How to abuse the MMR system

Competitive Discussion
So after a lot of posts came up about the SR/MMR interaction i was interested to test the theory for myself.

First i have to say that i do not take this game serious in any aspect. While i play at LEM in CS:GO (https://csgo-stats.net/ranking/ranks, Top 16 %) I play the heros i like most in OW and MM is for me just QP with more xp and the chance to get a golden gun. So i was pending between silver and diamond for the last two seasons and silver and gold for this one. I do not mind beeing there and I do not want to try to get higher since the matches are so random sometimes that without any consistency there is no need to tryhard when your team picks 5 DPS in the first 2 seconds of the selection process and noone wants to switch.

So over the last season and the current one i decided to read a bit more in the forums. People started to claim that you will get bad teammates if you "overperform" or better teammates is you "underperform" for some matches, so that the matchmaker keeps you approx. around 50 % winrate.

So i started to play attack Torb/Symetra on different maps, picking sombra and of course with a team of sometimes 4-5 (other) DPS i got stomped into oblivion while my stats were very bad. I wanted to see how far i can drop picking extremly off-meta and not performing to the maximum of my abilities... And suddenly i ended up in matches that were impossible to lose. My team was organized and could have won 5v6. THis happend for 2-3 matches in a row after i went on a lose streake of 3-4 matches beeing the biggest potato on earth.

This is something i did try for 5-6 times. Everytime i got put into matches i did not even have to participate in after the 3-4 lose in a row, as long as i did not play any good.

When i lost matches before where i did my best to tryhard (76, McCree, Reaper, Ana, Zarya picks, voice chat, calls) with very good stats, i could lose 3-4 matches and still end up in the same situation

Conclusion

If you want free golden gun points (I am not here to encourage to do this!), underperform exermly in 2-3 matches. The MM system will try to help you and give you mates on winstreaks/ very good stats. You can literally go on a winstreak of 4-5 matches after you dumped your stats into the ground for the few matches. This is how i got plat last season. 3 completly 1 kill 15 deaths 1k damage matches and after this 5 wins.

You simply have to realize when your mates get better and start to tryhard and you will get a lot of SR for the wins and end up mostly 50->80 SR higher than before.

Blizz this can not be your goal! Creat a MM system where only ping, SR and the soloq/ group size matters. The system will regulate itself. Stop regulating it into oblivion. A bad player (or thrower/griefer) will always be a lot more harmfull than a good player who try to carry can overcome!
03/02/2017 07:35 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
We're always trying to put you in fair matches that we think you have a 50% chance to win, and do it quickly so you're playing Overwatch instead of staring at a queue timer. We never intentionally seek to put you in an unfair one.

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. It just keeps on trying to find fair matches. If you do win more than you lose, your SR will slowly go up. As that happens it'll also put you up stronger opponents that match your new SR. That's not so you lose, it's to keep your matches fair.

There's one other thing to remember, though. The results of a match that the matchmaker thought was perfectly fair don't always result in a match that is hard fought every meter of the payload and you win by just holding them off from reaching the final checkpoint at 0:00 time remaining. Matches with teams of equal skill result in 3-0 stomps more than you think. Maybe an early fight snowballed out of control due to staggered spawns, maybe a player decided he was going to try to pickup a new hero that match, or perhaps your's cat decided to play with your keyboard right before you used that Graviton Surge and it wildly missed its mark. We're all human, and we don't perform at the perfectly same level all the time. It's one of the reasons competitive games are so much fun to play and watch.


08/20/2017 08:36 AMPosted by Kaawumba
If the match-maker says most games are fair, then why are there so many stomps?

There are many reasons:

1) Overwatch, as a game, has a tendency to snowball. The winner of the first fight has an ultimate advantage that has a tendency to last the round. Losing teams tend to tilt and start playing poorly, which can continue in the same round and carry into the next round.

2) Random variables are random. Maybe a cat walked on a keyboard or someone fat fingered an ult (7). Maybe someone who has 99% up-time for their internet had their 1% failure that day. Maybe one team has all dps mains, and the other team is well balanced. MMR and predicted win percentage only has validity over many matches, not each individual match.

3) Not every player tries hard every match. Sometimes this is subtle, like playing with a beer or two too many. Sometimes it is less subtle, like practicing a hero a player is not good at, regardless of team comp or map.

4) Some players actively break the system, by either hard throwing, that is intentionally losing (as opposed to soft throwing as in item 3), playing on someone else's account to boost it, or other similar actions. These actions are bannable and should be reported when seen. Blizzard has promised to take stronger actions against this sort of thing (17). However, soft throwers and hard throwers can be difficult to distinguish, and Blizzard has to error on the side of caution to avoid banning the wrong people, so it will always be a problem. The in-game report UI gives guidelines on what behavior is or is not bannable.

5) New accounts in general have less data and will have a less accurate MMR. There is no required minimum number of games to play, so new accounts can stay “new” for a very long time.

