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May 25, 2015

Riot's Losing Streak Island & Prisoner Island System

Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's Monday post. I've decided that alongside the usual behind the scenes maintenance I generally do on this day, I'll leave it up as a wildcard day to jumpstart the creative week. Today's focus is on something of an urban legend in the league community, "Losing Streak Island"


Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's Monday post. I've decided that alongside the usual behind the scenes maintenance I generally do on this day, I'll leave it up as a wildcard day to jumpstart the creative week.

Today's focus is on something of an urban legend in the league community, "Losing Streak Island"

What is Losing Streak Island?

Losing streak island as it happens, appears to occur when players go on a long losing streak. During this time, it seems like matchmaking places more and more people on your team who also appear to be on a losing streaks.

Some people believe that "losing streak island" inhabitants get matched up against winning streak teams. Others feel that LSIs may simply get matched up against other LSI people.

Why Would Losing Streak Island Be Implemented?

Although, Riot has fervently denied allegations of a "losing streak island", here are some benefits to having a losing streak island:
  • Segregates potentially toxic people away from the rest of the community;
  • Enforces the idea that people on a losing streak are likely at the wrong tier/division 
    • LSI would bring them back to the "right" division faster;
    • Placing winning streakers on the enemy team raises their MMR faster; and
  • Combining 10 people on losing streaks in the same game means at least 5 will win and come off the streak.
Seems fair enough right? Maybe even a good thing.

Official Riot Stances on Losing Streak Island

Zileas [VP of Game Design] - On losing player 'island', I am pretty sure this is not the case.... I designed a lot of the initial algorithm, and I don't think Lyte would make this change as it would make no sense and serve no purpose, and he's a man of science... We looked into the idea that loss streaks 'self reinforce', and they actually don't, by the way. Your chance in a losing streak of winning continues to be 50% and actually slowly gets better than that ;P

For reported player island, we think that would just be more toxic. Would rather solve this other ways. 10.23.2012

Lyte [Lead Social Systems Designer] - There is no losing streak queue, or losing streak adjustment if you have a winning streak. I've looked over the code for matchmaking myself several times when I first joined Riot. The matchmaker's goal and purpose is not to force 50% winrate on players; in fact, the goal of a matchmaker is perfect prediction--it should be able to predict the expected win percentage for teams in every game, regardless of which skill level players are matched.

No idea where you heard this from or what sources confirmed it, but it doesn't exist. 3.15.13

Reported Player Island

Everyone knows that if you do exceptionally poor during a game and/or cost the team the game, you'll likely start receiving threats of being reported for intentionally feeding, refusal to communicate with teammates, negative attitude, etc.

Is there a "Reported Player Island?" If you were responsible for the last few losses, maybe it's possible you've landed yourself there?

Lyte [ 3.13.2013 ]
Q: Wouldn't there be a way where we would have a hidden toxic rating based on how much we get reported?

A: This is known as Prisoner's Island internally. I believe this is a bad idea for League of Legends; however, it's a pretty massive discussion.

Latest Updates

Lyte [8.23.2014]
Q: How's Prisoner's Island?

A: Placing 10 volatile players highly vulnerable to toxic triggers or highly prone to initiative toxic behaviors means that no one is reforming or improving over time. However, we are working on a "low-priority queue" for AFKers (see below).

New Leaverbuster System (Low Priority Queue): [January 2015]:

The first time a player leaves a game, they’ll see a pop-up explaining that leaving is not okay and then have to manually agree to not leave future games. If they continue to repeatedly ruin other players’ experiences, they’ll enter lower-priority matchmaking for a number of games. While in low priority queue, players will experience queue times that are 5, 10, even 20 minutes longer than a player who hasn't left games.


As always, it's far easier to prove something exists than that something doesn't exist. However, right now there's a large amount of authority pointing to "no".

Riot has officially stated the following:
  • Losing streak island does not exist;
  • Reported player island does not exist;
  • After a string of losses, your chance of winning is 50%++; and
  • There is an AFK queue, but places you in with everyone else.

Do you believe the Riot team? Has the matchmaking AI evolved beyond what it was intended to do? Is it all in your head? Comment below!

