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I play League of Legends since a few month casually on-and-off doing quite ok. I only played a few ranked matches last season (3 wins, 2 losses, 1339 rating) and recently just farm easy IP via coop (yay for noone raging in those games) and do the occasional unranked match.

Recently, my colleagues started playing League of Legends, too, and... well, they are bad. Really, really bad, as in 0/17 bad (not feeding intentionally)... BUT... somehow they still manage to win games with that score.

My matches are usually decided by someone going 0/2 or similar which basically ends up being game over right there, so i'm wondering if they are just playing far worse opponents or if they just have good teammates.

Note:
I'm level 30, they are between level 8-12.

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There's a hidden Elo in normals that determines who you're matched against. Most likely, because your colleagues are new, their opponents aren't as good as the ones you're facing now. In other words, their opponents don't capitalize on their mistakes as much as yours do, allowing scores like 0/17 and a victory. –  Dante Apr 16 '12 at 15:50
    
@Andrew is right. I have 100+ victory over defeat over 700 win and when I play with someone with low level, it's like playing versus bots. When I play with someone with 2k+ win it's more hard to win then if I am with someone from my "elo" –  Michel Apr 16 '12 at 16:07
    
@Andrew If you make that an Answer, i'll accept it. Thanks for the info. –  dbemerlin Apr 16 '12 at 17:06
    
No problem. If there's anything I know about League of Legends, it's the matchmaking system. –  Dante Apr 16 '12 at 18:27
    
@Andrew oh? were did you find out more about matchmaking? (besides the page you linked in your answer) –  Atav32 Apr 20 '12 at 19:17
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

League of Legends uses a mathematical system to match up players of similar skill in the “Normal” and “Ranked” game types. Source

So just like in "Ranked," "Normal" uses its own Elo for matchmaking. It's just hidden.

Most likely, though, because your colleagues are new, their opponents aren't as good as the ones you're facing now. In other words, your colleagues' opponents don't capitalize on mistakes as much as your opponents might, because you're a better player, and the people you play against scale accordingly.

That's why your colleagues can get scores like 0/17 and still win a game.

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Keep in mind that low Elo gameplay is full of smurfs - high level players who make a new account to compete against low level players. Your colleagues probably have a skilled smurf on their team who can win regardless of your colleagues scoring 0/17 - I speak from experience playing with my friend who has 2k wins, I can afk and he will still win the game. Like Andrew said, experienced players capitalize on mistakes, and when smurfing there's lots of mistakes to work with. –  Sadly Not Apr 18 '12 at 3:15
    
After about 10 or so games, though, those smurfs would rapidly gain Elo. It's possible that a smurf carried his colleagues, but I don't think it happens every game. It is another possible explanation, though. –  Dante Apr 18 '12 at 4:58
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