The Motives Behind LOL ELO Boosting

League of legends has a ranking system where players are matched based on skill level, but if a player gets enough wins, he/she is promoted to a higher rank. Keep winning and players can find themselves at the top of the food chain; Diamond. This progression system is one of the endearing attributes of League of Legends, high ranking players get the best rewards, fame and sometimes a professional career in eSports.

Elo boosting is a process by which lower-ranked players pays and provides their League of Legends account login details to a more experienced player to help them play and boost their rank. Although boosting is kind of akin to cheating when you think about it, lots of players still engage in it for one reason or the other. A recent study showed that 1 in 10 leagues of legends players has had their account boosted! That’s a lot when you consider the fact that League of Legends has tens of millions of players.   Even the threat of ban from the creators of the game; Riot games, doesn’t seem to have any effect in preventing players from using boosting services. Here’s a question, why! What motivates players to hire other better players? Why is the player rank in League of legend so important?

Aesthetics. Yes. The most motivating factor as evidenced by research as to why players engage in boosting is the rewards. These rewards more often than not are purely aesthetic tweaks. Players love to have the latest and greatest skin so much that they are willing to part with some cash to get it. In League of Legends, different rank comes with different rewards, and statistics show that most players typically boost their account to a gold rank or higher. All indications point to the desire for aesthetic rewards as a massive motivating factor for players. Some of these cosmetic upgrades include an upgraded summoning icon, new loading screen border, and profile trim. At first, glance, boosting for cosmetic rewards might seem like bullocks, but when you think about the passion and zeal league of legends players have for the game, then it all makes sense. It’s the same reason why in most cases people tend to wear clothing that echoes their financial status. Everyone
wants to look good and rock the latest and fanciest of stuff, why should League of
Legends players are any different?

A second motivating factor which is rather quite interesting is the belief some players have that they belong to a particular level which they are paying to get boosted too. Well, for me that is just bonkers. League of Legends has a system that ranks players according to their skill level, and for the most part, it is quite a reliable system. If the ranking system wasn’t working great, there won’t be a   boosting services industry because there will be no way to guarantee a boost. If you believe you deserve to be a ‘gold’ or ‘platinum’ player, why not play games, win matches and work your way up to your ‘deserved’ level, why pay for it?

Another reason why players boost is to recover a lost rank or reward. There comes a time when somehow you lose your magic touch or you find yourself in a less than desirable team and you lose a whole bunch of games and then before you know it, you are down to a lower level. This is where hiring a booster is appealing, because instead of unreliably trying to get your rank back, a  booster can guarantee your promotion back to your formal glory. 

Then there’s the constraint of time. Some people boost because they simply don’t have the time to play League of Legends for hours on end trying to get to a higher rank, but they care enough to pay someone to help them do it. Before now, those who devoted time and energy to video games were considered as lazy and unserious, but with the advent of eSports and game streaming, one can build a very successful career just playing video games. That being said, the majority of the gaming populace are hobbyists, they play games to catch fun and ease of stress, theyhave other things goingon their lives, whatever it may be.  These hobbyist gamers who play league of Legends are part of a community where your rank is like a status symbol, so in order not to be left out, they hire boosters to get them the rank of their choice and its accompanying rewards.

Another interesting factor is the perceived nonchalance of Riot Games towards boosting. I say ‘perceived’ because Riot Games has clearly stated it stands on boosting in the media and in its policies, according to Riot Games, the penalty for boosting is a ban, but somehow boosted accounts still survive. Yes, there are ways to cloak your boosting activities by using a VPN or adopting the same playing style as the boosted (owner of the boosted account), but there are still cases where players were reckless in their boosting endeavor and took no precautions whatsoever and Riot Games still didn’t lift a finger. This apathy on the path of Riot Games has in no small way given players the much-needed confidence to try out boosting.

Boosting has indeed had its own fair share of criticism. A group of players believes that boosting impacts the integrity of the game, as undeserving players are elevated to positions they are not qualified to be in, making the game uninteresting to legit players at that level. Others say boosting is morally wrong and is essentially cheating. Others simply don’t trust anyone enough to hand over their account details; it’s not an uncommon occurrence for boosters to abuse this trust and carry out all sort of havoc on the boosted’s account. And then there is the money problem, boosting can be quite expensive, depending on your requirements. Boosting fees can range from as low as 20 bucks to as much as thousands of dollars.