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Yesterday I played one game that had the 'Even teams' label displayed during the 'loading' stage. I won the match (got 22 points including bonus), and, to be honest, it wasn't too hard, but I discovered that my opponent was ranked two leagues below me.

Why did the system consider me matched 'evenly' with a player two leagues below me?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The "Even teams" or "favored team" indicators is not based on leagues, but on your true match-making rating.

Leagues are really just a display convenience for which percentile "bracket" that thinks your skill level falls into. However skill levels change and is not always right on its first estimations, so naturally leagues change. But they don't change instantly; the system looks for consistent trends before promotion/demotion.

Your hidden match-making rating, however, is's true estimation of your current skill. This is what's used to match players for games, and this is where the "even teams" notice comes from. It updates after every match. It is unfortunately hidden to prevent players trying to cheat the system.

In your specific case, there are many possible explanations. For example, your opponent may have placed poorly initially, but then had a winning streak, so their match-making rating was 2 leagues higher than their league. Perhaps their true skill level is somewhere in between, and the system will gradually determine this.

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If your opponent is considered to be playing at your skill level by the system (based on his hidden ranking), he could be playing matches to promote him into a higher league. The leagues are a good way of finding people who have leveled out and matching like opponents. In the event of a player quickly moving through the ranks, the league system is a guideline at best until the player reaches his potential and begins to level out into an equilibrium in his/her league. (this is when your hidden ranking matches your actual ranking)

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