Congrats, you gatekeeped me till i quit

If the game really cared what SR it was supposedly “forcing” you to be in, How the hell does it choose YOUR rank?

Like why do you think the game will “stick” you at say 2700 instead of 3100? Or you will be stuck at 1800 instead of 2900? Or even some think they are stuck at freaking 600sr. Like honestly how would the game single out who belongs at 600sr vs someone that belongs at 3200?

Use your freaking brains people the game does not care what rank you are. No one cares what rank you are but you! The game does not employ “gambling techniques” to keep you at any specific rank.

Think about it…every player that says they are stuck is at a different rank? How would that even be possible if the game were enforcing a no ranking up tactic? The game is gatekeeping you at 2700 not 900? Why?

You bounce around a rank border but it must be the games fault? Why?

I am a border rank player. I ping pong around between gold/silver. Its my rank. Its sad to drop out of gold all the time but the game isnt gatekeeping me LOL. Why would it gate keep me at 1800 and not 2800? really?

Its up to YOU to make the most of wins as well as losses. The game could care less if you win or lose.


The matchmaker does not have to be fair and unbiased to produce the results we are seeing, both as the players who can consistantly climb and those who feel it is rigged. I present the following two hypotheses as a more eloquent and believable way of summarizing the complaints:

-MMR is actually the standard deviation from your rank’s average performance, not your position within the ladder as a whole. We know MMR is measured as a standard deviation, but Blizzard has not explicitly stated that it is a single value that is consistant across all ranks.

-Matchmaker will attempt to balance based on MMR in a way such that both teams have equal chance to win.

We know Blizzard keeps an incredible amount of stats. We know your SR gains and losses are largely effected by where they believe you belong. With that in mind, it would be very feasible for MMR to track your performance relative to your rank and create a value for use in handicapping.

Thus, if you have a very low MMR, such as when actively throwing or when playing in a rank much higher than you belong, you make it harder to make a fair match. This will result in either seeing more frequent throwers on the opposing team, or more frequent carry players on your own team, which should push you back toward the median. If you continue to lose these games, you’ll drop hard, but most players will get a bit of a bounce back because their performance will be better in such a game. This is why you don’t straight drop, even if you’re ranked above where you belong.

On the flip side, straight climbing will test you harder by either sandbagging you with players who have relatively low MMR or matching you against smurfs or other overperformers. If you are able to still contribute, you will get reasonable PBSR losses(or pull out some wins) in these circumstances and continue to climb. Your MMR will regress to the mean as the games are harder and your performance is not as outstanding. Then, you start the cycle over. This is why climbing is rarely a straight streak of wins with 70%+ winrate unless you’re truly much better than your rank.

New players should, by reasonable standards, quickly drop to low silver or bronze with 20% winrates just due to lack of awareness on hero interactions, maps, etc. That isn’t what most people experience, and it’s incredibly hard to get a winrate below 25% or above 75% for any reasonable time period.

None of this has been explicitly denied by Blizzard, and you’ll notice that the shills like Xion typically skip over any post that attempts to explain how it could exist, instead choosing to argue with the bottom of the barrel posters that think they are masters players hardstuck in gold. It does not have to be anywhere near as severe as people like to think for it to be a significant reduction in enjoyability and game quality.

There is plenty of reason for a system like this to exist, and components of it are documented in patents owned by Blizzard. It would reduce ladder mobility, but it creates addictive tendencies. You may want to believe game designers have the single intent of creating a fair and balanced game, but the truth is that they are tasked with creating a game that generates revenue. The two goals may overlap at times, but make no mistake, they will give up fairness for cash every time.



you see gatekeeping effect because when your mmr rises, you need to be sandbagged with crappy teammates or matched against enemies with higher mmr to compensate

it is observable to players when the quality of games is so much different from game to game, and while they aren’t technically ‘forced losing streaks’ they can certainly feel like it if you aren’t playing far enough above your rank to flip that kind of game


I guess it’s out of hope that if we make our voices loud enough, Blizz will see that the system they thought would keep players chasing SR forever is exactly what is turning people away.

Casinos aren’t gonna change. But a game like this is making constant changes. I’m just waiting for the day a Developer Update is released and it says something like “changes to the comp system” but instead we get more Replay options.

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I started at 2750, rose to 2930 in a few games. then apparently, the “lets give him the worst possible players until he drops out of the rank and quits the game” switch was flipped.

  1. Did you look at their records? Can you show me players that were “worst possible players”? I assume they’re less than 20% wins.
  2. You’re level 30. 30. I assume an alt account. The matchmaker has no clue what SR you actually are yet. Play until it figures it out before you complain.
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The insinuation in the Seagull/Jeff video is that MMR IS actually your position on the ladder expressed as a standard deviation. As in, all +3s (and above) are GMs (all we explicitly get is that Seagull is a +3, all -3s (and below) are the lowest ranked Bronzes, and 0 is mean (somewhere in mid-Gold).

Anyways, you should check this topic out:

Blizzard has said a lot about matchmaking. Unfortunately, most of it is in the old forums which got nuked, so Kaawumba tried to preserve as much as possible. And also unfortunately, considering the consistent immaturity displayed on the Competitive forums in general, the Devs aren’t going to communicate with this section of the forum specifically.

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Interesting theory.

Should try explaining that to all the people who aren’t hardstuck.


The casino thing doesn’t make sense either. In casinos, people play against the casino itself. In PvP video games, people play against other people, hence PvP. It’s not possible to make everyone happy, hell it’s not possible to make the majority of the people happy, when you have a system that straight up ranks people. That’s why it’s called “Competitive”. You’re competing, and by definition, competitive is harsh.

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It’s insinuated, but not stated, and doesn’t really change much in practical situations. They could equally easily make a match in a given(and gradually expanding) SR range, and balance according to MMR if it’s global. The difference is only that you’re looking at smaller numbers(which doesn’t really matter to a computer).

I’ve read the entire thing and made these comments to Kaawumba himself, and basically all he had to say was that it can’t be proven so it’s bull. Most of the people championing the game’s fairness are unwilling to confront a rational explanation for how matchmaking could produce the results it does whilst being unfair, and most of the people complaining it is unfair are not fit to make such an argument, resulting in a whole lot of one sided topics.

I am not saying this is how the matchmaking is, simply that it is an explanation that is not disproven anywhere that I’ve personally seen and makes sense from a programming and player retainment standpoint.


That doesn’t jive at all to what multiple devs said about MMR being the sole factor in matchmaking, explicitly stating that SR isn’t used at all. I know there are users (Cuthbert in particular) that like to push the narrative that everyone has an SR and that MMR is used to differentiate between “bad” and “good” players at the same SR, but that’s just not the case.

I think people are completely misunderstanding what the results of a ranked gamemode are supposed to be.

We need to remember this issue in Competitive play (which applies to ALL games with a ranked ladder): it’s not feasible for everyone to rank up, the point of ranked is to compare players with other players. I know that people like to throw around the idea that Blizzard is making people chase SR, but the reality of ranked gamemodes is the name itself: it’s ranked. People take ranks from others. By definition, a ranked Competitive gamemode is cruel.

The only way to make everyone “happy” in a ranked mode is to inject bots into games so that it creates the illusion that everyone can rank up to the highest ranks. Then it’s no longer actually a ranked gamemode.

Now, there are a lot of people that disregard Kaawumba’s topics and at the same time, completely agreeing with Cuthbert’s topics (which are nothing more than a willful twisting of one dev’s words to create a false narrative). Please don’t tell me you’re one of them.

At the same time, your only evidence for this is a thin quote that said matchmaking is done with only MMR. But, that doesn’t mean the range of players being matched cannot be selected from SR. This is a question that’s been floating around for literally years, and despite the general tone of people suggesting it, there are valid reasons for such a system to exist.

