League is based on an MMR system. You start playing, you gain MMR.
- If you are better than your opponents, you win more games than you lose, logical right? Do you still follow me? Good. Next step.
- If you win more games than you lose, you gain more MMR. Correct? I believe we can all agree on that.
- You get matched with people from similar MMR, that's how the system works. The more MMR you have, the more MMR your opponents have.
So here comes the, for some people, difficult part:
- If your opponents are better, you will start losing more games. It's just how it is. The closer your opponents are to your own mmr, the more even the games will be.
- If your opponents are as good as your teammates, you will come closer and closer to a 50% winratio in that elo.
Now some people tend to go on winning sprees. Some deserved wins, some lucky games, some even games that you still won. If you have a nice big spree like that, your MMR keeps rising and rising and rising.
Sometimes it can happen that your MMR rises a bit too fast, and your skill level is not quite there yet, so you start losing more games. And more games, until your MMR is where you should be again. Then you go back to winning about 50% of your games again.
At your true MMR, your actual skill level, there SHOULD be a 50% chance of winning. That makes for a fair game.
You have a 50% chance of losing a game, every game. It is very possible that you lose 10 games in a row. It's just chance.
10 random numbers between 0 and 100. Under 50 are losses, over 50 are wins. What a chance. You just lost 9 games in a row. At your true MMR, that's the way it should be. The other way around is also possible. You can win 9 games in a row, based on 10 games.
Now a real life example. A soccer/Football league.
You start off in the Little League with the current team. You win all games, you beat those kids 100 - 0, you get promoted to the Amateur League.
The players in the amateur league are slightly better, but you still win almost all games, let's say 80%.
You're at a 90% winrate now.
You get promoted again, this time to the National League. You're good. You're better than the other clubs, but you still lose some matches. You win 70% of those matches, and you get promoted again.
Good for you, now you're in the EFL Championship league. You're better than most clubs here, it was a tough season, but you manage to win about 55% of your games. You win the championship and you earn your promotion.
Boy, you're in the Premier League now. You belong in this league, but most teams are still better than you. You lose more and more games. Currently in this league you have a 21% winratio. Your TOTAL winratio however, is still pretty high, around 50%, because of all those games you won against way worse teams.
And that's how you end up tanking your winration if you climb the MMR/ELO ladder.
VIT Laati made an amazing chart, showing how this works: