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League Of Legends Ranks Demystified

Richard Heimer

6 th  December 2018

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For the new player, the League of Legends ranks can seem very confusing at first. With so many shiny symbols from Iron to Challenger, it can be hard to understand what they mean and which is the best. Even if you consider yourself a veteran player, learning about LoL ranks can greatly help you understand the game better.

Tactics, strategies, and skill levels all change depending on what division you are in. You might have been able to get away playing a particular champion in lower divisions, but as you move up, the meta quickly changes.

Off the top of your head, do you know which is the most common division for LoL players? If you were to bump into a random League of Legends player on the street, which division they are likely to be in? By looking at the statistics and the rank distribution in League of Legends, we can answer these interesting questions.

As you probably know, millions of players play League of Legends, but just how many actually play ranked?

How Many People Play Ranked In League Of Legends?

League of Legends is a huge game with millions of monthly players and ranked play is now more popular than it has ever been before.

To dig deeper into the question of how many people play ranked, we’ll have to look at each individual division and look at what percentage of players they make up. We’ll also look at how hard it is to get into each division and what the realistic chances of you ever getting in are.

League of Legends Ranks Explained

Unranked - Unknown

league of legends unranked

If you’re in this division, then the chances are you’ve just turned level 30 and have never stepped foot in a ranked match. This is as low as it gets in the LoL ranks. Although it's technically not a rank, all level 30 accounts start off unranked, and you must finish your 10 placement matches before you receive your rank.

Since most tracking websites only track ranked players and not normal matches, it’s impossible to accurately determine how many unranked players there are. The only way to find out for sure would be if Riot released the actual figures. But then why would they do that?

It's also important to remember that new accounts are being made every single day for new players and smurfs. With this constant influx of new accounts being created it again makes it almost impossible to get an accurate number. Not to mention that at the end of every season all accounts get reset back to unranked. As you can see, when we say its impossible to tell how many players are unranked, we genuinely mean it.

Depending on if you look at active monthly players, then the percentage is likely to be low. Off the top of your head, how many people do you know who play League of Legends regularly but aren’t ranked? Exactly…

Although the number could still be in the tens of millions, most aren’t included in any rank distribution statistics, because frankly, the numbers are not important. Instead, it’s much more important to know which division you are likely to be put in after playing your 10 placement matches.

Iron - 4.01%

league of legends iron

Iron has a remarkably low population. This is where the worst of the worst players end up, and you might have a difficult time climbing out. That being said, Iron players are generally less salty than Bronze ones. In our opinion, this is because people in Bronze are fighting for something, and have something to lose; this isn't true in Bronze.

That doesn't mean you won't run into trollers here though, there's still plenty of them! Plus, your teammates and enemies are likely to be bad at the game too, which makes improving harder. If you really want to be good, you've got to play against worthy foes. This is where owning a smurf account could be useful.

Smurfing doesn't always mean that you play on a lower level account. You'll be surprised at just how many tips you can pick up from being beaten by people who are better than you.

Bronze - 11.78%

lol ranks bronze

Bronze division is the second lowest possible division in the League of Legends ranks and is reserved for some pretty poor players. Within the 4 Bronze divisions, a massive percentage of all ranked players fall into this category, more than 1 in every 10 players out there is likely to be Bronze. As you can see, if you’re in Bronze, then you don't have much going for you. 

The reason most people end up in Bronze league is primarily down to the ranking system. If a brand new account wins all 10 of their placement matches, then there's a really high chance they'll still get put in Bronze. The only way to guarantee you don't get placed in it is to have an account that used to be in Gold or above. This is because the ranking system ranks you based on your previous rank. If you don't have a previous rank and have never played ranked before, then it's likely to put you in Bronze just to be safe. The last thing it wants to do is put you in Gold if you're going to get stomped every match. 

Due to the number of trolls, afkers and bad players, Bronze is considered one of the hardest divisions to get out of. In fact, it’s so terribly bad, Bronze division is often referred to as “Elo Hell”.

If you happen to be placed in Bronze league after your placement matches then good luck, there’s a very high chance that you’ll still be in that division by the end of the season. The worst part is when you lose a game the chances are it won’t even be your fault. To get out of this never-ending hell it’s easier to buy an unranked smurf account and try your placement matches again. Hey it could be worse though, you could be in Iron. (Which despite being the stronger of the two metals, is lesser for some reason?)

Silver - 46.73%

league of legends ranks silver

With a distribution of 46.73% of all ranked players, which equates to almost half of players. Flip a coin, and that will be a good indicator as to whether or not a player is in Silver.

If you win 6 or more of your 10 initial placement matches, then there’s a good chance that you will be placed in one of the 4 Silver divisions. Unlike Bronze league, if you happen to be placed in this after your placement matches then at least you stand a chance of getting out. Now it’s not exactly the end of the world if you end up in Silver division, but you’re still going to have to work your socks off to get promoted.

It's also worth noting that over the last couple of years, the population of Bronze used to be almost half of all players instead of Silver. There's a few theories as to why this could be happening, but we like to be optimistic and think people are just getting better at the game.

