You may know a lot about “win trading” in League of Legends, and you may not. Regardless, the truth is that win trading is perhaps the most toxic act in the entire game. The community and Riot Games, respectively, have been trying to eliminate this problem since the start of LoL, but the results aren’t that great.
You see, win trading isn’t a technical issue that could be solved in the next patch or update. Much like “inting,” win trading is purely a fault of the players. Yet, it’s much worse because those players consciously and purposefully commit the toxic act, wherein inting there is a chance that the person might just have a “bad day.” And lastly, win trading isn’t performed by just any player in League of Legends, but only the highest-rated ones.
If you’re someone who’s ranked in Platinum, Gold, or below, the chances are that you’ve never experienced win trading and shouldn’t worry about it at all. But if you’re following the Challenger scene closely and know the absolute madness that’s going on there, then you may very well spot some famous win traders.
What is Win Trading Exactly?
The process of win trading is straightforward. Let’s say we have two friends, named Mike and Timmy, who are both Grandmaster level in League of Legends. If Mike and Timmy both queue up individually (not in a duo but separately) for a match at the same time, they have good chances of being drawn in the same champion select. So, they can be placed in the same team or against each other.
Now, if Mike knows that Timmy needs only one win to get from Grandmaster to Challenger, Mike can choose to be a good friend and let Timmy win by feeding, playing poorly, and disabling his own team. This will result in Timmy winning the game and moving up in the ranks of League of Legends.
Then, the two friends will queue up separately again and again until they end up in the same game and against each other, so they can continue that exact process and trade over the victories. Repeating this can bring both Mike and Timmy higher ranks. Or, just launch one of them way higher on the ladder than he deserves to be, at the cost of the other.
This is win trading in a nutshell. Obviously, this doesn’t only occur between close friends (which is a pretty big crime regardless of the good intentions towards each other), but between complete strangers that agree to do this for their own profit. And you’ll be surprised to know to which lengths people go to assure their win trading will work.
Also read: League of Legends Duo Queue Rules
Is Win Trading Used a Lot in Solo Queue?
In short, yes. Because League of Legends is such a “hot” esports title, getting a spot on that scene can lead a person to lifelong earnings. Challenger players are watched continuously, guided, and recruited into professional or academy teams, so getting in Challenger is the aim of most LoL players. As a result, we have many people who would do anything to get their rank higher, including win trading.
Websites, businesses, and communities have perfected this method of boosting in League, so they offer a “sure” way of giving you victories. They can even send two win traders to be matched against their customer just so the method would remain 100% successful. And naturally, many people would rather enjoy a free win than invest time and energy in winning games the traditional way.
However, win traders have a very tough time profiting in the lower elos in League of Legends.
Why Does Win Trading Only Happens in High Elo?
Truthfully, it doesn’t. Win trading can occur in every rank and division in League of Legends. However, the success rate is much lower than in the higher elos. And the reason for that is because of the statistics in the League of Legends players numbers.
If you didn’t know, according to LeagueOfGraphs, most of the LoL players are all stacked in Gold, followed by Platinum, Silver, and Bronze. Beginning from Diamond, the sheer numbers of players drop almost vertically because not everybody is good enough to reach Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. So, a person in Challenger plays League against the same 500 hundred players or so, while the person in Gold with millions of other strangers.
Now, if you and your friend are in Gold and queue up separately at the same time with the intent to trade over some wins, the chances that you’ll be placed in the same match are very slim. That’s because there are so many other players with closer MMR that would take that spot away from you. And in contrast to that, two Challenger friends can essentially play all day against each other and trade wins.
Win trading is rightfully the most toxic act in League of Legends. It destroys the solo queue experience for many players and helps rank up people who don’t really deserve it. And the worst part is that win trading can’t really be controlled.
Riot Games have made some attempts, and streamers have been exposing win traders since the dawn of time, but in season 12, the problem is still here. Yes, you can ban the person in Grandmaster that is obviously playing the game like it’s his first match, but what’s stopping the next one from trying it?
All in all, win trading is looked down upon in the League of Legends community, and no one respects it. As fellow players and lovers of LoL, we advise you to stay away from it.