ELO Hell

ELO Hell

Part of a series on League of Legends. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 09, 2014 at 07:42AM EDT by Tomberry.

Added Aug 06, 2014 at 09:54PM EDT by Tomberry.

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ELO Hell refers to a fictional ranking place in the League of Legends game in which players are doomed to be stuck in because of the amount of newbie / troll players being randomly selected in their teams and making them endlessly fail games. The term is mostly applied to the Solo Queue and Duo Queue modes affecting the lowest ladder of the ranking system, namely low ELO rating in the first seasons of the game and Bronze V to Silver I nowadays, and has been embraced by many players as a way of expressing frustration when they lose games after games, being used in any MOBA-like game featuring a rank system.

League of Legends' Ranking System

League of Legends is a MOBA-type game that offers different playing modes. One of them is to compete in ranked leagues, offering the possibility to earn ELO points (now called LP points) by winning games in order to be promoted to higher ranks. Through the years and the different gaming seasons that passed, the system evolved greatly, changing from a single ladder to the recent six-tiers system. The lowest tier, where everyone starts off, is Bronze, while Challenger is the highest one. Each tier (except Challenger) contains five divisions, each division is numbered using roman numerals in a descending order from V(5) to I(1), with V being the lowest and I being the highest[1].

Play Ranked to join a League Starting with Season 3, ranked Players in League of Legends are now sorted into Leagues to compete against their peers. Play 5 Games with a Ranked Team to Qualify! 10 games are required for Solo Queue players View Challenger Tier Bronze Bronze Gold Platinum Diamond More about the League System

In the Solo Queue and Duo Queue modes, a player may choose to either go alone and let the game do the matchmaking with four other random players who are around the same level as him, or to invite one single person from his friendlist to play with him. Either way, in the end the player has to play with random people in these modes, which adds to the unpredictability of the team one may join.
It must be pointed out that losing games makes players lose points and may demote them of a division or even a rank if they lose too many games in a row.

Origin of the slang

While it's difficult to pinpoint a fixed date for the first players to use the term to describe a cursed place flooded by bad players in the previous ELO rating system of the game, one of the earliest mentions can be found on Urban Dictionary, submitted on October 12th 2010, about one year after the game's release, by user RiotPhreak[2]. It offers the following definition:

A place for the masses of kids who think they way more skilled than they actually are in League of Legends.


In the League of Legends' official forums, it is not uncommon to find threads discussing the existence of the ELO Hell and people seeking advice to escape from it.
As early as October 14th, for instance, A thread titled The 9 Layers of ELO Hell.[3] displayed an attempt, by user Kama Toki, to write some sort of a fanfiction on the theme of the ELO Hell. One early example of a forum post asking what the ELO hell is can be found in the same forums, on October 28th[4].
A September 2010 article from the Syncaine blog accounts for the very existence of the ELO Hell and its effects on a skilled player[5].
Because of its growing influence among players, many of them tried to write thorough pieces of advice on how to get out of the ELO Hell by carrying, which is a slang used by players to define someone who succeeds in taking down the enemy team on his own with a few, if not, help from his teamates. Such examples can be found in gaming forums such as clgaming[6] or even solomid[7].
A single-topic-blog was also launched and named after the meme as a source of medias, guides and whatnot revolving around the League of Legends universe[8]

To expand on the Urban Dictionary definition of the ELO Hell, several other websites tried to define it as accurately as possible. Among them is a 2011 article from Nerfplz.com[9] which states the following:

SO WHAT IS ELO HELL? (Minus the Feeders, Trolls, and Leavers)

Elo Hell is when you're forced to play at a level where you KNOW you can win and exactly how to beat the other team, but you and your team are not skilled enough or lucky enough to do so, and lose.


Another part of gamers condemned the use of the slang as being an easy way of putting the blame unto others when losing a game, that every tier has its draw of bad players and that bad strings of games can happen in every rank. Many articles were made to assert that the ELO Hell doesn't exist at all, such as on Boostelo.net[10] or Twerkzerk[11], arguing that ELO Hell is an overstatement used by people to not look at their own gaming flaws and to not try to improve.
On September 3rd 2013, webcomic Nerfnow[12] issued a comic illustrating the problem.


External References

[1] League of Legends wikia – League System

[2] Urban Dictionary – Elo Hell / 10/12/2010

[3] League of Legends forums – The 9 Layers of ELO Hell.# / 10/14/210

[4] League of Legends forums – What is ELO hell?

[5] Syncaine.net – Welcome to ELO hell

fb6. clgaming forums – How to carry out of the ELO hell

[7] solomid forums – How to get out of ELO Hell – Are you genuinely talented?

[8] EloHell.net

[9] Nerfplz.com – What is ELO Hell? – Definition and Explanation

[10] League of Legends: Why ELO HELL does not exist?

[11] The Truth about "ELO Hell" – League of Legends

[12] Nerfnow.com – Hell is other people

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