elo ranking system

How does the ELO (MMR) System Works

The game of League of Legends has a very peculiar Match Making Rating system in which it places players to face one another.

Aside from a couple of small changes that we will mention here the rest is the exact same as any other MMR system in the e-sports.

ELO Before Divisions

Before the introduction of Divisions, Leagues and Tiers there was this thing called ELO, or ELO rating. (Hence why it’s called “ELO boosting” or “ELO hell” even though those words aren’t used in LoL anymore). And the ELO was just the name for the rating, it would go from 0 to 2500 or higher and the players at the very top (the now challengers) would have an ELO rating of about 2500 to 2600.

With the introduction of a new season (3) the name was changed to “Divisions” and that was to encourage players to feel more rewarded after playing and winning than just having a number attached to them, although the rating ladders were pretty self-explanatory as to who was the top person for any given season.

Divisions work a little bit different than ELO although the actual ELO still runs on the background to carry out the placement of the divisions and tiers.

The way this works is this one:

You have 5 Divisions and 1 Special one, those 5 divisions are divided into 5 tiers each that go from the lowest rating being #5 and the highest being #1.

To break it down it would be:

Bronze 5 through 1, Silver 5 through 1, Gold 5 through 1, Platinum 5 through 1, Diamond 5 through 1, Challenger.
From left to right they increase in difficulty.

workings of the MMR system of LoL

To move forward and get a higher division (or higher elo) you need 7 wins per tier, this means that to go from Bronze 5 to Bronze 4 you need to win 7 games, from Bronze 4 to Bronze 3 you need 7 more wins, etc.

This happens until you have to move from Bronze 1 to Silver 5, in which case you still need 7 wins but now you need 3 more placement matches that you HAVE to win in order for the ELO system (or division system however you want to call it) to move you to the next division, in this case you’d go from Bronze 1 to Silver 5.

Calculate your Rating For a Boost

Calculating this is fairly simple as you would assume a 100% win-rate and therefore it would play on the background elo-system that still runs to dictate the divisions and tiers of the players, you simply can’t play 7 games and lose half of them in order to get to the next Division, sadly for players that are trying to get better, that’s not how it works.

Challenger Division has a lack of tiers and you might wonder why, the reason is that Challenger is reserved to the top, the absolute best players in the game and it’s considered a peak of skill to be there, even though this causes a lot of debates because you simply can’t look at the rank 1 players anymore like you could with the ELO system, you can only tell who is a challenger and who isn’t.