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  1. Turpal GiskaevMay 26, 2015


  2. I believe in the power of Rito and I'm in a good mood cause they made another black champion.

  3. Steven NadlerMay 26, 2015

    I just got off a losing streak and hopped on the winning streak train from D5 to D4 in just one day. Positive attitude and good focus in games make it exceptionally easy to win games as well. If you are on a losing streak (like I was) I recommend stop playing ranked or League all together for the day and come back another day or the next day (like I did). Good luck Sommoners!

  4. Sam JacksonMay 26, 2015

    The one I am more bothered by is party matchmaking.
    I am unranked (probably rank myself a silver), I play with a mate a lot who is ranked and sits at silver 4. When we play together in normals, somehow we end up on a team consisting of nothing higher than golds (usually all silver and then me) vs teams consisting of mainly diamonds and the odd challenger! How the hell does that even happen? By our crap skills combines we do not meet the level of a challenger level player, even in OCE.
    So we usually get stomped pretty obviously, but how is this fair? I have never had a challenger on my team, yet have to face one quite often.

  5. Enzo Di CapriMay 26, 2015

    simple ... challengers and diamonds have usually a shitty Unranked games MMR. besides they likely play in team with someone of a lower level, sometimes even unranked whose MMR is quite low. So the system has to find an opponent for a team made of Challenger (with like Plat Unrakned MMR) and a silver/bronze or unranked with a Silver/bronze Unranked MMR. so it picks average opponents : Silver 1 or 2 teams. As a master 1, my Mmr for unrakned is more like diamond 5, when i play unrakned games with my bronze friends, i always end up against silver or gold players.

  6. TenobaalMay 26, 2015

    I'm facing the same problem... I usually group up with a friend of mine (we're both silver 3, 800-1000 games) and we get matched against plat and diamond players. Our team consists mostly of unranked or unexperienced players with less than 100 wins. Maybe one reason is that the enemy team has no premades. Since RIOT removed the premade tracker on LOLNexus (or whatever it is called) there no way to verify this.

  7. B4ckslashMay 26, 2015

    Tbh I think the 'take a game off and you break the losing streak' is less because of matchmaking but rather because you got your mind off of the game for a while(at least in terms of ranked), which has been kinda proven to help your performance in the next games^^

  8. YasanthaMay 26, 2015

    I do have to agree.
    How about experiment with loosing train account with given to pro player for next game :D

  9. praNNkiiMay 26, 2015

    Yep, had win streak of 30+ and then 10 loses with no win, cant be normal. Get only idiots in my team if i am on the lose train, and i know that we lose before the game starts.

  10. OblongOtterMay 26, 2015

    There is something called Negativity Bias, where essentially you prefer to remember the negatives of something, and not the positives. If we want to search the plausibility of losing streak island, why don't we conduct a study instead of only using anecdotal evidence which is tainted by negativity bias.

    When you're on a losing streak, just go to and check out your teammates and enemies if you feel like you're on an island. It has a fairly extensive match history, so just find the game you guys were in together, and look at their previous games. You can do the same for your enemies.

    This would put an end to this discussion instead of a constant "It kinda feels like I'm an on island sometimes, everyone on my team is an idiot."

    I actually have played with people on losing streaks (I don't really notice when I'm on one, too focused on my own performance.) They really do complain a lot more, even about things that might happen in any possible game. It feels like they're scrutinizing their whole team, which of course will make them find more mistakes.

  11. Played around 10 games in a row within my own mmr range (diamond V). Won said games and, when finally up to promotions, I got 2 gold and 1 lower plat on my team who fed the enemy team to a point where the game was already lost before the 20 min mark. Oh, but it's just one match right? Not that big of a deal.. but wait, there's more!!! Next match, guess what? 1 unranked player and another gold. I just lost my promotions without even a chance of winning :D How the fuck is that fair? And why am I with so lower mmr players? Is it because, after a winning streak, the matchmaking purposely tries to destroy my matches?

  12. Seriously, I do my very best not to rage and I'll continue to do so but, sincerely, I quit playing for the day... this is so frustrating...

  13. you're not supposed to be place in the same ranked mathc as players with divisions lower than plat and higher than master , in your case

  14. Eric ValkenaarMay 26, 2015


  15. 謝君揚May 26, 2015

    your logic seems flawed. Think about it, if it were true that people troll less in thier promos compared to games before 100 LP:
    1. getting to your promos in question is going to be harder if you can't be paired with promo-players during your climb, and since promos happen less than the other games (say it took about an average of 10 games to get to 100 LP, but you only play 2~3 promo games), you'll have a worse time dealing with "trolls"
    2. without specifically pairing only promo-players, you get a higher chance of going against 5 trolls rather than having 4 trolls yourself. It's just probability, 5>4.

