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FURIA pro Jacob “HisWattson” McMillin is overall pleased with the updates coming to ranked mode in Season 17 but there was one change that had him concerned for the competitive scene.

While talking about the recent patch on the first episode of the Apex Experience Podcast, HisWattson said he liked “90 percent of what he saw,” including Ballistic, weapon mastery, and the new survival item. He also liked most of the ranked changes, except for the removal of the scaling entry costs.

According to HisWattson, this change has made placement scoring more consistent for every division. Instead, players will be given bonuses for kills, assists, and other match factors. This was in an attempt to place players together based on their skill rather than ladder placement, but HisWattson isn’t convinced.

While talking on the podcast, HisWattson said it was a “huge step back.” While he felt it was okay for players moving from Bronze to Diamond, he felt this new ranked system was concerning for high-level players, specifically Masters and up.

“Why are we getting rid of that scaling entry cost? Why are we going back so many steps?” HisWattson said.

According to HisWattson, it will be too easy for players to climb ranks and create unbalanced matches since some may not be truly ready for that level of gameplay.

High-Level Apex Legends Players Not Happy with Ranked Play

The frustration with ranked play isn’t anything new and it’s not only HisWattson that has brought up concerns as Season 17 approaches. Competitive players have mentioned many other issues with the new changes.

Most importantly, Respawn Entertainment has decided to remove split seasons. This means that seasons will be 90 days long going forward. This could negatively impact player retention since gamers may grow tired of the grind. Burnout is an even greater concern for streamers, who often reach the highest ranking way before 90 days. Without a split, many are wondering what top players will do once they reach the top of the tiers within weeks.

So what was the reason behind this?

“We have no more splits during the season now,” Design Director Evan Nikolich said during a recent press event. “The ranked climb resets on the seasonal reset now. The main reason for no splits is that we’re adding provisional matches to better gauge placement at the beginning of your ranked journey for the season. We want it to be a good time to engage with ranked at more points during the season and not just at the start of a split.”

He added that this patch will be the first of many changes to ranked mode in 2023.