GUIDE: Competitive Mode Frequently Asked Questions

Note: I do not have plans at this time to release this topic as a Wiki. This is because I limit content to official questions and don't want to see edits that may leave an improper perception of the competitive system. Thank you for your understanding.

This thread is designed to be a handy reference for everyone who may have a question about Competitive Play in Overwatch. There have been many developer responses and updates about the state of Competitive Play and I have compiled all the important ones which are still relevant to the game in its current state. If you have a question that you do not see here, post below and I will see if there is a statement on it.

Updated March 29th, 2018: New information has been revealed about how matchmaking waits to que if you leave your previous match during the post-game screens.

To keep things organized and not overwhelming for you guys, all questions now have spoiler tags applied. Simply click on any question to reveal the answer!

Why does a player lose SR and get Suspended when their game disconnects or crashes even though they did not intentionally leave the game?

Because the game server has no way to detect a legitimate disconnection or crash from one that is forcefully created, the system treats all disconnections or crashes as leaving the match. Regardless, when you leave (intentional or not) it leaves your team at a number disadvantage. Jeff Kaplan explains this to a user in this post.

Hi ChapterFive,

We're really sorry you had a bad experience due to a disconnect. Personally, I hate when that happens myself so I can relate.

Unfortunately, we're in a really tricky spot with Competitive Play in regards to players leaving matches. If you read through these forums, we get a lot of complaints that players leaving matches is a huge point of frustration for our players.

There is no reliable way that we can discern if you disconnected because of a connection issue, or you forced a disconnect. Because of that, we need to treat anyone who leaves a match in the same way.

We're way more lenient in quick play. And it feels like we're generally in a good spot in Quick Play. However, in Competitive Play, if anything, we hear from our player base that we should be increasing the leaver penalties and making them more harsh.

For Season 2, we added a 10 minute delay to your first "leave" to make you aware that leaving is bad and there are in fact penalties for leaving. We also wanted to put in increasing penalties to help dissuade people who were having connection issues from repeatedly trying to reconnect to Competitive Play games. We know that sometimes the connection issues are not your fault. And that really is a shame. But also, when those moments are happening, it's not a good time to jump into a team game and subject your teammates to the mercy of an unstable internet connection.

My advice for people who are having connection issues is to play modes like the Brawl or Play vs. AI until their connection stabilizes. Again, I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but hopefully you can understand the situation from the other side. It's very likely that someone who was on your team in that match posted in one of the many angry "leaver" threads on these forums

Hopefully this sheds some light on our thought process.

Again, apologies you had a bad experience

-jeffrey

 
I disconnected/crashed/left a match, but was able to return and complete the match, but I was still penalized. Why does this happen?

If you disconnect/crash/leave and take more than 2 minutes to return to the match, you are automatically penalized regardless of the match result. Whenever you are not present in the match it harms your team's chances of winning and this rule ensures players who leave deliberately don’t attempt to return when they think the match is about to end so that they can avoid the suspension. Also, players who leave and return three or more times are automatically penalized even if they returned within two minutes each time. Details on why all technical malfunctions are penalized can be found in this guide on the older forums:

There are two different reasons for this, excessive disconnections, or disconnecting for too long. You can reconnect at any point during a match you have left as long as you don't have a leaver penalty. However, spending too much time outside of the game still puts your team at a disadvantage, and there's a risk that others will leave in your absence. If you disconnect during a competitive match, try to reconnect as quickly as possible and finish the match.

Similarly, disconnecting multiple times in one competitive match may trigger penalties. If you have these problems regularly, you should troubleshoot the problem to avoid penalties.


I was suspended from Competitive Play but there is no timer on the locked Competitive Play option. When will I be unsuspended?

A locked Competitive Play menu option with no timer indicates that you have been season banned. This means you are no longer eligible to play Competitive Play for the remainder of the season, and your end-of-season rewards are forfeit. Furthermore, players who have been banned from Competitive Play for three or more seasons will receive a PERMANENT ban from Competitive Play.

Example of a seasonal ban from Competitive Play looks like (simulated image)
Example of a permanent ban from Competitive Play looks like (simulated image)

Why does a match cancel within a minute of the start of the match?

