Everything you need to know about the LoL ranking system

By Marta Juras


Nov 11, 2019

Reading time: 3 min

League of Legends has been around for ten years. The game’s ranked system has changed over the many seasons of its life. Its core has remained largely the same, with players placed in different tiers based on their skill level.

League players are now ranked from Iron to Challenger based on the league points they earn and lose over the course of a season. These seasons lasts almost a year, and are divided into multiple splits that give players smaller rewards in addition to larger ranked rewards at the end of the season.

Once a new season starts, players’ ranks are decided based on the ten provisional games they play at the outset. These are called placement games.

League of Legends ranked tiers

From lowest to highest, League’s ranked tiers are Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. With LP as the determinant of their skill, players are placed to match with others who perform at a similar level. 

Tiers below Master are divided into four divisions. To climb to a higher tier or division, players need to reach 100 LP in their respective division and then win two out of three promotional matches. If a promotional series is failed, players will be given one free win the next time they try for the same promotion.

If players are looking to be promoted to the next ranked tier, they’ll need to win three out of five games.

Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger are single tiers with a limited number of slots, reserved only for the very best players in each region. The number of slots depends on the total population of ranked players in a given region. The Challenger tier is where most professional League of Legends players can be found when they’re actively playing through ranked solo queue.

Inactivity and numerous losses after falling to 0 LP in a division can result in a demotion.

LoL’s LP system and hidden MMR

LP are earned by winning games and lost by losing games. The number of points that will be gained or lost in a particular game is based on the players’ hidden matchmaking ratings.

MMR, also known as ELO rating system, depends on a few factors, including the MMR of both teams in a game. For example, winning against a team that overall has higher MMR will reward more of LP points after a win, and losing against a higher ranked team will lose fewer points. At its core, MMR depends on how many wins a player has.

Players lose and gain LP based on the difference between their own MMR and the average MMR of the division they’re placed in at any given moment. If a player’s MMR is higher than the average in their ranked division, the system will push them higher on the ladder to better match them with other players of the same skill level.

Ranked rewards in League of Legends

Ranked rewards are distributed to the players after the season ends. Season nine will end on November 19 with the year’s preseason patch going live.

Based on the ranked tiers they placed and honor levels, players can potentially receive different icons, emotes, ward skins, and ranked armor upgrades. Those that finish the season in the Gold ranked tier or above will also receive a special victorious skin. The 2019 ranked season reward is an Aatrox skin, which will be mixed in along with the other ranked rewards.

More icons and emotes are awarded to players at the end of each of the three seasonal splits. Players earn split points based on the number of games won while playing primary and secondary roles, or winning with an autofilled role, which typically brings in the most points.