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Created Mar 16, 2013

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Season 3 FAQ

The Season 3 Championship Series (League Championship Series)

Do the teams that qualified for the LCS have to stick with the same five members, or can they replace players?

An LCS qualifying spot belongs to the organization as a whole, and the team will be responsible for maintaining their lineup. Each team is required to have at least a starting five and two subs, but they’ll be able to rotate players the way you'd expect in any traditional sport. This includes trading players, signing free agents and releasing players from the roster.

What will happen to partner events like those run by IPL, MLG, IEM, DreamHack, etc. this coming year?

Partner events like these will host tournaments for challenger teams. Winning teams can earn a spot in the Promotion Tournament happening at the All-Star break, where they’ll have the opportunity to break into the LCS. There won’t be a circuit point system for partner events this year.

How’d you decide on the 17+ age requirement for NA and EU tournaments?

The decision to limit eligibility in the Championship Series to players 17 and older isn’t based on any American standard. The Championship Series is a pro sports league and its players will be training and competing for most of the year, not just attending a few scattered weekend tournaments. Pro players will be living with their teams, traveling extensively and making an adult commitment to eSports. They need to be able to make decisions and sacrifices that require a high degree of maturity. Going pro is now a full-time job and one that requires a great deal of commitment. We believe that 17 is the appropriate minimum age for a player to operate at this level.

What’s going to happen to cross-regional play?

This is another place where our partner events come in. There will still be some cross-regional play at major partner events, and most regions will be represented by a team or two. There will also be cross-regional play during the All-Star break and (of course) at the World Championship.

When and where can we watch LCS matches?

All LCS matches will be streamed live, in free HD, on our new eSports website . North American matches will be played on Thursdays and Fridays and European matches will be played on Saturdays and Sundays – barring weeks with partner events. Match times will vary as we stay nimble to determine the best times for the community and pro players.

Leagues and Ladders

Why are we creating a new league system?

We decided to move to the new league system for a few reasons. For starters, having a single ladder with all ranked players doesn't provide a lot of incentive for advancement. When you’re ranked 290,000 and have 289,999 opponents left to pass on the way up, that process can seem meaningless and interminable. Tiers and divisions also provide milestones and manageable goals you can strive to achieve at your skill level. Through leagues we can move away from focusing on a single number as the core indicator of a player’s skill, and instead move toward something more compelling: competition on a small ladder with a relatable number of opponents.

What happens if I lose a ranked match in the league system?

Losing a ranked game in the league system will cost you some of your League Points. If you’re already at the bottom of your division, this may mean falling back to the previous division. Once you’ve earned a skill tier, however, you can never be demoted to the previous tier unless you stop playing for a prolonged period of time.

The only exception is the Challenger tier of each queue, which has only one league of competitors at any given time. If you’re a Challenger tier player, you may find that another ambitious summoner has claimed your spot if you fall to the bottom of the league.

Where did my Elo rating go?

Ranked play still uses a hidden rating for the purposes of matchmaking; however, this will no longer be used for the purposes of earning rewards or calculating ladder standings. Everything other than matchmaking will now be based on the League System.

How does my ranked Elo determine my league placement?

If you’ve played at least five ranked team games or 10 solo/duo games in the preseason, a combination of your current and top Elo rating will determine the tier of the league you initially earn.

If you haven’t played enough ranked matches in the preseason, you’ll first complete a series of placement matches before being sorted into a league. How you perform in these matches will determine the tier of the league you initially earn.

Will I only be matched against opponents in my league?

No. Matchmaking isn’t affected by your league, and you’ll still be competing against all opponents of your skill level in the League of Legends community. Your league measures your progress against a set of opponents of similar skill level, but doesn’t restrict competition solely to those players.

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 summoners on your friends list first, provided they’re in the same skill tier you are. If you want to check your ranking against a friend in another league, you can compare your tier, division and League Points to get a general idea of who’s closer to the top.

How does the Challenger tier work?

Only the very best 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 bit differently:

It has no divisions. There’s a single league with all Challenger tier competitors. Challenger is the only tier you can lose without going inactive. Once the Challenger tier league is full, a team will be demoted back down to Diamond when a new competitor is promoted into Challenger. Challenger tier competitors will be flagged as inactive after only seven days. Inactive teams will be the first demoted if another team qualifies. There is no upper bound on League Points. Teams that continue winning will continue to earn LP and increase their lead in the standings.

Will I have the opportunity to go pro if I reach the top of the ranked 3v3 or solo/duo Challenger tier?

