1st Layer *Updated*
A haze fills the air as you wonder to yourself, "How did i get here?" "Is this even possible?". You wonder if stacking Maladies was such a good idea after all, but in truth it's much more than that. If you're in this layer you're actually suffering the least and you're most likely playing the least too. Chances are you don't use your keyboard to hit abilities and you're a "clicker". Chances are you ignore teammates and attempt to solo towers without minion support. Your allies aren't much different and there is a high chance they aren't even humans in the first place. The closest you could imagine would be a cactus sitting at a computer in the middle of a desert attempting to play this game with you.
Interestingly enough, the language we are so accustomed to speaking is completely absent. The probability that your allies know how to type is a very slim one, and cactus lack the motor skills to type anyway so its a null point. Even the announcer realizes that she's not getting across too well, and has resorted to a system of grunts and low guttural sounds to convey the message every time an ally dies.
This may sound terrible but in essence it's not, you're fine. No stress no worries, your teammates aren't telling you to go die or complaining about how bad you are.Nobody can even type in the first place. You don't even have to worry about your score! This is heaven compared to the lower levels,
A faint smell of acrid smoke fills the air and the bitter taste of metal flirts over your tongue. You're in a pretty bad place and you know it. Your allies are definitely human and speaking some foreign dialect you can't understand, chances are they don't even understand each-other, and teamwork is completely absent from any of your strategies. Even so the gameplay bears a very minimum resemblance to an actual game. The entropy of your allies and enemies may bug you a little if you're not used to it, but there's honestly nothing wrong with the game lasting so long that the minions win it by default.
Luckily your teammates still can't yell at you because you don't understand them. I mean they might be yelling at you in Martian but it's not like you care, definitely not as stressful as the depths to come. Mostly because as bad as your allies are, you're pretty much ripping apart the enemy single handedly anyway.
Well they started speaking English now, but they have terrible spelling (this is a given). You see this is the true level where all those "BR" players who don't speak English go, and it's a great reason to laugh at all those "I HATE BR" threads, because you know for a fact that those poor souls can't even play the game well enough to distance themselves from other players that don't speak English.
Every once in a while a smurf will roll through, completely decimating not only his enemies, but badmouthing his allies so harshly and aggressively that the phrase "Uninstall" isn't just an insult, it's what all of the teams, half the cannon minions and even a few of the turrets do the minute the game ends. This is quickly followed by all of them swearing to never play LoL again, and within 24 hours most of them return; and by most i mean the population of cannon minions has slowly been decreasing for the last four months, if you're interested in applying please contact Riot.
Smell of sulfur everywhere and the oppressive heat is getting to your head, hopefully you get out of here quick...
The "Misplaced Tryhard" level as i like to call it. This ELO range consists of players who are pretty much raging before the game even starts. Chances are the players are also always between the ages of 12-14. They feel that they were misplaced and aren't actually this bad, when in reality they are much much worse. Teamwork once again is LOWER than the previous levels, this is because your teammates are too busy blaming that 9/1 teemo for the loss, or *****ing at that guy who plays AP taric instead of AD.
Whatever they are complaining about, they think they are always right, always the best and always not the one at fault for the loss. If you manage to keep your sanity in this 4th layer, you've already won the game forever, because if you can accept that sometimes maybe sometimes, it was your fault your team lost... then you're always a better player than the 900-1200 range.
(1200-1500 ELO Normal, 1200-1400 Ranked)
It's deep and dark and the flickering piles of burning Evelyns/Jax are everywhere. It smells like the charred bodies of one thousand minions all mixed with excrement. Needless to say it's not a pleasant place to be.
This is the first major "Cutoff Point" Essentially where those champions you have been enjoying for the first 1200 or so ELO become... bad... Evelynn, Jax, Alistar, Urgot... if you pick these guys you get to deal with an entire team *****ing at you, an entire team blaming you and chances are you won't do too hot in the first place. This is where teamwork really starts, and this is where team composition starts mattering. You can't just solo push and win the game with Yi anymore, you have to help your allies too.
Of course you will still be blamed for the loss, or feeding or whatever else. Technically this is the range of "Tryhards" where if you screw up you're going to be reported, if you yell at them for reporting you, you're going to be reported and then banned, if you yell at riot for banning you they nerf your favorite champion to the ground and laugh. That or Guinsoo trolls you and you become the laughingstock of the community for the day. Usually riot enjoys strategically linking the chat logs with the 14+ comments about your mother from the enemy team cut off, and your chat telling them that their mother's niece is a hooker (which happens to be a fact) in plain view.
"This can't be that bad" you say to yourself, but it is. You're going to do badly and you're going to get reported for it and chances are you're going to yell at someone who is yelling at you and bad things will happen. This is pretty much where the most players are "Banned" from, at-least the ones who don't spam allchat with racial slurs.
Games don't end very well here, you're either happy that your team did well and won, or depressed because you lost for some stupid reason. Games here can leave you in a VERY sour mood, in which you will take out your anger on someone else, propagating the process.
6th Layer *Updated*
(1500-1800 ELO Normal, 1400-1600 Ranked)
This is a pretty big range, it's essentially where you stop killing things. Those days of 40 kills on twitch? Well you're only going to get 20 now. Consider your average scores halved on most champions, or on others they can drop as low as 1/4th of what you're used to getting. Everyone is just a better player here, and they die many many times less.
Wards are now popular too, wards are also everywhere. You're now required to spend atleast 300-400g a game on buying shiny little wards to help your team not die as much. Course they were around before, but up here they really explode into commonplace. Everyone swears by the silly things, and everyone will cry, moan and whine if you don't buy one. However these same crying/moaning/whining players actually don't buy wards themselves, and instead stack Dorans rings and overextend, claiming they don't have any item slots to buy wards.
To be honest, you can't be sure if buying wards helps your team win, or having teammates that are intelligent enough to buy wards in the first place proves you have teammates who are more intelligent than average. It's up for debate.
Your build is going to seem much less efficient now, You'll be really sad because suddenly you're not killing as much as you used to, and you're going to think its your fault or they nerfed you or something is wrong with your items. In this ELO range you really can't be happy, you're continuously searching for the correct items and runes and masteries and they just don't work like they used to.
When you get here, get ready to be depressed.
(1800-2100 ELO Normal, 1600-2000 Ranked)
The official "Cutoff Point #2" this isn't just evelynn or jax anymore. This is about 35 Champions now that if you play them you're a "Noob". Reporting, feeding, intentional trolling, and tryhard 5 man teams are pretty much all that exist at this level.
Mostly because 65% of the players who reach this level have to switch mains now from perfectly fine tanks like Rammus, to Shen or Amumu who everyone seems to think are tons better. If you see an Evelynn the chances are it's going to be the best player on your team, even better then you and that Tier 1 champion you've been playing this entire time. The sad fact is, the lack of facing evelynn in the last 600 ELO range means you forget how she even works, and the people who were truely good with her pretty much tear you up. No worries though you'll learn again soon.
The game switches from "lets kill people for gold" to "let's last hit for gold and farm dragon/baron". Champions steamroll and become unstoppable (twitch) and the team who wins is decided from champion select. At this depth of ELO hell it really doesn't matter who your teammates are and how good they are, whoever picks the best team composition wins, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Tier lists are law here, and if you stray from any of them you're reported for intentional feeding. Because everyone is so unwilling to work with non-top-tier champions, that it's pretty much all you're able to do anyway.
(2100-2400 ELO Normal, 2000-2100 Ranked)
The floor is lava
and at this point it doesn't even matter, you're playing pros, or dynamically programmed versions of military human-emulating software. Either way this is the kind of stuff you would pay to watch in a tournament. Players count cooldowns and know exactly where every enemy is at all times. 90% of the map is warded at all times, and the other 10% can't even be warded because it's technically not even reachable by players. (Usually clairvoyance is on rotation in these areas)
If you don't know what's going on you lose, and chances are if you even made it to this ELO you lose. In-fact you lose for just reading about this level of hell. Because the chances you're going to function this well as a team is about Zero in solo queue, you need Vent for this kind of stuff.
This is also the realm of Elementz and his friendly friendly council members, you know what that means! If you play well, essentially getting more than 3 kills on whatever champion you play, while ANY council member is in the game, means that champion is now top tier and every player (and their cactus) will now play that champion. This is because nobody ever dies, ever.
Champions are fully farmed before first blood, and the game lasts 40 minutes before 15 kills even happen. Chances are you fight about 2-3 team-fights and then the game is over, that's it.
Also this is the point where all summoner abilities are useless besides ghost, and ghost. Your new best friend is ghost, you'll dream at night about ghost. Choosing anything else gimps you and means your team will lose. Once i saw a player accidentally pick revive. The result was both teams breaking out into hysterical laughter, The laughter wouldn't stop and soon the paralyzing embarrassment gripped that player like an icy glove. The game lasted an excruciating 25 minutes, no movement besides the constant stream of "HAHAHA" in chat, and the minions pushing each tower individually. At 25 minutes the desperate embarassed player attempted to surrender to escape. At which point he was instantly disconnected, the message "______ Has been Banned" flashing in red across the screen.
