Why Handicapping (MMR) is Wrong for Competitive Play

Competitive Discussion
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having one stat would be nice, im not sure why they have both hidden mmr and an sr number

i dont think matchmaking would be instant? but it would still be nice.
12/31/2017 08:55 PMPosted by AnsatsuKen
10 Wins 0 Losses -> 2722 SR. I ended at 2400 last season, clearly broken system! Game has nothing to do with person skill and it's just luck based. It's impossible to carry games.


Aaaaaaand quick snapshot of your account now shows:

Time Played 4 hours
Games Played 27
Games Won 18
Games Lost 8
Games Tied 1

Hang on, that would imply that exactly what I said would happen actually happened!

You can try to spin it however you want, but you've just experienced the handicapping first hand. So if we know you had 10 wins in a row, then the next 17 games (once the system has recalculated your MMR) actually only show a 47% winrate. If you take out the draw then it's exactly 50%.

It's like the system magically put you in games where you only have a 50% chance to win or something by stacking the teams against you!

This might be the perfect time to revisit everything you believe about the SR/MMR system, re-read the original post all the way through, but without all the assumptions that have been clouding your judgement. While I might not agree with absolutely everything in that post, the core of the message is definitely correct - MMR is used to handicap your games.

Don't mistake my comments here as saying you can't climb. You will climb, but it will be gradual and frustrating. That frustration is the issue I am discussing, as it is caused by Blizzard using a bad system to artificially balance the games to that 50% winrate.

(Final disclaimer: If you think AnsatsuKen has reached his true SR then you are ignoring his previous seasons SRs, and his own personal claims. You are also assuming that a 300SR difference is big enough to show a massive difference in his opponents average ability that he would go from 100% winrate to 50% winrate so quickly)
01/01/2018 05:57 PMPosted by Jorlan
12/31/2017 08:55 PMPosted by AnsatsuKen
10 Wins 0 Losses -> 2722 SR. I ended at 2400 last season, clearly broken system! Game has nothing to do with person skill and it's just luck based. It's impossible to carry games.


Aaaaaaand quick snapshot of your account now shows:

Time Played 4 hours
Games Played 27
Games Won 18
Games Lost 8
Games Tied 1

Hang on, that would imply that exactly what I said would happen actually happened!

You can try to spin it however you want, but you've just experienced the handicapping first hand. So if we know you had 10 wins in a row, then the next 17 games (once the system has recalculated your MMR) actually only show a 47% winrate. If you take out the draw then it's exactly 50%.

It's like the system magically put you in games where you only have a 50% chance to win or something by stacking the teams against you!

This might be the perfect time to revisit everything you believe about the SR/MMR system, re-read the original post all the way through, but without all the assumptions that have been clouding your judgement. While I might not agree with absolutely everything in that post, the core of the message is definitely correct - MMR is used to handicap your games.

Don't mistake my comments here as saying you can't climb. You will climb, but it will be gradual and frustrating. That frustration is the issue I am discussing, as it is caused by Blizzard using a bad system to artificially balance the games to that 50% winrate.

(Final disclaimer: If you think AnsatsuKen has reached his true SR then you are ignoring his previous seasons SRs, and his own personal claims. You are also assuming that a 300SR difference is big enough to show a massive difference in his opponents average ability that he would go from 100% winrate to 50% winrate so quickly)


Check again..... I took a break after 11 games, came back 2 hours later to play more games. I knew it was a bad time to play because it's New Years and it was late and I was already tired. I did lose 4 games in a row yesterday while i was trying to learn how to play tracer. I stopped playing Hanzo who I had a 100% win rate on BTW, to playing Tracer non-stop. I went from a 25% win rate on tracer to 67% after I learned her mechanics.

Also I'm Diamond now.

Time Played 4->8 hours
Games Played 18->44
Games Won 11->31
Games Lost 8->12
Games Tied 1->1

The system didn't magically give me bad teammates because I was doing so well, I played under poor conditions and a Hero I don't play. I knew going into my games that I was most likely not going to do well. Did I get bad teammates? yeah sure, just like everyone does, but that didn't stop me from improving myself. Another note, while i was losing, I lost maybe 20 SR but always got around 30 SR. I remember that 4 wins covered 6 of my loses, that never happened when i used to play with my left hand.
It really is a problem still.
If you've played in any organic competitive format before (organized tournaments, ladders, etc) and/or winrate based games to a high level it's really easy to see that despite whatever staff/devs may say the result of this system is absolutely a handicapping one. I've been on a top team for another FPS, and I've played competitive shooters, fighters, and other games for about 19 years now, I can see the quality of my teammates just by looking at their movement, awareness, and game sense from game to game.

