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Ranking System

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Nightmare Sigma

Senior Member


I have to be completely honest, I am not a huge fan of the current ELO system.

My biggest problem is that I started off ranked matches really bad and got a low ELO. But I have progressed and have gotten much better since I started. But due to my ELO I am always stuck with people of the same general ELO. I normally do pretty decent in most of my matches(some not so hot), but even though I do well, if I lose I still go down in ELO. Now I'm completely aware of how ranking fully works, but maybe Riot could impletement a stats based ELO system as well.

I know I'll probably get "get better" or "stop sucking", but maybe somebody could help me out(politely) or relate with me.

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Senior Member


Remember, above all this is a TEAM game. Individual players don't win: either the team wins or it fails, as a team. (ask any coach)

So ranking players based on their stats brings up all sorts of questions...

  • What if someone is a chronic kill-stealer? Ranking them based on stats encourages people to do what they can to maximize stats rather than win.
  • What if someone is rather inconsistent in their play? They carry hard a lot of games thanks to good support, but in a select few they feed hardcore: Their KDA average will still LOOK good, but they wouldn't be winning as well as someone who simply did solid (but not spectacular) in every match. Remember, you can't win the game for your team alone, but you CAN lose it for your team by yourself.
  • What about supports? They are known for being at the bottom of the list on ALL stats save for assists: they rank bottom in CS, kills, damage, gold gain, turrets pushed, etc. Yet they are the most integral part of a winning team.
  • How do you know if someone is just really good at carrying, or simply showboating? Not just killstealing, but wasting their time by avoiding teamfights and picking off the enemy team's feeders, doing nothing to progress their own team's momentum?
  • How do you account for actions that strategically turn the tide, but statistically don't wow? Stat-based rankings don't account for truly astounding actions like an epic backdoor that turns the match around, or an expert gank that surprises the enemy team and scores an ace and makes it GG.

It's quite simple: in the end, since the ultimate goal of each match is to WIN, there is only one statistic that can be useful for determining how well someone works at that: win rate.

Yes, some (many) losses can be caused by someone absolutely terrible getting on the team and dragging everyone down... But guess what? That can happen to the enemy team too, so you'd find that your win rate wouldn't be terribly changed if this was removed from the equation.

But on the flip side, that means it doesn't HAVE to be removed, because it generally balances itself out in the long run. Remember that EVERYONE loses some games, even the most spectacularly good ones: just watch any major sports league. (even Michael Jordan's legendary '95-'96 Chicago Bulls team racked up 10 losses, and no MLB team has posted a win rate above .762) It's just that over time, a trend will emerge, and your elo will reflect this.

Of course, elo is ALSO something that follows a normal distribution; only some 10% or so of players will ever sit in the "gold" rank or higher, with the vast majority (~80%) sitting between 800-1500. So you're often going to be teamed up with much weaker players.