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... and if so, what criteria must you meet? I keep hearing conflicted info, like

  • "Only through inactivity."
  • "Only from challenger."
  • "You can never drop Tiers."
  • "Yes."

Does anyone know definitively?

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Remember, you can mark an answer as right ;) –  Kevin Mar 16 '13 at 3:30
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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Season 4 Changes

Firstly, tier demotions do not happen immediately at 0 LP. First, you get a warning, then if you continue to lose games, you will then drop the tier.

Also, Shielding and MMR-based demotions have been added.

Shielding means that you are immune to dropping out of the tier for your first N games once you enter the tier. (TODO: Find the exact number)

Also, the tiers are more closely tied to MMR (your [M]atch[m]aking [R]ank). If you play well below the MMR of others in your tier, you will get a demotion warning in your profile, and then drop the tier if you continue to play badly.

For a hypothetical example of this, imagine that the MMR of Silver V is 1500, and the MMR of Gold V is 2000. If you are in Gold V and playing with a MMR of 1570, you will probably get the warning.


Season 3 System

First, the official sources: (Announcement / Image Only / FAQ / FAQ Mirror)

There are five normal tiers and then the challenger tier. Each tier has five divisions. When you win a game you get league points and when you lose a game you lose league points.

When you have 100 league points you will enter a promotion series. A division promotion series means you have to win two out of your next three matches to get promoted, while in a tier promotion series you have to win three out of five.

Once you enter a tier, you can not drop from it by losing games -- but you can drop divisions. So if you are Gold I you could potentially drop to Gold II, but as long as you are active you will never get demoted to Silver tier.

As mentioned earlier, you can lose League Points by losing games, and this point loss will drop you divisions but NOT tiers when you go below 0.

But, when you're inactive for 28 days, your League Points start decaying. This point loss will drop both divisions AND tiers -- again, when you go below 0.

The decay rates are set by tier:

  • Bronze: No weekly decay (I assume this means you will stay in Bronze 1 unless you decide to lose some games)
  • Silver: 10 per week
  • Gold: 25 per week
  • Platinum: 35 per week
  • Diamond: 50 per week

The challenger tier is different - it has no divisions, and league points have no upper bound. Only 50 players and 32 teams (correct me if I'm wrong on the solo count) are allowed in there, and when a new challenger enters the tier, the person with the least league points will get demoted to Diamond I (the top division of the otherwise top tier).
Inactivity starts after 7 days, not 28.

When someone completes their Promotion series for Challenger, the lowest player / team in Challenger is Bumped and dropped to Diamond I. This seems to be in order to keep the challenger as a list of the best current players in League of Legends.

The priority list for bumping out of Challenger:

  • If any player / team is inactive (remember, 7 days), only an inactive player / team can be bumped.
  • The player / team with the lowest league points will be bumped.
  • (Unknown behavior to resolve LP ties)

To summarize:

  • Can you drop tiers other than Challenger?
    • Yes, by Decay ONLY.
  • Can you drop divisions?
    • Yes, by Decay OR Losing.
  • Can you drop Challenger tier?
    • Yes, by Decay OR Losing OR Bumped.
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Upvoted, as it is clearly the most complete and accurate answer now. –  Kevin Mar 16 '13 at 3:29
    
By the way, can you test the FAQ mirror link? It was crashing for me yesterday ("We seem to have missed the gist of that gist you were looking for"), as well as all of my other gists –  Riking Mar 16 '13 at 3:32
    
Yup, it is broken for me as well. –  Kevin Mar 16 '13 at 3:34
    
Darn, i'll resubmit it as a guest then and see if that fixes it –  Riking Mar 16 '13 at 3:37
    
Working now :). –  Kevin Mar 16 '13 at 3:44
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As of Season 4, tier demotions work in the following way.

From the 4.1 Patch Notes:

  • Tier demotions and shielding have been added
    • Once you enter a new tier, you’ll have a set number of games where you are invulnerable to dropping out
    • After you play these games, if you fall a full tier below your placement in terms of MMR, a demotion warning will appear in your profile (IE: A Gold V player playing at a Silver V skill level would see this warning)
    • Continuing to lose games at 0 LP will result in a demotion to division I of the next lower tier
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There are five normal tiers and then the challenger tier. Each tier has five divisions. When you win a game you get league points and when you lose a game you lose league points. When you have 100 league points you will enter a promotion series, meaning you have to win two out of your next three matches to get promoted. Once you enter a league, you can not drop from it except when you are inactive for a while. You can, however, drop divisions. So if you are gold I you could potentially drop to gold II, but as long as you are active you will never get to silver again.
The challenger tier is different. Only 50 (correct me if I'm wrong) players are allowed in there, and when a new challenger enters the tier, the person with the least league points will get demoted to diamond I.

As for inactivity: Your League Points start decaying every seven days after 28 days, but only between Bronze and Challenger. The higher your tier, the greater the penalty. The penalties are 10 for Silver, 25 for Gold, 35 for Platinum, and 50 for Diamond. If you fall below 0 as a result, you'll be placed in the previous division (and eventually tier).

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Can you define inactivity? I've been offline for two weeks, awaiting my new internet services. After which time does one get demoted? And does one need to play games or is logging on sufficient? –  Joetjah Mar 11 '13 at 7:52
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Your League Points start decaying every seven days after 28 days, but only between Bronze and Challenger. The higher your tier, the greater the penalty. The penalties are 10 for Silver, 25 for Gold, 35 for Platinum, and 50 for Diamond. If you fall below 0 as a result, you'll be placed in the previous division (and eventually tier). –  Thevet Mar 11 '13 at 7:58
    
Update the answer with this information to complete it? –  Joetjah Mar 11 '13 at 10:11
    
@joetjah Thank you :) –  Kevin Mar 12 '13 at 0:16
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@Kevin I posted it as a new answer -- they were right, it IS too different. –  Riking Mar 16 '13 at 3:23
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In any tier below Challenger and above Bronze, the only way to get demoted is through inactivity. The closer to Challenger you are, the faster you can get demoted due to inactivity. You can get demoted to Diamond as a Challenger player whilst still being active, however. Whenever a new Diamond player qualifies for Challenger, the lowest-ranked Challenger player/team gets demoted to Diamond.

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