Placement matches at the start of the 2014 Season

  • Why do leagues reset at the start of a season?

    Lots of players improve from one season to the next and the purpose of the seasonal reset is to give players a fresh start. Additionally, each season comes with a new set of design changes and players that adapt the best tend to rise to the top. The reset helps distinguish between who can keep up and who can’t.

  • What happens when I play ranked at the start of the season?

    You’ll play 10 placement matches and, at the end, be seeded into a league and tier.

  • What is seeding?

    Seeding is what happens after your 10th game of the season. Based on a combination of your performance during placement matches and your performance from previous seasons, you’ll be placed in a league and tier. That’s your starting point for the season, but you can climb the ladder quickly by consistently winning games.

  • How will my performance from previous seasons count toward my placement?

    We use some fancy math and statistics to take your progress from previous seasons into account when you’re placed, but you’ll likely be seeded into a different tier or division than the previous season.

  • I was placed into a league that I think is lower than my skill level. Why?

    Most players will be placed close to where they were in the previous season, but some will be placed lower (or higher) than in the previous season based on their game history. For example, a player who was division V and lost a lot of games at 0 LP last season will see those losses reflected in their placement this season. If a player is placed into a league below their skill level and they start winning, they’ll see accelerated gains / division skipping as the system quickly pushes them to their correct league position.

  • What happens if I’m just getting started in ranked?

    If you’re just starting ranked play, you’ll be placed at what’s considered the league average. Your performance in your placement matches will determine your standing in relation to other ranked players and, after 10 games, you’ll be seeded to that position for the ranked season.

The 2014 Season League Championship Series

  • When and where can I watch LCS matches?

    All LCS matches will be streamed live, in free HD, on lolesports.com. If you’re interested in watching the likes of xPeke, Meteos and Dyrus duke it out live, we’re also selling tickets to the NA LCS and EU LCS studio games!

  • How come players in the NA and EU LCS have to be at least 17 years old?

    The League Championship Series is a professional sports league, with players who compete for most of the year, live with their teams and travel extensively. All this adds up to a full-time job and commitment that requires significant sacrifice and lot of maturity. That’s why we believe that 17 is the appropriate minimum age for a pro player.

The 2014 Coke Zero Challenger Series

  • What’s the 2014 Coke Zero Challenger Series?

    We’ve partnered with Coke Zero to create a brand new league to support future League pros! During the 2014 Season, the top 20 Challenger teams will go head-to-head in a special Challenger Series that’ll qualify them for a shot at the LCS. This is now the only way for new teams to compete in the LCS.

  • How can my team qualify for the 2014 Coke Zero Challenger Series?

    It’s kind of wordy. For more info, click here!

  • What happens to the teams that win the Challenger Series?

    The six teams with the most points at the end of the Challenger Series will be seeded into a playoff bracket for the Challenger playoffs. From there, the three teams with the most points will qualify for a promotion tournament series against the bottom three LCS teams. After the promotion tournament, the top three teams make it into the LCS and the other three are guaranteed a spot in the next Challenger Series.

  • When and where can I watch the Challenger Series matches?

    We’ll broadcast all the Challenger Series action (except the play-in stages) on lolesports.com. Matches will air immediately after each region’s LCS broadcast.

Ranked Leagues

  • How do ranked leagues work?

    There are five divisions (V through I, with I being the highest) and six tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Challenger).

    After you play your initial placement matches, the system will place you in a specific tier and division based on your results. From there, you’ll have to climb the ladder by winning matches and improving! Win ranked games and you’ll gain League Points (LP), while losing in ranked loses you LP. If you’re already at the bottom of your division, this may mean dropping to the previous division.

    Each time you hit 100 LP within your division, you'll qualify for a promotion series best-of-three. Beat that and you’ll promote yourself to the next division. If you hit a promotion series when you’re in division I, then you'll qualify for a larger promotion series best-of-five. Beat that series and you’ll move on to the next tier!

