How Does Ranked Reset Work in League of Legends?

The new season is upon us and has reset our accounts back to unranked. This reset can feel good for some people and bad for others, depending on how your season is going. Riot opts to have a preseason and a rank reset every season because preseason allows them to implement significant changes (in this instance, the new drakes). It also allows players that have had a run of bad luck or an extended break to try and start on a new foot with a blank slate. 

This article will go through all of the nuances of the preseason and the new season ranked reset and placements. There are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to the ranked reset, and it causes a lot of frustration in the player base. Every preseason is rife with trolls and players taking the game half-serious because their rank will reset in a couple of months anyway. We will dispel some common myths and make sure that you understand everything there is to know about the new season and ranked resets. 

Does Preseason Rank Matter

Yes, your preseason rank does matter in League of Legends. Even though it gets reset at the start of the next season, you can still set yourself up for success (or failure) during preseason play. If your preseason rank is high, you will have a higher rank potential when you play your placements. On the other hand, if you tank your preseason rank, you will place lower after your placements no matter how many games you win.

It would be best if you always tried to win your ranked games, whether you’re playing in the preseason or the regular season. Otherwise, you will be undoing all of the work you’ve put into climbing during the previous regular season. 

Preseason is the perfect time to improve beyond just your player ranking and MMR. The start of the season will offer you a chance to come out of the gate swinging, so if you can improve before, then you’ll be in a much better spot than you were the previous season. Use preseason as an opportunity to train and get much better at the game. Learn how to carry harder and win more consistently so that when placements come, you can stomp them and coast immediately to a higher rank at the start of the season. 

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We’re sure you’ve heard the term MMR before since it’s a bit of a keyword in League of Legends guides and conversation. But what is MMR? MMR stands for matchmaking rating, and it is not the same as your actual rank in League, although the two are related. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you will gain less LP than you lose when you play ranked games? This LP discrepancy is because you have a lower MMR than your current placement. Conversely, if you have the MMR of a Gold player but are sitting in Bronze, then you will gain a lot more LP than you lose until your MMR matches your rank. 

So how do you increase your MMR? Win consistently. It’s that simple. You want your winrate to sit above 50%, and once it is that high, you want to play a lot. As you win, you’ll notice that you’ll start playing against higher Elo (ranked) players, which means that your MMR is increasing. Sometimes Gold players will play against Platinum players, for example. This rank difference happens due to the Gold player having Plat MMR or the Plat player having Gold MMR. In a perfect world, players’ MMRs would match their ranks, but that’s not how Riot’s ranked system works, so we have to do our best to adapt to their rules and try to climb anyways. 

Soft Reset

New seasons in League of Legends implement a soft reset on rank and MMR, but what is a soft reset? Soft reset means that your rank and MMR are being reset, but not completely. You will automatically have your rank and MMR lowered at the beginning of the season, but this is not bad. The reset also resets your winrate, allowing you to start the season with a massive win streak, drastically increasing your MMR.

The soft reset is based on your rank right before the season starts, which is why preseason still matters. If you manage to climb up a tier during the preseason, then you will start at a higher MMR when the new season starts. Notice that your MMR gets soft reset while your actual rank is reset entirely to “unranked.” Two players can win the same number of placement games, but the player with the higher MMR will be placed higher than the player with the lower MMR. 

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At the start of every season, players need to play ten placement games. These games will determine their initial rank of the new season. Players need to try their best during these games, as they can set the player up for a highly successful season. The initial rank given from placements is not the most important part.

Most of the time, players will place lower than their previous season, even if they win most of their games. So if you win your placements but place low, stay calm as you are still in a fantastic spot. Placements are all about maximizing your MMR at the beginning of the season so that you don’t have to spend weeks grinding to get it where you want. 

If you win a lot of placement matches (7+), then after you place, you will be gaining a lot of LP per win and losing very little. Sometimes the LP gain can be over 40, while the losses can be as little as 2 LP. This LP differential allows you to climb extremely fast post-placements because your MMR will be much higher than your current rank. However, if you start losing games, your MMR will slowly fall until it is even with your rank, and your LP gains and losses will reach somewhat of an equilibrium.

This equilibrium will happen to just about every player, but the trick is to maximize your Elo gains while your LP gain is inflated after placements. In short, try extremely hard during placements and try even harder immediately after to reach a higher rank than the previous season. 

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How to Win Placements & Placements Mentality

There are no special tips on winning placements. Treat them like you would treat any other game. If you psyche yourself out too much about how important they are, then you are more liable to get tilted if you have a terrible teammate or make a mistake that throws a game. Just relax as always. Placements can help you climb very fast very early, but they will not make you a better or worse player. No matter how placements go, your rank will balance out in the end as long as you keep playing the game.

Even if you win one out of ten placement games, you will still be able to soak some initial LP gains after your placements and then gain all of that Elo back (and then some) during the rest of the season. It’s crucial to have a mentality of improving, not winning. A player that always tries to improve and learn from losses will inevitably climb. So the placement boost, while convenient, will only be a drop in the bucket of their ranking gains. 

There you have it, everything you need to know about the new season, placements, and the ranked reset in League of Legends. We hope we also gave you some valuable tips on climbing and that they will help you reach your goals this season. Take everything one division at a time. League is a marathon, not a race. Use placements as a rocket strap, but remember they are not the end all be all of your seasonal rankings. Keep MMR in mind as you climb, and keep your head leveled. Good luck, and have fun! 

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