Why Bronze Hell exists

Blizz admitted it exists.

Blizz admitted MM is bad.

People on this board say 1 of 3 things:

  1. It’s real
  2. It’s not real
  3. Nobody but blizz can fix it so stop pretending you’re smart enough to make suggestions #TrustInBlizz #TheyKnowMoreThanYou

These facts are undeniable:

  1. There are people in high ranks with smurfs who can’t escape Bronze Hell. Long been cataloged by streamers and let’s players.
  2. There are common elements in every video I’ve seen on YouTube. These elements always fall under: “Toxic Players”
  3. Blizzard has had Bronze Hell for the last 5 years. DotA and LoL both figured out how to dispense with their “hells”, but Blizz hasn’t. In fact, Blizz has actually seemed to make it worse.

Common Elements:

  1. AFK and Disconnects.
  2. New Players mixed in with players trying to level up who weaken the team. You can also argue people who speak another language that play on English servers.
  3. Bad Players who refuse to learn.
  4. Malicious Players Throwing the Game or otherwise always demoralize others .

Every Single ONE OF US - EVERY ONE OF US - has fit the mold for one of those four. BUT – I’m talking about 2 specific aspects of the above:

  1. The system FORCING pain upon the players through 1 and 2.
  2. Blizzard’s report system utterly failing to address how to properly handle Bad and Malicious gameplay.

Attempts to Rectify these situations:

  1. Blizz has done nothing to rectify the issues caused by 1 and 2. In fact, Blizz made it worse.
  2. Blizz’s reporting system is so bad that they are constantly sending questionnaires to players saying “OMG do you like it? If not why don’t you like it?!” It’s easily manipulated and the code isn’t worth the datastorage it’s saved on.

That leaves us with these questions:

  1. How do you resolve issues with AFKs and Disconnects?
  2. How do you resolve issues with new players holding others back?
  3. How do you resolve issues with Bad Players who refuse to learn?
  4. How do you resolve issues with malicious players w/o excessively punishing others through a system that is easily manipulated?

The answers to all of these questions can be resolved by looking at what other game companies have done. That requires Blizzard to admit it has failed and is NOT an industry leader.

The two biggest leaders are LoL and DotA2 have done the following.

  1. When a player disconnects, they are allowed X minutes to return, when that time is up, the others are allowed to leave with No Penalty, and there is no MMR adjustment.

Additionally, in DotA2: When a player excessively AFKs in multiple games, they are given a short timeout (just 15 minutes).
In LoL: Players can vote to end the current game, while reporting the afker for a short timeout and other decay based penalties.

What has Blizz Done: Blizzard punishes other players by refusing to say the game is a wash, in addition, they have a broken A.I. controlled by the computer, who is not even competent enough to beat newbie players. AFK warnings and punishments are almost NEVER given out, not unless the entire team excessively reports the AFKer and they are reported on in multiple games.

What happens in the REAL WORLD with Physical Sports: If you walk around dazed or just beweldered on the field, you’re not allowed to play with the better players. You are benched. If you are sleeping on the bench, you are not sent out.

  1. LoL and DotA2 have a more comprehensive ranking system, that does NOT overtly punish veteran players from losing games while grouped with newer, lower ranked players, who contribute little to nothing to gameplay. Such players who also have poor performance stats also don’t level up as quickly, not until their performance increases.

What has Blizz Done: forced everyone to adhere to the belief that new players will learn if paired with older veteran players, while rewarding and punishing everyone equally regardless of performance.

In the Real World with Physical Sports: Coaches force players to practice, run drills, train… if they don’t, they don’t play. HotS should probably have some practice drills or more comprehensive tutorial sessions than what is provided.

  1. LoL and DotA2 have a complex system allowing people to get out of their lower ranking hells. These systems are multi tiered, allowing players to have unlimited “blocks” to refuse to be played with abusive players, allowing players to vote to end games, giving a little more weight to personal performance when ranking up than Blizzard’s MMR, etc…

Blizzard: Blizzard made it more difficult to get out of lower ranked hells, by refusing to punish players for being bad, for doing things like “running in circles to avoid AFK detection, while doing nothing”, by refusing to “analyze to see if players falsely laddered their stats for the score screen”, by making it so players have to win multiple games in a row to exit a tier (such as bronze) but allow players to fall back 1 tier (such as from silver to bronze) in 1 single game, etc… Everything Blizzard has done has been to punish players, rather than to allow them to escape Bronze Hell and the abuse that comes with it.

In the real world with physical sports: Players who run in circles, who throw bs Passes, who make it so it’s hard for the other players to play while pretending to get in higher stats, are almost always ejected from the game.

