New look for all the ranks this season. From Iron in the top left to Challenger in the bottom right.

Right when you thought your holiday season was over, January 7th, 2022, turns out to be one of the largest holidays in the gaming world. It is the official beginning of the new season for League of Legends, Season 12. A new season for League of Legends only comes around once a year, always falling in January, and is effectively a huge reset for all the players in game across the globe.

All players have their ranks reset and the rewards reset as well. Because this only happens once a year, this is generally a very important time for adamant players of League of Legends. All the players are brought down to a lower rank temporarily until they work to re-earn their desired rank. This of course means different things depending on a player’s rank.

League of Legends and Riot Games themselves break the ranking system into two different segments, casual players and competitive players. Casual players are all the players that do not play ranked or are ranked Platinum III (a tier within Platinum) or below. Competitive players are all the players Platinum II and above. Only around 5% of 30+ million weekly players in the US are within the category of competitive player.

As the new season starts though, a chunk of these players are pushed back down into the casual player range, meaning there are even less competitive players to create full 10 player games so casual players who the algorithm deems worthy is brought into a game full of competitive players. As the casual player in this scenario, it’s like a win-win, the players around them are better and therefore the quality of game will be better. However, this is the opposite for the competitive players in this scenario. It is a lose-lose, especially for the players who got the casual player on their team. Due to a player or two not being ‘up to par’, the game quality for the competitive players goes down because the player they may be forced to play with are creating it.

Generally, the players in the competitive category will have a worse gameplay experience at the beginning of the season while the casual players will have a better one. At the end of the day, this makes sense, 95% of the player base will have marginally better games and gameplay for a while because players who would usually be too high above them in rank are now in their games due to the rank reset. The top 5% of players will most likely be dealing with lower quality games for the first few weeks of the season though.

The rank reset was the big important thing, but everyone knows its happening and it happens every year. Many of the other changes are featured in one of my previous articles and came out in November for the preseason. This is for players the practice the changes before the new season so they can hit the ground running when the new season hits. Now, let’s get into the some of the changes that are specific to this new 2022 season 12 as of this week.

If you are a top or mid laner, this one is important. The Summoner Spell: Teleport has been changed so that it can only be used to go to allied towers before 14 minutes. So laners who take teleport basically can no longer impact team fights that happen away from towers before 14 minutes. After 14 minutes, teleport goes back to normal and players can use it on allied wards (pink and green), Teemo shrooms, Thresh lanterns, Jhin traps, etc. This change is important because solo laners can no longer get across the map and affect the game as easily in the early game as they once could. Another aspect of this is that champions like Galio, Shen, Twisted Fate, Taliah or any other champions that can get across the map quickly or affect the map globally are now hold a bit more power as picks.

The rank portraits and look of all the ranks have changed. Riot also released the 2022 season cinematic and there is player voting for what the next skin themes and champion reworks for 2022 should be, but that is it really. If you want to know anything more, this is the graphic you can look for more information.