Dev
/dev: Ranked and Matchmaking in 2020

Sharing our ranked plans for the year.

DevAuthorRiot Codebear
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Hey everyone! Cody “Riot Codebear” Germain here, Product Lead for Competitive Gameplay.

Back in January, we started a conversation around improving ranked for 2020. Today we’d like to run through our big goals, how we’re planning to meet those goals, and share where we’re going with our next steps.

GOALS

Over the past year we’ve been collecting your feedback to help us build clear goals for a more competitive, transparent and rewarding ranked system in League of Legends.

Specifically, here are the areas you called out:

  • Improve queue matchmaking quality without compromising queue time and availability.
  • Improve transparency around ranked and matchmaking systems.
  • Improve progression satisfaction and skill expression in our systems.
  • Make rewards more recognizable and relevant for time spent in League.
  • Players can play with, and find, others they want to play with.

ALMOST HERE: MATCHMAKING

We're starting with the first goal, which covers matchmaking. We’ve all been in games where we feel like we’re at a disadvantage from the start. We want to take a look under the hood of our matchmaking system and make sure that the current system is balancing player matches out the gate to the best of its ability.

Our first two ranked matchmaking improvements are in testing and nearly ready for launch. Expect the following features within the next few patches:

  • Autofill Balance - As announced in Season Start, these updates aim to balance the number of autofilled players on each team.
  • Duo Balance - This update aims to balance the number of premades on each team.

Given the sensitivity of matchmaking quality and the impact it has on players, we’ll be constantly tuning these features behind the scenes as necessary. Once they've been live for a while, we'll circle back and let you know how they performed—potentially alongside a status update on...

IN DEVELOPMENT: NEW AND AUTOFILLED PLAYER ADJUSTMENTS

There are a couple standout areas where our matchmaking service can be improved to more accurately assess skill level. We've begun exploring system improvements to better handle them.

  • New Account Seeding - For players entering ranked for the first time, we think we can better identify true skill level by looking more holistically at their playstyle. 
  • Position Informed Autofill - Though our current system does not specifically measure you against all potential positions, we do understand that position proficiency has a significant impact on the game. We’re balancing the number of autofills on each team, but we would also like to balance the positions autofilled if we can. We think there are small adjustments that we can make without putting risk on areas of the system that are already working well.

THE SECOND HALF OF 2020 AND PRESEASON

Past the four specific improvements above, we’re also deeply investigating opportunities to fix some more complex pain points. The products of those investigations will be coming later in the year (anything big will wait for preseason), but expect updates as we go. Here's where we’re working:

  • Game Ruining Behavior - We’re attempting to develop better ways of dealing with disruptive behavior. Examples include better detection and punishment for behaviors like intentionally feeding, AFKing, win trading, and griefing, in addition to giving more frequent feedback when we’ve taken action on unsportsmanlike behavior you reported.
  • Rank and Matchmaking Rating (MMR) Transparency - The hidden relation between player’s visible ranks and matchmaking rating has been causing confusion and frustration ever since the tier system launched years ago. We’d like to provide more clarity to players around their rank and updates to where we can fix the disconnect in meaningful ways.
  • Promotion Series - We know that too many promos have become a source of frustration. We're seriously examining the current promotion system and will be making changes to shift the role it plays in our competitive ecosystem.
  • Flex Queue and Organization - Hovering somewhere between a social competitive queue for groups and a quasi-competitive queue for those looking to try out some new things, it's unclear exactly what Flex is supposed to be best at. We’re taking an immediate look at loosening up restrictions for group formation to make it easier to play with your friends, and how we can tie Flex to the greater competitive ecosystem.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT NEXT?

The Competitive Gameplay team is dedicated to making League the most rewarding and competitive experience out there and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. As we do, please keep the feedback and criticisms coming. Many of the changes we're working on are frankly overdue, and we want to make up for lost time by being as attentive and responsive as possible as our updates roll out through the year.

You’ll be hearing from us again in a few weeks once we've got results to report for autofill and premade balance. See you on the Rift!



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