You *do not* get matched with stronger teammates against stronger competition as your winrate/rank goes up quickly. Instead the quality of the people you're matched with goes down until you get sufficiently sandbagged. To the people saying "you can totally climb if you git gud and put in the effort" that's not you climbing. That's you throwing enough games at the system to eventually make it to where you probably should have been placed. If you are actually a better player than your bracket, unless you are two plus tiers above your skill bracket, your experience will be "lose 9 win 10" for 400-600 games. Of course if you can carry while being placed with bad players you'll climb faster, but the only people that can do that through to diamond are high masters/GM players with teammates anyway. The issue is that plat and diamond are flooded with people that only exist for the system to use to sandbag other players.

As a test, I decided I'll only be playing Moria as much as possible this season. It's a new character and I figured I could track my winrate as I learn the character and see how getting better as a character actually affects my matchmaking experience. I ended up with a 71% winrate about 6 matches past placement, getting 4 (and even 5) golds many matches. I was being places with people who used voice chat, picked classes/chars well or that they had time on, and people worked together for the objectives well. Then suddenly I started getting people who were insisting on 3 DPS comps with Hanzo/Widow, others playing chars they had little time on, and I was being matched *against* players who had double, triple, or even 4-5 times as much time in the game as my teammates. I know time =/= ability, but it's a strong indicator something is up when I'm matched with level 150-400 people against people level 1200+. No one else on my team after I hit a high winrate had a similar win rate, and one match that the average SR was 2850 there was a gold rank player on my team.

This game absolutely hamstrings you is you play too well, and maybe if you play DPS exclusively you can carry up to get in to plat/diamond, but the ranks are meaningless and the experience is really boring/annoying. I don't want to play with increasingly worse players as a reward for doing well. I want to be tested with a better team and expected to play up to their standard.
01/01/2018 10:34 PMPosted by kaizoku222
If you've played in any organic competitive format before (organized tournaments, ladders, etc) and/or winrate based games to a high level it's really easy to see that despite whatever staff/devs may say the result of this system is absolutely a handicapping one. I've been on a top team for another FPS, and I've played competitive shooters, fighters, and other games for about 19 years now, I can see the quality of my teammates just by looking at their movement, awareness, and game sense from game to game.

You *do not* get matched with stronger teammates against stronger competition as your winrate/rank goes up quickly. Instead the quality of the people you're matched with goes down until you get sufficiently sandbagged. To the people saying "you can totally climb if you git gud and put in the effort" that's not you climbing. That's you throwing enough games at the system to eventually make it to where you probably should have been placed. If you are actually a better player than your bracket, unless you are two plus tiers above your skill bracket, your experience will be "lose 9 win 10" for 400-600 games. Of course if you can carry while being placed with bad players you'll climb faster, but the only people that can do that through to diamond are high masters/GM players with teammates anyway. The issue is that plat and diamond are flooded with people that only exist for the system to use to sandbag other players.

As a test, I decided I'll only be playing Moria as much as possible this season. It's a new character and I figured I could track my winrate as I learn the character and see how getting better as a character actually affects my matchmaking experience. I ended up with a 71% winrate about 6 matches past placement, getting 4 (and even 5) golds many matches. I was being places with people who used voice chat, picked classes/chars well or that they had time on, and people worked together for the objectives well. Then suddenly I started getting people who were insisting on 3 DPS comps with Hanzo/Widow, others playing chars they had little time on, and I was being matched *against* players who had double, triple, or even 4-5 times as much time in the game as my teammates. I know time =/= ability, but it's a strong indicator something is up when I'm matched with level 150-400 people against people level 1200+. No one else on my team after I hit a high winrate had a similar win rate, and one match that the average SR was 2850 there was a gold rank player on my team.

