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LoL Ranks: Explaining the Ranked System in League of Legends

More 06-10-2023 14:45

League of Legends has an extensive ranked system which can get quite confusing. We've done our research to give you an extensive and easy to understand overview of all LoL ranks. So, where do you land on the League of Legends ladder? 

LOL ranked
Who can recognize what the new ranked borders are | © Riot Games

League of Legends ranked is what made the game into what it is today, for better or worse. Whether it's the competitive tournaments or a toxic community, it can all be tied to this game system.

It's also set up in a relatively simple manner, though some intricacies of the League of Legends ranked system can bypass new, and even experienced, players. That is why we have made this guide to help you out.

LoL Ranks: What Is League of Legends Ranked?

Ranked is a League of Legends system designed for players that wish to experience more competitive games, and have something at stake in each match.

It's a way to categorize players according to their skill, with them climbing the ranked ladder, consisting of multiple tiers. As it stands, only the Summoner's Rift map is eligible for ranked matches, and it's also the only one used in professional games.

What Ranks Exist In League of Legends?

League of Legends has 9 ranking tiers for the competitive mode in the game. Players will start at the Iron tier and can climb up to the Challenger tier. The average rank hovers around the high-silver, low-gold tier, depending on how much the season has progressed. These are all of the League of Legends ranks:

Rank TierDivision
IronI, II, III, IV
BronzeI, II, III, IV
SilverI, II, III, IV
GoldI, II, III, IV
PlatinumI, II, III, IV
EmeraldI, II, III, IV
DiamondI, II, III, IV

As you can see, each Ranked Division is further separated into four tiers. It takes one hundred League Points (LP) to progress between divisions and winning three out of five promotional matches to move from a lower rank to a higher one. 

Starting with the Master rank, however, the divisons are no longer present, with the amount of League Points being the only divider, as well as the duo queue being disabled to stop experienced players from abusing it.

Starting from the second split of League of Legends season 13, the ranked ladder will expand with the addition of the Emerald rank, which will be placed between the Platinum and Diamond ranks, to even out the player distribution.

How Will LoL Ranked Work in Season 13?

Season 13 is seeing League of Legends juiced up with massive changes, to offset the, seemingly, boring season that was Season 12. The most impactful changes, aside from those in the jungle, will be found in the ranked system.

In essence, the biggest change to the ranked season will be the addition of another soft rank reset, by adding another Season Split to the ranked season.

Split 1 started in January, and Split 2 commenced on July 19 to July 21, depending on your server region. This means that we are now entitled to two Victorious skins as well, if we reach Gold rank, that is.

However, even if we don't, with enough names played, Riot Games will be giving away reward skins to players that rank even lower than Gold. Though that will be made even easier in the new season, as the promotional games will be moved from a best of five to a best of three format!

What is The Lowest Rank in LoL?

Iron rank is the lowest rank in League of Legends, and has been so for quite a few years. However, that was not always the case, as bronze used to be the lowest League of Legends rank until 2018.

However, just before League of Legends season 9, Riot Games introduced the Iron Rank and changed up the ranked system by lowering the number of divisions from 5 to 4 in each rank.

What is The Highest Rank in LoL?

The highest rank in League of Legends, as can be seen on our table, is the Challenger rank. Challenger is the highest rank in League of Legends and represents the top 300 or 200 players of each region.

The number of Challenger players in any given region is actually capped and depends on the number of overall players in said region. As the last three ranks are only separated by LP, you only get to find out if you've made Challenger once the ranked leaderboard gets a daily reset.

As Tyler1 would say, Grandmaster sounds much cooler | © Riot Games

Aside from the Challenger rank itself, there is also the number one rank on a server. If you've seen any serious streamer or YouTuber, you've seen them try for this position. It represents the player that most LP accumulated at the end of each ranked season.

How Does League of Legends Ranked Work?

The competitive ranked system in League of Legends functions in an extremely simple manner, with nine distinct tiers, as we've stated previously. Players gather League Points, when winning a ranked game, and lose it when losing in ranked games, whether it’s Solo Queue or  Flex Queue. The two ranked game modes, SoloQ and Flex Queue are separate, however.

Every 100 League Points, every League of Legends player climbs one division, while every four divisions, they move up to the next rank. Before season 11, players had to play promotional games, in a best out of three manner, to climb from one division to the next, but Riot Games removed that and only kept the promotional games, best out of 5, when promoting from one rank to the next.

Lol borders
The old borders were much cooler, and easier to recognize to boot | © Riot Games

Each season lasts, roughly, 10 months every year, and its end gets you a rank, and partial MMR, reset, with you starting the next season with only one tier and division below where you finished the previous season.

How to Start Playing Ranked in LoL?

