How Competitive Skill Rating Works (Season 9)


You pick a 2 dices and roll them: if you’re lucky, the enemy team will have trolls and throwers, if you’re not lucky, you’ll have trolls and throwers in your team."

This is the real explanation

I said it earlier Kawwawumba but seriously good job.

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It reiterates to me how similar this system is to the WoW arena system… Presents it’self in an identical manner after PBSR is removed.

He has said things, that I disagree with and are flat out wrong, but he also had interviews with the devs… certainly more access to them than I do.
And like I said, given the nature of the maps, it’s not totally out of the question, that performing poor on maps, that you are considered to be favored on (as in not taking the first point on a 2 CP, where coming back to the first point takes forever for the defender) might cause you to lose more points.

Other games as in WoW, as in still a Blizzard game, as in the same system besides personal performance factor.
And given, that there current rating and MMR could be like 200-250 appart where the rating was between 0 and 3K,
I don’t find it impossible in a game like Overwatch, where the rating is between 0 and 5K, a bigger disparity than 250 to be possible. I doubt it’s possible for it to be more than 500 unless we’re talking decay, but certainly 400 is possible.

Score board would certainly increase toxicity in the short term, but in the long run it would help people improve.
The data would be a bit hard to interpret by some players. I certainly wouldn’t mind DPSers that are 1 or 2K appart…
What I do mind is when I get 4 gold (not just on my team, I’m talking overall)… and we’re not talking Moira here, she is her unique case.
I’m talking as a Reinhardt, a character I don’t even play… if something like this happens (it did last season), then there’s definitely a problem.

I don’t trust them with handling the reports. I could list examples, but it’s pointless…

I don’t see how this can be abused, unless we’re talking about GM and above.
The game has sold 35 million copies. Dno how many are active users, but I don’t see the problem with being able to block certain people from being on your team, if you can still get them as enemies.

The big issue I’m dealing with right now is that the placement system does not work the same as the season SR system.

Case in point (Granted this is just one case):
My main account has always placed either in bronze or low silver. And I’ve worked hard to try and claw my way out of it, always under the impression that I’m a terrible player and that someday I’ll get out. For season 8 I placed at 1370. I just finished placements for season 9, placed 1432. (Placements: L/L/L/W/D/W/W/W/W/W)

I have an alt account as well, created during season 7, but didn’t do placements. Then for season 8 I did placements. Since it had no historic competitive SR to look at, all it had was my MMR. For season 8 I placed at 2080. I don’t recall if they were on the same day or not, but they were close together. I’m about to do the rest of my placements on this alt account. I predict it will place around the same level.

My point is whatever algorithm they use for calculation of placement SR, places (apparently) an excessively heavy emphasis on your prior season.

If a player were to spend some time with a T500 friend and get ‘training’ and practice and then try to do placements on that account, would the system be smart enough to recognize the drastic increase in skill?

If a T500 player were to play the placements (Ignore the fact that that isn’t allowed anyways), would the system place them at GM where they should be rightfully, or would it recognize the higher skill and place them at silver or gold (again evidence of a system with flaws)

If Blizzard would publish the factors that are actually used in the calculations, it would lay this issue to rest. Math is truth. Speculation about math leads to lots of people complaining about a broken system that may not be broken but, instead, isn’t understood.

Please Jeff, Geoff, Anyone in the overwatch team, publish the factors and math involved with calculating placements as well as with handling MMR and SR.

Are you afraid of players changing their play-style to align with your math? Why is that bad, if your calculations favor certain behaviors, why would it be bad to have that knowledge available and people can start to exhibit those behaviors more?

To get out, you have to have sufficient skill, combined with enough games played. Placements don’t matter for established accounts.

If you’ve never played competitive on an account it starts with the default MMR of mid to high gold (I don’t know the exact number). For the first 10-20 games, MMR movement is very high.

No, but if you really have magically become a top 500 player, you will win almost all your games and rank up in no time. (See any bronze to gm series on youtube).

I agree that the system should be more transparent. My post should not be needed, and if it is needed it should not be controversial.

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tl;dr: it doesn’t work. finished 2612 last season, have positive record in placements, drop 48 sr to 2568. next time end at 10-10-1 on the season, I’m down to 2538. I’m now at 16-16-1, down to 2515.

you have games like this giving a measly 18 sr:
but sure as hell they’ll take full amount if you lose.