This game absolutely hamstrings you is you play too well, and maybe if you play DPS exclusively you can carry up to get in to plat/diamond, but the ranks are meaningless and the experience is really boring/annoying. I don't want to play with increasingly worse players as a reward for doing well. I want to be tested with a better team and expected to play up to their standard.


Couldn't agree more... Just another one of the 1000's of posts depicting the same exact experience. You play.. You win some games and maybe even hit your season high. BUT then the inevitable forced losing streak.. This reason alone is just another factor why I think Blizzard "Hides" Competitive Mode's inner workings, They want to make you believe that the system is fair and if you climb that you will eventually be placed against "stronger" enemies and this is the reason why you lost. The actual reason is that your teammates change like day to night. You suddenly get players that have no desire to communicate, have no game sense, and (or) lack mechanical skill. This is also when all the players come out of the woodwork that are Toxic, Trolling, OTP, Deranking, Disconnecting, Leaving, Rage Quitting, or perhaps that one guy who plays Ana on a wi-fi connection from his neighbors house across the street with pings of excess of 500. You name it.. When the game decides for you to lose... You pretty much lose. I mean it must be pure coincidence that 1000's of players are experiencing this same exact thing?? If one person were to post this I can maybe argue that the system is legit. Maybe even if 10 or 20 people argued on these forums about it. When its 1000's of people posting here experiencing the same exact thing.. I'm sorry.. I am not inclined to believe that this system is fair at all. It becomes more than sheer coincidence.
This and probably other little handicapping factors are the reason why Blizzard keeps the workings of their system a secret. Because let's be honest here what competitive sport hides information from their players?? Most if not all competitive systems are transparent. The player knows exactly all the rules and what way he could score points to win games. It's all black and white. You either score the points and win.. or you don't score them and lose. Also competitive sports refresh every season. Stats are wiped and the new season is a fresh start. Not in Blizzard's world..
absolutely no one that read into this will agree with this lol. upvoters will see, "mmr is the problem not me" and rally to it.
The placement system is complete garbage and breaks the game for some players. For example, on my original overwatch account where I learned how to play the game I got stuck in bronze. This is because I was still learning how to play and was not as good as I am now. However, because I got stuck in the quicksand of bronze, it is a nightmare to grind my way out. To prove to myself that I was a better player than bronze I created another account with the purpose of comparing my SR. Once I reached 25 on my alt account I did placements and was in Platinum. Last night I did placements on my original account (the bronze one) and had a 70% win ratio with 20 gold medals in 10 matches (basically better or equal to the performance on my Platinum account) and I end up with a Bronze 1215 SR rank. Now how the hell is that fair?

What this does is discourages players who practice hard and don't see any SR improvements from season to season. Sure I could attempt to grind my way out of bronze, but I shouldn't have to if I have become a better player. That is what the placements should be doing (adjusting your SR as your skill improves). Instead you are placed in the same tier regardless of how you have improved as an individual player.
01/02/2018 02:58 AMPosted by mypetmonster
The placement system is complete garbage and breaks the game for some players. For example, on my original overwatch account where I learned how to play the game I got stuck in bronze. This is because I was still learning how to play and was not as good as I am now. However, because I got stuck in the quicksand of bronze, it is a nightmare to grind my way out. To prove to myself that I was a better player than bronze I created another account with the purpose of comparing my SR. Once I reached 25 on my alt account I did placements and was in Platinum. Last night I did placements on my original account (the bronze one) and had a 70% win ratio with 20 gold medals in 10 matches (basically better or equal to the performance on my Platinum account) and I end up with a Bronze 1215 SR rank. Now how the hell is that fair?

What this does is discourages players who practice hard and don't see any SR improvements from season to season. Sure I could attempt to grind my way out of bronze, but I shouldn't have to if I have become a better player. That is what the placements should be doing (adjusting your SR as your skill improves). Instead you are placed in the same tier regardless of how you have improved as an individual player.

