What is ELO in League of Legends, and How Does it Work?

Written by Muqadas Wattoo | Last modified on:

What is ELO?

Over the years, the ever-growing popularity of competitive gameplay and introduction of new games regularly is truly remarkable in its sense. Still, there are only a handful of titles that come close to League in terms of competitive gameplay. Without a doubt, League of Legends indisputably ranks among the all-time greatest PC MOBA games of all time. The distribution of roles, complex strategies and individual decision-making is what makes it a truly unique and exciting experience.

However, amidst it all, what matters the most is not just regulating but improving the overall standard of actual matchmaking. Regardless of the game, the player base shares among themselves a varying skill level and understanding of the game. So, it is necessary to construct a system that functions towards balancing the gameplay by distributing the players according to their level of game understanding. In League of Legends, it gets referred to as the ELO ranking system.

What You Should Know About ELO System in League of Legends

At the time of its invention, the initial purpose of the ELO ranking system was to rank the players of chess only. But, over time, the effectiveness and simple concept of ELO led to its worldwide use across multiple sports, eventually leading it to the modern-day video games.

ELO takes into account a player’s average performance in between distribution of numbers and numeric values and assigning that particular outcome as their dedicated rank. It implies that a high ELO player should play more effectively than someone with lower ELO across the span of more than one game.

In most ELO ranking systems, including the LOL, the initial ranking gets determined by playing a few random or dedicated unranked calibration games. Depending on the outcome and category of particular ranked opponents, the player ends up with the most suitable rank around it. Afterwards, it is just a matter of whether the players win more games and go up, or lose and sinks further down the rankings. When someone undergoes the procedure of elo boosting in LOL, their current rank is what gets taken into account before proceeding with the boost.

There is another particular value that reduces as a consequence to win or loss over time. It makes your ranking much harder to fluctuate with every single game you further play.

LOL Image

Working of ELO Ranking System in League of Legends

Although most competitive games nowadays use the similar concept of ELO for their ranking systems, there is still a noticeable difference that comes in the form of their respective values and factors to suit the nature of their games. In League of Legends, the ELO ranking system got incorporated till the conclusion of Season Two, just before the overhauled system as of Season Three. With time, the ELO system almost got revised into an utterly unique ranking system.

Currently, the ELO system of LOL divides the players into eight different leagues, comprising a total of 5 divisions each. As the players fall into a total of 40 divisions, they begin their journey by marching from division 5 towards division 1. The ascending order of eight leagues is as follow:

  • Unranked
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Master
  • Challenger

The overall ELO system of League of Legends circles around the hidden Matchmaking Ranking (MMR) of a player, and formulates their appropriate rank with its help. There is also a concept of League Points (LP) that players gain or lose after the outcome of a match accordingly. Each division begins with a player having 0 LP, working their way up towards the 100LP landmark.

Also, what sets apart the new League System from standard ELO point system is that it grants more points on winning and losing less on a defeat if the MMR of players is towards the higher side. It is the exact opposite of the working of the ELO ranking system.

After hitting the 100LP target, the system enters you into a Promotion Series on its own. The first four divisions of the League require you to win two games out of 3 to advance towards the next division. The final division requires you to emerge victorious in 3 games out of 5 to make progress towards the first division of the particular League ahead. If your MMR is high enough, you can always choose to skip the division or the Promotional Series.

It is not just about making progress between the division, but you can end up demoting as well. If you either lose games, and your LP hits 0 or 28 days of no activity on your account, you will end up downgrading between the division or even a whole tier. The Challenger tier comprises a unique ladder system which promotes and demotes two players respectively depending on the outcome. The player will also end up downgraded by an upgraded player automatically upon not playing for ten days straight.