A ranked game is a draft mode game type available to level 30 summoners with at least 16 champions available (NOT including free week champions). Summoners are placed on a game ladder and ranked against one another according to a hidden Matchmaking Rating. Players are divided into Challenger, Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers, with each tier further subdivided into 5 divisions, apart from Challenger, which only has one tier. Once gained, a tier cannot be lost except by four weeks of inactivity in the particular ranked mode (this applies only to tiers, and not divisions). Furthermore, inactivity may result in a change of league placement upon re-activation. Players who have not played their first 10 "placement" games will not be able to see their rating in their profile until the 10 are played, at which point they will be placed in a particular League, and corresponding Tier and Division. Ranked games are considered the competitive alternative to normal games.
Ranked games are playable in both the 3v3 and 5v5 bracket. In the 3v3 bracket, you must queue as a complete team consisting of 3 players. In the 5v5 bracket, you can queue as a full team consisting of 5 players, as a duo queue with 1 other person, or as a solo queue. Statistics are recorded for ranked games by the type of queue that you initiated the game with.
- Premade: In team-based ranked play, a player will have to set up a 3-man and 5-man team with which to play for 3v3 and 5v5 matches respectively. In order to participate, you must be a member of a ranked team, which can be formed by any level 30 player. This is done through the 'Create a Ranked Team' button on one's profile.
- Non-Premade: In non-team ranked play, a player will be able to either play solo, or in a two-man team (duo). This is only available for 5v5 matches.
Differences compared to blind pick games
Ranked games always use draft pick, which differs from blind pick games in the following ways.
- Banning Phase: At the start of champion selection, team captains have the opportunity to ban a total of 6 champions. The bans alternate between the teams, blue team starting. During the banning phase, each team can see their opponent's available champions in order to ban viable options.
- Champion Selection: The team that receives first ban gets the first pick. After the initial pick, teams alternate and pick two at a time until each summoner has chosen a champion. No champion can be selected more than once in a game.
- Trade: When all the members of a team have locked in, there is an opportunity to make a trade within your team. Both members of the team must own both champions involved. One player can initate the trade, and when the other confirms it their champions are swapped. It is possible to execute multiple trades before the game begins. Therefore, trades are often implemented in order to secure high tier champions early on to be swapped with the intended player instead of risking the other team taking them.
- Leaves: Queue dodging is punished by 5 minutes of wait for the first offense and 30 minutes to 1 hour for subsequent offenses. Leaves are punished by a loss of elo for the player regardless of the match's outcome if the player is AFK for at least 5 minutes before the game ends.