Red Post Collection 2016 Ranked Season Ends, Preseason Spotlight, 2017 Season Ranked Overview, & more!

Posted on at 12:19 PM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes information on the end of the 2016 ranked season and what to expect as we start the 2017 ranked season, a preseason spotlight, a VOD of the Elementalist Lux livestream, & more!

Table of Contents

2017 Preseason Spotlight | Gameplay - League of Legends

With 6.22 headed out to live, catch up on the new changes with the 2017 preseason spotlight: 

"Welcome to the 2017 Preseason Spotlight."
Assassin Preseason Spotlights:
Be sure to read over the lengthy 6.22 patch notes for more information on details!

2016 ranked season ends 

As the regional clocks moved from November 7th to November 8th, the 2016 ranked season concluded! Be on the look out for rewards distribution to start later this week!
"The 2016 ranked season is over. Congrats to everyone who hit their ranked goals this season. For those who fell just short, there’s always next year. With the return of solo/duo and the introduction of flex ranked, among other changes coming in the new season, 2017 will be full of all new challenges to master on your way to the top. 
Over the next week, we'll start distributing the rewards you earned, and you should see your shiny new borders, icons, as well as the new skins (if you earned them) soon. 
Find out more about the 2016 season rewards here!
If you placed GOLD or high during the season, you'll soon receive VICTORIOUS MAOKAI :

Like other Victorious skins, there is no other way to obtain this skin - it is limited.

Other ranked rewards include ranked team reward ward skins, new summoner icons, loading screen border with division markets, invite and friend request flair, and more!

dArtagnan is also posted up in [THIS BOARDS THREAD] answering questions on the end of the ranked season and providing updates on the reward. The November 8th update reads:
"With the Ranked Season officially over, we are currently compiling everyone's info who played and placed in Ranked this Season. Once we gather everyone's info and identify all of the people who were disqualified for rewards, we will start granting them out. 
Once we get an ETA when reward distribution starts, I'll let everyone know. 
REMINDER Rewards are given out in waves, so when we do start, it's possible you see others with their rewards, but not yours yet." 

How to rank up in the 2017 season 

With the 2016 season behind us, here's a look at how ranked will work in the 2017 season - including information on changes to the start of season timing (starting with 6.24 in December), Position preference updates (exclude your least favorite role from queue), Queue changes (normal draft being removed from servers besides NA, EUW, and BR), plans for the future, and more!
"… which begins in 2016. 
This season we’re doing a lot of new things, including moving the start date forward a month, letting you exclude your least-favorite position, introducing two separate ranked ladders (three if you count Twisted Treeline), and giving ongoing updates on queue health for 2017. You can consider this post as an all-encompassing, international guide for your 2017 ranked experience.

Flex Queue will be turned on right as preseason starts (coming with patch 6.22), with Solo/Duo Queue coming under a week later (November 14). 
The 2017 ranked season officially kicks off during patch 6.24. Read below for details. 
Position Preference Updates 
This year, in addition to selecting a primary and secondary position preference, we're looking into the ability to exclude your least-favorite. We are currently running tests in LAN and LAS, but if it's seen to drastically impact queue health, we may not proceed with developing this feature. Just a heads-up! 
Normal Draft will be retired at the start of preseason for all regions except North America, Europe West, and Brazil. Our goal is to offer the fewest number of queues that give unique experiences (so we can keep queues healthy) while keeping disruption low, and in all regions except NA/EUW/BR, normal draft had very low participation. In an ideal world, we’d like to retire normal draft in all regions. 
Solo/Duo Queue makes its return. Queue up alone or with a trusted teammate and get to climbing. Tier restrictions still apply, and Challenger is still limited to solo only. 
Flex Queue is the ranked queue that rewards more organized teamplay, allowing one, two, three, or five players (within one tier of each other) to queue up together. We have additional plans for Flex to evolve based on queue health (for example, we may turn 4s back on if enough solos are queueing up). Details below. 
For all regions that already have Ranked Twisted Treeline, we’ll be transitioning it to a Flex Queue, where 1, 2, or 3 players (within one tier of each other) can queue together. 
For Latin America North, we’ll be introducing Flex Twisted Treeline! 
Placements & Seeding 
Note: The start of season is a time to earn your rank on the ladder. You will be placed lower than where you ended the 2016 season, as a ladder reset means the highest possible rank anyone can land after placement games is Platinum I, which moves all of the ranks down. 
You can play some ladder calibration games for Flex SR/TT during preseason, but we’ll still be doing a soft ranked reset at the start of the season. That said, games played during the preseason will have some impact on where you place at the start of the season.

