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Esports Rocket League

Competitive ranking in Rocket League

Rocket League’s competitive ranking system, as with many games, can be a bit confusing to newcomers and veterans alike. Fear not, this article will help you understand the ranks, rank rewards and what’s going on behind the scenes of the ranking system.

Skill Rank versus Reward Rank

competitive ranking
Current skill ranking system. Image by rocketleague.wikia.com

At the beginning of the first four seasons of competitive Rocket League, players found themselves unranked in each of the competitive playlists. They were tasked with winning matches to progress through the ranks. At the end of the season, players would then receive rewards based on the highest rank they reached that season, despite whether they had fallen out of this rank or not.

At the beginning of the month, Psyonix rolled out their two-year anniversary update and competitive season five along with it. This came with two very noticeable differences from previous seasons.

No Reset

Days before the update, Psyonix announced that they wouldn’t hard reset players’ ranks in season five. As players downloaded the update and logged on, they found their respective ranks from season four intact.

Psyonix likely did this for several reasons, but there’s one that stands out in particular. At the beginning of past seasons, players found themselves in extremely uneven matches. For example, a player ranked Gold in the previous season might be playing someone ranked Champion in the previous season. This uneven matchmaking would last several weeks, as players climbed to their respective ranks.

This leads us to the second noticeable change, the Reward Rank.

Reward Rank

A separate rank post-match at the bottom of the screen may still confuse some players. The rank often doesn’t match up with their skill rank, and thus can seem quite strange.

This is your reward ranking level. Since Psyonix decided not to reset skill ranks for season five, there was a need for how to dole out rewards when the end of the season comes. The reward ranking system works as a less complicated version of the skill ranking system.

In each competitive playlist, player’s begin unranked in the reward ranking system. As they win matches, they progress. After 12 wins, the player progresses to the next rank. Losses do not affect the player’s reward rank in any way.

Deranking and ranking up is where it gets a little trickier. A player cannot progress through a reward rank that is higher than their current skill rank.

competitive ranking
Psyonix lowered the number of wins needed from 20 to 12. Image by rocketleague.com

This means if a Platinum II player has already received the reward rank for Platinum in a particular playlist, their reward rank will not progress any further unless they reach Diamond rank.

As for deranking, this does not affect a player’s reward rank. If a player in Platinum I wins 12 matches while in Platinum, securing the Platinum rewards for the end of the season, the player will not lose the rewards by deranking from Platinum I to Gold III.

Once you’ve secured your end of season reward for a particular rank, it’s yours. The only thing you have to worry about is stepping up your skill rank so you can get the reward for the next level.

Now deeper into skill ranking.

Elo Rating System

Arpad Elo initially created the Elo rating system as a means of rating the skill of chess players. It is used to calculate and assign a numbered skill value to competitors in a player-versus-player setting, whether that’s one-on-one or teams. The Elo rating system has since been adopted and adapted throughout esports and sports alike.

Wins and losses impact a player’s Elo value. By winning a match, the player takes points from the opponent to add to his or her score. Vice versa, a player forfeits points to an opponent when losing a match. This is to put it very simplistically. There are a number of factors which determine the point value the player gains or loses.

Determining Factors

competitive ranking
Arpad Elo. Image by worldchesshof.com

A player’s Elo value doesn’t raise or lower a set amount for each win or loss. It depends on their opponent’s Elo rating as well.

Take Solo Duel for instance, Rocket League’s one-one-one competitive playlist. Say you are a Silver I and your opponent is Gold II. There’s a significant difference in ranks here. The stakes are high for the Gold II player but not so much the Silver I player. This is because if the Silver I player loses, the player will only lose a small amount of Elo to the Gold II player since the Silver player was outmatched. If the Gold II player loses, however, he or she forfeits a larger amount of Elo because the match was stacked in that player’s favor, on paper at least.

Now, if matches are even, the amount of Elo lost or gained will be relatively small either way. This attributes to why it may seem as if you go down in rank quicker than you go up. If you win a handful of evenly matched games, then lose one where you outmatch the other player, you may lose all or most of the Elo points you racked up in the previous matches.

Another reason why players might feel they are ranking down at a quicker rate than they rank up is because Rocket League doesn’t show Elo values. You simply see whether you stayed in your current division/rank or whether you went up or down. But you can still keep track.

Rocket League Tracker Network

The Rocket League Tracker Network allows players to keep an eye on their Elo values and the progression for each competitive playlist. The site refers to the Elo value as a Matchmaking Rating, or MMR, as with many other competitive games.

Along with player MMR, Rocket League Tracker Network offers detailed statistics about a person’s play style and percentages throughout their time playing Rocket League.

Pull up your tracker, hit the pitch and continue climbing the ladder to Grand Champion!

You can Like The Game Haus on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for more esports and sports coverage. For more Rocket League coverage, you can ‘Follow‘ Ryan McElroy on Twitter.

Featured Image by RocketLeague.com

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