League of Legends ranks & ranking system explained 2023

League of Legends ranks & ranking system explained 2023
Images via Riot Games

Written by 

Dave McAdam


16th Oct 2023 11:21


If you're looking for an explanation of the League of Legends ranked system, we've got a rundown of everything you need to know about ranks, tiers, promotion and more in the game.

Ranks are divided into tiers and divisions, with only the best players in the game reaching Diamond, Master, or Grandmaster ranks. If you're anything like me you've got no chance of reaching those higher ranks, but if you want the exclusive Victorious skins each year you only need to get to Gold.

But if you want to make the journey all the way to the elusive Challenger rank, you'll still need to start somewhere. Here's everything you need to know about League of Legends' ranking system.

All League of Legends ranks in order

Ranks in League of Legends displayed on a background
Click to enlarge

The Ranked system in League of Legends is divided into ten different tiers, which are listed below:

  • Iron
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Emerald
  • Diamond
  • Master
  • Grandmaster
  • Challenger

Emerald is the newest rank introduced to the game in 2023, acting as a middleground between Platinum and Diamond. Bronze used to be the lowest rank possible, but Iron was since added as an even lower tier for new players.

Ranks and Divisions in League of Legends explained

So those are all the main ranks, but each of those ten tiers also have four divisions. To get from the lowest Iron rank to Bronze, you'd need to climb from Iron IV through to Iron I and then win enough to get promoted to Bronze IV.

You will rise or fall between these divisions depending on how many games you win or lose. However, you can't be demoted from a tier entirely. Once you're in Gold, for example, you won't be demoted out of it after losing a few bad games. 

Master rank doesn't have numbered divisions, with players instead being placed based on their League Points (LP), which are earned from wins, and lost from match losses. To keep progressing beyond this rank, you'll need to maintain consistent wins overall.

Early in 2023, as per the League of Legends rank reset changes, changes to the ranking system were made, meaning that there are now two ranking periods within a season. As shared on the League of Legends' Twitter account, this brought about a mid-season split on July 17, 2023, after which players had to take part in placement matches to be ranked again.

  • Any fans of the League of Legends guessing game Loldle can get today's answer here

How to unlock Ranked in LoL

Characters battling in League of Legends
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To begin your journey in Ranked League of Legends, there are a couple of initial steps you'll need to take beforehand, mainly reaching level 30. This is a requirement that makes sure that new players have played plenty of matches before attempting to play in ranked, where players take the game a bit more seriously.

Once you reach level 30, you can play your first Ranked games. However, you don't begin at the bottom rank. Instead, you'll need to complete a series of 10 placement matches.

After your placement matches you'll be given a rank. If you're perceived by the system to be a new player, you'll likely be placed in a lower rank overall. However, if you're very successful in your placement matches, chances are you'll be bumped up to a higher rank.

League of Legends ranks: Promotion

The victory screen in League of Legends
Click to enlarge

After you have a foot in the door, you can begin the grind to the top. You'll need to earn LP to rank up, with a new division or rank being achieved with every 100 LP earned. However, losing matches will lower your LP, so you need to win more than you lose on average to rank up consistently.

With each new full rank (e.g. Silver, Gold) you must complete a promotion series to rank up, which is a series of best-of-three matches. Once here, you'll need to win two of your three matches to progress to the next rank.

Ranks below Gold have a system called Promo Helper which grants players a helper win in their promotion series if you've already failed it once. This will reset if you successfully promote, and won't be provided if you lose a game or dodge champion select during your last promotion series.

What is Demotion & decay in League of Legends?

screenshot showing LP in League of Legends, part of the rank system
Click to enlarge

In League of Legends, there are two ways through which your rank can be lowered: demotion and decay. Demotion is what happens when you lose too many matches, as losing matches means losing LP, and once your LP hits zero, you're up for potential demotion.

Generally speaking, once you reach 0 LP your next loss will cause a demotion. This isn't necessarily a hard rule though in the cases of ranks like Gold IV or Silver IV, where your demotion would drop you to the next tier down. Instead, in those cases, you will have a lot of chances to get a win and start climbing again, and it takes a lot of losses to demote to the previous rank.

Regardless, whenever you are demoted in League of Legends, you do not begin at the bottom of that rank - you should be no more than one or two wins away from reclaiming your lost rank.

Decay is another matter, but only applies to those players ranked in Diamond or above. Essentially, time spent not playing Ranked matches will cause your rank to drop. Playing matches will instead bank days, giving you a period of time before your rank begins to decay. When you run out of banked days and still haven't played any matches, your LP will begin to go down.

Hopefully, this guide explains everything you need to know about ranks in League of Legends. Good luck climbing the LoL ladder!

For more, check out our League of Legends homepage, or you can find out how to get your League of Legends mastery chart.

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

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