With the launch of Season 7, we briefly relaxed matchmaking settings to occasionally match players with opponents that were slightly more or less skilled. We quickly found that these changes had undesirable consequences for players at the extreme ends of the skill range, and reverted to the previous matchmaking settings in response. After analyzing the data and reviewing player feedback, we found that the loosened matchmaking settings had a positive impact on many players that weren’t playing at those extremes.
With that in mind, we are now ready to move back to the more relaxed matchmaking system, after making some improvements to correct the issues we were seeing at the extreme ends. Players should find that a larger proportion of their matches are against opponents of similar skill, but there is some room to allow players to compete against easier and more difficult opponents. As a result of this change, players at the highest and lowest ends of the skill ranges should no longer be negatively impacted by the loosened matchmaking changes.
Matchmaking will not be more relaxed at the highest skill levels. In fact, we’ve tuned matchmaking at the very high end to favor more competitive matches over faster matchmaking. While this may have some impact on wait times, we believe that this adjustment will improve the ladder experience for high level players and make practicing on the ladder better than it has ever been.
As always, we will continue to monitor the effects of these changes and make further adjustments if necessary.