Yep. Initially placed < 1 week after buying the game. Very, very bad decision. #Bronze4Lyfe
I see some comments here I need to circle back on. For the moment just wanted to mention I've edited and added a couple important sections in the middle of the OP. The new/revised sections are titled "Handicapping/MMR defies pattern recognition" and "Worst game-design ethics since World of Warcraft."
01/01/2018 10:34 PMPosted by kaizoku222
If you've played in any organic competitive format before (organized tournaments, ladders, etc) and/or winrate based games to a high level it's really easy to see that despite whatever staff/devs may say the result of this system is absolutely a handicapping one. I've been on a top team for another FPS, and I've played competitive shooters, fighters, and other games for about 19 years now, I can see the quality of my teammates just by looking at their movement, awareness, and game sense from game to game.

You *do not* get matched with stronger teammates against stronger competition as your winrate/rank goes up quickly. Instead the quality of the people you're matched with goes down until you get sufficiently sandbagged. To the people saying "you can totally climb if you git gud and put in the effort" that's not you climbing. That's you throwing enough games at the system to eventually make it to where you probably should have been placed. If you are actually a better player than your bracket, unless you are two plus tiers above your skill bracket, your experience will be "lose 9 win 10" for 400-600 games. Of course if you can carry while being placed with bad players you'll climb faster, but the only people that can do that through to diamond are high masters/GM players with teammates anyway. The issue is that plat and diamond are flooded with people that only exist for the system to use to sandbag other players.

As a test, I decided I'll only be playing Moria as much as possible this season. It's a new character and I figured I could track my winrate as I learn the character and see how getting better as a character actually affects my matchmaking experience. I ended up with a 71% winrate about 6 matches past placement, getting 4 (and even 5) golds many matches. I was being places with people who used voice chat, picked classes/chars well or that they had time on, and people worked together for the objectives well. Then suddenly I started getting people who were insisting on 3 DPS comps with Hanzo/Widow, others playing chars they had little time on, and I was being matched *against* players who had double, triple, or even 4-5 times as much time in the game as my teammates. I know time =/= ability, but it's a strong indicator something is up when I'm matched with level 150-400 people against people level 1200+. No one else on my team after I hit a high winrate had a similar win rate, and one match that the average SR was 2850 there was a gold rank player on my team.

This game absolutely hamstrings you is you play too well, and maybe if you play DPS exclusively you can carry up to get in to plat/diamond, but the ranks are meaningless and the experience is really boring/annoying. I don't want to play with increasingly worse players as a reward for doing well. I want to be tested with a better team and expected to play up to their standard.


This is the major problem. I never get a chance at better games, with better teammates, and better enemies. Which, i know i can handle since i've been at 2800 and still felt i was one of the better players up there. But the game has other ideas. Every time i climb a bit, i'm punished with terrible teammates to the point where i drop, and my stats suffer because that's what happens when the team sucks. So great, no MY stats look bad and my MMR probably drops because... Blizz stuck me with potato players for 8 games straight? Thanks.

Stop doing that, Blizz.
I've seen people in qp purposely throwing or doing "bad" to lower mmr it's actually a kinda messed up system.

If someone plays well they deserve high rank. If someone plays poorly they deserve low rank
01/02/2018 02:03 PMPosted by Cuthbert
I see some comments here I need to circle back on. For the moment just wanted to mention I've edited and added a couple important sections in the middle of the OP. The new/revised sections are titled "Handicapping/MMR defies pattern recognition" and "Worst game-design ethics since World of Warcraft."


LOL what a joke. Still haven't seen match making rigging from 2405->3005. Please tell me more false conspiracies. I think you're infatuated with lying or that you need to lie in order to protect your fragile mind from the truth, that you just aren't good at video games.

It's okay not to be good at games, someone has to be that bronze player.
01/01/2018 10:34 PMPosted by kaizoku222
This game absolutely hamstrings you is you play too well, and maybe if you play DPS exclusively you can carry up to get in to plat/diamond, but the ranks are meaningless and the experience is really boring/annoying. I don't want to play with increasingly worse players as a reward for doing well. I want to be tested with a better


01/01/2018 10:34 PMPosted by kaizoku222
If you've played in any organic competitive format before (organized tournaments, ladders, etc) and/or winrate based games to a high level it's really easy to see that despite whatever staff/devs may say the result of this system is absolutely a handicapping one. I've been on a top team for another FPS, and I've played competitive shooters, fighters, and other games for about 19 years now, I can see the quality of my teammates just by looking at their movement, awareness, and game sense from game to game.