It would not be very hard for Blizzard to outright deny it, but instead they stick to cryptic comments such as ‘sr closely follows mmr’ and ‘your mmr is almost always close to your sr’. They drop little tidbits, and give sound bytes, but after 20 seasons they still will not tell us in clear and undeniable terms that there is absolutely no handicapping going on.

There is no doubt that you are able to climb if you are better than your rank. Accounts are not hardstuck due to their MMR. But, the amount of games it takes and the skill discrepancies between any given rank are absolutely ridiculous(moreso near the middle where new accounts start). I am more than happy to believe that some degree of handicapping is used to lower the pace of mobility and increase fairness of matches. It has numerous benefits as far as player addiction and retention, and it’s well within current technology to implement. They even have patents describing this type of system.

The unfortunate fact is, revealing MMR would not help. Collecting data in the capacity a real player can do would not help. The amount of white noise makes it utterly impossible to prove or disprove this theory through experimentation, and humans are horrible at observing patterns without bias. All we have to go on is our own experiences and a few very flimsy quotes from Blizzard. Until they go on record, clearly and succinctly, to state that nothing of this nature is occuring… these questions will persist and nothing Kaawumba has to say will be of much help to an educated skeptic.


This. We need actual developer comments and more info about mmr. They may as well publish the algs or reveal the mmr number for players. Humans detest hidden evaluation metrics - in the sense of actively ruining test scores, going more toxic, and outright forfeiting if they know they are being observed without fair transparency. It goes against gamification and self-improvement.

I’m somewhat of an expert in classification systems and ELO/trueskill is a bit of a joke to anyone in that field. TBH any naive Bayes approach is especially dogtrash because VC shattering (anyone who knows AI/ML will understand).

Honestly, change starts with firing/hiring the right people. I.e. proper ladder engineers.

It’s a handicapping system that makes matches more difficult for certain players on purpose based on how they perform. If it sees a player who’s MMR belongs higher. It will pair them against another player who belongs higher.

Basically shoving you against a Smurf. Now a tank Smurf will obviously be the easiest to notice. A tank that is better than the tanks around him. Will just make it look easy.

A dps will do much of the same except if his tanks are weaker than said tank Smurf on a significant fashion he will be useless. Since tanks get 80 percent or more of a teams healing resources. The Smurf tank will have the easier time winning.

Now you have a support Smurf vs a dps Smurf or a tank Smurf. A really good zen or Lucio Smurf that shut down enemy ultimates will carry games the hardest. They will make away the enemies win condition and put the match in their favor.

Generally you can recognize a Smurf or a player who is attempting to be boosted by the matchmaker.

When you find yourself focusing on SR a bit much…

This might re-frame your mind:

Freeing yourself from SR slavery


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That’s where you are wrong. Bliz is absolutely playing against us. They want our wallets open and our brains shut.

Nah dude. Not how the game works. Take a break after losing 2 or 3 games in a row and STOP blaming everything but yourself when your lose.

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More people complain that support this, the only difference is that their are a few people who are pro-MMR that just attack every thread and keep at it til people just give up realizing it’s like talking to a brick wall. Numbers are proving it. Overwatch is dying.

I reference Kaawumba strictly because there are a lot of people who outright deny Kaawumba while outright agreeing with Cuthbert.

Technically, no one is correct unless Blizzard were to outright post the source code of the matchmaker, but not a single company has done that.

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Literally had a match with two sets of smurfs on both sides. They left before it was over, but for the entire match it was just chaos. No one enjoyed it, everyone got salty and toxic. It was a lesson for me that Blizzard isn’t going to make this game better. They are going to keep allowing crap like this so they can keep getting people to buy alternate accounts. I am leaving again and I hope I have the good judgement not to come back, because this game is just becoming a literal piece of trash.

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If you deserve to be on rank X you will reach it /stay on it afterall. You probably got a lucky wins and game decided to try you out and you were not able to carry.

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