riot’s new Prestige skinline is the Firecracker Vayne prestige edition, which will be available upon the base skin’s release.