  1. LoL actually pretty much fails hard at this, but one thing LoL does right is they actually tell players exactly what the report was about and who filed it. DotA2 has a better system where they notify players of the types of reports being placed on the player, why they should improve, and how many other players received similar reports. DotA2’s report system is actually pretty encouraging, asking people to play nice, saying, gotta cool down… I like it. Didn’t feel upset when I got nailed… I deserved it, dropped too many F bombs. DotA2 was right. “Dude take a break!”

What does Blizz do? Blizzard created a system where warnings don’t decay, they just continue to escalate in punishment. This system is also easily manipulated by allowing it to be an automatic application if 5 random people decide to just REPORT YOU for the FUN OF IT. Blizzard’s position is one of “we refuse to admit we did any wrong” so it’s next to impossible to contest these.

What do Real Life Sports do? Malicious people are wrapped on the wrist, but only in extreme circumstances are they banned for an entire season. Real life sports tend to do what DotA2 does.

Things Blizz can do to implement an immediate change, they are not deal breakers, just suggestions that can be used and can have positive effects. I am sure there are many more suggestions out there as well, esp ones better than mine:

  1. Make pre-formated text and spoken commands heavier in the interface. I explained this in detail in another thread. By having an IN GAME CHARACTER appear on the screen to give people instructions, you have less confrontational tones between players and more compliance, while eliminating toxic chat for those who are not in the same group/friend’s list

  2. Bad and Malicious Players will always have poor personal scores, whether or not they “rank up their stats”. Make early ranked levels rely heavily upon player stats, while phasing them into Group and Party stat performance at upper levels. Malicious Players will never leave Bronze, and rarely leave silver.

  3. Do Away with the 2 wins in a row to level up nonsense.

  4. Make past warnings decay and vanish.

  5. Be more open about why people have been warned, while citing the exact section of the CoC, don’t just lazily say “Oh you did something bad but we’re not telling you and it’s in this web link somewhere”. Either you know or you don’t know, no more lazy umpiring.

  6. Focus on positive community building on the website and with streamers and let’s players.

  7. Institute no penalty leaving.

  8. Experiment with vote to end.

  9. Completely re-evaluate how player performances affects how games are won and lost, and adjust the end game scores appropriately.

All these things are basic ideas on how to move forward and to stop the players from leaving. HotS has had some serious issues as of late in regards to player base.

And no I am not going to follow this particular thread. Either people agree or disagree. There are plenty of other suggestions as well, which may be better than mine. The only thing I won’t agree with is the idea that nothing is wrong. A lot is wrong. A lot is very very wrong. Blizz should hire someone who recognizes this and immediately push for heavy fixes.

I definitely will like to see better suggestions than my own (actual suggestions not: “how about we keep it as it is” - because that is not working).


After being stuck in Bronze 5-4 for about two years, I got to Platinum 3 within two months.

I read guides, I watched streamers climbing. I started soaking exp instead of waiting other players to do it. I tried to die less each game.

I started doing camps if nobody was taking them. I went to the objective right as they spawned, instead of waiting for a teammate go to there for me. I depushed big waves of enemy minions threatening to kill our forts instead of ignoring them.

So do I believe in “bronze hell”, no. It was a prison of my own making through very sloppy playing.
And my micro ability with heroes barely (if at all) improved during my climb. It was big macro errors that kept me low.

Not to mention streamers much stronger than myself are able to get out of there within days. So there is no “hell” locking anyone from advancing.


AZJackson makes a forum post about no such thing as forced losses or MMR hell existing:
“Blizz admitted it exists.”

The mental acrobatics needed to say this…

There are people in high ranks with smurfs who can’t escape Bronze Hell.

Where? Fan gets all his bronze accs out of there almost instantly.

Waiting for real arguments, instead of just “you’re shilling!!!” or “blizz fanboy!!”, neither of which is me.


Sorry it’s a bit of a long read but are those your justification why you personally can’t rank out of bronze?


I love how you strawman a “50/50” loss argument into a thread that DOES NOT EVEN MENTION THAT BS and claim that’s what I’m talking about.

I’m not talking about the 50% win/loss BS. I NEVER BROUGHT IT UP!

Blizz HAS admitted there is a problem with ranking and people being unable to escape the lower leagues despite their own performances. You literally made up some load of bs and stuck it into your reply.

I’m talking about how the game pairs people up and how you can easily get stuck with terrible games and terrible players despite your own skills being well above theirs.

Please read my entire post, same with all you others out there who want to try to strawman your way into this thread.

I played since Alpha. I was Silver then Gold until late 2017 when I was forced to stop playing due to real life commitments. I came back, better skills and all, can’t get out of bronze. Why? NOTHING BUT AFKERS and THROWERS.

So you can go ahead and stuff it if you want to deny it exists.

And that’s all I have to say there.

