Teamfight Tactics Ranked progression system explained

Riot Games
Riot Games /

With Teamfight Tactics ranked mode arriving with patch 9.14, Riot Games has explained how the progression systems will work.

Teamfight Tactics has been out for a little while now and if you find yourself looking for a little tougher competition, it will soon come in the form of Ranked play. Slated to arrive with League of Legends patch 9.14, Ranked play will introduce a competitive ladder for players, ranking you up or down based on your performance in a match. The more you win, the higher in the ranked ladder you’ll climb and the more difficult the competition you’ll face.

At first glance, Ranked play in Teamfight Tactics will appear similar to that of the standard League of Legends game modes (Summoner’s Rift, etc.). The tiers and divisions will remain the same and you’ll gain or lose LP based on how well (or poor) you did during a match. For instance, according to Riot, Challenger in TFT will supposedly be as difficult to reach as it is in LoL, with only the best players able to reach that rank. But how LP is gained or lost will differ slightly between the two modes and for good reason, too.

TFT is a much more social game with more random variation, so it wouldn’t make sense to have its ranked system be exactly the same,” explained Riot Games (Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer, Jon “IAmWalrus” Moormann, and Ran “Riot Stimhack” Cao) in a developer post. “Ranked in TFT should be something you feel like you can play with your friends of varying skill levels while still receiving the recognition you deserve if you’re extremely skilled.”

For starters, while a win in TFT is technically considered finishing in first place, for the sake of LP gain, you only have to finish in fourth place or higher. Because you’re essentially playing solo and against seven other players, it’s obviously more difficult to “win” by getting first place all of the time. So Riot will consider any placement in fourth place or higher to be a win, of sorts.

While first place will reward you with “a lot more LP,” finishing fourth place or higher will typically result in “some” LP gained. Fifth place or lower will result in some LP being lost, but the middle placement “will have fairly small changes for most gamers.”

Another major difference with TFT‘s Ranked play is there will be no promotion series.  In TFT, once you hit 100 LP, you’re promoted to the next division. Whereas in LoL, hitting 100 LP means you must win two of three matches in a separate promotional series. This can often be difficult and frustrating in LoL so I’m glad they are actually doing away with it. And the reason makes sense as well.

“Since there isn’t a single winner or loser in TFT, promotion series don’t translate very well,” Riot explained.

However, a tradeoff of not having a promotion series means less protection and an easier chance of demotion. While LoL is a little more forgiving when it comes to demotions, it doesn’t sound like it’ll be a rare thing in TFT since it can happen by losing a single game while at 0 LP.

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Although promotions carry over any extra LP with you, it’s unclear if the same will happen for demotions. Will you be at 0 LP in the division below, or will you simply drop to whatever the difference in LP from your loss is?

Riot hasn’t exactly detailed the specifics, but I would assume it’s something in line with what LoL does if you lose your promotion series — reverting you back to the range of about 80 LP of the previous tier.

The lack of a promotion series ultimately means your rank will move faster in TFT than in LoL.  Winning consistently will result in more LP gained per game and likely result in rapid progression through the ranks. However, if you go on a losing streak, it’s possible you’ll drop hard. I’m sure it’ll ultimately balance itself out the more you play, but it sounds like your rank will fluctuate quite a bit in those first few weeks.

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TFT will also have somewhat different rules when it comes to playing a premade match with friends. Up to five friends can queue up in the same game if everyone is ranked Gold or lower; however, if anyone is ranked Platinum or above, then they can only queue up with two additional friends for a party of three. A full chart breaking down the ranked queue party system was shared by Riot. It seems somewhat complicated, but it’s also designed to presumably prevent boosting friends to ranks they may not necessarily be qualified to play in.

Of course, rewards based on your rank at the end of a season will be given out, but Riot has not finalized them. That said, the developer said they’ll probably be different from the rewards offered for Summoner’s Rift ranked play, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

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Riot has also not finalized how long each season in Teamfight Tactics will run, though it seems safe to expect somewhere between three or four seasons a year. Like many other systems in TFT, Ranked play seems to be a fluid work in progress. More details will likely be shared in the coming days or weeks as we near the release of patch 9.14.

Although not all of the kinks with Teamfight Tactics have been worked out yet, I appreciate Riot’s honest approach to the new mode, and it seems like they are dedicated to fully supporting it like they do with the standard League of Legends competitive modes.