A match will cancel if there is an early leaver as it would be detrimental to play a match in a 5 versus 6 or worse situation from the start. The player who leaves the game will be marked a match loss on their record and be penalized accordingly. The match is canceled and considered "no contest" for all remaining players of both teams. This rule changes however after the first 30 seconds from when the first round begins (from the time when the attacking spawn doors open). Principal Designer Scott Mercer explains this rule in this post:

When we determine someone has quit a competitive match before the first 30 seconds of game time has completed, we note that the match is now invalid and it collapses after 30 seconds. The person who left receives BOTH a loss and a leave, while everyone else can then leave without penalty or loss.

Why does a match NOT cancel after a minute passes?

It would create situations where players would be incentivized to leaving (even if the leaver is penalized), and it would also be a waste of time on the part of the team without the leaver. Just as Game Director Jeff Kaplan explains in this post:

The reason we don't nullify a match if someone leaves after the match has been going for over a minute is because that would create a scenario where players are encouraged to leave matches that are going poorly for their team. The possibilities for collusion are far too great. It's clear that players do not like matches that involve leavers. The last thing we want to do is give players a gameplay impacting reason to leave matches (such as nullifying the match results for their buddies... or even strangers).

When there is a leaver, why do remaining players on a team still take the match results including the SR adjustment?

This is to prevent incentives for leaving and to ensure better matchmaking for everyone. Community Manager Lylirra explains this in detail in an announcement post here:

We’ve recently implemented a change on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One so that, if a player leaves mid-match, it will no longer affect how Skill Rating is adjusted at the end of a match.

Some context behind this change:

When you are you placed into a Competitive Play match, the game calculates each team’s probability of winning. This calculation helps identify how evenly matched two teams are, which in turn informs how your Skill Rating will be adjusted following a win or loss. Right now, the way system works is that if your team is favored to win, you will gain less Skill Rating for a win and lose more Skill Rating for a loss. And if your team is NOT favored to win, you will gain more Skill Rating for a win and lose less Skill Rating for a loss.

Previously, if a player from either team left mid-match, the game would automatically recalculate each team’s probability of winning, taking a look at not only who left the match, but also when they left. The assumption was that if a team was a person down, the odds of them winning would go down, too, and that the most accurate thing we could do was account for this when adjusting each player’s Skill Rating at the end of the match.

Despite being more accurate, we received a lot of feedback that this recalculation just didn’t feel great and that it incentivized bad leaver behavior—which is last thing we want to do in Competitive Play. As a result, the game will no longer recalculate each team’s probability of winning whenever one or more people leave. This means that your Skill Rating will always be adjusted based on your team's odds at the beginning of the match, even if there are leavers on your or the enemy's team.

From a technical perspective, this will make Skill Rating adjustments a little less accurate for that specific match, but it should ultimately feel better for the players who stay and finish it out (plus, your Skill Rating will correct itself the next time you complete a match with no leavers). We also hope this will remove the incentive to “troll” a winning team by leaving, since it will no longer have an impact on anyone’s Skill Rating.

-----------------------------------------------

As always, we'll continue to keep an eye on Competitive Play and make quick improvements whenever possible. Thank you so much for your feedback and helping us make Overwatch better!)


Why are group matchmaking restrictions in place possibly preventing me from playing with my friends?

Starting in season 2, groups could only queue for Competitive if all players are within 1000 SR for all players in Diamond or lower tiers, 500 SR for any players in Master, and (starting in season 7) 250 SR for players in Grand Masters or Top 500. This rule helps prevent creating improperly balanced matches among all players and help prevents boosting-by-carrying. Game Director Jeff Kaplan explains the logic behind this decision here:

We also don't want to penalize you completely for grouping with friends. You shouldn't always suffer for grouping with someone lower than you. We don't want to fully discourage that either. We're looking for a middle ground solution here. Basically with the goal of: I can group with friends so long as we are roughly the same skill level. If we're not, we should play Quick Play together.


Why am I paired again with a player I just reported or blocked?

