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It's that time again. Season 3 of Competitive Overwatch has begun. Unfortunately for Blizzard, they're now dealing with a new legion of angry people, who are upset over changes to the competitive ranking system. These changes were announced prior to the season starting, in some form or another.
Confused? Want to be a part of the vigorous debate when it comes up among your Overwatch pals? We're here to help.
Why are people upset?
Since the start of Season 3, people have been getting placed in lower tiers than they expected or lower than they were last season.
On one hand, it may seem strange to get so worked up over a status change that has no effect on how good you are as a player, and you are still given the opportunity to work back up the ranks. On the other hand, it's easy to see these ranks as a reward for hard work, and the perhaps unreasonable demotion is, in a way, revoking that reward.
What was changed?
Blizzard decided to spread out the middle tiers a bit more, making it so people who may have been in Platinum or Gold may find themselves in Silver or even Bronze.
It seems people in higher tiers aren't really affected, nor are people who started off in Bronze or Silver.
Why did Blizzard change it?
In Season 2, too many people were placing in Gold or Platinum regardless of their skill. This generally created less competitive games across the board. They also saw several people being ranked inappropriately high only to subsequently tumble down the Skill Rankings as the season progressed. Simply put, they were out of their league, and not only did this harm the quality of the match, it harmed the experience of that user whose SR plunge was likely demoralizing.
Was it the right call?
If enough people were, as Blizzard suggests, inexplicably falling from the rank in which they were placed, that certainly indicates that there is something wrong with the ratings system. The only motivation for Blizzard to be dishonest about this (as some conspiracy theorists have suggested) would be of the mustache-twirling villain who just wants to watch their playerbase suffer, so I'm going to go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Are you just saying this because you're high-tier?
Not even close. I didn't even place last season, and this season I got low-Gold tier, so I hardly have a horse in the race. They also warned us that it might happen this way back in October, and confirmed that it's going to happen alongside the launch of Seaon 3, so this really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.