If you’ve watched or at least seen a photo of Worlds, League of Legends’ flagship annual event, then you can easily tell why it’s the biggest eSports title in the world (in terms of active players and viewership).
The game is huge, and so is the competition that fuels it. Curious about how ranking works in League of Legends? Just make yourself comfortable and read on! We’re going to talk about the League of Legends ranking system to help you join the fray. We know you can’t wait anymore, so let’s get to it!
The League of Legends ranking system is made up of 9 tiers:
Each of these tiers (except Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger) contains a subset of 4 smaller ranks called “divisions”. For example, Iron has Iron 4, 3, 2, 1 with Iron 4 being the lowest division and Iron 1 being the highest. After Iron 1, you then move to Bronze 4, Bronze 3, and so on.
In every division, you need to gather 100 LP to have the opportunity to get promoted. You have to make it through a short promotion series first before you move up the League of Legends ranking ladder. In divisions 4-2, the promotion series has 3 games, two of which you have to win to make it to the next tier. In division 1, however, the series has 5 games. You have to win three to get promoted to a higher tier.
As a new player, you won’t immediately be able to start speedrunning your way through the League of Legends ranks, unfortunately. You have to meet a few requirements first, including:
Once those are out of the way, you can start playing your placement matches where your skill level will be evaluated. There are 10 placement matches in total, and you’ll only be assigned to your competitive tier after completing the last one.
This part is crucial because losing most of your placement matches will put you to the lowest rank. On the other hand, a great performance could place you straight into Bronze or Silver.
To climb the League of Legends ranking ladder, you have to earn League Points (LP) by winning ranked matches. The number of LPs you win every match will depend on one major factor, which is your Matchmaking Rating (MMR). As you can probably guess, winning games will increase your MMR while losing games will decrease it.
But in the game, you play as a member of a team of five, and so there are times when you have to play with or play against players who have either lower or higher MMR than you. Beating a team that has high-MMR players will give you more LP.
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Beyond Diamond, things get even more thrilling as you’re now in the territories of the Apex tiers: Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. Here the competition is so intense that you can literally see it by the way the players keep shuffling up and down the ranks. There’s always room for more since those who get beaten get pushed down and replaced.
LP remains the main commodity, of course, but there are no divisions anymore. Your goal is to take care of your LP by winning games and staying active. Not playing for a short while can result in rank decay, something that punishes your inactivity by 250 LP per day!
Luckily, you can gather up to 10 banked days at any given time. Banked days are the excuse letters that let you off the hook. If you haven’t any left, the rank decay will start eating at your LP right away. Now you know why the most elite players show up in front of their computers every day! No wonder they’re on the latest news on eSports all the time.
The truth is, whether you know how ranking works in League of Legends or not doesn’t really matter in the end. Why? Because as long as you’re playing with passion, challenging yourself, and having fun, the game will readjust itself to continually match your skill level and place you right where you belong.
Then why bother explaining the League of Legends ranking system, you ask? Let’s just say there’s merit in seeing the whole picture. Having a roadmap that tells you where you are in the game can be a pretty good reflection tool. Looking at it gives you and other players an idea of how far you’ve gone and how strong you’ve become.
There are 9 League of Legends ranking tiers in total: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. Inside these tiers (except Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger), there are 4 smaller ranks called “divisions”.
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League of Legends ranking tends to reset after the World Championship, which normally takes place between early October and early November. Looking at the history, it’s safe to say that the reset happens around January, at the beginning of a new season.
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To get promoted and reach a higher rank in the League of Legends ranking system, you have to win ranked games and earn League Points (LP). In every division, you need to gather 100 LP to proceed to the promotion series, where you have to win the majority of games to advance your rank.
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