6) MMR itself is only approximate. See the section on “How Accurate is SR”, below and realize that MMR generally will have the same issues as SR, with respect to accuracy, except it is harder to measure what is going on with MMR.

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758885930
(7) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20753625906#post-13
(17) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758356169
Thats exactly my experience as well.
At the same time destryoing all my motivation to rank up.
So now I just play attack torbs and syms underperforming greatly but having FUN!
Trying to derank down to low bronze where theres no more difference in throwing and tryharding.
At around 1300sr the MM just forces me to win with this system.
But I couldnt care less and just having fun with doing random stuff each game.
The new OW playstyle from this season on.
And this is why OW comp game mode is such a joke. And now they want us to support a Pro adaptation of this garbage.
03/02/2017 07:35 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
We're always trying to put you in fair matches that we think you have a 50% chance to win, and do it quickly so you're playing Overwatch instead of staring at a queue timer. We never intentionally seek to put you in an unfair one.


This quote right here actually supports the OP's findings. The game saw that in order to create a "fair" match it had to place him with really good teammates.

This is the big problem with matchmaker right now. I have found the same thing to be true, the better you do the less capable teammates you will be placed with.
10/18/2017 08:00 AMPosted by neutral
03/02/2017 07:35 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
We're always trying to put you in fair matches that we think you have a 50% chance to win, and do it quickly so you're playing Overwatch instead of staring at a queue timer. We never intentionally seek to put you in an unfair one.


This quote right here actually supports the OP's findings. The game saw that in order to create a "fair" match it had to place him with really good teammates.

This is the big problem with matchmaker right now. I have found the same thing to be true, the better you do the less capable teammates you will be placed with.


I don't really know how to respond to someone who has such a strong inability to read / selective mental editing to support their hypothesis.
Thanks for your experiment. I will link this post in mine detailing the phenomenon you experienced.

This is my post:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20759209261?page=1
So what's the bare amount of effort I need to put in to win but not enough to screw my mmr.
I think this is actually bogus cause I was at 2100 and have been doing the very least I could and throwing my stats in the garbage. Unless the comp is royally messed up I'm almost in 1800 and people are still absolute crap.
10/18/2017 06:55 AMPosted by Kaawumba
03/02/2017 07:35 PMPosted by Scott Mercer
We're always trying to put you in fair matches that we think you have a 50% chance to win, and do it quickly so you're playing Overwatch instead of staring at a queue timer. We never intentionally seek to put you in an unfair one.

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. It just keeps on trying to find fair matches. If you do win more than you lose, your SR will slowly go up. As that happens it'll also put you up stronger opponents that match your new SR. That's not so you lose, it's to keep your matches fair.

There's one other thing to remember, though. The results of a match that the matchmaker thought was perfectly fair don't always result in a match that is hard fought every meter of the payload and you win by just holding them off from reaching the final checkpoint at 0:00 time remaining. Matches with teams of equal skill result in 3-0 stomps more than you think. Maybe an early fight snowballed out of control due to staggered spawns, maybe a player decided he was going to try to pickup a new hero that match, or perhaps your's cat decided to play with your keyboard right before you used that Graviton Surge and it wildly missed its mark. We're all human, and we don't perform at the perfectly same level all the time. It's one of the reasons competitive games are so much fun to play and watch.


08/20/2017 08:36 AMPosted by Kaawumba
If the match-maker says most games are fair, then why are there so many stomps?

There are many reasons:

1) Overwatch, as a game, has a tendency to snowball. The winner of the first fight has an ultimate advantage that has a tendency to last the round. Losing teams tend to tilt and start playing poorly, which can continue in the same round and carry into the next round.

2) Random variables are random. Maybe a cat walked on a keyboard or someone fat fingered an ult (7). Maybe someone who has 99% up-time for their internet had their 1% failure that day. Maybe one team has all dps mains, and the other team is well balanced. MMR and predicted win percentage only has validity over many matches, not each individual match.

3) Not every player tries hard every match. Sometimes this is subtle, like playing with a beer or two too many. Sometimes it is less subtle, like practicing a hero a player is not good at, regardless of team comp or map.

4) Some players actively break the system, by either hard throwing, that is intentionally losing (as opposed to soft throwing as in item 3), playing on someone else's account to boost it, or other similar actions. These actions are bannable and should be reported when seen. Blizzard has promised to take stronger actions against this sort of thing (17). However, soft throwers and hard throwers can be difficult to distinguish, and Blizzard has to error on the side of caution to avoid banning the wrong people, so it will always be a problem. The in-game report UI gives guidelines on what behavior is or is not bannable.

5) New accounts in general have less data and will have a less accurate MMR. There is no required minimum number of games to play, so new accounts can stay “new” for a very long time.

6) MMR itself is only approximate. See the section on “How Accurate is SR”, below and realize that MMR generally will have the same issues as SR, with respect to accuracy, except it is harder to measure what is going on with MMR.

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758885930
(7) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20753625906#post-13
(17) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758356169


I never thought of it that way, I guess we all just have the strangest luck with cats walking on one team's keyboards typing furious messages and intentionally suiciding 5-10 matches in a row, and then on the other team's the next 5-10 in a row.
I don't know how intentional any of this is but...

