I'm really enjoying playing League but can only devote a fraction of the time most other players can. I've got a job, business and family to run and thus am playing around 2-3 maybe 4 matches every other day.

Assuming that I'm not too bad of a player and get the same win/loss ratio's as other average players will I be able to climb the ELO ladder or will I forever be stuck in lower ELO regions because of the number of games I play?

I guess this has to do with ELO decay too so maybe someone could shed a light on this?

  • In short, no. Elo only changes based on whether you win or lose, and what was your likelihood of winning (calculated based on the different between you and your opponents team average elo). You will reach your level of skill more or less quickly depending how well you play, not how often. Elo decay probably won't apply to you unless you play less than a game a month - I've gone three weeks without playing a game at Gold level and not lost any elo.
    – Sadly Not
    Jan 17, 2013 at 1:59

2 Answers 2


It's entirely possible to climb the ladder whilst playing very little. Perhaps 2-3 games a week to prevent decay and to keep your mechanics on par, assuming you win 3/5 of your games, it's feasible to climb the ladder.

Although this is a very small subset, when progamers like chaox, or doublelift smurf, they typically hit 2k elo with about 50 wins. given that their win ratio pre 2k nears 70% it just shows that amount of games played do not necessarily determine if your ability to climb the ladder. It's does help though.


Prior to the Season 2 rating system remake, Elo decayed over time when you were above 1400 Elo:[5] Elo decayed at a rate of 25 Elo for every 4 consecutive weeks of inactivity. For normal rating, inactivity was defined as no activity in any queue. For ranked rating, inactivity was defined as no activity in the specific queue (arranged 5x5, arranged 3x3, and solo/duo 5x5 are all tracked separately). Ranked decay only applied to people who were ranked above 1400 rating. The decay timer was reset after a game was played in that specific queue. Elo would not decay below a rating of 1400.

From the lol wiki

It does not decay anymore and it did not decay anyway for lower elo tiers so you will be just fine no worries :)

  • 1
    As far as I'm aware, there have been no announcements saying Riot has stopped using Elo Decay. The source you link doesn't say they stopped using it for the new season.
    – Dante
    Nov 15, 2012 at 21:44

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