Silver division will still be full of trolls, afkers and bad players, butthere will be nowhere near as many compared to Bronze division. By focusing on your game and taking every opportunity that arises you’ll quickly be on your way to Gold or above.

Gold - 30.15%

league of legends gold

For many players in League of Legends this is the division they want to be in by the end of the ranked season. Gold division is the lowest division in which you will receive all of the end of season rewards. Any player who finishes the Season in Gold division or above receives a fancy summoner icon, banner trim, loading screen border and the sought after Victorious skin.

The number of players in Gold has risen in recent years too, from the 14.49% it used to be, to the 30.15 percent we have now. That's over double! 

If you win 7 or more of your placement matches, then there’s a good chance you’ll be placed in Gold division depending on your previous seasons. If you have a brand-new account then even winning all 10 matches won't guarantee you a place.

Platinum - 9.00%

league of legends platinum

Platinum division is a respectable division in the League of Legends ranks and if you’re currently in it then you should be proud - especially when you consider that you're better than 90%+ of the people out there!

Platinum division is the highest division which you can be placed in after your initial 10 placement matches. If you have been in Silver or Gold in previous seasons then you can actually get placed in up to Platinum I after your 10 placement matches.

If you’ve already made it to Platinum then there’s a good chance that you can actually make it to Diamond. With some hard work, practice, and good luck, you can quickly climb the ranks.

Diamond - 2.14%

league of legends diamond

With a distribution of 2.14%, we’re starting to get into the high tiers. Considering only 214 in every 10,000 players are in Diamond, if you’re in this division then good job, you must have some serious pwnage skills and should consider streaming.

For many players, Diamond division is their ultimate goal as everything after this is just way too hard to reach unless you’re a dedicated player. For the casual player who likes to play for a few hours every day then Diamond division is definitely reachable. If you want to take it to the next level then you better consider quitting your job or dropping out of school as it gets considerably harder after this division.

In order to fund their journey, many players turn to streaming at this point. Streaming allows players to show off their skills, while attracting viewers that help them generate income. This is primarily done through adverts and subscriptions. If you really want to reach the high tiers of master and above, then you'll have to play several hours a day.

Master - 0.02%

league of legends master

If you thought the other divisions were hard to get into, then think again. With a distribution of only 0.05% this means that only 1 in every 2,000 players make it to Master division.

Master division was recently introduced a few seasons ago as there were way too many people in Diamond. Back in the day hundreds of players would be patiently waiting to be promoted to Challenger but there weren’t enough spaces. This meant Diamond became highly overcrowded and if you were inactive for a week your ranking would dramatically drop. To fix the problem Riot introduced a new tier in between which is now Master.

This ultimately solved the problem as it allowed players to progress to a higher tier without a cap before trying to get into the final division. This new tier makes reaching Challenger even more impressive as it's another hurdle to jump before getting on the home straight. If you've made it to Master then you should consider yourself as one of the best.

We'll be releasing the info for the Grandmaster divison when more  data becomes avaialble!

Grandmaster - 0.03%

league of legends grandmaster

This is where you get to start playing with the big boys.

If you've managed to make it this far, then you've got a pretty decent chance of being scouted out by a pro eSports team! This means that you could - potentially - be playing alongside some of your favorite famous players! Of course, you've still got one hell of a climb before you reach the summit of Challenge.

It's essential to play regularly in this tier. If you fail to do so, you'll quickly find yourself slipping back down the ranked ladder. Only the most determined of players manage to keep this position, since the stress often becomes too much for them.

Challenger - 0.02%

league of legends challenger

With spaces limited to 200 people per server region, Challenger is by far the hardest division to get into. Considering only 2 in every 10,000 players are currently in it, if you’ve made it to Challenger then you could possibly try out for a professional eSports team.

Many Challenger players are actually scouted by professional teams when they need to find some new talent. With only 200 people per server, if you’ve made it into the top 200 then you’re the best of the best. Considering how hard it is to get into this division many players rely on streaming for income as it can take many hours a day to maintain their rank. Not playing for just a few days can see your drop a number of places. And since those Challenger places are limited, nobody wants that to happen.

If you really want to show off to your friends, then getting to Challenger is the best way. Even if you’re number 200 for only 1 day, at least you can say you made it to Challenger!

Reaching Challenger is an awesome achievement and you should certainly let everyone know about it. If you don't already have a Challenger t-shirt or hoody then you should definitely get one. Not only will people look up to you, but when the ranks reset at least you'll have something to cherish forever. The might be able to take away your rank but they'll never take your limited edition Challenger hoody!

Destroy The LoL Ranks

So there you have it, all the ranks in League of Legends from Bronze to Challenger. Hopefully, now you understand how hard certain divisions are to reach and what the ranks in League of Legends mean. The next time someone brags to you about being in Silver, tell them how little it means! If they really want to impress someone then they need to be at least Platinum or higher.

unrankedsmurfs author avatar

Richard Heimer

Content Writer
Richard is our resident League of Legends player. He knows everything.

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