Something is up when, you can try your heart out perform well and get stomped b/c your teammates or 1 guy is doing nothing.

or like last night i literally did nothing but kill the mercy and we capped both points and we smashed them... it wasnt a competition.. i even ended the game with dva ult not even needing to use it, 0 deaths 25 kills

I could tell one or two players on the other team were good and really trying to push but the rest of their team had no idea.

This happens too often, either smash or get smashed... that the MMR system for matching up games isnt quite working right or is it?
10/18/2017 03:14 PMPosted by Moocow
<span class="truncated">...</span>

<span class="truncated">...</span>
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758885930
(7) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20753625906#post-13
(17) https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20758356169


I never thought of it that way, I guess we all just have the strangest luck with cats walking on one team's keyboards typing furious messages and intentionally suiciding 5-10 matches in a row, and then on the other team's the next 5-10 in a row.


Many ~50% events in a row (that is, coin flips) equals streaks: https://wizardofodds.com/image/ask-the-wizard/streaks.pdf
...

I never thought of it that way, I guess we all just have the strangest luck with cats walking on one team's keyboards typing furious messages and intentionally suiciding 5-10 matches in a row, and then on the other team's the next 5-10 in a row.


Many ~50% events in a row (that is, coin flips) equals streaks: https://wizardofodds.com/image/ask-the-wizard/streaks.pdf


"A run of 200 coin
tosses reduces the probability of NOT getting a
run of at least 6 to only 3.47%. "

The thing is the game very very consistently hits streaks of 6 or more in a run of 10 or less coin tosses. Streaks will obviously happen, but the streaks in this game happen way too often in that it's just a constant series of streaks with the very occasional upset thrown in.
10/18/2017 04:01 PMPosted by Moocow
...

Many ~50% events in a row (that is, coin flips) equals streaks: https://wizardofodds.com/image/ask-the-wizard/streaks.pdf


"A run of 200 coin
tosses reduces the probability of NOT getting a
run of at least 6 to only 3.47%. "

The thing is the game very very consistently hits streaks of 6 or more in a run of 10 or less coin tosses. Streaks will obviously happen, but the streaks in this game happen way too often in that it's just a constant series of streaks with the very occasional upset thrown in.


Do you write down all your games? If yes, post it and I can run some analysis on it. If no, then I have no reason to believe you. I do write down all of my games, and I have not seen unusual streak behavior.
10/18/2017 12:06 PMPosted by Kaawumba


You can't both claim that blue posts support your position when read correctly and claim that Blizzard is lying to you. The statements are contradictory.

And if you believe that Blizzard is morally equivalent to tobacco companies, you need to quit already.


That's not at all what I'm saying.

I'm saying that even if you believe your interpretation of Scott's post, you should have the ability to simply observe that it's not true and say "by my interpretation of Scott's post he says teams aren't arranged by individual player stats, but I can clearly see that this is not the case.".

If you haven't been able to notice that certain games are staged in a way to get people to the rank matchmaker thinks they should be at then you don't have the ability to believe differently than what you've been told.
This is all anecdotal evidence

It’s so much easier to believe a conspiracy than to believe the matchmaker does its best to be fair.

But congrats for your little “experiment” where you basically threw a bunch of games.... not for off meta picks but for admitting you didn’t perform to the best of your abilities. I’m hearing you threw.
10/18/2017 04:17 PMPosted by neutral
10/18/2017 12:06 PMPosted by Kaawumba


You can't both claim that blue posts support your position when read correctly and claim that Blizzard is lying to you. The statements are contradictory.

And if you believe that Blizzard is morally equivalent to tobacco companies, you need to quit already.


That's not at all what I'm saying.

I'm saying that even if you believe your interpretation of Scott's post, you should have the ability to simply observe that it's not true and say "by my interpretation of Scott's post he says teams aren't arranged by individual player stats, but I can clearly see that this is not the case.".

If you haven't been able to notice that certain games are staged in a way to get people to the rank matchmaker thinks they should be at then you don't have the ability to believe differently than what you've been told.


You apparently can't even read your own posts correctly. I'm done.
10/18/2017 04:25 PMPosted by momo
This is all anecdotal evidence

It’s so much easier to believe a conspiracy than to believe the matchmaker does its best to be fair.

But congrats for your little “experiment” where you basically threw a bunch of games.... not for off meta picks but for admitting you didn’t perform to the best of your abilities. I’m hearing you threw.

When we know nothing about how the match maker works it's the only evidence we can provide. It's like getting handed a pattern set and saying write the next 3 steps. Sure you can write what you know from previous knowledge, but it's not necessarily true.

Ex. Write the next 3 numbers in this pattern: 1,0,1,0,1,0,_,_,_ yes, we all expect the next 3 numbers to be 1,0,1, but that doesn't mean that they are.

We can only make hypothesis on how the Match Maker works and test them.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum