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Overwatch Competitive Rank System - Season 2
February 3, 2017
A complete and up-to-date overview on all the changes, competitive ranks, and competitive ranking system
Update - 25/04/2017
We have updated this post with our placement calibration findings, and the latest changes made by Blizzard regarding win streaks and SR decay.
As most of you probably know, the Overwatch skill rating system underwent a major overhaul during the start of Season 2. In this post, we want to go over everything related to the way our current competitive system works. Ranging from the different competitive skill rating rank tiers all the way to skill rating decay and Top 500 promotion mechanics.
These are the points we will be covering in our article:
Overwatch Competitive Ranks
Skill Rating Mechanics and Decay
Top 500 Mechanics
Competitive Points and Ranked Rewards
COMPETITIVE RANK TIERS
The overhaul of rank tiers and the entire competitive system from Season 1 to Season 2 includes a number of changes. First and foremost, the new competitive ranking tiers. Here’s a table that shows the different skill rating tiers in both Season 1 and what we have currently -
Season 2 Rank
Season 2 Skill Rating
Season 1 Skill Rating
1 - 1499
0 - 29
1500 - 1999
30 - 39
2000 - 2499
40 - 49
2500 - 2999
50 - 59
3000 - 3499
60 - 69
3500 - 3999
70 - 79
4000 - 5000
80 - 100
Here’s what the new and current rank icons look like at the different tiers -
The skill rating scale was changed from 100 to 5000 with the intention of giving players a better measure of their personal skill level among the large player base, while also introducing rank tiers to reward players for their competitive play by helping them to feel more recognized. The Top 500 system works the same way with just a couple of minor changes, which we will be talking about later on in this article.
THE MECHANICS OF GAINING AND LOSING SKILL RATING
There are a number of factors that affect how you gain and lose skill rating in the competitive game mode of Overwatch. The changes made in Season 2 by Blizzard aims to help players calibrate their rank faster and encourage consistent play or practice.
Here, we want to highlight certain factors that affect how much skill rating you can gain or lose during any competitive match, we hope that this information can help players better understand the way their skill rating moves in between games.
Factors that affect skill rating gain and loss:
Individual Performance - The better your in-game performance, the more skill rating you will gain. You can monitor this by looking at the medals you achieve during a competitive match. Ranging from Gold to Bronze, they represent how well you are performing in-game as compared to your team mates.
Consecutive Wins or Losses - After the changes made by Blizzard to the win/loss streak system, this is hardly a factor anymore. We have only experienced substantial SR gain only after getting into a win streak of more than 20 games, and sometimes even after 20 wins there is no increase in SR gain.
Fair game? - Is your team the underdog? If so, you may stand to gain more skill rating when winning, and also lose less when losing the match. It’s the opposite for overdogs, gain less for the wins and lose more for losses.
Skill Rating Decay - Notice that your skill rating is slowly creeping downward when you are not playing? This is called decay. You will lose 50 skill rating per day after an initial grace period of 7 days. Only Master and Grandmaster ranked players are affected by decay, and if you decay in Top 500, you will drop out of the Top 500 ladder instantly. To stop decay you will need to play 1 game per day, or 7 games a week.
All that being said, the skill rating system is far from perfect, and it can be frustrating to play competitive when you find yourself playing with trolls or getting into a big losing streak. We encourage players to take a break when this happens, which can help, but we also offer piloted and group/duo services for climbing the skill rating ladder, you can find out more about this over here.
TOP 500 MECHANICS
The current Top 500 system is actually relatively straightforward. You just need to be one of the Top 500 players in your region to achieve this prestigious rank. Here we will list down all you need to know about the Top 500 system in Overwatch.
Be one of the 500 players with the highest skill rating in your region to qualify
Play at least 50 competitive games exclusively in your region
Only need to achieve Top 500 once during season to be eligible for receiving Top 500 rank rewards
Decay instantly drops you out of Top 500 when you are not able play at least 7 competitive games per week
With the changes Blizzard made to the Top 500 system, they were intending to make it so players cannot reach Top 500 by pure luck or after a lucky streak of games, and also discourage players from achieving Top 500 and idling until the end of season.
Much has been said, guessed and tested about how the Overwatch rank calibration works after the changes in Season 1. Nothing can be said for sure, but here’s what we know about placements.
It is possible to get to Master or Grandmaster after placements from unranked accounts. This hasn’t been widely tested yet, but here at Boostards, we have seen many unranked accounts (meaning not a single competitive match throughout all seasons) place in Master or Grandmaster.
Quickplay MMR affects your initial calibration for unranked placements. Largely based on win rate and some individual performance. The higher your quickplay MMR, the harder your placement games will be, and the higher rank you will be able to achieve after calibration.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. From what we noticed in Season 3, accounts ranked high in Season 2 still placed really high after calibration even with multiple placement losses, while lower ranked accounts are getting not so satisfactory placements even after 10 wins. We are unsure if this trend will follow in Season 4, and we will update everyone with our findings after we have enough data.
Again, our findings are not set in stone, and are based on our experience with helping many players complete their placement calibration over the past 3 seasons, and if we have any new findings we will update this post with it in the future.
Nothing much to say about this except that Blizzard has made it so players are not able to group without rank restrictions anymore, unlike in Season 1. Here are the grouping restrictions for all the different rank tiers -
For example, a Bronze player with a skill rating of 900 can group with a silver player of 1700 rating. Whereas a Diamond player with 3100 skill rating will not be able to group with a Master player of 3700 rating. Also, if you account is still in placements, you will only be able to group with someone in below Diamond.
With these changes, it can be hard to group up with friends when your ratings are too far apart, or find a suitable duo partner. Here at Boostards, we offer a group/duo service where we pair you up with a professional duo partner who will play with you, teach you, and also carry you to victory. Find out more about this service here.
COMPETITIVE POINTS AND RANKED REWARDS
At the present moment, you can obtain competitive points by winning competitive matches and finishing competitive seasons with any rank above Bronze. You gain 10 CP per win, and 3 per draw/tie. Right now, you can use these points to purchase Golden Weapons for any hero in the game. We expect that Blizzard will be introducing new items and cosmetics you can purchase with competitive points in the future.
The competitive point awards for each different rank tier are as follows -
Additionally, you will get the seasonal player icon, and spray for achieving any rank during the season. For Top 500, there is an exclusive Top 500 seasonal player icon, the default Top 500 player icon, and the Top 500 seasonal animated spray.
You will be awarded the rewards for the highest rank you have achieved at the end of every season. This means that even if you drop from Top 500 to Diamond, you will still get the Top 500 rewards by the end of season.
The grind for your desired ranked rewards can be quite a long and tiring process, which should be the case. However, if you’re having problems getting to your goal, especially toward the end of season, we will be happy to help with our skill rating boosting services, and you can find out more about this on this page.