Game Mobalytics

Debatable Measures of Champion Difficulty


It’s time to dive into the intriguing world of League of Legends and explore the question of champion difficulty. Have you ever wondered which of the 125 current champions is actually the easiest to play? Riot attempts to answer this question with their 1-10 difficulty rating system, but is it truly accurate? In this article, we’ll explore a different approach to measure champion difficulty using math and data, and discuss the debatable nature of such measurements.

The Riot Rating System

Riot’s difficulty rating system, found in the champion info section of the client, seems somewhat arbitrary. Can we really believe that Morgana is a 1/10 in terms of difficulty, while Swain is an 8/10? Riot’s ratings often fail to align with our intuition about the actual difficulty of playing each champion.

A Mathematical Approach

Instead of relying solely on subjective ratings, we can use math and data to devise a measure that is grounded in objective reality. By analyzing 2,097,222 recent ranked solo-queue matches from the NA server, we can calculate a difficulty rating for each champion.

The Procedure

Here’s how the difficulty rating is determined:

  1. Calculate the win percentage for teams with each champion in different leagues (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Challenger).
  2. Plot the win percentages, with Bronze on the left and Challenger on the right.
  3. Fit a regression line through the points.
  4. Measure the slope of the regression line.
  5. Normalize the slope on a one to ten scale for comparison with Riot’s difficulties.
  6. Finally, sort the normalized slopes and create a table.
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Understanding the Ratings

A steep positive slope indicates that skilled players tend to win more frequently with that champion, suggesting a higher difficulty level. A flat slope implies that skill level has less impact on a champion’s performance, indicating moderate difficulty. On the other hand, a negative slope suggests that better players lose less frequently against that champion, implying a lower skill-cap.

The Debatable Nature

As the title suggests, the difficulty ratings obtained through this method are highly debatable. However, it is an interesting and objective procedure that reveals captivating insights. Let’s take a look at the table and analyze some of the findings.

Findings and Observations

Here are a few intriguing observations based on the difficulty ratings:

  • Heimerdinger tops the list as the most difficult champion, while Nidalee sits at the bottom.
  • Quinn is the least difficult ranged AD champion, closely followed by Miss Fortune.
  • Champions like Nidalee, Jayce, Kalista, Elise, and Lee Sin, known for their mechanically-intense kits, rank among the least difficult.
  • Vel’Koz, with a difficulty rating of 3.3/10, may seem harder than expected based on personal experience, suggesting that his skill-cap might not be as high as anticipated.
  • Interestingly, this measure aligns perfectly with Riot’s rating for Nami, rating her as a 5/10.

Bronze Win Rate as a Simpler Measure

While the previous measure provided interesting insights, we can also explore a simpler measure: the Bronze win rate. Could this be a good predictor or proxy for difficulty? Let’s take a look at the table and compare it with the previous ratings.

Similarities and Differences

Comparing the two tables, we notice some striking similarities. Bronze win rate corresponds to the left-most point in the curve fit, and it sets the stage for a shallow or negative slope in the line. However, it’s interesting to note that the two tables are not identical. Evidently, a champion’s performance in ranked matches at the Bronze level is not the sole determinant of their difficulty.

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The Pitfall of Professional Play

Many players tend to pick up new champions after witnessing their impressive performance in professional matches. However, it’s important to note that a champion’s success in a carefully orchestrated team composition at the highest level of play may not accurately reflect their performance in solo-queue. Unfortunately, this common misconception can lead to poor choices and misguided assumptions about champion difficulty.

The Unending Debate

The debate about champion difficulty will likely continue indefinitely. While we’ve explored different measures and perspectives, there is no definitive answer. So, why were you searching for this information? The world of League of Legends is filled with ongoing discussions and inquiries.


While our attempts to measure champion difficulty have been both innovative and thought-provoking, it’s time to bring this article to a close. The exploration of League and math doesn’t end here. Return to our index and delve into more League-related topics. If you’d like to stay updated on our latest articles, consider subscribing to our RSS feed.

Remember, linear regression is a fascinating way to distill extensive data into concise insights. And no worries, no Heimerdinger mains stuck in Bronze were harmed during the creation of this article.


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