Overwatch Skill Rating Changes Will Focus More on Wins, Less on Individual Performance

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Changes coming soon to Overwatch’s competitive matches will put more emphasis on winning games at high ranks instead of each players’ personal performance.

Skill Rating is a precious stat for competitive Overwatch players, but beyond the basics of winning makes your SR go up and losing makes it go down, not everyone knows about the deeper factors that affect how much SR you’ll gain or lose in every game. Scott Mercer, the principal designer for Overwatch, elaborated on a couple of the ways SR gain and loss is influenced before diving into the changes that are being made.

  • If you have a higher than 50% chance to win a match, you gain less for a win and lose more for a defeat. Conversely, if you were an underdog in a match than you gain more SR when you win and lose less SR when defeated.
  • New players experience both higher gains and higher losses than players who have completed a lot of matches.
  • You gain less SR for a win than you lose for a defeat as you more closely approach the system’s mathematical upper limit 5000 SR. (So at very high SRs you do need a greater than 50% win rate to keep your SR stable.)

The fourth way that SR is affected has to do with your individual performance. If you personally do well, you gain more SR during each win and lose less for a loss. The opposite is true as well, but the personal performance factor has been an issue for some players for a while and is being tweaked for Diamond-level games and above.

“Especially at the higher levels of online competition where every point of SR matters, we want players to not be distracted and worry about how to optimize around the personal performance adjustment. They should just be trying to WIN. So after we get back from the holidays on January 2nd we’re going to turn off the personal performance SR adjustments for players in the Diamond skill tier and above.”

Tiers beneath Diamond will be unaffected by the changes, so your individual performance will still play into your SR values. Mercer also detailed changes coming to the way players are matched up with each other, the full details seen here.