Your skill magically got better after a 3 year break from Silver (during which the game lost tower ammo, hero movement speeds were changed, multiple new heroes introduced, new maps introduced)?

Simply sounds like a troll thread at this point.

Blizz HAS admitted there is a problem with ranking and people being unable to escape the lower leagues

Then you have no problem linking that post?

Because this is a very common forum theme: Someone claims “Blizzard said” something they never did and are completely unable to produce a link to said claim, attacking anyone who asks for a source with personal insults.

Sounds like a certain desperate president.


Please link to one of these streamers, as all of the ones I watch who are high rank have no problem whatsoever getting out of Bronze.


So you have been playing on silver/gold level which ins’t really that much higher than bronze to begin with. Obviously it’s not that easy to climb out of a rank that represents a skill level that is close to your real skill level. You might think you don’t belong in bronze but you are not good enough to win enough games in bronze to rank up… Anyway what matters if you are in bronze or silver? Do you think that if you would get out of bronze your teammates will suddenly stop afk/throwing and then it will be smooth sailing to Masters? ^^ Nope.
Your rank basically don’t matter and nothing will change for you if you rank up a little bit.

Truth is, you aren’t stuck in bronze because of afk/throwers because these players are also on the enemy team. Overall this evens out and you should even have a slight advantage because of that (because you only get 4 random teammates that potentially suck while the enemy team has 5 random players that potentially suck).

Instead of putting in that much effort in conspiracy theories, scapegoating and writing long posts you should simply focus on yourself. How can you become a better player? Ranking up/down happens passively - You should not focus on ranking, you should focus on learning…

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Bronze Hell kinda exist.
It’s the lower parts of B5 where you technically lower than B5 by divisions (you are lower in mmr than B5 0 points), but the game doesn’t acknowledge it (call it Wood, Iron, Copper, Nickle or Dark Nexus rank, whatever).
That’s the place where you gain so low amount of rankedpoints for wins that you need tons of games to get out.

But ppl who know how to play never gets there in the first place.
@Op is clearly not someone stuck as a “victim”.
They showed multiple times that they troll, get tilted easily, and they know little about the game.
Like they even claim blatant stuff like having a long break from a game just to come back to it better…
This is the poster who try to justify things through stats alone.

They won’t show any proof, cuz they don’t have and I’m even skeptical how serious this post is to begin with.

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The problem here is how MMR is designed. That 0 is the lowest and its scaling toward it isnt something blizzard invented. The problem is that this system only works properly in 1v1 situations where people cant just create a new account for a new rank. This rank is also dynamic and changes every year (your rank can vary between 900 and 1100 without actualy changing your skill).

This mathematical system has its restriction that it effectively should never reach 0. You shouldnt even get close to that. Eventualy you should find someone who is equal to which your rank balances out.

But in team games, even if you are effectively on the correct level, your teammates might not. And you simply just drop too far. Your rank matter much less on this system, and corrections to that rank are therefor even less accurate. Normaly it also takes years before your MMR starts to get accurate. A new season doesnt do a lot here (so loosened MMR again breaks the system), as you should slowly fight to your correct rank.

And yes, this means you can have a 55% winrate acros a year, there is nothing wrong to that, just like having a 45% winrate. Streaks are also normal to happen, as thats a normal thing in a 50% environment (a 10 streak isnt as rare as some people think).

Another thing is that MMR penalties are one of the worst thing they could do. It doesnt work at all as punishment, and breaks the system instead causing even worse games. MMR is a system you should not influence at all, its designed to automaticly correct itself. Deflating someones rank therefor causes not only his rank to break, but also the ones he plays with and plays against.

This constant shuffling of ranks is what causes MMR hell to exist. Its not a fake thing, blizzard truly causes this to exist themselve.

But in the end, there is the player issue, most people wont accept being stuck in bronze for half a year if they improved significantly (the diffirence between 100 and 200 is similar to 1000-1500). This is why people want the faster system, even if it performs less.

The MMR system they use is simply not designed for this format. And this creates many issues. And its also not something that is easily solved either, even in chess MMR has issues, people always start at 1000, which causes a bad player to drop a lot early on, which simply isnt fun. Sure, in some cases its manualy adjusted to avoid this issue, but that requires dedication from a master to identify a correct rank. Not every player can get that treatment.

For proper MMR system, you even should ensure that you are not being placed to the same players a lot. This repeated playing does not help for MMR at all as it only spreads your ranks further apart.

Bronze 5 hell is a real thing because bronze itself is actualy already a rank that normaly shouldnt even exist. People who leave games normaly do not get an adjustment (any game that is interupted is considered invalid because the interupt can influence a match too much), they instead get a ban when they repeatedly do this (under the rules of sportsmanship you are forced to finish games the normal way). But guess how harsh that would be in these games. And yes, deciding to consider it a loss early is also disliked under sportsmanship. People who do that often are considered unfun to play against, and therefor are avoided (they get blacklisted for tournaments).