    You're briefly protected from falling to a lower tier after your promotion, but you can still fall back down to a lower tier if your skill level deteriorates rapidly and you find yourself playing at the skill level of a much lower-tiered player.

  • What changes have you made to ranked leagues in 2014?

    Last season, you couldn’t be demoted to a lower tier unless you went afk for a long, long time. This season, we’re giving players who’re promoted into division V a shield that stops them from dropping into a lower tier for 10 games. If their MMR falls more than a full tier below their current tier once those 10 games are over, they’ll get a warning on their profile. For example, a Gold V player with a Silver V MMR would get a warning. Continuing to lose games at 0 LP gets them demoted to division I of the next lowest tier – in our example, Silver I.

    LP gains are now more consistent through all divisions and tiers except for in Diamond I. Small LP gains are necessary in Diamond I to ensure that Challenger represents only the most elite players and is always highly accurate.

    We’ve also increased the solo/duo queue Challenger pool from 50 to 200. The skill gap between players at 0 LP and 100 LP in Diamond I is super wide, so there’s a jam of extremely skilled players vying for Challenger at the top of Diamond I. We want to ease some of that pressure and recognize more players by increasing the number of spots in Challenger tier.

  • Can you walk me though an example of how the league system works?

    Sure. Ctam360noscope completes his placement matches and is placed into Silver III. He’s then placed into the Katarina’s Assassins league with up to 250 other Silver tier players because he’s already got three friends who are competing there. Based on their skill level, these 250 players are evenly distributed across the five Silver tier divisions, so Ctam360noscope’s league contains around 50 players in each division. When Ctam360noscope acquires 100 LP through ranked wins, he gets to play a division series to move up to Silver IV. If he were already in Silver I, he’d be entered into a promotion series to break into Gold V.

  • How does my preseason ranking determine my initial seeding?

    Our skynet-like system will determine your 2014 Season starting tier and league through a combination of your preseason ranking and your placement matches (five ranked team games or 10 solo/duo games).

  • Will I only be matched against opponents in my league?

    Nope. Matchmaking isn’t affected by your league, so you’ll compete against opponents of various skill levels. Your league indicates your progress against a set of opponents who’re similar to you in skill level, but it doesn’t restrict competition solely to those in your league.

  • What if I want to see how I measure up against my friends?

    The league system will always try to place you in a league with players on your friends list as long as they’re in the same skill tier (e.g., Silver). If you want to check your ranking against a friend in another league, you can compare your tier, division and LP to get a general idea of who’s closer to the top.

  • What determines how many league points I gain from winning a match?

    There are numerous factors, but if your competitors are generally ranked higher than you, you’ll gain more LP for victories (and lose less from losses) and trend upwards even with a 50/50 record. If matchmaking favors your opponent, you’ll gain more LP than normal if you pull off the upset. The opposite is also true.

    This is generally true up until you hit Diamond I because we want to ensure that Challenger standing is highly accurate and represents only the very best players. At Diamond I, you may notice significantly slower LP gains so the system can match your MMR to the MMR of Challenger players. This means that even with 99 or 100 LP, you won’t necessarily hit your promo series. Once your MMR reaches Challenger levels, your promotion series triggers.

  • What happens to my accumulated league points if I’m defeated in a division or promotion series?

    You’ll lose LP relative to how you performed in the series, so you’ll lose more LP if you tanked your promotion series pretty hard. You’ll generally find yourself somewhere between 60-90 points following an unsuccessful series.

  • What happens if I transfer my account to another region?

    You’ll need to play one placement match to be reseeded into a new league. Keep in mind that your new league could be different from the one you were in before. Hit up our transfer FAQ for more info.

  • What happens if I stop playing ranked for a while?

    After 28 days of inactivity in a particular ranked queue, a couple things will happen. First, you’ll be hidden from the standings in your League. You may also lose LP depending on your current tier. Every seven days thereafter, you’ll lose LP until you play a match in that queue.