  16. 謝君揚May 26, 2015

    I feel your frustration man. But well... it's impossible for riot to target you alone out of millions of players. Maybe your winning streak came from having high MMR teammates, and the system had to balance it out, or your enemy team had terrible MMR (similar to your gold/plat teammates) in your promos.
    Just keep calm and return to rank when you feel like it, by the sound of it you should breeze up the ranks in no time.

  17. 謝君揚May 26, 2015

    well... I climbed to diamond maining top and jungle, but I claim (shamefully) to be a bronze ADC.
    Since I try out new champions a lot in normal queue, I often do poorly and my winnrate in normals is actually only about 50.5%.
    It would be completely unsurprising to me if I went against silver/ unranked players in ng. Happens a lot now I come to think of it :/

  18. Eric ValkenaarMay 26, 2015

    I swear weak minded people who say that make me want to cry. YES you COULD have trolls on the other team BUT because of probability and chance you also COULD get a troll/afk or two on your team from now till eternity. And have you played with someone who was like "it's my promo looks like I'll go poppy adc this game" or something close to that? If you are in your promo, unless you are a smurf you are not going to intentionally throw your game. Plus leagues says they want to base rank on a hell graph yet you know bronze makes up for 76% of the community? I don't think you will have any trouble finding games.

  19. Sounds like self fulfilling negativity. You cause your own loss by expecting it. I do it too tbh. You go in on tilt and sabotage yourself. Whereas on a good frame of mind you try to rally your team and find a way to win

  20. I don't think there are enough people all in their promos in the same tier to do that without having unreasonably long wait times

  21. You're forgetting to consider the chance that you yourself are a troll lol :P

  22. It is a normal distribution or "bell curve" but the average is in bronze because the distribution is MMR based and not Tier based. It wouldn't make sense if the majority of players were placed in gold.

  23. wut... how do you get paired with an unranked in D5? Unranked players can't get above Plat 1 even if they win all 10 of their placement games.

  24. I think he's exaggerating. I'm pretty sure it's impossible for an unranked player to be matched in games above Plat 1, and they'd have to have won the large majority of their placement matches to even get to that point.

  25. Yeah people always remember the games they get matched with a feeder but then when they get matched with a challenger smurf Lucian who goes 28-0 and carries their bronze elo ass, they think "I win cuz I'm so skilled :P"

  26. MasterOfMetalMay 26, 2015

    Idk, when i win games it is often 10 in a row, when i lose the same happens, maybe it just that i get too confident and go on tilt, or maybe its because i'm now playing against people i am not good enough to face and the system doesn't know because of my now great recent matches, like in my promo's when i started ranked last year, i was definitely not ready for what i faced, being a new lvl 30 who had just finished his rune pages and decided that he was ready, i still won 7 of 10 games and was places silver 2, simply because the same guy happened to be on my team every game, he actually carried the other team in my tenth promo haha, but yeah idk about these islands

  27. I believe them when they say there is no losing streak island. While you play you may feel like "wtf I only get matched with trolls and idiots" but looking back most of my losing streaks are when I'm on tilt or playing champions in roles that I'm not great with. I really can't say I've lost more than 3 or 4 games in a row in which I was honestly playing my best in all of them.

  28. I think the "loser island" effect is mostly an excuse someone makes when they drop multiple tiers.

  29. Reported player island is probably a myth made by toxic players who are so toxic that they incite toxic reactions from their team, so they say "omg Rito matches me with toxic ppl I report them all" when it's their own fault that their team is toxic,

  30. Grigorios T.May 26, 2015

    How about you keep a maintenance log? So we can know what's updated (supposing you're updating outdated articles and the like), which you can add to the list on the left and add the changes every monday.

  31. other team was about everyone diamond V and just one plat I.. still no unranked nor golds...

  32. No, no, a fully unranked dude (acording to He didn't really fed tbh but still... I'm diamond V and I've actually seen unranked players play with a few mates around my mmr...