But hey, if you know a better system, go ahead. If its good it might be used acros team games acros the world. So far no mathematician has found a reliable system that can handle the extremes well.

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Definitely, this exists. I was there, and it was extremely painful to grind 20 points per win.

This is the bronze 5 division which is almost a separate league under Bronze (like you said, Wood, Iron etc)

But OP speaks of some Bronze (encompassing all the divisions including b4-b1) hell which is a fairy tale. If a normal player with an ordinary day job and ~5-10 hours a week of HotS play time can climb out of it (I could), anyone who puts effort into it can.


I’m not sure that anyone can climb out with effort, but I’m sure that everyone can who doesn’t belong there.


That’s true, effort alone isn’t enough. I have a friend that already played thousands of matches and his learning effect is pretty low for that amount of games… he’s missing something.

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This is going to sound unpleasant but some people just don’t have the cognitive ability to perform even simple tasks.

That’s the nicest way I can word it without coming off as a douche.

Not even close to all people have the mental capacity to get out of bronze, or drive a car properly, or manage to do simple math. Belief in this kind of equality is just a wish.

People are separated in ability from birth. There’s chess champions who beat grand master professors while 13 years old (Carlsen). There are people who can’t learn to read at age 30 no matter how much they try.

Believing everyones maximum potential is equal is very naive.

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I cannot really disagree with this entire topic. You make a few valid points.

1 it is a shame we dont have afk forgiveness for theb4 players stuck with an ai. No real excuse for why blizzard hasn’t come up with something, anything to reduce the pain that comes with that. I agree with you. Also because the people in bronze tend to be alot more toxic this is more common there and can really ruin matches.
2. Yea not a huge fan that its so difficult to rank up. Granted you should need to win more than you lose to do so, but i have friends who smurf and are climbing really slowly even with a 60-70% winrate over hundreds of games. This also makes smurfing worse because they’re under ranked for longer periods of time. Not saying the system needs a total overhaul but itd be nice to see some changes.

Now everything else you said is just wrong and belittles your entire post which reads like an uneducated conspiracy theory. Ive seen your games dude you belong in bronze. You’d get smashed by silver players. I was playing my friends placements the other day so we could que together. He is silver 3. As a diamond 5 player i was able to decisively win all three of those games and we even had an afk. On my eu account which is consistently underranked bc i never play it i can escape gold with 60% winrate. Im no gm streamer. Not that hard to rank up if you’re good.

Didn’t really bother to read OP’s whole text but I went to watch his stream instead. He comes off as extremely fragile if not outright toxic. The basics also aren’t quite there, not weaving autos or autoing much at all in fact when playing Lili. Then there are just some bizarre choices like using DW’s puddle to siege or picking Yrel’s koomba stomp talent and never jumping. So even if we take what OP says at face value it’s plainly obvious that there are like twenty things he himself could do better, which in all likelihood would take him out of bronze.

Blizzard admited in patch notes that bronze hell does exist and are taking steps to fix it.

Also, I wouldn’t take AzJackson’s post for granted. He’s a “business” person, not a technical person, so his explanation of the algorithm is obviously lacking. For example, he said you are matched by MMR (one metric) only when all known blizzard systems use trueskill (look it up) for match making, which uses 2 metrics: MMR and uncertainty.

They also started implementing some features from trueskill 2.0 with the recent patches, so I’d assume what AzJackson is either oversimplification or he truly does not know how match making works in hots.

Can you link the stream?

If you can’t get out of Bronze Hell, that’s on you.
There is a silver hell, gold hell, plat hell, etc.
But there is also another name for it

The place you belong

If you can’t get your way out, you belong there. Anyone who doesn’t belong there gets out easily.

Just to clear things up: This is even a “silver”-feature. You landing on Plat 3 doesn’t mean anything because you have two different mmr values with the invisible one have being lower than your visible one (the ranks).

You have forgotten the more informal quotes as well:

He never talks about the situation where it happens - and this is what the players document all the time: Win five games and lose suddenly five games with unfavorable conditions (Cho’gall against Malth/Tychus/%-based attack heroes for example to take him completely out).

It has nothing to do with skill when you have an extremely unfavorable game, the game tries to hold you down and rightfully so people call them out for the bad matchmaker.

What you experience is drafting, where it is more limited to “who picks right or has hero x to counter” which also contributes into the matchmaking, paired with talent habits (you can find a bit about it on hotslogs and the winrates for each hero). What people easily forget is that the matchmaker is a very complicated written code which attributes EVERYTHING what can be accounted for (winrates, talents, characters, maps, literally everything what can be calculated).

I’m glad that you made it out but you have to see good players yet.