League of Legends: League System

The League System, League of Legends’ competitive ranking ladder, has a lot of moving parts. It’s often complicated to understand, even for long-time players. Read on if you want to know about the League System, how to be ranked, how to move up in rank, what exactly each of the ranks even means, and more. 


Once you’re done grinding your way to level 30, you can finally start participating in ranked matches. But first, you have to complete your Placement matches. Placement matches are basically a series of matches that help the ranking system determine where you should start. It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily stuck there, but it is going to be your jumping-off point for climbing the ranked ladder. Keep in mind, just because you can climb throughout the ranked season, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your all into the placement matches. In fact, the opposite is really true. The fastest way to get to a ranking that you want is through placement. Climbing the ladder after that can take a long time. 

After you’ve completed your ten placement matches, you will be placed into a specific Ranked Tier based on your performance in those matches. The tiers are Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. Each of these ranks has four Divisions. So if you’re in Platinum, but prove yourself to be better than other players even within that rank, then you might be Platinum I. If, on the other hand, you’re in Gold, but you’re not doing so hot, you might be in Gold IV. The only way to move up through each of the divisions from IV to III to II all the way up to I is to win matches. 

The Climb

When you win a match you are rewarded League Points or “LP.” On the flip side, when you lose a match, you will be deducted LP. If you earn 100 LP in your division, you’ll move on to a set of matches called Promotion Matches. If you’re moving from one division to the next within a single rank, you’ll play three games and you have to win at least two of them. If you’re moving from division I of a given rank into a higher rank, you’ll play five games, and you have to win at least three of them. 

So now that you know how to move up in rank, what exactly do these rankings mean? Obviously, the higher your rank, the better you stack up against the rest of the league of legends player base. For most ranks this can be a bit relative, and people often move around between ranks and between divisions, and there’s no limit of spots available for players to be in any of the most common ranks. The special cases are those higher ranks: Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. 

Challenger players are the best players on their servers. For example, in North America, only the top 300 players on the server can be in Challenger. Only the next top 700 people can be in Grandmaster, and only the next 4,000 after that can be ranked at Master. And these ranks are updated every day. Every 24 hours players’ skills are calculated and the players are placed in the appropriate ranking. Players who make it to challenger, especially those performing at the top, have a good chance of being scouted and going pro.  

For most people, however, the common tiers are going to become home. There’s no shame in playing at Iron or Bronze. The reason these ranks exist is so that people can be stacked up against enemy teams with similar skill levels and playstyles. Casual and beginner players will tend to get matched up with other casual and beginner players. And, if you’re ready to move up and face off against more experienced and more serious players, you’ll have the opportunity as long as you keep working, practicing, and improving. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the rank you want for the season or in your placement match, just remember that there’s always an opportunity to climb. It can be frustrating at times, and the process can be long and difficult, but that’s what makes achieving a higher rank such a worthwhile reward.

Start at Level 30