This year we introduced physical rewards for players at the very top of the ladder, in addition to the Victorious skin for anyone who hits Gold or higher. 
For 2017, anyone who achieves Gold rank or higher in either Solo/Duo or Flex queue will receive the Victorious skin, along with an extra reward for those who manage the climb in both. 
Our plans for 2017 
2016 was a rough year for ranked enthusiasts and, regardless which queue you’ll prefer in 2017 (maybe both!), we’re going to keep an open line of communication about what’s happening behind the scenes. 
First, we’re planning to launch Flex Queue with an IP bonus that will run through the first week of the season. 
If Flex Queue doesn’t attract enough Solo/Duo players through the weeks, we will test other incentives, like higher-weighted position preference for solos, windowing Flex Queue timing, or just plain limiting Flex Queue to pure 5-person premades (this is already in place in some regions). 
We’ll communicate queue health and future plans every few weeks for each region so you can see what’s on the horizon for your ranked experience. 
See you on the Rift."
On the proposed removal of normal draft on many regions, RiotAndrewMellon commented:
I don't understand it. Force people into Draft over Blind. Removing Draft is a flat out dumb mistake. I play normal draft with my group all the time and it's 100x better then Blind. We don't have to wait 8 minutes for a game at all, it's like 2 minutes maximum.
Hey, I'm the Insighter (aka data guy) that's worked on assessing the new queue options for Season 7. 
To give some transparency, we've been heavily considering the tradeoffs between Normal Blind and Normal Draft. Normal Blind overall has many more players playing, and we've seen that these players value Blind largely due to how quickly you can get into a game. On the other hand, there's a sizable group of players like yourself that play a lot of Normal Draft, citing reasons such as Role Selection and no mirror matchups. In those aspects, Flex Queue does have role selection, bans, mirror matchups, while retaining the ability to queue with premades. 
We're striving to ensure that the queue options for Season 7 meet the needs of all types of players - hardcore ranked players, players who like to play with friends, players who just want to get a quick game in - without creating too many queues, which leads to long queue times. Looking forward, we're going to continue monitoring the engagement with the new queue options to see how we can keep improving our offering. "
RiotChomey also  added:
"Just a clarification here: we are only turning off normal draft in regions where it wasn't healthy last season. An example of that is VN: there were 100 ranked games for every normal draft game in that region. 
Regions where the average queue time was in the 20 minute range due to a lack of population were not healthy."
Riot Ghostcrawler also tagged in, commenting on the desire to remove normal draft from all regions:

"Normal Draft will be retired at the start of preseason for all regions except North America, Europe West, and Brazil. Our goal is to offer the fewest number of queues that give unique experiences (so we can keep queues healthy) while keeping disruption low, and in all regions except NA/EUW/BR, normal draft had very low participation. In an ideal world, we’d like to retire normal draft in all regions." Quote from riots post
"In an ideal world, we'd like to retire normal draft in all regions." 
But we realize we have some work to do on Blind for that to be the case. 
Basically, one of the biggest challenges with matchmaking is making sure there are enough players in the pool in order to have good matchmaking (i.e. fair games with players with about your skill level) and a reasonable queue duration. There are a lot of players out there playing League, but that doesn't mean all of the queues around the world are in healthy shape. Subdividing players into too many different pools is a great way to torpedo your matchmaking. 
We completely understand that some of you prefer Normal Draft. We also completely understand that some of you still miss old Teambuilder and would go back to it if you could. What we're trying to do is make Flex Ranked attractive enough to some players who preferred Normal Draft, while also improving Normal Blind so that those of you really don't want to venture into Flex can have a good experience there. 
In general, I'd say we like the speed of Normal Blind, but we don't like the instalock behavior and some of the arguments that causes."