    The number of LP lost following each period of decay is as follows:

    • Diamond: 50
    • Platinum: 35
    • Gold: 25
    • Silver: 10
    • Bronze: 0

    If you fall below zero LP as a result of decay, you’ll be placed into the next lowest division. If you’re already in division V of your league, you’ll fall into a new league in the next tier down (for example, Gold V to Silver I).

    tl;dr: don’t take a break from ranked for too long or you’ll regret it.

  • How do I make sure no one steals my team name?

    Your team name isn’t locked down until your team finishes its five placement matches and gets officially seeded. If you don’t want anyone to snipe your awesome team name, have your team finish its placements.

  • I just hit my promo series. How long do I have to complete it?

    You have 28 days from the day you hit your promotion series to complete the entire series. This time limit doesn’t refresh every time you play another game in the series; you’ve gotta finish all three (or five, for a best-of-five) matches within 28 days. For promotion from Diamond I to Challenger, you’ve only got five days total.

  • What’s the penalty for queue dodging in ranked under the league system, and why’s there a penalty?

    The first time you queue dodge in ranked solo/duo, you’ll lose three LP and receive a six-minute matchmaking ban. If you’ve already queue dodged recently, successive dodges will cost you 10 LP and a 30-minute ban from matchmaking. For teams, the penalty is always 10 LP and a one-minute matchmaking ban.

    As for why, well... we did some research, and it turns out repeated queue dodgers are literally more evil than Teemo. That’s why we want to penalize chronic queue-dodgers without affecting the matchmaking ecosystem. The three LP penalty is intentionally light so players who dodge to escape a potentially toxic situation aren’t punished as severely. However, the subsequent 10 LP penalties are targeted at players who queue dodge to game the system by only playing when they have a favorable matchup. Because queue dodging wastes a lot of time and frustrates players more than failed flashes, we want to discourage people from dodging except in extreme circumstances.

  • How are leagues named, and how do I get a new league name?

    League names are purely cosmetic and are created by randomly pairing a champion’s name with an appropriately epic plural noun. Some examples include Katarina’s Assassins, Twisted Fate’s Shadows and Vi’s Brawlers. You can’t change your league name or switch to another league; the only way to change leagues is to move up or down into a new tier (e.g., Silver to Gold).

    We’d like to assure you that no champion, living or undead, human or yordle (except Teemo), receives special treatment on the basis of race, gender, species, political allegiance or extra-dimensional origins. Riot Games is an equally opportunity league-namer.

  • What are emblems and how can I get one?

    Emblems call out certain players and teams in the League standings. There are currently three you can earn:

    • Recruit: you joined this League within the last 14 days
    • Veteran: you’ve played over 100 games in this League
    • Hot Streak: you’ve won three or more games in a row in this queue

    You’ll earn an emblem immediately after you meet the criteria and lose it as soon as it’s no longer relevant. While there aren’t any gameplay benefits to picking one up, they’re fun and they call out significant accomplishments to make you feel special. You’ll find your emblems displayed by your summoner name in your league standings.

  • How does the Challenger tier work?

    Only the most elite players and teams in a region will make it into the Challenger tier. Membership in this tier is more strenuously regulated and competition works a little differently:

    • Challenger has no divisions. There’s just a single league with all the Challenger tier competitors
    • Once the Challenger tier is full and a new competitor is promoted to Challenger, the Challenger player with the lowest LP (or team, in the case of 5v5 and 3v3 queues) will be demoted to Diamond I to make room for the new competitor
    • Challenger tier competitors will be flagged as inactive after only seven days. Inactive players and teams will be the first to be demoted if another player or team is promoted to Challenger
    • There’s no upper limit on LP. Players and teams that continue winning will keep earning LP and increase their lead in the standings
    • The top 5v5 teams can participate in the 2014 Coke Zero Challenger Series
  • Can I go pro if I reach the top of the ranked team or solo/duo queue Challenger tier?

    Maybe! Stomping the competition in ranked solo/duo queue won’t qualify you for the LCS, but it’s a recruitment tool for pro teams. Your 5v5 ranked team has a shot at the Coke Zero Challenger Series if your team reigns among the top 20 in Challenger tier.