You’re kidding me right? Recently I had a player in bronze who was clearly not supposed to be there. I checked his stats and he had 55% accuracy with Tracer and 40% with Widow. There’s no way someone with his skill happened to be placed in bronze naturally. This isn’t the first time this has happened. To me, this makes it VERY clear that comp matchmaking can be gamed and doesn’t depend on stats.

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That happens when a player throws down below their natural rank, or someone is account sharing. These sorts of problems cannot be fixed with matchmaking. They can only be fixed with banning. Blizzard has been working to improve this, but can always do more. Especially, accounts should be auto flagged with they have suspicious jumps in statistics (either down or up) and then a Blizzard employee should be able to watch footage to action accounts.

If you just hit shields or tanks you can easily get skewed accuracy numbers. Doesn’t necessarily make them a good player.

You don’t have enough games there (or enough information about the games) for me to confirm if your account is bugged. It may be that you are ranked too high, and the performance modifier is correctly determining this. However, there are definitely times with the performance modifier leads to buggy results.

Like how this
gives me only 21 sr.

Let me be more precise. For me to be confident that there is a bug, you need to list about 100 games played, with SR for each game, as well as hero choice. On average, the performance modifier is zero, over the whole population. So you have to show that you are able to consistently winning 50%+ while losing SR (or some similar trend). Cherry-picking a match here and there will not convince me of anything, nor is it actionable by Blizzard.

I have read the initial post and some replies of both opposing threads (this one and the big handicapping one) on this because I had a strong suspicion of mmr calculation changes last few seasons. Been mid diamond for 5 seasons no problem but the last two seasons it’s going way worse.

The only thing I changed is: I now flex a lot more and stopped the occasional instalock dps. I do agree with the arguments in this posts more though and don’t think MMR is handicapping in a way stated in the other thread. However. There’s one thing I can’t really wrap my mind around.

If you are put in teams with players that have roughly the same mmr. Does the system take into account that some players might be on a winning streak because they’re way below their natural mmr and vice versa? So in theory, you can get unlucky for like 5 matches and be stuck with people dropping mmr because they’re above their natural mmr and be put against players that are way below their natural mmr.

If so, the system is working as advertised (as mentioned in this post) but if you’re unlucky you can actually get handicapped because of the system’s design.

I do strongly feel that the system is working as advertised but the theory I’m asking about intrigues me at the moment. Maybe someone can shed some light on this =).

I came to this conclusion because mid/end of the season (mostly mid) me and my friends start climbing in a way that feels more natural and get back to around our steady SR (and then some more most of the time). I feel that this is because the climbers/droppers have been filtered out mid season so the chance that you end up in a ‘droppers’ team vs a ‘climbers’ team is less likely…

Why don’t Blizzard themselves tell players how Competitive Play works? How Skill Rating and Match Making Rating work? Why leave it to the player community to piece it together based on incomplete and scattered information like the pages you reference, Kawumba?

I think it’s because Competitive Play is handicapped and Blizzard doesn’t want us to question their exploitive game design.


Posted by Hun
Can you address “rigged MMR SYSTEM” please. Too many people crying over the system is out to get them.

It’s not. Stop being so paranoid.


By Jeff Kaplan^

My argument is about handicapping. Blizzard has never addressed a complaint about handicapping.

Because you fabricated it intentionally from a Scott Mercer reply about how sometimes solos and groups were placed into a game.

Win streaks and win percentage are not taken into account in matchmaking.


“I’ve seen comments like “I just won three games in a row, so the matchmaker put me in a bad stomp to get back to a 50% win rate”. It doesn’t do anything like that at all.” –
Scott Mercer

“At no point in MMR calculations do we look at your win/loss ratio and win/loss ratio is never used to determine who to match you with or against.” – Jeff Kaplan

A mathematical analysis that searches for and does not find any evidence of tampering with matchmaking based on streaks.

Blizzard has posted dozens of posts on MMR, SR, and matchmaking. These posts frequently contradict your theories, which has been pointed out to you, which you ignore. That you don’t accept reality isn’t their problem. They are not required to personally respond to any particular person on the forum. If you don’t like that you are welcome to leave. Speaking of which, you haven’t played in months. Why are you still here?

There are numerous comments of yours that are easily contradicted by experience or blue posts, but this is the most obvious one:

To believe that SR has no correlation to actual ability implies you have never watched bronze vs GM play or have no capability to differentiate top from bottom play. It implies such a basic lack of awareness as to render all your posts on this topic without merit.

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