How Competitive Matchmaking and Ranking Works (Season 28+)

You’re comparing how professional sports and esports work to a competitive matchmaker for everyone who owns the game?

In your “good idea”, 99.99% of the people who want to play, can’t, because they’re not in the top 500 players if the world.

In pro-sports, everyone gets paid, and they don’t get invited back if they decide they can’t play exactly the number of matches required.

You’re a troll, aren’t you?

It’s not rigging, it’s matchmaking. It’s allocating 12 people into a match with the highest likelihood of a fair match possible. Why would you want it to be completely random? Random sucks. Random gives you results you have no control over.

Sorry, I shouldn’t feed…


Thank you for your questions. The reason random makes sense, and is more legitimate, is because random is not rigged. This is important for fair competition. You don’t get fairness by rigging the odds. In actuality, you properly undo it.

A fair match is one who’s odds are not fixed in advance. This is as per accepted definition. If you rig the matches, over time you’re rigging the ladder, and by proxy the entire incentives/rewards structure. You would be selling consumers a lie without full disclosure, because people naturally expect hands-off, unforced odds.

Actually it’s the opposite. Random gives you maximally consistent, unadulterated control to affect the match outcome, without algorithmic handicapping or analytical interventions. Are you better than the average for that rank? Then you stomp and win until your affectance can no longer convert. In a rigging system this progression is continuously bypassed and handicapped along the way.

Players expect “no rigging” in their gaming systems, contests, and prize machinery. It’s the standard - the deck, race, matches, etc…aren’t rigged for/against them, they’re naturally drawn from a naturally randomly shuffled deck, seeding, group.

You absolutely need a random, unrigged backdrop for your progression and skill expression to emerge. Forcing the matchmaking towards 50/50 match outcomes necessarily ruins the spirit of competition, the competitive integrity and natural contest unfoldings.

Forced 50/50 match outcomes has nothing to do with being amateur vs. professional. It has everything to do with the spirit of competition. A contest the abiding users assume is fair and free from rigging.

Which is why this thread/topic is important. It reminds users how the system is suspected and supposed to work. And clearly, they support rigging matches and building an entire ecosystem from the ground-up, around that rigging.

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It never occurred to me to post here. but can we have the MMR to SR spectrum? Its pure math and should not be up for debate.

MMR -3 being SR 0, and 3 being 5k?
And with standard deviations of notches in between.

You keep using words that are loaded and inaccurate. “Forced” “Rigged” “Fair”.

I go into a competitive match, and I want people as close to evenly matched with me as possible. I’m not going to ask you any more questions, because you are a crusader that has no concern with reality. You claim to belong in <500 SR, and if that were true, then clearly you are a severe minority in the Overwatch population. If, as you claim, you completely belong in <500 SR, then you are the worst of the worst (at playing Overwatch), and if you’ve been there for 4 years, then you have no hope of ever getting better at the game, so clearly it should be over for you. As a troll, you probably think you’re making a point, but the only point you’ve made over the last several days to me is that you are not honest, and are not arguing in good faith.

“Forced” - No one forces anyone to play competitive. People play it, and they keep playing it. The vast majority of people enjoy the challenge, and they are able to meet their goals, gaining ground through hard work.

“Rigged” - You use a negative word, but the reality of the situation is that data science is very effective at making statistical predictions, and I like the fact that they keep track of how good people are down to the very detailed level, and in good faith try their hardest to create matches that are balanced and even.

“Fair” - I think you just mean different. If you simply chopped everyone up into a tier that was similar in size to the current ones, Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc, then everyone would be congregated at the boundaries, endlessly bouncing between tiers, because when they get enough wins in their current tier, they start getting matched with and against people who are much better than them, who are struggling to break into that next tier up. Maybe, then it would be better if we chopped the tiers in half, so that the top and bottom of a tier were closer together… Maybe, if we kept chopping up the tiers, we would have 5000 tiers, and we would use a number to represent them… Maybe, we might call those specific accurate tiers SR, with a grouping of say, about 500 tiers together into an Uber Tier, and call it something metallic…

Anyway, consider that my last contribution, as you have already convinced me that you are not interested in what others say.


Boycotting is hard to do when the majority of people don’t agree with you. Boycotting when large numbers of people agree is very effective.

Blizzard got $25-40 from me one time years ago, and I’ve enjoyed 800+ hours of the game. I’m not even going to ask you any questions, because I see that like another person in this thread you aren’t interested in reality, or in what other people have to say.

No one needs any laws to protect them from a game that people can play endlessly for a single very low one time payment. When it’s industry standard to put out a $60 title that gives people 15-60 hours of gameplay (I was generous on the averages there), it is ridiculous to use the word “predatory”.

I don’t even want to know what you think is being advertised, but I haven’t seen anything about Overwatch that is any less true that any other advertisement ever created.

You, sir, will not be receiving any more of my time.


Thanks to Zax - however this is STD Dev of 1, and I think its .5, so the notches are 400 a piece.

