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Should You Play Ranked in Preseason?

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What could be more exhausting than waiting for the new League of Legends ranked season to kick-off? Preseason, that’s what. The preseason usually lasts about 8 weeks, during which time Riot prepares everything to give its loyal players an even better League of Legends new ranked season. 

During the preseason the game is updated, bugs are fixed, game settings are changed, etc. If you are a long-time ranked player, then you know that previous seasons have changed the complete rune system, that the outlook of items has changed, some have been dropped and some new items have been added. 

A lot of work has been done to improve existing champions and Riot also prepare players for new champions. At the end of the previous season, your rank was locked, and now you can no longer change it, even during the preseason. 

To clarify, you can play ranked games during the preseason, but they will not affect your rank, no matter how many ranked games you play. However, the preseason can be an ideal time for ranked games. Stay tuned, and you’ll see why you don’t have to give up ranked matches during the preseason.

Soft reset and MMR

If you are a loyal League of Legends ranked player, then you surely know what a soft reset is that happens at the beginning of every ranked season. A soft reset allows players to quickly return to the rank in which they finished last season; more precisely, it lowers them by a few divisions below that rank. So, what does MMR have to do with your rank? 

MMR (MatchMaking Rating) is something like a secret wizard that determines how many League Points you win or lose after a ranked match. MMR is a hidden algorithm that “calculates” your gaming skill and, based on that, ranks you by tiers and divisions.

Now comes the exciting part: we mentioned above that Riot does not allow a change of ranks after the season is over and that whatever players do, they cannot change the rank in which they finished the season. That’s right. But MMR is a hidden gem! The MMR quietly in the background continues to add, subtract and measure your success and gaming skill. One of the best champions for boosting your MMR is Kai’Sa, and if you’re not really familiar with her, here are some of the best supports for Kai’Sa in Season 12!

MMR is not written anywhere within the League of Legends client, unlike other game stats that you can read transparently after playing a ranked match. There are some websites where you can roughly calculate the value of your MMR, but those sites are not Riot’s official, so you can’t take that as a valid result, but if you’re interested, you can search the Internet.

Your low or high MMR decides your opponents and decides how many LPs you will win or lose after a ranked match. Here’s an example: if your MMR is lower than average, you’ll get fewer points after winning a match, and if your MMR is higher than average, you’ll get more points, or lose less if you lose a match. Easy to remember, right?

So, by playing ranked games in the preseason, you can build your MMR and thus increase your statistics and gaming skill which will eventually make it easier for you to move to a better tier and division once the real ranked season starts.

Getting used to game updates

All long-time ranked players know that every League of Legends season comes with new updates. Riot is trying to keep the existing League of Legends players with new looks and game changes, but also to attract new ones. If you’re using these eight weeks as a kind of vacation from League of Legends, it might be time to think again. If you are waiting for the new ranked season unprepared, you will need a lot more time to catch up on new game updates. 

But if you play ranked games during the preseason, you will have an advantage over players who will be faced with new changes only at the beginning of the new season. This is an ideal starting advantage that you can have. Changes to the jungle and changes to the terrain will catch every player unprepared. It is better to get used to the potential dangers and the new look of the terrain in time so that you can stay confused and make beginner mistakes in an actual ranked match.

Also, items! You have to be up to date with the changes that will affect the items. Some items will be changed, and the right time to find out is not when you already buy it in a real ranked match, but preferably much earlier. That way, you can see which item suits you better and which item you can no longer rely on because it does less damage than last season. This often happens with a tank, assassin, and mage items, so be careful. The sooner you get used to the changes, the sooner you will go hunting for a higher rank.

Practice makes it perfect

For the average League of Legends player, eight weeks without playing can cause his gaming skill to rust. No kidding, it really is. That’s the way it is with everything in life; if you don’t work on something for a long time, it is expected that you will no longer be at the desired level you may have been at before. Preseason is the ideal time to play champions that you usually play less, to come up with a new strategy, and try different performances. That way, you’ll have a few extra options if the queue isn’t ideal for you and you’re forced to play with a champion you haven’t practiced so much.

Also, if you want to improve your skill and be a strong player next season, try playing with someone who plays better than you. Your duo partner can help you a lot to improve your gaming skill, and if you can agree on a strategy, you can play placement and ranked games together and be invincible. Ranked games are a challenge, and that’s why you can’t expect easy play and easy opponents. 

The ranked system includes players whose gaming skills are above average and who can’t wait to play against untrained players in order to beat them and raise their rank. During the entire ranked season, you have to keep in mind that your gaming skill needs to be sharpened and ready to play with players stronger than you, and the best way to meet them is to be ready to prepare during the preseason.

To sum up

After you finished last League of Legends season and locked up to your rank, you wonder what now? You have about eight weeks to take a well-deserved vacation or take advantage of this stress-free time and slowly prepare for the new ranked season around the corner. What will it be? That decision is still up to you, but know that by playing League of Legends ranked preseason, and you raise your rank without even being aware of it. 

Your MMR improves (or worsens, but we don’t want that to happen) every time you play a ranked match, whether it’s a ranked season or a preseason. Also, by playing ranked games in the preseason, you are slowly adapting to the new changes that Riot has brought. And trust us, Riot always brings them. Changing terrain, playing with new items, the arrival of new champions – these are all changes you can expect in the new season. 

Still, you will have a beginner’s advantage over other players who will discover them only when the real season starts. So, use this time to practice playing with champions you play less and adjust to new updates at the same time; your MMR will be grateful.