The truth about “Elo Hell”

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Apocalypsicl

Senior Member

01-13-2012

It exists. However, it is NOT in a certain range (ie. 900 – 1300), but rather exists on a continuum. It is the effect of one overarching theme: The lower in ELO you go, the WORSE and less EVEN the matchmaking is in terms of “true” or “effective” ELO. I’m going to explain exactly why this is, but first I’m going to introduce/reinforce some definitions.

ELO – Game ELO that Riot gives you, we all know how this works.

“True” ELO – This does not “exist” anywhere in writing, nor used in any game calculation, but it abstractly represents a player’s ACTUAL skill level relative to other players. Theoretically, if you played an infinite number of games, no matter how bad the ELO system, you’d eventually reach your true ELO.

Effective ELO – I’m making this up to illustrate some examples, but I’m describing it as the ELO a player “brings” to one particular game. If you join a game and DC immediately, your “effective” ELO is zero (actually, probably less but that’s too complicated to get into). If you troll, your “effective” ELO is probably a big negative number.

So, I’m claiming that the lower in ELO you go, the worse the matchmaking in terms of both “true” and “effective” ELO. Here are the reasons:

1) New ranked players are introduced into the fray at 1200 ELO. For this reason, any game anywhere near 1200 ELO is going to have a great deal of uneven matches by default (again, in terms of “true” ELO). A new ranked player could be absolutely clueless (“true” ELO of 800), or a season 1 plat who decided to make a smurf for whatever reason (“true” ELO of 1900). The matchmaking system is going to treat them both as 1200 and assign them to teams RANDOMLY.

2) There are a lot of people in low ELO because they leave or troll themselves into losses. Any player can “make” his team (and himself) lose any time he wants, but it’s difficult to “make” your team win. The affect is that there are more trolls and leavers the farther you get down in ELO. This contributes, again, to poor matchmaking because the system places these people based on their game ELO, when their “effective” ELO for that game can vary tremendously depending on whether they want to take that game seriously, or leave/troll it. This does NOT work the other way around. You CANNOT fake or force your way into a higher ELO the way you can troll or force your way into low ELO. To summarize, the lower in game ELO, the more inconsistent players “effective” ELO is game to game, and hence, the poorer the matchmaking.

3) The lower in ELO you go, the less mature, game – savvy, and versatile the players. You may think “duh, that’s why they are in low ELO, so what?” Well, this contributes to poor matchmaking because the kinks that are more likely to be worked out in higher ELO lobby are NOT as likely solved in lower ELO games, and the severity and occurrence of them is RANDOM. For example, say you have 10 players with about equal true ELO in a game and 2 of them MUST solo top. If they are on opposite teams, no problem, the game might be good. However, if they are on the same team, that team is most likely going to lose because either they will troll each other or the team comp will be bad. So, in a game like this, the 8 other people basically have their game decided for them by chance. In higher ELO games, where players tend to be more versatile and consider winning a greater objective than getting his way, this is less likely to happen and you are more likely to get a competitive game decided by skill.

If you accept the aforementioned explanations, you might ask what “poor matchmaking” has to do with “ELO Hell.” Simple, when teams are uneven (again, in terms of “true” and/or “effective” ELO) it makes them more one sided, right from the start. The effect is, in terms of deciding the outcome, a players individual performance and the subtleties of team play take a back seat. In its place are the matchmaking “coinflips” of: which team got the leaver, which team had people fighting over a lane/champion in the lobby, which team got the new player who’s absolutely terrible but still has 1200 because it’s his first ranked game.

That is going to happen in a certain percentage of games at any ELO, but it is MORE likely to happen the lower in ELO you get because the reasons for having a low ELO are so varied. The “Hell” feeling is the feeling that the lower in ELO you slip, the more games it takes to get good matchups, where your actually performance could have an effect on the outcome.