Blocking (which only blocks communication from that player) or reporting a player (which submits a report for Blizzard to check to see if they are violating Code of Conduct) does not prevent you from being paired with them again. There used to be a "Avoid this Player" feature but was removed as it caused severe matchmaking issues including not being able to find fair matches for honest players who were flagged inappropriately. The Patch Notes post from June 21st, 2016 explains in detail:

Developer comments: The "Prefer"/"Avoid" player system was designed with the best intentions; however, it's not currently performing in a way that we feel is healthy for the game. While the "Prefer This Player" option is more or less working as intended (and is thus still enabled), the "Avoid This Player" option has impacted the matchmaker in negative way and led to some very poor player experiences across the board. Although we like the idea of being able to say "hey, I'd prefer not to play with this person," the implementation of the mechanic is not where it needs to be. We're still looking at ways to iterate and improve upon features that empower players to reduce toxicity and harassment in their games; we just want to be sure these features don't accidentally punish positive community members as a side-effect.


NEW - Why does it take longer to queue if I leave in the post-game screens of a match?

It has been recently revealed, your actual search queue for a new Competitive Match does not start until the entire post-game sequence for the previous match is completed for all players in that match. Jeff Kaplan elaborates on this in more detail:

Fun fact: you don’t actually get into a match faster when skipping the end of round flow (victory poses, POTG, cards, stats etc.). You don’t get entered into the matchmaking queue until your previous match resolves completely. Most people leave at “Victory/Defeat” because they think they are “speeding up” getting into the next match.


I ended last season at X skill rating, but when I completed my Placement Matches, I am around that same skill rating even though I performed significantly better or worse. Why did this happen?

There is no hard resets for skill rating/hidden MMR when a new season begins. This started in season 3 and was explained by Principal Designer Scott Mercer:

Before explaining the changes to Skill Rating and Skill Tiers, let me explain some of the goals for matchmaking in Competitive Play. First and foremost, we always want to provide the fairest matches that we can. Fair matches of skill between the teams provide the greatest chance for you to have fun in Overwatch. At the same time, we’d also like every new competitive season to feel like a fresh start. These two goals end up being somewhat contradictory. If we completely reset everyone’s Skill Rating (SR) at the start of a new season, then players of all skill levels would end up playing against each other and having poor quality matches until the system could reevaluate each player’s skill. Because of this, we don't fully reset your SR when a new season begins, and instead use your SR from the previous season as a starting point.

Another area of Competitive Play we’re trying to improve for Season 2 is how we distribute everybody into their Skill Tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc.) based on their SR. When Season 2 started, we had WAY more players in Gold and Platinum than we initially intended, and way fewer in Bronze and Silver. This was the result of how we calculated your initial SR for Season 2. We tried to partially reset player SR at the start of Season 2, but the results were not as we expected. Instead, below-average players started Season 2 at a higher SR than they should have been given their performance in Season 1. This meant that as they played in Season 2, their SR would often drop to a lower value, which didn’t feel great. It also meant that there was a much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers than we wanted. This is something we want to avoid in Season 3.

As a result, we’re testing a different way of determining your starting SR for Season 3 on the PTR. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start. We’re also going to initially tune your SR to be slightly lower to start. In turn, fewer players should start the season having their Skill Rating drastically drop despite having close to even wins and losses.

EDITING NOTE: Areas with strikethrough indicates information that is no longer applying to the current version of the game.

Season 6 began to no longer rollback skill ratings at the start of a season and now placement matches purely build off the ending skill rating/hidden MMR of the previous season:

Player Skill Ratings will no longer be temporarily lowered at the beginning of a season (after placement matches). As a result, Skill Rating earned during players' placement matches will now more accurately reflect their true Skill Rating.

I have an SR rating that should put me in top 500 but I am not currently showing to be in top 500, what gives?

Players must play at least 50 matches from the time the season starts. Furthermore, players must remain active without allowing any skill rating decay to trigger. This is indicated in the Season 2 blog post for Competitive Play.

The Top 500 system is also undergoing a little refinement. In season 2, players will need to play at least 50 games to be eligible for a spot in the Top 500, and they’ll also need to remain active throughout the season if they want to hold on to their spot. Anyone who hasn’t played a competitive match within seven days will automatically drop out of the Top 500.

