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Illustration for article titled iOverwatch/is Competitive Mode Punishes Skilled Players

And people say Counter Strike has bad matchmaking.

When you lose a competitive match in Overwatch you lose more than twice as much rank score than should you win. This means, that at mid-level play I would have to win two to three games just to make up for each 1 game I lost.


Although skill is in fact a factor for skill rating gain/loss it only drastically affects you when you win. You can play superbly regularly, but if your team isn’t up to snuff, you’re going to be dragged down.

Even then, high ranking Overwatch is literally unattainable for anyone other than professional teams.


Why is this? Because the current matchmaking system in Overwatch does not do the following:

  • Rank you solely based on your skill in-game
  • Reduce your rank loss if a teammate leaves, so even if your team plays well, you’ll lose a ton of rank because one person left
  • Match you with players with microphones (Thus being matched with communicative teammates is rare even in high-level play)
  • Match you with teammates and enemies of the same skill level, but rather the same rank (this means worse players could be playing better players or vice versa)
  • Place highly skilled support players on the same level as damage-dealing players

In games like Counter-Strike, the matchmaking and ranking is based on a ladder system. This means that if you maintain a win-loss ratio of over 50/50, you will continue to rank up.


In Overwatch, matchmaking is not a ladder. Its a score which disproportionately punishes losses and barely rewards wins. In Overwatch if you maintain a 50/50 win-loss ratio you would continuously rank down.

This means that being higher rank means I will probably be ranked with equally, high-skilled players. If Overwatch were using a ladder system, this would be totally ok. BUT, its not so the issue this creates is that whether you rank up or down is a complete coin toss on the skill of your team.


The game primarily ranks your skill rating on your randomly-assigned teammates, and not your individual skill. I could be a highly skilled player and I could still be stuck in the mid-50s. On top of that, being ranked at your own level means matches will be closer


Now, issues with the competitive mode have been addressed by blizzard, such as its coin-toss mechanic which is notorious for deciding matches. But, to make up for this extreme issue, Blizzard would have to completely rework Overwatch’s competitive system by implementing a ladder system in place of the current one.

I highly suggest watching Force Gaming’s video on the subject, he goes deeper into the subject of how a ladder system would benefit Overwatch greater than its current punishing system.

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To contact the author of this post, e-mail him at babrishamchian@gmail.com or tweet him @Geo_star101

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