Fresh Placement Accounts: The problem that plagues high elo KR solo queue


Fresh Placement Accounts in Korean are called "생배" [seng-be], but for our convenience, let’s just call them FPAs. It’s a term that the Korean community started to use to label accounts that have never played placement games in ranked solo/duo queue, or those that have just finished their placements. 


These FPAs are ruining the KR solo queue environment, especially on the top of the ladder. If you take a look at the rankings in Korea, there are quite a few of these FPAs. The win rates of these accounts aren't that different from the others, but they have a lot more LP, and the reason behind this is because these accounts gain more LP through winning, and lose little LP from losing.

Understanding how MMR affects accounts

To understand more about this, you need to understand how the matchmatcking rating (MMR) works. It’s a totally different concept from how LP works in LoL. It’s a measurement system in League that shows you which players you’re paired up with. It’s not visibly shown and it works in the background. If you go on a win streak, your MMR rises, so you’ll play with higher-tier players. If you go on a losing streak, then you’re paired with players in lower tiers than you. That's the basic principle of the MMR system and the FPAs take huge advantage from it.


One other term that’s heavily associated with these FPAs is called "Low-tier Duos" (LTDs for short). When a player duo queues with someone that's one tier lower than them, that's an LTD. For example, if you are Gold tier, then your LTD partner would either be Silver (one tier lower than you) or Platinum (one tier higher than you). If you are Platinum, you'd be LTD-paired with Gold or Diamond, and so on. In cases like this, the MMR averages out the two accounts’ MMR ratings, but when the LTD partner’s account is of a lower tier. That’s when FPAs become troublesome.

Why are FPAs a problem

FPAs aren’t trouble just because they start building their MMR from scratch without game history from previous seasons. They’re trouble because they have abnormal win streaks in normal games from level 1 through LTD, thus having abnormally high MMR. If the LTD is made of Diamond/Master level players, normal games would be a piece of cake for them, and Bronze-Platinum would be an easy win streak. Even if the streak gets broken, they can just simply create new accounts, thus allowing these FPAs to easily reach the top of the solo queue ladder.


“But if you’re a Diamond player, wouldn’t you simply not be able to survive in GM/Challenger queue?”  There’s a very illogical answer to a very logical question. Because these FPAs have such high MMR, they don’t lose a lot of LP when they lose. If they keep losing, then the LP gain/loss would eventually even out with normal accounts. However, during that process, players that play with those that use these PFAs would suffer.


High Elo games (Grandmaster/Challenger) are very different from your normal ranked games. It’s the place where pro gamers spend almost every day practicing to get better. On the KR server, there are pros from both in and outside of Korea that occupy the top of the ladder each season. That’s why these games are closely correlated with the professional league. The high-level gameplay must be maintained at all cost.


This isn't a problem that affects only a small portion of the player population. Recently, the FPA problem has also been plaguing Platinum/Diamond Elo in Korea. Some high Elo players even announced that they’ll no longer play ranked solo queue out of frustration. Solo queue LP is a very sensitive topic for pro gamers, as pro teams commonly set LP goals for their players — I'd do it myself during my tenure as head coach. Solo queue is slowly dying because of unfair competition, thus an overhaul of the MMR system needs to happen quickly before even the pro players start keeping away from solo queue. 

Sort by:

Comments :0

Insert Image

Add Quotation

Add Translate Suggestion

Language select