Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Riot rigging: the purpose of "can't lose league"

I had trouble with the "you can't lose league" rigging. It means that if you are in Gold league and keep losing games you get to Gold 5, 0 LP and stay there, don't drop to silver and keep dropping. This effect is huge, large amount of players are being artificially held on league borders:

This seemed pointless to me as it makes the games static and pointless. There is no risk of defeat but also nothing to gain: if you win in this position, you'll still be where you were, until you win enough to work off the debt you gathered with losing. If someone reached Gold once and keep playing, he'll reach it again if he drops off. Why rig something when it gives you nothing?!

Then I met Jozyno. He is in Platinum 5 which makes him the first Platinum player I played with. I'm Silver 3 and while my hidden MMR is probably in Gold 3-4, judged from the usual teammates I get, seeing a real Platinum pro was seemed a milestone passed. Until he picked Poppy top. I checked his history for playing Poppy and found a single defeat, so it's not some secret new meta, it's exactly what it looks: a dumb pick. I checked his last month performance it has 48 wins and 68 losses. His response to my criticism that he picked an inappropriate champion with zero previous performance was flaming.

How could a Platinum player fall so bad? He probably didn't, just sold his account to a bronze noob who is now losing games and making idiotic picks while flaming anyone since he's a "pro". I believe he is the target audience of the league locking rigging. There is no point buying a Platinum account if you just drive it to Bronze anyway. But with the rigging, the new owner of Jozyno will forever be a "Platinum pro" who can talk down on the "bronze noobs" he'll be playing with.

Why would Riot cater to account buyers? Because they already represented their willingness to pay money for prestige. They are the most likely buyers of "cool" skins, ward skins, summoner icons, chromas, card borders and whatever nonsense Riot can come up for sale.

From this point it's not a huge leap to assume that Riot (or employees) may create high-ranking accounts and sell them via third parties.

Realizing this problem explains some weird defeats. I mean I checked the statistics of my teammates and found them to be good, only to see them as clueless noobs feeding in game. Take for example Kukunas who had 58% winrate with his main, Caitlyn in season 6. Pretty safe to go with him ADC-ing, right? Well, his last month Caitlyn performance is 3 wins, 12 losses, so maybe not. My new evaluation completely disregards old season data and uses only last month games. Sure it doesn't protect from those who bought their accounts yesterday, but do from those who bought them before last month. It's important to watch for all games, not just the chosen champion. If the player has 25% overall winrate, you are safe to assume purchased account.


HotSplayer said...

The LoL demotion/promotion system seems to be completely skewed towards making it much easier to be promoted than demoted.

The criteria for promotion is so precise, get 100 LP then win 2/3 (3/5 for tier promotion) to get promoted.

The demotion system seems completely obscure. Get to 0 LP, lose an undefined number of games (in a row?), as long as you aren't in the promotion grace period and not under server stability loss prevention you might get demoted?

Is this seriously how it works? No wonder such a large portion of the population is sitting on specific MMR's.

Hanura H'arasch said...

"But with the rigging, the new owner of Jozyno will forever be a "Platinum pro" who can talk down on the "bronze noobs" he'll be playing with."

Wait, what? I'm pretty damn sure that's not how the system works. Yes, dropping from Plat5 to Gold1 takes longer than it should, but it does happen eventually.

Besides, Riot hates account buyers like the plague. After all, they want each player to buy their silly skins and IP boosters from THEM, not from some veteran who's looking to make a quick buck.

Gevlon said...

@Hanura: pros are playing for win. Casuals are buying skins. So the Jozyno account probably had some champions on it and no skins when it was sold.

Anonymous said...

The matchmaking is based on the MMR rating not on the league points, so player being platinum has no bearing on on who gets matched with. If both teams have an equal chance of having a troll on their team then the matchmaking is fair, no matter how annoying the trolls on your team could be.

For the longest time not you have been blaming your teammates or Riot for losing like the scrubs on reddit. In the meantime look at your profile. You have very low cs and in many times you do less damage than a support. For example last game you won (at this time) is on Nunu with Annie, Lee Sin, Ezreal and Morgana. You have 122 cs compared to your opposite Riven at 194. You have the lowest damage on the team, a lot lower than the support Morgana. Its not just one game, you are pretty consistently the lowest damage player on your team behind the support. I doubt its because Riot is consistently rigging matches against you.

Anonymous said...

What? Bullshit, I got demoted to another color on a number of occasions. The "can't lose league" clause has long been patched out. It IS hard and you DO stay at 0 lp for a while, but it's absolutely not impossible.
Of course, if we assume riot is rigging the system for twisted reasons, your point still stands, as they would just need to keep "the right people" from dropping.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: you are missing the point: I won. The game was rigged FOR me, because I understand how rigging works and abuse it. My point is exactly that you can suck as Nunu top and be worse than support AND still win if the matchmaker wants you to.

Also, I fully understand how MMR works. The point is that "Platinum" guy has MMR that matches him against silver people and he still has Platinum bragging right. The very purpose of hiding MMR is to let him be Platinum, while in reality he is playing in Silver or Bronze.

Soge said...

Like a Jehova's witness knocking at your door to spread his religion, I'd suggest you give DotA a try instead of LoL. Yes, they are in the same genre, but Dota is to LoL what EVE is to WoW, only without all the dev corruption. Unlike League, a wide range of strategies are viable, with many different types of team compositions. This should let you make more interesting projects. There is also a numeric MMR system, which is certainly more precise than Riot's divisions.

