As you are probably aware, we have been targeting the beginning of Season One as the beginning of a long future for competitive League of Legends. As the preseason is coming to a close, we wanted to take a moment to share with you the competitive features that you have to look forward to. Hopefully youve been spending this time leveling up, accumulating IP, and building relationships with other League of Legends players, because Season One is sure to test your mettle out there on the Fields of Justice. The features marked by the launch of Season One will serve as the cornerstone of our competitive efforts now and into the future.
- Ranked Games - Once Season One begins, summoners of Level 20 or above will be able to indulge in our ranked game system. At launch, ranked players will be able to join one of three queues: 3v3 Premade, 5v5 Premade, or 5v5 Solo. Players will receive an individual rating for each of these queues.
- Ladders - Once Ranked Play begins, players who choose to participate will have their Elo ratings displayed publicly on the League of Legends Ladder. On the ladder, players will be able to see just how they stack up against the rest of their fellow summoners. The ladder will be available on the League of Legends Community Site.
- Draft Mode - Champion selection during ranked play will take on the form of a live draft. In 5v5 premade and 3v3 premade, the first phase of this draft process will provide the inviter of each team with the opportunity to ban the use of two champions. Banned champions cannot be selected for use on either team, so choose wisely!
After bans have been dispensed by both sides, the teams will begin the draft process. During ranked play, draft picks will be exclusive, meaning that a drafted champion will not be available for play by the opposing team. The team who received the second ban will begin the drafting process by drafting a single champion. Following that, the game will follow a 1:2:2:2:2:1 draft format for the 5v5 brackets and a 1:2:2:1 format for the 3v3 bracket.
Through this system, we hope to encourage players to embrace a wider range of champions, allow for teams to effectively counter popular strategies, and develop a familiarity with their opponents and counter accordingly. Initially Draft Mode will be available both in Ranked Play and in practice games. Casual games still utilize blind pick during champion selection.
- Improved Visual Styles - Since our launch back in October of 2009, our UI Team has been hard at work improving the visual components of the PvP.net interface. With the substantial renovations required to support Ranked Games, now seemed like the opportune time to give the game a facelift. We wanted the new look for League of Legends to be brighter, more visually appealing, and easier to use. I could elaborate further, but I think that once you get a look at the accompanying screenshots their work will stand on its own.
While we consider these features to be essential to competitive play, remember that this is only the beginning! Post your questions below, and well follow up with a Q&A next week!