"To win, you have to play," says a well-known saying, however, when it comes to League of Legends it loses some of its meaning. For many players, individual wins are just small rungs on the road to the coveted promotion to a higher division in the rankings.
And this one seems quite unfair to many, especially with the progressive climb up the rankings.
For veterans - too hard
Recently an entry by a player by he handle Byepolarpolarbear has been gathering a considerable amount of popularity on Reddit, in which he shares his thoughts on trying to move higher in the divisions. These require the player to be a bit more skilled (Platinum and up).
"With a 60% win rate, it takes about 35 games to climb one division and 140 to climb one rank."
That's usually 70-100 hours per rank, which means that even with a very good win rate, it takes more than a month, if not months of active play to advance (from Platinum 4 to Diamond 4, for example), which is just ridiculous. The fact that the system doesn't detect consistent improvement throughout the season means that LP [League Points - ed. note] increments will never really get better unless your winrate is extremely high [...]."
FOR THE RECORD: The ranking system in League of Legends places the players on one of nine tiers: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster and Challenger.
Each tier is divided into five divisions. The tier and division together make up a player's rank, e.g. Gold IV. Promotion to a higher tier (e.g., from Gold to Platinum) requires moving up each division in turn (in this case, it would be from Gold V to Gold I) and winning the appropriate number of matches for promotion.
Moving from division to division is made possible by League Points (LP), earned for each victory in a ranked match.
Although it seems natural that with increasing progression, promotions should become more difficult, not easier, many players agree that the increase in difficulty is disproportionate to the effort put into it. Especially at the intermediate levels.
For newcomers - remarkably easy
On the other side of the coin, we have divisions at lower levels, where players have found a way out of low-level ELO - creating new accounts. Unfortunately, the process seems to be detrimental to the entire ranking system, as another player writes about in his Reddit post:
"Riot has let their system get out of hand when it comes to low elo. I cant speak for plat +, but people hard stuck Iron-Gold are making new accounts and getting way more LP gains than they should and it screws up the Match making for those with veteran accounts. Being gold 4 and gaining +11 -17 with a account that has been around since season 2 is one thing. But I easily got a new account to Silver 1 after just my placements...Ive had friends hard stuck bronze 4 and have no idea of the fundamentals of the game who end up getting 60cs by 20min. They make a new account get silver 4 win a game and it boosts them to silver 2," writes user Sateless.
And while it's hardly surprising that the system promotes new players, so that those players don't abandon LoL due to the arduous task of gaining rank, it's hard not to get the impression that players have a right to claim that it causes some difficulties.
However, Riot Games seems to be a conscious developer that listens to the community. The question is whether far-reaching steps will be taken to fix the rankings - after all, it's a very complex system.