League of Legends is the only game I have played consistently since 2010. My vow to quit the game each season would never pan out since the game would suck me back in within weeks. I always felt the need to play again due to the novelty of new champion releases, constant updates to the game, and the hope that my favourite champion, Taric, would be shown some love one day.
At the end of Season 5, I struggled with the decision of whether or not I should try ranked again in 2016. I achieved Diamond in Season 4 and Platinum in Season 5 and the more I played ranked, the less enthusiastic I became towards it. Like many other players, the amount of toxicity, negativity, AFKers, and disconnects really made the entire ranking experience unpleasant. Still, Riot won me over with several great changes to the whole ranked games process and I found myself climbing the ladder again.
Here are the most notable updates to ranked in Season 6:
- Picking is easier – In the screen where players can either choose to go solo or assemble a party, everyone can choose their primary or secondary role to queue for out of Top, Bottom, Jungle, Support, Mid, or Fill. This completely removes the issue from previous seasons of calling roles and arguing/fighting over roles. Of course, if players choose “Fill,” the queue pop is almost instantaneous.
- Champion preferences – Once players enter the Champion Select screen, there is a brief time where a choice can be made for a preferred champion. Not everyone puts in their “pick intent” but they should, since it really helps in figuring out a well-rounded team composition and helps prevent bans that someone on the team may want to play.
- Improved pick order – In the picking phase, two players can no longer pick at the same time, which was sometimes the case in previous seasons. Now, only one player can pick their champion at a time, and they have to lock in or else the queue gets reset and the player who did not lock in faces the penalties that go along with queue dodging.
- Ranking with more than 1 friend – Instead of only being able to either solo queue or brave the game with 1 friend, Riot has introduced Dynamic Group Queue this season which allows players to queue with any number of friends – even a full team! The only limit is that players can only group queue with friends within a tier away (either above or below).
- Less promo stress – If a player loses their promotion games and gets back into the promotion series, they will be able to start with at least 1 win. This works until a player hits Gold 1. This makes promotional games much more friendly and less stressful.
The banning phase is similar to previous seasons as each team is still allowed 3 bans each. However, it is the last 3 players on the team that get to ban – one at a time. Here are some of the top and most recommended bans (in no specific order) as I have seen in games and why:
- Tahm Kench – Hop on the tank bus to eternal life and endless wins! He has an endless appetite for winning games.
- Fiora – A slippery lady with easy 40% CDR skill spam. As she says, “I have no equal.” Don’t even try to face her or face the wrath of her ruler.
- Gangplank – Exploding kegs will explode your face to shreds as it ignores 40% armour. Run away before this pirate plunders you!
- Udyr – Runic Echoes will make your screams echo in Summoner’s Rift as he blasts through the jungle, through you, and through your teammates leaving a trail of destruction behind. Run from the animal… if you can.
- Malphite – Rock solid. Say goodbye to carries as this rock crushes their puny health bars.
- Soraka – Heals. More heals. And even more heals! Why even try to kill people when they won’t die anyways?
- Master Yi – Alpha strike and auto attacks. Hey where did all the enemies and turrets go?
- Kogmaw – A moving machine gun that will make you cry in helplessness as he spits you into bits.
- Dr. Mundo – MUNDO STACKS WARMOGS AS HE PLEASES
- Zed – Double the Zed ultimate? Is that even possible? Yep, with the new Duskblade of Draktharr item.
Hopefully this overview has convinced you to give ranked a chance this season and prepared you a little for whatever experience awaits! Now, let us solemnly have a moment of silence for the death of Dominion. (If you won over 100 games in Dominion before, you should receive this icon as a thank you from Riot!)
See you in the Fields of Justice!
All images of League of Legends content are property of Riot Games.
Taric cosplay image property of Dave Yang Photography.