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LoL Ranks: League of Legends Ranked System Explained


Ranks and progression are integral parts of competitive multiplayer games. They provide goals to work towards and a way to benchmark skills. As one of the most popular competitive games globally, League of Legends naturally has an elaborate ranked system.


In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything about LoL ranks and their divisions, rank distribution, MMR and Elo, the ranked system and how it works, and more! Keep reading to know every aspect of the League of Legends rank system.


What are League of Legends Ranks?


LoL Ranks are a way to group players by skill level. They make matches fair and competitive.

There are 10 major ranks in League of Legends. From bottom to top they are Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger.


The lowest seven ranks (Iron to Diamond) have sub-divisions that indicate your skill level within that tier. For example, in the Silver rank, there are Silver 4, Silver 3, Silver 2, and Silver 1 divisions. Silver 4 is the starting point while reaching Silver 1 means you're close to leveling up to the next Gold rank.


Typically, moving up from Silver 4 to 3 to 2 shows incremental progress in MMR and skill. Once you reach 100 LP (League Points) in Division 1 of any rank, you have to win a set of promotion games to actually rank up. So promotion from Silver 1 to Gold 4 involves an extra test. Passing it proves you deserve the next rank.

The three highest tiers - Master, Grandmaster, and the elite Challenger rank - have no divisions. Players in these top levels compete directly for LP ladder positions. Gaining enough LP allows them to overtake others towards the pinnacle Challenger spot which only 200 players can occupy across each region.


The overall goal is to provide a good competitive experience. Matches need to feel challenging but winnable. Ranks separate players with large gaps in skill so everyone can slowly improve through fair fights.


Here are short descriptions for all LoL Ranks:


Iron: The lowest rank in the League. Players in Iron are still learning the basics of the game. The focus is on improving mechanics and game knowledge.


Bronze: Bronze players have a grasp of the fundamentals but struggle with consistency in their play. Games can be unorganized and players lack awareness.


Silver: In Silver, players start understanding macro strategy but have inconsistencies in execution. There is more emphasis on grouping up for team fights.


Gold: The beginnings of structured team-play start in Gold. Players focus on objectives and possess decent mechanics on a handful of champions.


Platinum: Platinum players coordinate well with their team and understand win conditions. Individual skills and macro knowledge allow for leads through objective control.


Emerald: Emerald players display polished mechanics on strong meta picks. Games have clear win conditions through team coordination around objectives like Baron and Elder Dragon.


Diamond: Players are skilled in their champion pool and role. Macro strategy is calculated and precise through coordinated efforts, vision control, and efficient farming/routing.


Master: Highly skilled gameplay on both micro and macro levels. Mastering champion limits, matchups, team compositions, and win conditions.


Grandmaster: The top elite players who exhibit excellence in mechanics, game knowledge, and leadership. Mistakes get heavily punished via snowballing leads.


Challenger: The very best players in the region. Game-changing carry performances through precision team coordination and seamless objective execution.


Below video is a funny explanation of League of Legends Ranks:



How Does Ranked System Work?


The ranked system in League of Legends is centered around competitive skill-based matchmaking between players. The goal is to identify your aptitude as a player so you can be matched with and against those of similar strengths for a fun and fair competitive environment.


Each player goes through 10 placement games initially to get an estimate of their skill level. Based on the results, you are assigned a rank like Silver or Gold to start competing in. As you play more ranked games, you gain or lose LP (League Points) with each win or loss depending on your performance.


Gain enough LP to reach 100 and you enter your Promotion Series - win 2/3 games here and you move up a division or tier. Lose enough games at 0 LP and you risk demoting to a lower rank. This progression through divisions, helped by promotion series acts as milestones as you climb higher or drop lower to reach your appropriate skill level.


What is MMR in LoL?


Alongside this ranked progression tied to your match performances, there is also a hidden matchmaking rating (MMR) that more accurately encapsulates your skill. The ranked system tries to push your visible rank and tier toward what your MMRs dictate over time. So you'll gain more LP per win if your skill is higher than rank and lose less LP per loss if your MMR is lower.


What is Elo in LoL?


Elo is the original rating system created for competitive chess by Arpad Elo to calculate the skill levels of players. League of Legends and many other competitive video games have adopted a modified version of the Elo system to match players of similar skill together.


In LoL, the Elo rating is referred to as your MMR or Match Making Rating. It goes up or down by different amounts based on the outcome of your ranked games.


At its core, Elo assigns every player a numeric rating that represents their skill level. Win games against higher-rated opponents and your Elo rating goes up. Losing to lower-rated players means it drops down.


New Emerald Rank in LoL


Up until the start of Season 13 in League of Legends, there were only 9 main ranks ranging from Iron to Challenger. However, with the launch of Season 13 in early 2023, Riot Games announced a new rank called 'Emerald' would be added between Platinum and Diamond tiers.


The motivation behind adding a new rank was to better spread out the skill disparity in the Platinum tier specifically. Over 35% of the ranked player base occupied Gold and Platinum last season, leading to situations where very mismatched players could be in the same division tier.


Emerald rank helps smooth out the ranked progression ladder, letting players milestone their improvement from Gold to Diamond in a more balanced way. Its introduction also resets some rank inflation by re-spreading out players in that skill range into two tiers now.


Differences Between Solo/Duo and Flex Ranked Queues


League of Legends has two separate ranked ladder systems that players can progress through - the Solo/Duo queue and the Flex queue. Understanding the key differences can help you optimize which to focus on depending on your goals.


  • Solo/Duo queue is designed for individual progression of up to 2 players. It has faster, more volatile LP gains tied closely to your personal skill.

  • Flex queue allows teams of up to 5 players.

  • Solo/Duo has a higher level of competition on average than Flex queue, hence reaching the same tier may require more skill in the Solo ladder.


Overall, Solo/Duo queue progression stays closest to reflecting your individual skill growth, which is why it's often considered the "truest" gauge of your abilities by players deeply invested in ranked play. But Flex queue provides a more casual, team-oriented experience if you prefer playing and climbing alongside friends in a premade.


LoL Ranks Distribution (Solo Queue)


Now that you have a grasp of ranks in League of Legends and how players are classified into different tiers and divisions, it's useful to understand how the actual player base is distributed across these ranks. Knowing the occupancy percentages gives you better context around what skill level each division represents and how large or exclusive the tiers are.


Here is the percentage of the ranked player base that occupies each rank in League of Legends: (According to LeagueofGraphs)


  • Iron - 9.6%

  • Bronze - 24%

  • Silver - 19%

  • Gold - 19%

  • Platinum - 14%

  • Emerald - 9.5%

  • Diamond - 2.5%

  • Master - 0.24%

  • Grandmaster - 0.021%

  • Challenger - 0.0090%


Conclusion


Hopefully, this guide has covered all aspects around ranks in League of Legends. You now understand all related to LoL Ranks, the basics of Elo matchmaking, how Solo and Flex queues differ, and changes like the new Emerald tier. Use these insights to track your own climb through the exciting, competitive environment of LoL ranked matchmaking. Stay motivated and focused - you'll reach higher skill levels and tier milestones in no time.


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If you are looking to take advantage of your next League of Legends games and own your enemies, make sure to check out our LoL Script!


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