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I've only played one placement match so far and I won it because my opponents were less than stellar. I'm afraid that if I get similar placement matches in the future and end up winning them all I might get put into a league beyond my skill.

How many different leagues are there?

Once placed in a league, is there any way to move to a different one? How?

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A friend of mine had that exact problem, he got placed in Gold because he happened to play against horrible players, and now he's losing a lot of matches... I guess in time he'll be replaced and the game will be fun again :) –  jmfsg Sep 22 '10 at 14:40
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play FFA matches! they are so much more fun :) –  Jason Sep 22 '10 at 16:52
    
If your in the wrong league, just keep on playing and the game will adjust to your skill level. But it should give you some great practice being in a better league, watch the replays and get inspired! –  AtlasEU Jul 16 '13 at 7:21
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1 Answer

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Currently (2013-04-01) the list of Leagues is:

  • Bronze League: 8% of all players
  • Silver League: 20% of all players
  • Gold League: 32% of all players
  • Platinum League: 20% of all players
  • Diamond League: 18% of all players.
  • Master League: The best 2% of all players. It is impossible to qualify directly into this League.
  • Grand Master: The top 200 players in a region. Is created only after 2 weeks into a new season. Players that are not active for a certain time get demoted to Master.

Before you are placed in a League, you must play 5 Placement Matches against random opponents. After that, the game tracks your skill by assigning you a matchmaking rating (MMR), which is not exactly your League points, but similar. Different Leagues correspond to different MMR ranges, and it is possible to be promoted or demoted, if your MMR stabilizes within another League's range.

After a Season ends, all Leagues are wiped, but MMR does not. To be placed in a new Season, you have to play one Placement Match, which does not actually mean more than any other match - it is just there to filter inactive players from League rankings. Skipping several Seasons does reset your MMR.

Since some patch there is also a button to Leave League - if you feel that your MMR is well in another League (like if you are constantly encountering equal opponents from there), but a promotion just doesn't come, you can try to force it. Note that this doesn't reset your MMR, of course.

There is also a special, Practice League. When you start playing on a new account, you are placed here, and can play fifty games here before your placement matches into "real" Leagues (you can leave whenever you want though). Practive League matches are played on a special, more "noob-friendly" maps, that have destructible obstacles completely blocking bases off, eliminating early pressure. After you leave Practice League, there is no way back ever.

Further reading: Starcraft Wikia

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Accepting because even though you didn't answer all my questions, the article in your link did. –  StrixVaria Jul 29 '10 at 14:36
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Note, its fifty games for practice league –  ccook Jul 30 '10 at 13:12
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Practice league and Placement matches are not the same thing –  stigok Jul 30 '10 at 17:36
    
If you wanted to add percentages, Diamond is the next 17.9% (Assuming Grand Master makes up 0.1% of the playing population). And Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, are 20% respectively, spread across all divisions. –  Sorean Apr 16 '11 at 6:03
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It is certainly possible, at least now, to climb into diamond strait from placement. I've had this happen to me in 3v3 random and 4v4 random, after winning 5 matches in a row. However I was playing with a platinum buddy which may have caused me to gain more points per win as a result. –  Resorath May 18 '11 at 6:01
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