If you ever wondered what is MMR or ELO in League of Legends, this article will explain what it is and how it functions, along with some tips on how to manage it, so you can become a better player that is aware of information others may not be.
What is MMR
MMR – Match Making Rating is a hidden rating used in League of Legends to choose players for each team, the basis of MMR comes from ELO rating systems. ELO system was originally developed for chess but is widely used in online multiplayer games.
An accurate representation of you vs your opponent.
What is ELO
ELO rating system is a method for calculating relative skill levels of players developed for chess by Arpad Elo, an american-hugarian mathematician. Now it is widely used in other games including competitive multiplayer online games. Each alters it's methods of calculating the respective ELO.
How ELO system works
Player has a rating that is represented by a number. Player gains and loses points by playing rated games. Total number of points gained or lost are determined by difference in rating between two players. So what does that mean for you? Simplest way to put it is, if you have higher % to win a game you get less points for winning it, but if you win a game you are more likely to lose you get more. And vice versa.
Can you see your ELO?
Unfortunately no, you cannot see your ELO. Since seasons 3 Riot renamed it to MMR and hid it, behind Leagues System with divisions which most players are familiar with (Gold 4, Gold 3, etc). Even thought you cannot see your MMR you can estimate it based on LP gains and loses. If you have higher LP gains than loses it means you have higher MMR than the division you are in. If the opposite is true, then your MMR is lower than the division you are in. The system aims at having 50/50 chance of winning for both teams and for you to have equal amount of LP gains and loses. The more games you play, the more accurately you ELO is determined. Once you reach 50% win-rate with decent amount of games (200+) your ELO is set more or less. However it is important to remember that since matchmaking is never gonna be perfect to avoid long queue times you'll rarely see equal LP gains and loses for every game you play.
Note: Even thought you may never see it, MMR exists for all que's (Normals, ARAM's, etc.)
How to improve your MMR?
Since Riot has no released formula for how exactly they calculated gains and loses of MMR, it's hard to tell, but community has found out couple ways to help you preserve it and improve it.
First way is to dodge games that seem to be lost in champion select. Even if you are in promos you should dodge games that seem lost, even though it will count as a loss, since you will not lose any MMR points. And for games that are not promos, you will lose 3LP for first dodge and 10LP for every consecutive one. You should not be afraid to use first dodge of the day ever, it will only benefit you by avoiding unwinnable games, and save you MMR.
Second way is to duo que with someone who has higher MMR than you, it will force you to play against people who have higher MMR, and each win will net you more MMR than you normally would get by playing alone. It is important to remember that the opposite is true, if you have high MMR and play with someone who has low MMR, you will gain less MMR while losing more.
And finally you need to win significantly more than you lose to raise your MMR. The system will then naturally start pushing you up the ladder. However it is important to remember that Riot's system is somewhat disjointed from MMR therefor either the MMR or Divisions can lag behind. That's how you see people that are Plat 4 in Diamond 4 games and etc.
Videos About ELO
If you are interested in learning about ELO visually consider checking out this videos:
A video about Elo generally by numberphile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsYfbmp0To0
A video about Elo in LoL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oFdcjL9ILI