[UPDATE] Follow up thread on the Normal Draft removal discussion - So, Normal Draft...
"Hey folks, 
We want to clear up our plans for Normal Draft queues in various regions around the world. Earlier today we announced that we've turned off Normal Draft in every region except for NA, EUW, and BR. Specifically, this means turning it off in EUNE, LAS, LAN, TR, and KR. This didn't affect other regions, where the queue was already inactive. 
We caused confusion by saying that "in an ideal world" we'd retire Normal Draft in NA, EUW, and BR. We have no current plans to do so. Ultimately, we would like to take the best aspects of both normal queues (position preference from Normal Draft and less hardcore gameplay/speedy champion select from Blind Pick) into a single queue. 
In the regions where Normal Draft was disabled, it had very low participation. Our concern going into the launch of Flex is that having many similar queue options will result in a lot of low quality experiences rather than a few good quality ones. 
In other regions where we've already turned off Normal Draft, we'll keep listening to your feedback through the preseason as we start to see how the new queues perform and evaluate based on how healthy things are looking. In the end, we'll customize each region's queue system to best support its players."
[UPDATE #2] Ghostcrawler with a few more comments:
"Long term, we want to make a new Normal that combines the better parts of Draft and Blind, perhaps with new position selection from Ranked."

Elementalist Lux Livestream VOD

UPDATE @ ~4 PM PST: The stream has concluded! [CLICK HERE FOR VOD]

With Elementalist Lux previewed and headed to the PBE, Phreak and crew jumped on the LoL twitch channel to how a livestream showing off our upcoming ultimate skin!
"The Elementalist Lux Ultimate skin heads to Twitch at 2:00pm PT on November 8, 2016. Join us for some Q&A as the prismatic mage blasts her way through the Rift, and vote on which form she will take next! If you’re here a bit early, leave your questions in the comments below so we can address them right off the bat!"

Riot Axes on PBE Shyvana Changes

Following a recent comment that a set of Shyvana changes would go up for testing in the near future,  RiotAxes commented we will likely see them during 6.23 PBE cycle but not in the 11/8 PBE update.
Will the Shyvana changes Meddler mentioned be in this patch?
Not in this PBE update. Still targeting this patch, but some small chance of slipping a patch (everyone's pretty swamped here right now)."

Meddler on upcoming Azir work 

When asked what we should expect out of the recently mentioned Azir changes that are in the works, Meddler shared:
"Azir's a champion without sufficient weaknesses if his numbers are in a useful place. Short version - he does too many different things. That's why we want to do some work on him. 
In terms of what specifically though that's both something that's pretty far off and a topic we haven't figured out as a group yet. People have suggestions certainly, the most common revolving around removing range and/or mobility and putting that power elsewhere. Those are still personal opinions though, not a chosen direction. 
Short term by contrast (most likely late this year or January) we'll be looking to add some power to him. He's problematic when strong, but we think we can buff him somewhat without putting him back to pick/ban in high elo/pro play. That we'll be looking at shortly, with a focus on figuring out what the healthiest things to buff are. Goal would be to put power somewhere that we don't later have to remove it from, even if he were someday too strong again."
Meddler continued:
Answering a question without actually answering a question. I like it.
Yeah, feels bad being pretty vague in response to a question like this. At the same time though that's literally everything there is to discuss at this point, so saying nothing instead of saying little was the only other option :("

Playmaker: Carry -- Perkz

A new Playmakers video is up! This episode features Perkz, the mid laner for G2 Esports.

"When it seems victory is slipping away, learn to make the plays to turn the game around in five new videos featuring League of Legends pros from across the globe. When teammates throw, catch."
Catch the other Playmaker videos here:

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