You *do not* get matched with stronger teammates against stronger competition as your winrate/rank goes up quickly. Instead the quality of the people you're matched with goes down until you get sufficiently sandbagged. To the people saying "you can totally climb if you git gud and put in the effort" that's not you climbing. That's you throwing enough games at the system to eventually make it to where you probably should have been placed. If you are actually a better player than your bracket, unless you are two plus tiers above your skill bracket, your experience will be "lose 9 win 10" for 400-600 games. Of course if you can carry while being placed with bad players you'll climb faster, but the only people that can do that through to diamond are high masters/GM players with teammates anyway. The issue is that plat and diamond are flooded with people that only exist for the system to use to sandbag other players.

As a test, I decided I'll only be playing Moria as much as possible this season. It's a new character and I figured I could track my winrate as I learn the character and see how getting better as a character actually affects my matchmaking experience. I ended up with a 71% winrate about 6 matches past placement, getting 4 (and even 5) golds many matches. I was being places with people who used voice chat, picked classes/chars well or that they had time on, and people worked together for the objectives well. Then suddenly I started getting people who were insisting on 3 DPS comps with Hanzo/Widow, others playing chars they had little time on, and I was being matched *against* players who had double, triple, or even 4-5 times as much time in the game as my teammates. I know time =/= ability, but it's a strong indicator something is up when I'm matched with level 150-400 people against people level 1200+. No one else on my team after I hit a high winrate had a similar win rate, and one match that the average SR was 2850 there was a gold rank player on my team.

This game absolutely hamstrings you is you play too well, and maybe if you play DPS exclusively you can carry up to get in to plat/diamond, but the ranks are meaningless and the experience is really boring/annoying. I don't want to play with increasingly worse players as a reward for doing well. I want to be tested with a better team and expected to play up to their standard.


This. Same here, played other fps competitively. All the mates (competitive players from other fps) I play with that played the game before, during seasons 1~3, now after a few games go like "what the !@#$ is going on with these games", and at the end of a day, after many heavy carries from raw physical ability, judgement ability, communication and execution, we are +/- +20 sr, which makes absolutely no fking sense.

At the same time we have people in our games, that just. dont. belong in our ranks. Makes no freakin sense, and stresses one out.

I've played like 3.5k hours of CS:GO @ Global, I know what playing in a ranked system feels like.
01/02/2018 07:32 PMPosted by Chumlee
I've seen people in qp purposely throwing or doing "bad" to lower mmr it's actually a kinda messed up system.

If someone plays well they deserve high rank. If someone plays poorly they deserve low rank


Does that really work? Are QP MMR and CP MMR the same thing??
01/03/2018 08:34 AMPosted by Cuthbert
01/02/2018 07:32 PMPosted by Chumlee
I've seen people in qp purposely throwing or doing "bad" to lower mmr it's actually a kinda messed up system.

If someone plays well they deserve high rank. If someone plays poorly they deserve low rank


Does that really work? Are QP MMR and CP MMR the same thing??


LOL, this some comedy gold. OMG laughing so hard.
how does this thread have so many upvotes when its so inaccurate, i am pretty confident this handicapping of mmr doesnt happen, there is SR and mmr and they work together and work pretty well. its not perfect but it does what it is trying to do very well.
01/03/2018 09:00 AMPosted by AnsatsuKen
LOL, this some comedy gold. OMG laughing so hard.


Why do you think this is funny? I'm still not sure you've read the original post.
01/02/2018 02:03 PMPosted by Cuthbert
I see some comments here I need to circle back on. For the moment just wanted to mention I've edited and added a couple important sections in the middle of the OP. The new/revised sections are titled "Handicapping/MMR defies pattern recognition" and "Worst game-design ethics since World of Warcraft."


LOL what a joke. Still haven't seen match making rigging from 2405->3005. Please tell me more false conspiracies. I think you're infatuated with lying or that you need to lie in order to protect your fragile mind from the truth, that you just aren't good at video games.

It's okay not to be good at games, someone has to be that bronze player.


Yes obviously you are right and the 10 thousand other posts about this subject are wrong.. GG.. If you want to talk about jokes you can start with OW's competitive mode. Even the Pros at the top of the ladder have come out and said its rigged..

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