The League of Legends Rank Reset Explained

How and when the rank reset happens is one of the biggest mysteries in the LoL community. Let's bring You clarity.

No one knows when their rank and MMR might reset or drop, not even avid players! Nevertheless, we've done the research and compiled all the most essential information on how the rank reset system works in League of Legends.

How does rank reset work in League of Legends?

The rank reset and ELO decay rules in the League of Legends ranking system are changed every year at the start of a new ranking season, and there is no one exact rule that Riot follows. In the current season (11), the developers have used a “soft reset” strategy, meaning that most players have received a slightly lower rank after playing all placement matches than the one they finished the previous season at. Riot explains that this is a chance for players to re-prove themselves and see if they continue to play at the same skill level. Game developers have repeatedly said that they are satisfied with the soft reset solution, suggesting that we will see such a rank reset strategy in future seasons.

One more thing we need to mention is that your MMR will be the same as last season, regardless of what rank you get after playing your placement matches. What does this mean in practice? For example, if you finished your previous season at Diamond I and received Platinum III for the start of the new season, your path to Diamond will be much shorter than other players. That's because your higher MMR will guarantee you more LPs for winning matches, although you will still encounter players of slightly higher rank than your current rank, as the queue system in League of Legends strongly considers your MMR (probably more than your rank, though we don't have exact information on that). 

We know this flurry of information can be a bit brain-hurting, especially if you’re new to League of Legends. So, let's quickly sum everything up:

  • As long as Riot decides to use a soft reset strategy, by the beginning of the next season, you’ll probably receive a slightly lower rank than you had before, but the return to your previous ranking position will be much simpler than it would usually be.

  • Your MMR does not reset! No matter how low a rank you get when you finish placement matches, your MMR will stay the same as last season.

  • If you start playing a ranking season a little later, such as six months after it started, you'll probably start out running into players of the rank you had in the previous season rather than the one you have now.

Can my LoL rank reset through inactivity? — ELO Decay system

From other online games, you may be used to having your skill rank drop through inactivity. So, how does this work for League of Legends? 

Well, as long as you don't have a Diamond rank or higher, you don't have to worry about it. You may not play the rest of the season and only come back at the end of it, and your rank will stay the same. On the other hand, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger players will lose some LP points for inactivity. Despite the drop in LP by inactivity, your MMR stays in place, so it will be easier for you to return to your pre-decay rank.

The ELO Decay system allows the so-called “game banking”. This means that one day you can play more games to be inactive for a while later and have your in-game activity reserved, which protects you from losing LPs. The number of games you can “bank” is different for Diamond and Master+ ranks.

Diamond ELO Decay

In Diamond, every ranked game you play means 7 days in your “activity bank,” and you can collect a maximum of 28 of them. Yes, it means that you can play 4 matches in one day and have bliss for a virtually complete month. However, if there are no more days in your “activity bank,” you will lose 50LP every day until you reach Platinum I.

Master+  ELO Decay

The rules are a bit more restrictive for the Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger ranks. One ranked game adds one day to your “activity bank,” and you can only have a maximum of 10 such days. For each day of inactivity, you will lose 250LP until you drop to Diamond IV. 

Closing thoughts

League of Legends’ ranking system is one of the most complicated of all popular games… But what's the surprise? After all, this is a game with a true high-skill cap, so the game creators had to create this system so that everyone would have the most deserved rank for their experience level. If you want to get a better idea of how the ranking system in League of Legends works, we recommend checking out our guide to it, as well as other articles that may help you find your way around the world of arguably the most addictive online game ever made.