At the start of each season, for roughly about 8 weeks or so, players experience what is called the “preseason” in League of Legends. This is the time when Riot is experimenting with its latest patch, fixing bugs, balancing and re-balancing the game in case new champions are being introduced, and more. This is the time when Riot can make large systematic changes to League of Legends.
The normal draft is always available for playing the game, and preseason is no different. When the preseason ends, the Ranked Season beings and players can start climbing up the ranked queue. When preseason ends, the games played in the Ranked queue start counting towards your ranking and you can gain or lose LP. But that doesn’t mean playing ranked before the preseason ends have no benefits.
Why Should You Play Ranked During the Preseason?
There are several reasons for playing ranked in the preseason. The first and foremost is you can use this time to practice and sharpen your skills. As Riot introduces new items and new champions to the game, you can practice using them to better prepare for the season ahead. Often times the champions available to play with are re-worked and either buffed or nerfed. Preseason is a good time to get the hang of these changes before the competitive ranked matches start counting through LP losses and gains.
Another good reason to play ranked in the preseason is to practice with new duo partners in the changing meta. You can find out which champions can have the best combination together, which are not good together and which champions are good and bad at. Practicing and sharpening your skills during the preseason will help improve champion picks during champ selection because you’ll know which champion to pick against whom and why. All of this can be an excellent warm-up for the Ranked Season.
Will Playing in Preseason Mess Up Your MMR?
The key question in the minds of new competitive League players might be that playing ranked in preseason affects your rank once the season hits off. Because at the start of each season, there is a reset that recalibrates the entire ranked queue rankings. However, this is actually a soft reset. It means that if you manage to reach Silver 2 during the preseason, the “reset” will not set you back to Bronze. The Division, most likely, will remain the same. In other words, the LP gains won’t be all lost. Your progress will be preserved for the most part. On the other hand, your losses will not be offset in their entirety.
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You should definitely play Ranked during the preseason in League of Legends. It will help adjust to the new meta, find new duo partners and help prepare better for the season ahead. While LP losses and gains are not preserved 100%, the soft reset at the start of each season means you won’t have to start your ranked queue from zero.