You don't pick revive here.
The 9th Layer
(2400-???? ELO Normal, 2100-???? Ranked)
I only made it here once on complete accident, and i never wanted to go back. It didn't matter though, i had already ventured too deep.
The second i queued up i knew something was wrong, portions of the League of Legends client began to glitch and frizzle like they were an old TV set, a strong odor of burning.... just burning filled my nostrils. Now i know what Annie means, and i can't bear to imagine she's seen these horrors.
The bells rang for "Click to join queue, or wait 30 seconds" but they were garbled and broken, almost demonic. I chose to wait, i didn't want to go in. So i sat staring at the store for half a minute, with the demonic visage of every purchasable champion staring me down, on impulse i bought evelynn, because her eyes were following me and wanted them to STOP. 30 seconds were up, i was thrust into the game.
But something was wrong, there was no champion selection, it was simply the League of Legends logo appearing on my screen. The screen faded to black and the teams appeared, but there was something wrong here too. There was only one player and it wasn't me. Jesse Perring Hovering in the middle of the screen on the Purple team, a perfect ping of Zero... only a single summoner ability "The Button". Oddly enough he was playing Ryze but without a skin i've ever seen. It was Black and Red and had numbers painted across his chest "666".
Without a ping of course i only saw the screen for a mere second before the game loaded and i realize why the enemy team didn't have players. For this match... his opponent was Ryze-Bot.
Oddly enough my screen was locked upon our nexus, was i the nexus? What was going on? Unlocking my camera i roll over to Jesse, seemingly afk at spawn and examined his skin. It was red and black with this intricate fine-gold lacing across his entire body, just as i zoomed in to examine the book he was carrying "The depths o..." i was interrupted with a a flash as he instantly moves forward a full 10 feet. Flash, Flash, Flash. So quick i was having trouble keeping my camera on him. Within seconds Jesse has reached the mid but Ryze-bot was already there, and within an instant both of them explode in a flash of lightning and thunder, the spells ricocheting across the map and destroying two unlucky turrets that happened to be in the way. The crackling residual energy resounding through the map.
"FIRST BLOOD" the announcer yells and i realize both of them are dead, as-well as a huge crater in the mid where they used to be. Yet only 5 seconds pass and they respawn once again, traveling near instantly to mid one more and detonating upon reaching each-other. Death after death or kill after kill, they were all the same, every time Ryze and Jesse ran to middle and tied, neither besting the other in reaction speed, neither the better player. Yet both of them reacted so quickly i couldn't assure myself they were players, what was jesse perring then?
"Thirty Seconds Until Minion Spawn!" The announcer exclaims in a booming voice. By this time most the turrets on the map had been destroyed, the jungle was actually burning down and some sections of the map were missing entirely, black voids filling the places where the river and golem spawns used to be.
The Clock hits 1:30, and suddenly my camera locks back to the nexus. i Watch as minions spawn... 1 melee minion... 2 melee minions... 3 melee minions.... 1 caster minion.... 2 caster minions....3...and my Camera follows the third Blue-Caster-Minion.
With fear i realize i am the caster minion and i attempt to move "Not enough Mana" a cackling voice exclaims with glee, as my minion slowly trots towards the center lane... the crater.
I watched Jesse pass me three times, and although i couldn't move my camera i heard the explosions and even watched as a stray lightning bolt killed one of the minions in-front of me, a faint scream escaping its lips.
As we neared the middle we watched one more Ryzebot/Ryze-Jesse encounter in all its glory before we were fighting with the opposing minions. It seems i could move now, at least enough to choose who to attack. I knew Ryze attacks are AOE, i knew if they came back we would all die, but i couldn't resist the minion urge to mindlessly throw myself at my enemies.
I chose to attack a lone Purple-Caster-Minion that strayed a bit from the group, and i realized *wincing in pain* that he was attacking me back, hurling small bolts of energy from the tip of his wand. I saw why he was OP, he hit for 16s and not 15s, i was going to die first. As my health bar neared the critical range i lucked out, my allies decided to help and sprayed that PCM with all they had. The echoing wail of a dying minion heard across the battlefield. Before we could gloat in victory i chanced to catch out of the corner of my eye an explosion, and then i saw Jesse.
I wasn't sure how it happened because i could swear i saw the bright flash of lightning before i saw his Ryze, (that can't be possible, he can't move faster than light!), but after the flash all i saw was white. Nothing, the screen had just faded to white.
And in red text across the top, it said
And i knew i would never escape...