Although it is commonly argued that Riot does not care about elo boosting, many players have been banned for it so it is sort of a punishable offence in League of Legends.
There are no solid guidelines that Riot has provided about detection of elo boosting but you can always avoid certain patterns and actions to stay safe from being banned for it.
It is to be noted that the most common type of elo boosting involves sharing an account with your booster, which is a direct violation of Riot’s Terms of Service, and you are strongly discouraged from doing so.
Also read: How to fix mouse jitters in LoL
What is Elo Boosting?
In simple terms, elo boosting is a way of improving your account’s position on the ranked ladder by letting better players play from your account.
Many people offer such services on different websites in exchange for some money, and many players actually take this route when failing to climb up the ranked ladder on their own.
Why is it an Offence?
Obviously, elo boosting may be done by people using your PC to play from your account, or by directly giving your account’s credentials for someone to log into from their own device and play from there.
Since Riot’s matchmaking puts you up against players of similar rank and skillset, letting a higher ranked player play from your low rank account puts the enemies at an unfair disadvantage, which is unhealthy for the general state of the game.
Imagine you queue up for your final Promotion Series game into Silver and suddenly the hardstuck, Bronze enemy midlaner goes 10/0 in 5 minutes and completely destroys your team. Frustrating, right?
How Does Riot Catch Boosters?
Riot has never explicitly revealed how it catches boosters and accounts being boosted, but personal accounts of experiences of players banned for this offence have shown that there are certain factors that Riot combines together to determine whether an account is being boosted or not.
Should you choose to get yourself boosted (maybe for that sweet Victorious skin awarded to all players above Gold at the end of every season, no judging), be sure to avoid these mistakes to protect yourself from Riot’s erratic banwaves.
Massive Spike in K/DA:
The Kills/Deaths/Assists ratio is a very good indicator of a player’s performance in the game. If Riot’s system notices a consistent but sudden change in a player’s K/DA in ranked games, the account may be monitored for suspicious activity.
A high K/DA across a long winning streak is a big red flag that shows that you are stomping all games. Unless you suddenly had a massive increase in skill, which is unlikely, this can cause Riot to investigate your account seriously.
Change in IP Address:
Every time you log into League of Legends, your internet IP address is sent to Riot’s servers. This IP address carries important information like your type of computer and location. If a player’s account suddenly has the IP location shifted far away when someone else logs into the account, Riot’s system can automatically flag it to take action as needed.
If the booster you gave your account to is in a geographically different part of the world, this is a dead giveaway of boosting, and is most likely to let Riot know of the account sharing being done.
Change in Champion Pool:
If a toplane main is suddenly playing attack damage carry (ADC) champions in the botlane and carrying all ranked games while at it, it can reasonably be predicted that the account is in the hands of a booster.
A drastic change in the champs you play in Ranked matches combined with unbelievably good performances at the champs you haven’t played before can cause your account to be marked as suspicious.
Change in Summoner Spells:
Believe it or not, a lot of people, including some famous streamers, have been caught getting elo boosts because of a change in the summoner spells they took into their ranked matches.
How can a change in summoner spells reveal elo boosting though? Surprisingly, the summoner spells’ placement on D or F can be a reliable indicator of who’s playing on your account.
For example, it was seen that a streamer who had the spell Flash on the D key for all of his previous games suddenly had it on the F key. When people got suspicious about him getting a boost due to a sudden increase in his rank, this summoner spell placement confirmed that someone else was playing from his account, and Riot banned him.
How to Get Past These Checks?
None of these hints are actually a solid reason for a ban completely on their own, since a player could be honest and still experience any one of these points, like a change in champion preferences, during a ranked season. Therefore, Riot usually only bans accounts that exhibit a combination of these flags or the ones that are reported by the enemy team. So, a little bit of sensibility on you and your booster’s part can go a long way here.
For starters, do not get yourself win streaks of 10 or 15 matches straight since that is obviously very fishy. If the booster lives away from you, ask him to use a VPN that assigns him an IP address of your region so an IP disparity does not give you away to Riot’s system. And finally, make sure to use similar champs and summoner spells when either of you is playing on the account.
This article does not endorse elo boosting in anyway. Rather, the point here is to give you awareness about elo boosting and its dangers. If you do end up taking this route at some point in your League career, be sure to avoid the mistakes mentioned above to protect your account from being banned.
Let us know in the comments below if you are in support of this practice, or if you think Riot needs to be more strict in its action against boosters.
Check out this piece that answers a question we’ve all asked at some point: why are queue times so long in League of Legends?