Anonymous said...

People played to league x (usually gold) and quit immediatly to not get demoted, which meant fucking over queue times aka participation. Riot disabled tier demotion (this is all known history). At some point they reenabled demotion, but only if you drop two leagues in mmr, i can not tell you the exact current threshold, but all of that is obviously player motivation.

Anonymous said...

> @Anon: you are missing the point: I won. The game was rigged FOR me, because I understand how rigging works and abuse it. My point is exactly that you can suck as Nunu top and be worse than support AND still win if the matchmaker wants you to.

But you are not moving up. On you are showing as Silver 3 with 0LP, your win percentage is around 51% (are those numbers stale?). If matchmaking was rigged in your favor, shouldn't you be advancing? Or have a higher win percentage? Also did you buy the skins and champions with real money? I remember you said that you didn't. Should the matchmaking be working against you because you don't pay? You should be winning less because matchmaking according to you is to keep the paying players happy.

Finally you are the one trying to rig the matchmaking by stacking your team. If the matchmaking is rigged it will give you the stacked teams to begin with, so you can win more.

Gevlon said...

My last 60 games have 38 win, 17 losses, that's pretty far from 51%.
0 LP is a problem, it comes from every queue dodge is -10 LP. However it's not a big problem as with my raising MMR, I get more and more LP per win. Currently I need 3 wins in a row to get from 0 LP to promotion.

The game is stacking the teams against me, that's why I dodge a lot. But sometimes it stack for me (or precisely it stacks for a buyer in my team, I'm just being used as booster), this case I take the game and win with mediocre performance.

Anonymous said...

Que dodging might not be useful. 3 dodges is same as 1 win, form LP point of view. 1 win, 1 defeat 1 should net total around 0 LP points. With promotion, it counts as 1 win 2 defeats. Is it worth to get higher MMR with more wins and dodges, then accept the defeat and get lower MMR?

1 thing for sure, higher rank you go, uneven matches show more up. And its because its very easy to get up on rank, but hard to lose them. 50% winchance with 2 wins a row, thats all you need to get to plat.

maxim said...

I do not have a direct objection here. People likely to buy skins are definitely interested in higher MMR characters that pros may well be selling and Riot's interest is also present.

The questions are:
1) how bit of an interest for Riot we are talking here? How many accounts exactly are being demotion-protected?
2) how do we know for a fact that the character was indeed bought (and not, say, played by an incompetent younger brother, who is also an internet pottymouth). As a matter of fact, is it even fair to say that a dip is performance is at all indicative of another person playing?

Anonymous said...

So Riot are deliberately over-inflating account buyers ranks so they consistently lose and quit while feeding wins to legitimate players? I don’t see the issue here.
Any continuous rating system with brackets will find that players tend to group around the base of each bracket. People at the top of a bracket are more likely to continue playing in the hope that they rank up. Those at the bottom are more likely to stop playing to protect their rank.
Riot want people playing their game so they add a soft floor to reduce the relegation worries, but since a losing player is one that quits the key is to make the floor strong enough to protect the slightly over-ranked, but permeable enough for players that need to go down are able to do so. The result of such a system is that most players will end up on the floor of the rank slightly above their natural skill level.

Gevlon said...

@anon: you don't lose MMR for a queue dodge, so as long as I keep doing it, my MMR just rises. Then I can just "cash out" by taking every non-hopeless game, losing MMR, but advancing in rank fast.

@maxim: I don't have the software with me now, but looking at the graph, about 220K people are sitting on floors out of 1.6M. The "younger brother" is a lie used by the player explaining bad performance. No one would allow an unskilled friend play his account on ranked, especially not in a free-to-play game where the brother could start his own account.

@dobablo: games are matched by invisible MMR and not visible rank. The invisible MMR of this guy is already in low gold or high silver, otherwise he'd not be matched against me. He gets to keep his visible rank.

I know about top and bottom of ranks, but Riot could avoid it by not having brackets at all, just a rank number. For some reason they built this complicated and self-harming system. I wonder why.

maxim said...

I literally did allow my younger brother to play on my account, simply because i felt i could stand to lose some rating because i needed more practice.

1/8th people sitting on the floor of their leagues is a solid chunk of population. Wonder if there is any way to estimate the % of purchases they do (f/ex by estimating how much they spent on skins through some manner of public skin armory data)

adasd said...

Hi can you, if you have time for it, do the same with dota2?
I think sometimes they do the same you have like 5 games(must not even be wins) in a row with good teammates they talk with you, pick good heros for this game, etc and then you get the worst in the next game so you only can lose.
And the new report/low priority System is not realy good lots of people uses Bots do get out of it.

Fly safe O/

Gevlon said...

To all: just dodged on an even more obvious account buyer:

Andi Y said...

"Jungle is the only position that requires decision making. Laning is:
- lasthit
- hit enemy with skillshots
- avoid enemy skillshots"

its more then this.
you dont got it yet. no blame, but most silver think like this.

laning needs much more strategy. it can influence all other lanes. when you push in, let you push in, freeze lane. roaming. etc.

that poppy dude, played like 80 different champs on his account. why you think platinumV are pro player?
he seems to try out every now and then new champs. is that stupid? yes. could he probably still win, maybe? cause he should know basic lol stuff.
sometimes i also make a pick for the LuLs, i try to avoid it on my main tho. but sometimes... well.. it is a game