Preempting common arguments against the existence of ELO Hell:

“Well, there are just as many feeders and leavers in high ELO, so you’re wrong”
- No, actually, you’re wrong. This defies logic. When you feed or leave, your team is very likely to lose, and you lose ELO with it. If you take 2 players with equal “true” ELO, the one who plays seriously and in a mature way is going to win more (and have higher game ELO) than the one who trolls occasionally because he didn’t get his “Viktor Mid”.

“Well, you even admit that eventually, you’ll get to your true ELO”
- Yeah, “eventually” as in an infinite numbers of games. Even 300 games isn’t enough if 40% of those games are decided by the “coinflip” of bad matchmaking.

“You blame “matchmaking,” but RIOT uses the same “matchmaking” rules at every ELO”
- Yes, but the matchmaking assumes that a player’s ELO is actually a reflection of how he’s going to play that game. This is more likely to be true at high ELO, where you can only get there by consistently playing seriously and well. Low ELO players can feasibly be very good when playing seriously, but they can’t resist the urge to troll or autolock in some games, but the matchmaking rules don’t know in which games. As a player, you just have to hope he’s not on your team.

“Ok, great, it exists, but there is nothing that can be done so stop QQing”
- Things CAN be done. All RIOT has to do is up the standards for Ranked’s so called “competitive” play. If they change the way new players are integrated, increase bans, increase the range of bannable offenses, and introduce probation (a post for another day), this will reduce the number of games “decided” by the presence of autolockers, leavers, and trolls. Then, a greater proportion of the game will actually be decided by personal performances and the intricacies of team play and people will have no excuse to not believe they are at the ELO they should be.

SUMMARY:
ELO hell is the feeling created due to a certain proportion of games (and a GREATER proportion the lower in ELO you go) are essentially “decided” by poor matchmaking, rather than players’ in game performances. The poor matchmaking is created because in ranked’s non-competitive environment, players “effective” ELO varies from game to game dramatically (like, whether they decide to play serious in a given game, or auto lock and troll). This is less likely to happen at higher ELOs, where players can really only get there by consistently playing well. At mid and lower ELO, it’s an absolute free-for-all of non-serious play, and for the serious player, you get frustrated when a good chunk of your games are decided by the coinflip of: which team got the two idiots who demanded solo top and decide to troll each other all game; which team got the guy who DC’s every 4 minutes; which team got a new player who’s terribad but still has an ELO of 1161 because this is his second ranked game. It takes a lot of games to move up or down in ELO when a good percentage of your games are decided by basically, a coinflip.


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Guntermench

Senior Member

01-13-2012

No.

The only "Elo Hell" is that almost every single person in this game has a god complex and anger issues.

I have won like 56-16 since I took a look at what I could do better to win games, and this took me from ~800 to ~1200. Right in the area you said I would have the worst teams. I can also honestly say I can't remember getting any trolls, or really seeing many on the other team. Plenty of ragers sure, but no one went out of their way to troll. And the games I lost I probably could have won if I had done better.

But I suppose I should just go buy a lottery ticket, being the single luckiest person to play this game.


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Frostbutt Irelia

Senior Member

01-13-2012

o look, another thread to paste this in

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Elo Hell" definitely exists. Though it isn't a place as much as it is a train of thought. You definitely step right into it when you start playing ranked. It is also much more common in the sub-1400 level of gameplay...

What categorizes Elo Hell?

Elo Hell is simply the thought process that there is nothing you can do and your elo is entirely the fault of your team. You believe that your teammates are always so bad that there is no way you can do to pull yourself out of this slump.

How do you escape Elo Hell?

It's quite simple actually. All you have to do is come to the realization that enemies have just as much of a chance to get bad players as you do. But, if the enemies have the same chance to get bad players, it's still a 50/50 chance, right?

Fortunately, there is a static statistic across all games that you play. It is also one you can bolster in your own favor. What is it?