If you're new to League of Legends and are looking to play competitively then you need to be aware that only experienced players have access to it. Ranked is only available to players who meet these two requirements:

  • Are Level 30 or above
  • Own at least 20 different champions

Of course, we say experienced, but at this stage of League of Legends' lifetime, account level 30 does not equate an experienced player, not by a long shot. The requirement is in place as a remnant of the old League of Legends system, where account levels were capped at level 30.

These days, if you're a fresh-faced League of Legends player and enter ranked immediately upon getting to level 30, you're going to go as far as bronze in your first competitive ranked season, unless you're a prodigy of course.

What Does LP Stand For in LoL?

League of Legends ranked lives and breathes LP gains and losses. LP is short for League Points, and, unlike Riot points, these are not used for buying in-game skins and other similar content.

Instead, League Points denote the rank of a player and, with every 100 points, players promote to the next division in a certain rank. Upon reaching 100 LP in the first division of any rank, players must play promotional games, which give no League Points when winning and take away no League Points upon losing.

Instead, after winning three of five possible promotional games, players are promoted to the next rank, to the lowest division, with 3 LP in the bank.

Lp gain
This is both, good LP gin and amazing MMR | © Riot Games

What Does MMR Stand For in LoL?

In League of Legends, MMR stands for Matchmaking Rating. It is a hidden number value that Riot Games give to players to determine how skilled they are when compared to others.

However, every game mode in League of Legends, including both the casual ones and the Ranked ones, has its own separate MMR. That means that, if you've played League of Legends casually for a long time, and are matched with skilled players in Normal Draft Pick, and then enter your first ranked season, you will quickly shoot up through the ranks.

If you don't get put in the smurf queue that is, of course. If that happens, then you'll either be matched with skilled players on their alternate account or with players far above your own rank.

The former is a frustrating thing to have happen, as you're playing harder to win games, for no bonus LP, while the latter will award you a lot of LP for every win, and take away a small amount for every loss.

What is High ELO in League of Legends?

When it comes to ELo, there are two main questions that come up from inexperienced players. What is ELO? What is High ELO? The former is easy enough to answer, while the latter is a matter of hot debate in the LoL community.

ELO refers to the elo ranking system which was used before the current League system was implemented. The elo system was originally designed for games like chess and calculates the skill level of players. These days, ELO refers to the general rank of a player, without taking divisions into account.

Streamers skew players' perception of high elo | © Riot Games

As to what High ELO is, back when League of Legends was just starting out, the highest rank in the game was Diamond Rank. As an echo of that, to be able to compete professionally, players must have an account with at least a Diamond I rank, on the ranked ladder. As such, we consider Diamond I to be the rank from which League of Legends High ELO starts.

Even Faker has only reached Diamond I, during one season where he felt burnt out, due to constant harassment. So, if that was Faker's rank once, then who are we to say that Faker wasn't always in High ELO?

What is the Rank Distribution in LoL?

The most famous of League of Legends' competitive modes is the Solo Queue, officially known as Solo/Duo Queue. This is the rank everyone thinks of when they ask, what rank you are.


Depending on how long a season has lasted, the ranking distribution starts to even out around the high Silver and low Gold ELO, as more and more players manage to friend out the LP needed to reach Gold ELO, which is not a hard thing to do, unless you're actively inting games, or have issues with hardware or internet connection.

Live end of Season CHART 03
Some hardstuck players should find themselves moving up now | © Riot Games

The current player distribution is focused on the lower ranks heavily, centered around the silver rank. Riot Games have announced that they will add the Emerald Rank in the second split of season 13, to center the distribution around the gold rank, and have it more evened out.

Though, the planned distribution and the actual player distribution never end up the same.

What is a Good Rank in LoL?

The average rank in League of Legends is Gold IV,  and as such, players who have reached it can consider themselves to be in the upper 50% of League of Legends players.

And, while the League of Legends community may consider anything below Master rank as low ELO, realistically speaking, Platinum tier players are in the 10% of the best LoL players in the world. So, a good League of Legends rank, for casual players, starts from gold IV and upward.

Differences Between SoloQ and Flex Queue in LoL

In short, Solo Queue Ranked games are focused on individual skill and climbing, as the name suggests, solo. Due to the community League of Legends has, SoloQ has risen as the end-all-be-all ranked game mode.

On the other hand, Ranked Flex Queue games focus on teamwork. Teams premade players face each other, in either fully premade five-man teams, or any other make-up that doesn't include a four-man premade.

In all actuality, Flex Queue is what League of Legends should be all about, as this is primarily a team game. However, as it stands, it's considered an inferior way to climb the ranks, due to the easy possibility of ELO boosting.

Rijad Kamberovic

Graduating from Sarajevo university in 2020, with a Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Theology, I never believed that my fascination with comparative religions and their myths would mesh so well together with the fantasy genre of the video games I play....


And still bronzies are matched vs masters and diamonds all cause premade team. Thank you for explaining nothing, Anotehr pointles and shallow filler.