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For most of the 3rd and 4th seasons, I sat just bellow Silver (900 - 1300 SR). Of course I think I should be higher, but that's a fair place for me to be, and I enjoy playing at that level.

Over the last few nights I had a very long loss streak and am now around 700 SR. At this level I've had multiple games where Mercys refuse to heal and just shoot, you can win a game with 6 attack heros, and people are so toxic that I often remove myself from voice chat. I play tanks and healers, and so I enjoy the game most when my team is playing together. Right now, my enjoyment of the game is shot.

I'm worried that I now have a terribly low MMR and will continue to place at this level next season.

Question: Given the way the SR / MMR system works, what things can I do to increase my chances of placing higher next season?

Like, for example, would it help if I stuck to Quick Play for a while to up my MMR before doing the Season 5 Qualifying Matches? Should I create a new account to get a clean MMR?

I'm aware that long term, I should probably go to Looking-For-Group sites and find a community, but at the moment "700 SR healer/tank" won't get any clicks.


Note that I am not looking for gameplay tips, I'm specifically asking about "resetting" my SR / MMR.

  • 2
    Resetting MMR could only really be done by creating a new battle.net ID. – Kaizerwolf May 10 '17 at 14:28
  • 1
    I strongly suspect QuickPlay MMR is ignored for comp season placements unless maybe it's your first season. I'm only 2100 SR in comp (down from 61 in Season 1), in part because all I do is placements every season so I seem to be steadily dropping every season due to how that works, but in QP I'm always matched against a minimum of diamonds and quite often GMs and Top 500s. There's definitely a huge difference between my rating in the two modes but I suspect after placements next season I'll be high silver/low gold (since placements usually put you a little lower than your end-of-season SR) – Sterno May 10 '17 at 17:56
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    It's worth realising that if the Mercy's on your team are playing incorrectly (disclaimer: I've never played), then it's likely they're doing the same on the other team. What I mean to say is if the players on your team are noobs, then it's the same on the other team. This means it should overall give you an advantage if you're indeed better than you're current rank. Not an answer, but I'd imagine you should just keep patient and try to ignore the number – Tas May 10 '17 at 22:44
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    I know you didn't ask for gameplay tips, but as a general rule the less your team is playing as a team the less effective the tank and healer roles become. If you're better than the average bronze player you should easily be able to escape bronze playing offensive characters. – Aelexe May 11 '17 at 1:06
  • 1
    "You can fix the matchmaking, but you can't fix people". – enkryptor May 11 '17 at 19:35
34

Ranked and quick play MMR is separate. The only way to truly reset your MMR is to buy the game again on a new account, which will set your MMR to be whatever the average rank is.

However, I strongly advise against doing this. If you dropped down to 700 SR, chances are you probably belong somewhere around that level, plus or minus a couple hundred SR. (Not trying to be rude, just stating how the system is supposed to work.) It might be tough, but if your actual skill level is higher than that, you should eventually climb out on your own. Buying a new account risks you paying extra money just to go through the exact same frustration when you drop lower again.

At the start of every new season, there is a soft-reset of all player's ranks (normalized to the average player rank, which I think is somewhere in silver or gold). I don't know if this also affects MMR, but it should give you a chance to place higher than you might have gotten in the previous season.

Loss streaks happen, and the matchmaking system realizes this. Chances are your MMR is probably not all that heavily affected. You're probably still playing with people of a similar skill level as before, but because your visible rank is lower, you focus more on how "bad" your teammates are now as opposed to how they played before the loss streak.

Even if your MMR is lower now... that's how it's supposed to work. The matchmaking system tries to even everyone out to an approximately 50% win/loss ratio. Trying to get around this system is just asking for frustration.