EDITOR NOTE: Since season 2, changes have been made so that decay will begin within 36 hours and not seven days

How are SR adjustments calculated?

This one is a challenging one, but it has been explained across several topics on the older forums. However there are these primary factors that applies into skill rating:

  • If you have a higher than 50% chance to win a match, you gain less for a win and lose more for a defeat. Conversely, if you were an underdog in a match than you gain more SR when you win and lose less SR when defeated.
  • New players experience both higher gains and higher losses than players who have completed a lot of matches.
  • How frequently you are playing Competitive Play
  • If you are on an extended winning or losing streak
  • You gain less SR for a win than you lose for a defeat as you more closely approach the system’s mathematical upper limit 5000 SR. (So at very high SRs you do need a greater than 50% win rate to keep your SR stable.)
  • How well you personally performed during the match in comparison to other players using the same heroes that you played in their matches.

Click here for sourced information about this subject.

First Principal Scott Mercer explains some details about this when he touches on the discussion of matchmaking:

So then why do points for losses and wins seem so random? Well, the amount of MMR (and SR) you go up or down isn't simply a matter of whether you won or lost, and what was your predicted chance of winning. There's a couple of other things at work. One is the matchmaker's confidence in what your MMR should be. Play a lot of games, it gets more certain. Don't play Overwatch for a while, it gets less certain. You go on a large win or loss streak, it gets less certain. The more certain the matchmaker is about your MMR, the less your MMR will change in either direction based on a win or loss.

As a minor factor, we also do evaluate how well you played the heroes you used in a match. The comparison is largely based on historical data of people playing a specific hero (not medals, not pure damage done), and we've done a lot of work to this system based on the community's feedback. In fact, I've seen some people indicate that they don't think we're doing this anymore. We still are. While it's a minor factor compared to wins/losses (The best way to increase your SR is still to play together and win as a team!), doing so does help us determine your skill more accurately and faster.

So take all that into account, the SR gain/loss after any single match can be a bit more "noisy" that it seems it should, but we're asking it to look at a lot of different factors to do the best job it can creating fair matches for you.

Later on, there was an update to address the problem of players not getting into win or loss streaks so easily:

Hello again, everyone! Today I wanted to talk about a behind the scenes change to our matchmaking systems that just went live with the 1.10 patch, but first I should take a step back and provide some background information

As Jeff Kaplan noted in a recent post about smurfing, we do a decent job of quickly determining someone’s skill at playing Overwatch. The faster we can update your matchmaking rating (MMR) to match your “real” skill, the fewer unfair matches get created with a player with inaccurate skill. Another way to look at it is that when we’re incorrect at identifying someone’s skill, then win or loss streaks can occur. One of the tools we use to accelerate a player to their appropriate MMR is a multiplier to the rating change based upon these consecutive wins or losses.

While this streak multiplier has been working well in the “smurf” case, win or loss streaks can also just naturally occur when the matchmaking system has already properly identified skill. After all, the matchmaker is trying to place in you fair matches where you have a 50% chance to win. It’s rare, but sometimes you flip a coin 5 times and it lands on heads every time. So, when these natural streaks occur, the multiplier has been accelerating gains and losses away from your “true” skill. You end up having a larger variance in skill rating over time, which in turn hurts the overall quality of the matches.

Therefore, we’re changing the tuning of the streak multiplier to be quite a bit less aggressive. You now need to win or lose more games in a row before any multiplier is used, and it scales up at a slower pace. Furthermore, we will now try to only use the multiplier in cases where the matchmaking system has some confidence that the player’s MMR and skill are wildly mismatched. In cases of natural, random streaks, you ideally shouldn’t see any acceleration either up or down at all.

We’ll be monitoring how these changes affect overall match quality going forward, and continue to adjust tuning over time to improve the fairness and quality of Overwatch matches. Thanks for the continued feedback, and good luck in your matches!