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I don’t see the analytical value of this. It’s just another number for SR.

You could replace these integers with the averages of the SR values they represent and it changes nothing. It’s a fancy way of looking smart without saying anything of actual value.

MMR is not an integer, it’s a very precise decimal number that is probably more specific than the 4 digit SR. The guide talks about several of the reasons MMR is separate from SR.

The guide has soo much good information, it’s worth reading, and Kaawumba has put so much effort into it. If you are confused after you’ve read the whole guide, then we can help, but it would be best to quote specific parts of the guide that you have read and have specific questions about. Plus, there are a large number of previous seasons versions of this guide where people have probably answered any questions you have in the comments and replies.


At this point I think the value is just putting these numbers in a graphical way. I am a graphical person and I find value in this. Its also fact - which is rare on this forum LOL. Without it leads to more questions (for me) so again the perceived value may not be seen by all but I like to the spectrum laid out instead of me trying to figure it out.


Competitive should reset ever 1-3 months with a ever refreshing ladder not to mention they need to solve how their match maker works in general go win like 7 games then watch the games after that 7th itll match you into the stupidest lobbies you can believe to make sure you have the hardest chance of winning I don’t dislike losing but when its a literal pub stomp or two after a win streak were people are either afking or getting 1 kill an entire match and that happens way more than you think you can even watch replays of just how crazyy some of your teammates can be after win streaks…

Floating points aren’t some new technology lol.

And in either case, SR can be represented as a truncated floating point with exactly the same precision.

They cover data types in CS 101.

Ah, I wasn’t getting at the graphical representation. I meant how the arbitrariness of the difference between what is SR and what is MMR and that it’s just two different number ranges makes no sense.

If graphs work better for you, great! I was just stating that the information put out is ultimately useless as it restates the exact same thing differently (or, in other words, to give the perception that MMR and SR are in fact different values, but they represent the same things)

I’m sorry.


I’m glad.

What was your point?

Go give it a try.

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Discounted. It may. But that’s another topic entirely. :man_shrugging:t6:

No, actually, the guide IS the topic. “How Competitive Matchmaking and Ranking Works (Season 28+)”

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What I find interesting is that MMR can be mapped to SR but not gained directly through winning or losing unlike SR. I suppose you could win a game and gain SR but your MMR stays the same. If that happens enough your playing out of your “MMR Projected SR” range. On the other side, you could win but your stats were bad, and your MMR goes down?

Anyhow, talk about CS 101, 2 variables binary up or down results, theres 4 different outcomes.

I’ll look through the guide to see if it mentions stuff like that. (I dont think it does).

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What I meant is you’re ignoring what I said and referencing something else.

So to be fair, I’m politely declining your suggestion as it has nothing to do with what I said.

Granted. There may be useful information in the article yet. It does not have anything to do with what I pointed out. It’s like pointing to the value of a newsstand while instead pointing out an issue with an article from that newsstand.

So now its not full number but there is. 5? How do you know that? It can easily be 0.05. My point i was trying to make is that you guys are making it up how you would like to have it to support your ideas how system works. But it doesnt match my experience so i dont believe it MMR has this range of 700 or 350. Its not how it is, in one of the devs post it was also said that your MMR is changing after every match so it is not just - 3 to 3 or even .5. Its way less.

Notches arent big chunks of SR to go under same MMR. There arent notches at all. Its just different scale where it is not just +3 which match 4300-5000 or 4700-5000. It is +3.00000… Which match 5000.

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MMR can easily be stated as a # Number of the SR you “should” be, and does everything it can to ensure your actual SR is as close to this number as possible.

Including skewing your games to make sure you don’t fall too much, or climb too far.

No, it’s pointing to a well written piece of information that has the exact answers about the topic you’re trying to discuss, complete with references to blue posts.

MMR works very similarly to SR. There are some minor differences that make it feel worse though, when you just watch that number. For example, it’s possible to win a match and not gain any MMR. We make it so that if you win a match, you always gain SR – even if it’s just a little bit – to feel psychologically rewarding. But MMR’s entire goal is creating fair matches – which isn’t always fun to look at and certainly not “rewarding” for players looking for pats on the back or a sense of progression. So SR “chases” your MMR very closely, except in a rare case of severe SR decay at GM/Masters/Diamond level of play.

The above is from Legacy Forum Posts - #11 by Kaawumba-1133

When you read the guide, you’ll realize that this is an incorrect interpretation of how it works.

This is also not quite right. MMR has both an “SR like” component and a certainty component.

It’s all in the guide. Whether MMR’s SR like component has integers or floating point representation is not important or significant.

The point is that Matchmaking only uses MMR, and does not use SR for creating matches. It tries to find two teams of 6 whose MMR average is as close to each other as possible. It does nothing about trying to make your SR move in any direction.

Once again, all in the guide.

OK, I’ll quote it for you…


Regardless if you represent it as a solid SR value (say 2500) or if it’s a relative value (say +50 SR) it’s still indicative of the respective intended change.

You do not, however, define what a “certainty” component is.