  • 11
    I did not downvote, but this answer seems extremely condescending and incorrect. Saying "loss streaks do not heavily affect your MMR" is obviously false - OP lost >200 points in one streak, and I've personally had >400. Also saying "chances are you probably belong in [the bottom 1%]" is extremely rude, and also likely incorrect. Even the best players have difficulty getting out of MMR Hell (see my answer) due to how heavily team-based the game is. The bottom 1% consists largely of trolls and small children, which is certainly not "people of a similar skill level as [in Silver]". – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 10 '17 at 16:34
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    Also, "even the best players have difficulty getting out of MMR Hell" is straight up false. If it were true, streamers would not purposely fail their placements and lower their SR just so they can do a "bronze to grandmaster" stream. It's been done hundreds of times, not just in OW but in many other games as well. "MMR Hell" isn't a specific rank - it's wherever your own personal skill level plateaus, which is where you will need to rely more and more on your teammates. For some people, that's bronze; for others, it's platinum or diamond or even higher. – Mage Xy May 10 '17 at 16:47
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    And if you take offense to me saying that OP might belong at the rank he is now, I'm sorry, I truly don't mean to be condescending or rude. I'm merely trying to explain how the MMR system is designed. I would have said the same thing if he had complained about dropping from diamond to plat. – Mage Xy May 10 '17 at 16:52
  • 3
    I'm pretty sure it doesn't soft-reset your rank to gold every season. I've seen previous-season GMs have like 2 wins 8 losses in placements and still end up GM or high masters. I've gone 8 wins 2 losses and always come out about 100-200 SR than I ended the last season. I mean, no one knows for sure, but a lot of people feel strongly it plops you right around your old SR, plus or minus about 200 points. Usually minus. And I can't find the source, but I'm pretty certain I've seen Blizzard posts stating that your first 50 or so games get a SR boost for wins to "catch you up" to your real SR. – Sterno May 10 '17 at 18:03
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    @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft MMR hell doesn't actually exist... It's just a made up theory that is been thoroughly debunked by this point. It is different for each player but really just means 'this is where you belong' when someone says they are stuck in MMR hell. – dphil May 11 '17 at 16:20
26

Your best option is to find some players who are also stuck in the bottom ranks, and group up with them. Find people with mics so you can coordinate your attacks/defense over Discord or in-game voice chat. Even if they are not very good, having consistent teammates and even a small amount of coordination should easily get you all back into the 1000's.


Why is having a group so important? In Overwatch (and many other team-based games), the ranks at the bottom 1%(-ish) are known as MMR Hell - the skills of players varies so wildly, you're just as likely to get a troll teammate who's trying to lose, or a 5-year-old mashing on the controller, as you are a decent teammate.

People claim "over enough games it will even out", but they're forgetting that people often group up, which screws up the balance. Eg. if there's a group of 5 and you're solo-queueing, you have a 1/7 chance of being on their team, and 6/7 chance of being against them. And given that they're likely not deliberately grouping with trolls/5-year-olds, you have a much higher chance of losing.

Thus, getting out of the lowest ranks by yourself takes significantly more effort than at higher ranks, no matter how good you are (and unlike many other team-games, in Overwatch even the best players can't carry an entire team by themselves). Because of this, "playing a lot of games" is not a good option. You will eventually get out of MMR Hell, but depending on your luck it could take a long time.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Wipqozn May 12 '17 at 16:31
3

Placement matches are not a fresh start, they're based off your final placement in the previous season. There is no way to "reset MMR", your only chance is to win more games than you lose.

  • There is also the different resets they've implemented in each season. Season 2 was a really hard reset to fix that first ranking system. Season 3 had next to no reset, and Season 4 was a soft reset. I imagine the next season will have something similar – n_plum May 10 '17 at 14:15
  • This. They use the placement matches to adjust the MMR and tweak it however they see fit, for doing this in the middle of the season would raise tons of complains. I expect season 5 placement matches to be just that again, you get exactly the MMR you'd have had in-season for winning/losing these matches, +/- adjustments if they think to many / too few people are placed in certain ranks. – Sarumanatee May 10 '17 at 18:16
-1

Self-answer: In the year since posting, I've never been able to get above 900 SR again. Last week I bought a second copy of the game (aka new account), ground out 15 hours of quick play to level 25, went 3-7-0 on my Competitive Placement Matches, and ranked Silver with 1793 SR. Higher than the career high on my first account.


Extra context: I came from MMOs and Final Fantasy-type games and Overwatch was my first ever FPS. When I did my initial placement matches in July 2016, a Bronze rating was probably fair. In the 2 years since, I have watched / read a lot of guides, and become a big fan of Overwatch League pro play. There is no doubt that I am a much better player now.

Takeaways:

  • The Placement Matches between Competitive Seasons are total garbage since they doesn't actually reset your Skill Rating.
  • The game's rating system does not account for big jumps in player skill after their initial placement matches.
  • The "Bronze trap" is real. A strong DPS might be able to carry themself out, but the lack of teamwork in the bottom 1% of players makes it very hard for a Tank / Healer to have a consistent impact on the game.
  • Comments for downvotes please? – Mike Ounsworth Apr 18 '18 at 14:36

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