He also touches upon this when addressing a change made to SR adjustments with version 1.9:

The change to the handling of assists also affected how often a player might earn “On Fire” status during a match, but the amount a player is “On Fire” does not directly affect SR adjustments due to player performance. There is some correlation between the two because both systems are trying to measure “How well are you playing?”, but there are significant differences. The determination of being “On Fire” examines not just your own performance, but your performance relative to your teammates. The calculation of your SR adjustment after a match doesn’t look at your teammates, but instead compares you to the performance of other similarly skilled players with that hero across an enormous pool of competitive matches. So, we compare your Genji play to the play of other Genjis, Ana vs. Anas, etc. Since we’re comparing “apples to apples”, we shouldn’t see any kind of support specific bias in SR adjustments due to player performance.

Finally, there has since been a change how Performance-Based SR adjustments are no longer factored into ranks Diamond and Higher with the start of Competitive Season 8 and he explains more details about SR adjustment:

Removing Personal Performance Skill Rating Adjustments for Diamond tier players and above

Ok, this explanation is going to be pretty lengthy, so everyone grab some popcorn and buckle up.

When you win a competitive match of Overwatch, you gain Skill Rating, and when you lose a match you also lose Skill Rating. The amount that you gain or lose is calculated based on many different factors, and here’s a quick list of some of the most important ones:

  • If you have a higher than 50% chance to win a match, you gain less for a win and lose more for a defeat. Conversely, if you were an underdog in a match than you gain more SR when you win and lose less SR when defeated.
  • New players experience both higher gains and higher losses than players who have completed a lot of matches.
  • You gain less SR for a win than you lose for a defeat as you more closely approach the system’s mathematical upper limit 5000 SR. (So at very high SRs you do need a greater than 50% win rate to keep your SR stable.)

There is also another factor in determining the SR change after completing a match, and that’s a measurement of how well you personally performed during the match. If you perform well than you gain more SR when you win, and lose less SR when defeated. The reverse is also true, so if you perform very poorly you gain less SR for a win and lose additional SR when defeated. The personal performance adjustments have been controversial amongst the community for quite some time, especially since the calculations for these adjustments are not at all transparent.

The adjustment does create a lot of positive system wide effects including rewarding players who make the effort to play well, punishing inactive players, and more quickly providing fairer matches for new players or those who decide to play a new hero or role. So we spent quite a lot of time examining data over multiple seasons, checking a lot of math, reading a LOT of community feedback, and then doing some deep soul searching about this. Especially at the higher levels of online competition where every point of SR matters, we want players to not be distracted and worry about how to optimize around the personal performance adjustment. They should just be trying to WIN. So after we get back from the holidays on January 2nd we’re going to turn off the personal performance SR adjustments for players in the Diamond skill tier and above.

If you want more details, check out Kaawumba's incredible guide on skill rating adjustments on these forums


How does Competitive Matchmaking work?

To summarize, the following factors are determined to find a fair match:

  • Players are organized to create two teams with average skill ratings to be as close to equal as possible that is available in the current player queue.
  • The matchmaker will try to pair groups of the same number together in the same match that is available in the current player queue.
  • The matchmaker may cancel the queue if a fair match cannot be found
  • Players who have skill rating decay will still play at their original hidden MMR

Click here for sourced information about this subject.

First Principal Scott Mercer explains some details in this post:

The system does in fact try to place equal sized groups on opposite teams whenever possible. Your report for game 2 where both 3 player groups were on the same team definitely seems like something that shouldn't happen based on the rules we've setup, so I'll look into it further.

We do need to do a better job of not placing players into "unwinnable" matches. When the matchmaker creates a match, it determines the % chance for each team to win based on the match it made. The VAST majority of matches are usually near to 50% (especially if you're a player closer to median skill rating and you're not in a group), but I've definitely seen logs of matches where that's really not the case and my eyebrows raise.

The unfortunate truth is that there is not always a "perfect" match for you, especially at very high (and very low!) skill ratings where there's fewer players of similar skill. Then you throw in the desire to match groups vs. groups, with everybody having low latency, and doing ALL of this as fast as possible even though it’s the 3AM offpeak... it can get tough. We've tried different tunings with regards to wait times, and the improvements were unfortunately modest as we increased the time to wait. Still, this is an area we're always looking to improve and tune better.

Fortunately, when we do put you in a match that we know isn't a 50/50, we adjust your SR gain or loss based on your calculated change of winning. So if you did get placed into a match with only a 20% chance to win and then you lose, you shouldn't lose much SR.

For matchmaking groups, there's actually two separate issues that we try to solve. The first issue is "How do we handle groups formed of players with different MMRs?". With season 2 we prevented players of REALLY disparate Skill Rating from grouping, but there's still some variance we need to handle. Over time we've tested different models to try and see what's best and are now using what tested most accurately. (Hint: it's not simply averaging the MMRs)

The other issue is how do we model the synergistic effects of players being together in a group. As you noted, they have access to voice chat. Now here's where things get interesting. This "massive" advantage actually differs based upon the skill rating of the group members. Based upon the data we've seen groups of low to mid SR players don't see that much improvement to their win %. Higher SR players do see more notable improvements, but it's not as huge as you might think. Still, we do take this into account when we predict the win% for each team. Regardless of how the data looks, we do know there's a perception of a large advantage for groups. That's one of the reasons why we explicitly try to match similar sized groups together.


As an aside to all of this...

"Fair" matches doesn't always mean that every Ilios match goes 3-2 and 100-99 on the final point, or each team gets the payload to the end in overtime on Dorado, etc. Sometimes when two evenly matches teams play, the result can be one-sided. It just means that at that single moment in time the enemy team played better. It's not always the matchmaker's, your's, or your team's(!!!) fault that you got stomped.

Scott Mercer also address changes they made starting in Season 4 to help prevent groups from being able to "game" the matchmaker to find easier matches:

Behind the scenes, we’re going to be making another change to our matchmaking that deserves its own discussion. The simple and primary goal of our matchmaker is creating fair matches. To do that, it evaluates potential matches by synthesizing an expected win %. The matchmaker is normally really good about creating matches with a win % that is close to 50%, but if the participants in the match are either at very high or very low SRs then it gets quite a bit more difficult. There simply aren’t many players at the extremes of SR to find. This is especially true in our lower population regions AND they’re playing at off peak times such as 04:00 in the morning AND the players queue in a large group. Normally in these situations, we wait to try and find a good match, but eventually compromises have to be made so the players in question don’t wait forever in queue.

Well, we’re not going to compromise as much anymore. The matchmaker will no longer create a match above a certain win percentage threshold, and we’re going to turn this new behavior on very soon. When we do, you could possibly wait a very long time or even not find a match at all in extreme cases. To find fair matches quickly, try to play during prime hours for your region. It also easier to match you if you’re solo or in a smaller group. In a future patch, when we think we can’t find a match based on the current matchmaking population then we’ll warn you that the wait might be a very long time. We didn’t want to overreact and create a strict rule such as “You can’t queue as a group above X Skill Rating.” There are some locations and times that can handle high skill groups and still find fair matches for them. We’ll start with this new threshold not being very aggressive, but we can adjust dynamically if needed. When we do add the UI, we’ll also make the check more aggressive.

Moving forward, we are currently looking at our win/loss streak bonuses and SR volatility, tuning and improving our expected win % calculations, and other elements of the matchmaking system. Competitive Play and Matchmaking are two systems that we’re constantly working to refine over time, and as always your feedback helps us tremendously. Keep it coming, and good luck in season 4!

Later on, in the Competitive Season 8 update, they annouced changes to restricting players that are matched together based on their skill rating:

Limiting the Skill Rating variance for Teams

With the debut of the new competitive season 8 in January we’re going to be making a few matchmaking changes to increase match quality. The first change is limiting the maximum Skill Rating (SR) difference between the highest SR player on a team and the lowest SR player on the same team. This will especially help players at both the lower and higher limits of SR, where there are typically fewer players available. If a player has an SR of 4500, there are not that many other players who have a similarly high SR. The matchmaker has previously assigned players who are of a much lower SR to the same team as 4500 SR player, and hasn’t always created the best match experience possible.

We implemented the technology for this change in the 1.17.0.3 patch at the end of November, but did not aggressively tune the SR value of the limit. During the month of December we will be quietly testing the effect of more restrictive SR limits to both match quality and queue times. With the data and player feedback from testing, we’ll then come back from our holiday break on January 2 and apply a finalized set of values for Season 8.

Note that the matchmaker will still allow you to group with other players according to the current SR limits at their skill tier, which is 1000 SR for Bronze through Diamond, 500 SR for Master, and 250 for Grandmaster. We recently restricted the SR grouping limit at Grandmaster with this new Season 8 change in mind.


How does SR Decay for Diamond and Higher ranked players work?

The current system will begin decay once 36 hours of inactivity have passed from the last match, however, a player can play up to 5 matches to bank up to 7 days before they begin to decay. Once decay begins, a player loses 25 skill rating every 24 hours they do not play a Competitive Match and will no longer be listed in the Top 500. IMPORTANT: Loss of skill rating from decay does not affect that player's hidden MMR and will still continue to be paired with players at skill ratings to their prior rank until their skill rating and hidden MMR are back in sync.


How does a player drop out of a rank tier?

A player in Grand Masters or Masters will drop out instantly once their skill rating no longer is at the minimum value necessary to retain that rank tier. Starting in Season 6, players in Diamond, Platnium, Gold, and Silver will drop from that tier to the one below if after 5 games they are no longer at the at the minimum value necessary to retain that rank tier, HOWEVER if the most recent match played was a win, they will still retain the higher rank until they either loss or draw a match (and then drop) or they gain enough skill rating to remain in that rank tier.


Does rising up in Competitive ranks help me enter Overwatch eSports?

Yes, players in Masters and Grand Masters are encouraged to compete in the Overwatch Open Division, where teams can compete for prizes and be considered for spots in the next step of the eSports ladder, Overwatch Contender Trials, which leads to Overwatch Contenders and then the Overwatch League. Other eSport programs include the Overwatch World Cup and the Tespa Overwatch Fiesta Bowl Collegiate Championships.


Again, if you have other questions that you think are asked frequently to post them and I will see if they have been answered by a Blizzard rep. Let’s see if this can become a helpful topic for everyone who plays Competitive in Overwatch! (^^)v
19 Likes

Haven’t read the whole post yes but it is well structured and will help players out a lot! Good work, keep it up!

Thank you for the kind comments, since you have posted, I have now also converted the topic from markdown to HTML which allows me to use the details tag to hide the contents of each question until clicked. Looks a lot cleaner at this point.

a like for your work.

Thanks for the link and thanks for all your contributions.

2 Likes

Scott Mercer doesn’t actually answer this question.

Why does the game consider the match invalid when progress has already been made and one team has already captured the first objective before the person left?

Overwatch competitive mode uses a time based system instead of a progress based system. Most likely whenever a team quickly captures an objective. It is because they were already fighting a 6 V 5. The sixth player before he left was most likely idle in spawn before the AFK kicked in.

On a side note to everyone, I added in the question that details why players are sometimes penalized if they disconnect/leave but return and complete the match.

That doesn’t answer the question of why the game only uses a time based system instead of both a time based and progress based system. And this player was not AFK. We saw all 6 players. And just to update you on how AFK kicking works, AFK players are kicked (at hero selection screen) before a match starts.

If progress has already been made, it should cancel out the time based system. How is it fair to the team that’s made progress after the match has already started that a match can simply be cancelled?

Once again, as I detailed above, if you are so quick to make significant progress on an objective, did you even fight against all 6 team members? If a player disconnects, the server has to take several seconds to figure out if that player is still there or not. During that time, the team capturing is having it easy already.

There is no current Blizzard response on this, but I personally believe the system is already fair when it comes to this specific rule. Since there is no blue post on the subject, that is why it is not in the F.A.Q.

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This is a very good guide. Thank you for your effort.

Great post! Thank you for organizing all these info from official sources into one easy-to-read piece!

I keep dropping in and out of diamond but will I still get season rewards? I know the thread is old but I have been looking everywhere in the forums and can’t find anything.

You earn end-of-season rewards based on the highest skill rating that you reach at any given time throughout the season.

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Can you get this posted as a sticky? comp forum seems pretty much ignored by the devs, be nice to actually see worthwhile information (in the correct category) not lost into the void.