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Blizzard’s has announced some changes to its matchmaking algorithm, making some match finder adjustments while improving skill-level compatibility between the matched players. The issues addressed in the update are important mainly for arranged teams, whose individual player rankings are now taken into account.

Improved Matchmaking for Teams


While the matchmaking system as a whole is looking very strong, one area we identified for improvement was matchmaking for arranged teams that were still in placement matches. We found these first few matches for arranged teams were giving them an unfair advantage against their opponents. Since so many new arranged teams were being created every day, this was resulting in a noticeable amount of imbalanced matches for team games. The corrections we’ve made should show an improvement for many team players, especially in the sub-Gold leagues.

When two Diamond league players casually pair up for a few games, the placement matches can easily become a 5:0 freeroll for the arranged team and a hopeless encounter for the random Silver league players facing the duo. The new and improved mechanism will provide challenging matches for high-level teams from the get go.

Improved Placement for Teams


Another related issue we’ve received feedback on and experienced firsthand is the difficulty of placing in a high league while in an arranged team. We made two changes that should improve the experience. 1) The improved matchmaking mentioned above will help teams find opponents of similar skill sooner and, as a result, help to more quickly place teams in the league in which they belong. 2) We also found we were being too conservative in how teams were being placed in leagues and have made some adjustmentsto allow teams to be more easily placed in higher leagues. 3v3 random and arranged teams will likely notice this change the most.

A complimentary aspect to facing higher-level opponents is progressing faster through the ranks, placing the team in a fitting league after fewer matches.

Team Matchmaking Improvements
We found conditions where the matchmaking system was forcing certain teams and players to wait longer than needed for team matches. Those conditions have been addressed and the wait times should be reduced without affecting the quality of the matchmaking.

A very interesting and insightful FAQ has been posted by a user named ExcaliburZ on the Battle.net forums. The post is one of the highest rated forum posts in the US and includes answers to the following, very commonly asked questions:

Q: If I’ve never played 1v1, but I’m 2v2 Diamond, who will I face in 1v1 Placements?


A: Your performance in other brackets is considered when initiallyseeding your placement matches. In this case, you’d likely be paired with a Diamond player to start.

Q: Do I need to reach a particular point value to get promoted?


A: No. Promotions happen independently of your displayed rating.


Q: I won 10 games in a row! Why am I not promoted yet?


A: Your MMR and sigma may not have reached stability, or the system is simply unconfident about you. Expected outcomes cause you to stabilize the fastest. Your MMR will continue to rise until you hit your skill ceiling, at which point your win ratio will decrease and your rating will start to stabilize.


Q: I’m in Bronze. Is it possible to get promoted directly to Gold?


A: Yes. It’s possible to go from any league to any other league, wherever your MMR and sigma stabilize.


Q: Is it possible I haven’t been promoted because my APM or end-game score isn’t high enough?


A: Both factors are irrelevant because they can be gamed. The only contributing factor to promotion is the end outcome (win or loss) and the skill level of your opponent (his MMR). This is confirmed by Blizzard’s Leagues and Ladders FAQ, found in a sticky at the top of the Multiplayer and eSports forum.

While Blizzard has not officially confirmed most of this information, many have researched these details thoroughly and have produced rather-conclusive results.

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