Although there are no League of Legends Championship Series events for 3v3 or solo/duo competitors, reaching the Challenger tier in these rankings will help you find other top-notch summoners to play with. If you’re interested in making a run at the Championship Series, try messaging some fellow Challenger tier competitors who aren’t attached to a current 5v5 ranked team. You’ll probably find you have plenty of potential comrades to help you pursue your dream.

What happens to my accumulated League Points if I’m defeated in a Division or Promotion Series?

You’ll lose League Points relative to how you performed in the series. You’ll generally find yourself somewhere between 60-90 points following an unsuccessful series.

Why can’t we drop tiers? Won’t the higher level tiers eventually overpopulate?

The core reason you can’t drop tiers by losing is to combat “ladder anxiety.” If you were able to drop tiers you might be uncomfortable playing after reaching the next tier. We want you to immediately set your sights on the next tier and work towards that goal with the confidence that the system won’t demote you if you hit a losing streak.

Right now we’re not too worried about the upper tiers getting overpopulated. As the veterans improve and move on to new tiers of competition, new players will constantly be filling in the lower leagues. We will, however, be monitoring the population levels to ensure they’re still supporting a positive player experience. In the event that higher tiers do start getting crowded, we can always make falling into a lower tier a consequence of losing.

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, and you may lose League Points depending on your current tier. Every seven days thereafter, you’ll lose League Points again until you play a match in that queue.

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

  • Diamond: 50
  • Platinum: 35
  • Gold: 25
  • Silver: 10
  • Bronze: 0 If you fall below zero League Points 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. This is currently the only way to get demoted to a lower tier.

What determines how many League Points I gain from winning a match?

There are numerous factors, but these are the two major ones:

The difficulty of the match: if matchmaking considered your opponents to be favored, you’ll gain more League Points than normal if you pull off the upset. The opposite is also true. The relative MMRs of the other players in your game: if the other competitors are generally higher in the standings than you, you’ll gain more LP (and lose less from a loss), so that you’ll generally trend upwards even with a 50/50 record. Since your MMR determines the number of League Points you’re awarded from a game, players who intentionally tank their ratings after reaching a new tier will find they progress toward the next division VERY slowly. Essentially, they’ll have to make back the MMR points that they intentionally dumped in order to make meaningful progress toward the next tier or division. There's a lot of complicated logic on the back end to prevent this sort of abuse, so it’s always be more effective to play legitimately.

Why do I sometimes earn fewer League Points per win when I’m close to reaching the next tier?

Since tier upgrades are permanent in the League System, you have to demonstrate you can maintain a higher level of play before the system will allow you to start a Promotion Series. In rare instances, this means that your LP earnings will be normalized until you meet this bar, so you may need to win a few more matches to trigger your Promotion Series. This is most likely to occur if you’re closing in on a spot in the Challenger tier, since you have to outperform a current member of that tier to be promoted.

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 within 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 are used to call out accomplishments. You’ll find your emblems displayed by your summoner name in your league standings.

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

The first time you queue dodge in Ranked Solo you’ll lose three League Points and get banned from matchmaking for six minutes. If you’ve already queue dodged recently, successive dodges will cost you 10 League Points and a 30 minute ban from matchmaking.

For teams, the penalty is always 10 League Points and a one minute ban from matchmaking.

We want to penalize chronic queue-dodgers without affecting the matchmaking ecosystem. The three LP penalty is intentionally lighter so players who dodge to escape a potentially toxic situation aren’t punished as severely. 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. Since queue dodging adds a lot of time and frustration to setting up a game, we think it’s important 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 essentially formed by randomly pairing of a champion’s name and with appropriately epic plural noun. Some examples include: Katarina’s Assassins or Vi’s Brawlers.

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

Unfortunately, we can’t let you pick your league name, so if you’re not satisfied consider it an extra incentive to fight your way to the top and get promoted. Once you’ve earned a new tier you’ll be placed into a new league with a new name.

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

Sure. For the sake of illustration, let’s take the hypothetical (and non-existent) player Steve McQueen. Steve completes his placement matches and falls into division three of the Silver tier. He’s then placed into the Katarina’s Assassins league with up to 250 other Silver tier players, since he’s already got three friends who are competing there. Based on their skill level, these players are evenly distributed across the five Silver tier divisions, so Steve’s league contains around 50 players in each division. When Steve acquires 100 League Points by winning ranked games, he’ll have the opportunity to play a Division Series to move up. If he were already in division one, he’d get to play a Promotion Series to break into a new league in the Gold tier.

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