-YOU-

By improving yourself and ensuring you are doing everything in your power to play correctly, no matter what role you get, you increase the likely hood that your team will win.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are really as good as you claim to be, through sheer statistics, you will rise up in the elo bracket due to the fact the only static statistic is in fact, yourself.

You can't win every game. There will be trolls, feeders, D/C's, and afkers... everyone gets them, you are not the only one. However, when games come around that don't completely collapse due to the said issues, by playing your best, you will increase the chances that you will win.

If you are meant to be in a higher elo, it may take hundreds of games to get the correct sample size, but if you are good, you will eventually rise to where you are meant to be.


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bob the turtle

Senior Member

01-13-2012

while elo hell exists, its not what you think it is.

Elo hell = the range of elo where you truly belong.

Elo hell = the range of elo that you are not better than, but think you are.

This leads to complaints of opponents dragging you down, and noob teams overall.

But the simple truth is, if you were better than your current elo, your elo would be higher.


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Apocalypsicl

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldfish Cracker View Post
o look, another thread to paste this in

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Elo Hell" definitely exists. Though it isn't a place as much as it is a train of thought. You definitely step right into it when you start playing ranked. It is also much more common in the sub-1400 level of gameplay...

What categorizes Elo Hell?

Elo Hell is simply the thought process that there is nothing you can do and your elo is entirely the fault of your team. You believe that your teammates are always so bad that there is no way you can do to pull yourself out of this slump.

How do you escape Elo Hell?

It's quite simple actually. All you have to do is come to the realization that enemies have just as much of a chance to get bad players as you do. But, if the enemies have the same chance to get bad players, it's still a 50/50 chance, right?

Fortunately, there is a static statistic across all games that you play. It is also one you can bolster in your own favor. What is it?

-YOU-

By improving yourself and ensuring you are doing everything in your power to play correctly, no matter what role you get, you increase the likely hood that your team will win.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are really as good as you claim to be, through sheer statistics, you will rise up in the elo bracket due to the fact the only static statistic is in fact, yourself.

You can't win every game. There will be trolls, feeders, D/C's, and afkers... everyone gets them, you are not the only one. However, when games come around that don't completely collapse due to the said issues, by playing your best, you will increase the chances that you will win.

If you are meant to be in a higher elo, it may take hundreds of games to get the correct sample size, but if you are good, you will eventually rise to where you are meant to be.
Everything you just pasted is consistent with everything I just explained. Do you realize this?

Language like "Hundreds of games" and "eventually" sure sounds like hell to me considering ranked games are supposed to be fun and competitive.


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Apocalypsicl

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob the turtle View Post
while elo hell exists, its not what you think it is.

Elo hell = the range of elo where you truly belong.

Elo hell = the range of elo that you are not better than, but think you are.

This leads to complaints of opponents dragging you down, and noob teams overall.

But the simple truth is, if you were better than your current elo, your elo would be higher.
Just the fact that you say "range" is supporting my argument. Most players randomly flux in a pretty wide range because there is so much randomness involved. Randomness of the teams being 5 players and you rely on them is fine, but when you add the randomness of: which team got the leaver/autolocker/feeder, it starts to feel like "hell".


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ISBS

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Yeah... "Elo hell" doesn't exist.

All your arguments are countered by statistics.


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Apocalypsicl

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISBS View Post
Yeah... "Elo hell" doesn't exist.

All your arguments are countered by statistics.
Can you point to ONE?


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Apocalypsicl

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Here are some statistics that I would love to see because they would support or refute what I'm claiming:

The distribution of ELO's overall - If there is a giant concentration in a small range (which i suspect there are) it means that the system isn't doing a good job of differentiating between "medium" skill players.

The average range of ELO of a typical player - I suspect it is quite large because it is susceptible to "streaks" created by luck.


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Guntermench

Senior Member

01-13-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypsicl View Post
Can you point to ONE?
Saintvicious went like 10-1 buying ONLY stack items.


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