At the end of each ladder season, leagues are “locked,” which means players can no longer be promoted or demoted out of their current league or division, and bonus pools will stop growing. That’s no reason to quit playing: even after leagues are locked, players will still be able to play out their remaining bonus pool and compete for standing within their divisions until the season ends one week later. The matchmaking skill ratings which determine league promotion and demotion will also continue to update during the lock, so games played during the lock still count toward 2014 Season 2 league placement.
Now that the lock is in effect, 2014 Season 1 will soon come to an end. The Americas region will be turning over to the second season of 2014 ladder competition on April 14 at 12:01 a.m. and the Grandmaster League will start one week following the season roll. Season milestone rewards will be awarded and bonus pools will reset with the beginning of the new season. Hidden skill ratings used for matchmaking and league placement will carry over from the previous season, though, so players who have completed placement matches in a previous season will only need to play one new placement match after Season 2 starts.
We will have an updated map pool for 2014 Season 2, which includes new maps for the 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 matchmaking modes. You can head here to check out the new maps and then launch StarCraft II to play a few games on each from the Custom Games list.
As a brief reminder, we will also be applying a free character name change to all accounts that do not have one available on Monday, April 14. Character name changes do not stack (you can only have one free name change at a time), so if you currently have a name change available, you’ll have until Friday to use it before we apply a new one.
Now that you’ve got all the details heading in to the conclusion of Season 1, go fire up StarCraft II and hit that “Find Match” button to get a few more games in before 2014 Ladder Season 2 begins.