Preseason dragon changes improve red side’s Solo/Duo win rate in League of Legends

Finally.

Image via Riot Games

After years of blue side giving League of Legends players the edge on Summoner’s Rift, it appears the tables have finally turned.

Riot design director Andrei “Meddler” van Roon discussed 2020 plans for League in a Dev Corner post today. The vast dragon changes that hit the Rift this preseason have tipped the scales in favor of teams playing on the red side in Solo/Duo ranked queues.

Image via Riot Games

“Historically Blue side has had a slight advantage in ranked on SR,” Meddler said. “Preseason changes however have removed most or all of that edge though, depending on which region you look at. Increased importance of dragons is what we believe has driven this change, given Red side has better dragon access than blue.”

Though the win rate may seem nominal, starting on the blue side gave players up to a one-percent better chance of being victorious on the Rift in North America. This number went as high as 1.4 percent in Korean Solo/Duo queues.

Securing an important Baron, especially in the late stages of a match, is a game-changing objective. Blue-side players benefit from the opening of Baron pit being on their side, while their red-side counterparts are boxed out by terrain. But the blue side’s day in the sun may be at an end.

Now that dragons and their souls are a key objective for late game, red-side players are benefiting greatly. And red-side junglers can take drakes out by themselves without the help of laners. The win rate differential in North America is now within 0.2 percent of favoring the red side, the most balanced it’s been in a long time.

Image via Riot Games

Though Solo/Duo queue players are enjoying these changes, Flex queues have yet to catch up. Red side has been favored for months in this premade team-coordinated mode, pushing devs to dig into the issue and figure out what’s going on.

These advantages are unlikely to change throughout season 10 since there will be no large midseason patch, according to Meddler.