  33. btw, whenever I'm tilted like this, I simply won't play anything. It just makes things even worse. I'll surely follow your advice :)

  34. ROBERTxLEE also played around diamond V mmr in his series "unranked to challenger" when he was just unranked.

  35. Aldo TorresMay 26, 2015

    What if the A.I of the algoritm has evolved into something more Dark and Complicated that is controlling the League of Legends system deep inside the core, isolating bad players with bad players in a living hell that is slowly consuming all ligues and divisions and you will not scape from it (¬¬).....

  36. Gustavo FritzMay 26, 2015

    Well, I was in Plat 2 earlier this season. After some ups and down I fell in platinum 3.
    From that moment, I began to play with extremely toxic players in my team ( haters, Quiters , etc). Many, many toxic players.
    With much effort he managed to stay in Platinum, but I am already playing against silver 1 players.
    I fell like i`m in the ELO HELL of the Platinum Division.
    In a game all players are toxic on my team. In the next game all the toxic players are in the opposite team.
    1 win 1 loss ever.
    I fell like i`ll never rise anymore in the division .

    (sorry about bad english)

  37. Gustavo FritzMay 26, 2015

    I think the island is fuc*#@ real.
    Looking at many and many times my teammates has -30% victory in the champs they are playing at the moment Vs +60% victory in the other team.
    I fell like RIOT want you to demonstrate that you can carry the team and deserves get out of the "island".

  38. New league champ is SkyNet

  39. in that case, nothing helps and no discussion is needed

  40. Ziggs, the Hexplosives ExpertMay 26, 2015

    Majority of players fall into Silver.

    Silver is roughly the same size as Bronze+Gold.

    Plat 5+ is the top 10%.

  41. I would assume you're just going through tilt right now and mad at everyone who defends the system, if you would read my comment again:

    1. I never said you could never get a troll or AFK, I admitted it all came down to probability. I'm not sure how well you understand the word, but I was just telling you that you would be approximately 1.25 times more likely to get an AFK/troll on the enemy team rather than yours, assuming you're not one yourself.

    2. My entire comment was based on the assumption that promo-players try harder and perform better than normal ones, which I agree with you on.

    3. How is it weak minded to accept the cards you're dealt and carry on? LOL is just a game, let's talk real world examples. Imagine if your father was unfortunate to encounter some guy who misinterpreted the traffic lights, and your father passed away in an accident (heaven forbid). Would you be "weak minded" if you learned from him and from the experience that life is far from perfect, and carry on living a life you know he would be proud of? Or would you be "weak minded" if you ran to the traffic bureau (or whatever is head of traffic in your country) and complained to them. "WHY ME!? IT'S A PROBABILITY PROBLEM, WHY TF ME? CAN'T YOU PUT ALL TRAFFIC VIOLATORS IN THE SAME PART OF THE CITY?"

  42. Mário PassosMay 27, 2015

    Cmon last weekend i was silver 2 and i get like 10+ lost in a row (with some wining match like 1 or 2) and i get demoted to silver 4 just in 2 days. Is my second time this season in silver 4 and i started the season in silver 1 so tell me if this is not a losing streak what is it?

  43. Eric ValkenaarMay 27, 2015

    I'm saying its weak minded to pull 5>4 card when it comes to getting a troll/afk on your team. It literally doesn't matter what your odds are because that does come down to luck, there are people with odds in their favor that will always lose a bet just like there are very lucky people. If you buy a lotto ticket every day for 10 years and never win one thing, how mad would you be if a kid who just turned 18/21 (depending on where you live) won $1000000 on his very first lotto ticket purchase? You would say he is a very lucky kid to win on his first purchase when you should have a better "chance" of winning because you have bought almost 4000 tickets. That's why it comes down to LUCK. Which is the whole point of my first comment saying people in promos should be matched up. Now past gold I agree this may not work and they would have to have a normal que for plat on up.

  44. no I wouldn't be mad at the lotto kid, because I would have played the lotto game already with the possibility of losing in mind. I hardly gamble but if I did I would know what I'm putting myself into.

    Yes there are people who get lucky, and probability hardly means anything unless you've really played a lot of games, and once something happens there is absolutely no reason to discuss the probability of other missed options.

    Like my previous comment, what I'm against is the people who only whine about not being lucky. Instead of wasting money on lotto, why not put time and effort into managing it? Instead of complaining about the matchmaking system why not put the time to practicing your mechanics?

    Life is much less fair than this game. If you're so worked up by a random troll, god bless you in your further endeavors of life.


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