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The Season 4 Soft Reset

LOL LOGOIt probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to any of my readership, but I play a fair amount of League of Legends. I don’t write about it because while I feel like I have a fair handle on things, there are far more qualified people out there who have more to teach and a broader perspective.

Still, there any plenty of things to discuss that don’t involve the mechanics or strategy of the game, especially during this off season. Today I’m going to focus on something I had to do a fair bit of digging to discover – MMR and the 2014 season. More specifically, whether your MMR in this preseason matters, and how your initial MMR will be calculated at the start of next season.

Before we begin, a short disclaimer. All of this information was found via Reddit or another forum. I have compiled it here for convenience, but know that while I’m confident enough to post it all here, I am not 100% certain it is all accurate. If you are serious about your LoL life, don’t take this post as gospel.

So What’s MMR?

Many players don’t really know what MMR is. After all, it is a hidden stat. MMR stands for match-making rating, and is used only for finding opponents of equal skill. It bears an impact on your league point gains and losses after a game, but for this topic you don’t need to know more than it is a number that independently moves up and down based on your wins and losses.

The Soft Reset

It has been announced that the 2014 season will start with a soft reset. This means that players, while not all being reset to a specific MMR, will all be pushed towards a specific MMR (1200). The formula Riot is purportedly using is:

(Old mmr + 1200)/2 = new mmr

This means a few things. The farther away you are from 1200 MMR(roughly silver 5), the more you’ll feel the reset. Bronze 5 players will get a boost, and Platinum players will be dragged down a bit.

Note that “old MMR” refers to your MMR at the end of the preseason, NOT your end of Season 3 MMR. Ranked games still mean something. The catch is that all movement is essentially halved because you have to divide your end MMR by two. Basically ranked is still ranked, but you, and everyone else who isn’t Silver 5 has to work extra hard to move up and stay there. That said, your MMR in relation to other players shouldn’t change much unless you have a very very low or very very high MMR. You’ll still be paired with people more or less your level.

One quick note on MMR decay in the preseason. Unless you’re challenger tier, it doesn’t exist, so if you just wanna crush normals or learn some new champs to prep for next year, you can do so with no penalty.

Placement Games

I remember hating my placement games. I felt so pressured to win them because they had such a huge bearing on what tier and division I was going to be in. A single loss meant the difference between Silver 5 and Bronze 1. Unfortunately, placement games are back for the 2014 season, and are the primary way by which people can offset the soft reset. I was unable to find the math behind it all, but your initial placement after 10 games will be the formula above PLUS any MMR gained during that time. If these placement games are anything like a summoner’s initial placement, they are the true determinant of your tier/division. Your MMR from above is only the starting point.

The good news is that you won’t have to worry about all this until at least next year. Riot trying to change the name of the season from “Season 4” to “the 2014 Season” in the minds of the players all but screams that we have at least another month to practice and hopefully grow that MMR before the dreaded placement games. Unfortunately I was unable to find a specific date the next season starts on, but honestly, I’m having just as much fun playing in this preseason as I did in Season 3, maybe even more, mostly because the pressure to perform seems minimal. So don’t be afraid of the ranked queue, even if you’re playing a new champion or trying a new item build. Adapting to change is what the preseason is all about, so get out there and have fun with it knowing you MMR is safe!

See you on the Rift,

Nigel

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