How are the top 500 players in competitive play determined? Is it based on skill rating or something else?

I noticed a yellow/white icon beside my level yesterday. As mentioned in What does a white/yellow rank icon mean, the icon is used to indicate placement in the top 500, a blizzard forum post indicates that there was a bug on the PTR that caused the icon to appear when it shouldn't, is this the same for the live release? I've done all the placement matches, I've played about 12 hours in competitive play, my skill rating isn't high, so I wonder whether it's a bug or if the skill rating is not what determines placement in the top 500.

How is placement in the top 500 determined?

4 Answers 4


I believe the visual bug from the PTR is present in the live version of the game. I have also seen the Top 500 symbol where my rank should be, and I know for a fact that I am not in the top 500 players in ranked mode (low 50s).

The Top 500 should be determined rather intuitively: the 500 players with the highest ranking, including fractional ranking amounts. Jeff Kaplan has stated in this post linked below that they will not begin displaying the top 500 players until a few weeks into the season, so I think it's definitely bugged.



I'd say the top 500 placed players, in terms of rank (skill rating). My reasoning for this is that Blizzard does the same thing for Hearthstone rankings.

As a side note, if you're curious about if you're placed in the top 500: Here's a graph of the distribution of players in terms of rank for the US. So, unless your skill rank is 67+ I'm afraid it's a bug you're seeing.


The top 500 is based on skill rating, you can use this link to view the top 500 players on each respective platform.

  • This list is not accurate, as it requires the player (or someone else) to trigger the API that searches a player's information. There's probably a much larger number of players still not in that list.
    – fcm
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 17:04

The link in your post is two days old and it indicate Blizzard confirmed it's a visual bug. If you see it, it is the visual bug. I also see it every games.

About how the top 500 is determined : Yes it is skill rating related. Skill rating is you see ( 1-100 ) is just a simplification and visual representation about what your real skill rate really is. Even if you get 100 (which blizzard said they don't think anyone will get), you'll still have an "hidden rank" that can determine your position, but it is directly related to skill rating.

You deal the same way if the 500th and the 501st are both 85 for exemple: their is an hidden number more precise behind it so this is your true precise skill rank that will determine what's your position.


I'm sorry to add this here but I can't comment the post of the one saying you can see the top 500 on masteroverwatch : this is not true, you only see the top 500 people who logged on masteroverwatch.com and looked at their profile.

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