Seasonal MMR system pros and effects on players

Seasonal MMR system pros and effects on players

The new seasonal ranked system will be out on November 22. Let’s find out how it will benefit the players, counter account buying, and improve the MMR brackets.

Account buying is less attractive

Dota 2 is plagued by account buyers because for a cheap price one can finally get the “well-deserved” 4-5k rank. The seasonal ranked system will directly fight against this problem as the MMR resets every six months.

We still don’t know how much the calibration will influence our actual rank.

Most likely Valve will only do a “soft reset” - players should be able to earn a MMR similar to the old one.

What is a soft MMR reset

I will use as an example the system implemented in Overwatch where players must recalibrate every three months.

I don’t play OW constantly but I still fight my way in all the calibration matches. In the past months I barely touched the game, and after the evaluation I got about 1k rank less than in the previous season. Afterwards, I practiced a lot while waiting for the new one - the training brought fruits as I regained my old rating.

Image: Valve

Image: Valve

Even if Valve will use a similar technique instead of a “hard reset”, we can still see how an account buyer could potentially lose 1k MMR or more.

The seasonal system won’t end account buying completely, because there will be always people that don’t care about the money spent and will keep getting new ones, but I am sure that it will greatly undermine this trend.

A fresh MMR distribution will stabilize the brackets

There are many players that are stuck in a certain MMR range. Even if they improved a lot in the past years, they still couldn’t move to the next bracket for different reasons.

I am gonna share a personal circumstance with you guys.

Honestly, I mostly pick core heroes. I know that it is possible to rank up using a support, but I am aware that generally it is more difficult. If you are one of those that achieved it, Valve should give you an extra medal!

Some of my support friends were stuck in the same MMR range, and only after starting picking cores they improved their rank by about 1k - 1.5k

Thereafter, they went back to their usual support position as they love that gameplay the most. They successfully retained the rank, proving that the promotion was deserved.

A quick note: Always be friendly with support players as they are the most patient and reasonable individuals on this planet. If carries will keep treating them poorly we will have bigger issues to face than just our rating.

Redistributing the MMR will give a chance to all those stuck in the same bracket, and every six months they will have a new opportunity to test their growth.

Instead, I don’t think Valve will do a hard reset - they could never delete all our progress. If you are a 4k or 5k player, I am sure that the new system will take it into account when calculating your new MMR. 1k players can’t expect to jump directly to 4k, but 4k won’t drop down to 1k either.

Image: Valve

Image: Valve


Less pressure for the players

Every time you lose that -25 MMR a piece of your heart dies. You absolutely need to get it back to acquire again the peace of mind.

The seasonal ranked system will help to alleviate this problem because even if you lose 322 MMR by the end of a season, there are very high chances to get your real one back with the new calibration.

Medals and season objectives

In a recent article on the Dota 2 playerbase I explained that - in my opinion - one reason behind the decreased number of players is the lack of goals.

The new ranked system will give the players some incentives that could partly recover the situation.

  • In each season we will receive a medal based on our skill level - each medal has five stars.

  • All players in a match will see our medal and the previous season one.

The incentive isn’t substantial, but is a good start.

Maybe in future Valve could give exclusive skins to those that reached a particular rank in a season. Common/uncommon sets for the first medals, then rare, epic, and maybe even immortals!

Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt the Dota 2 economy, and will surely boost the sense of accomplishment of the players.

Valve should show the MMR distribution

I really hope that we will know the MMR distribution at the end of each season. It would help to understand how we are placed compared to others, and see if the playerbase keeps improving over time.

Solo MMR distribution November 2017 -  Note:  This is  not  an official distribution released by Valve, and it is based on players that publicly show the MMR in their profiles - Image:

Solo MMR distribution November 2017 - Note: This is not an official distribution released by Valve, and it is based on players that publicly show the MMR in their profiles - Image:

Some Dota 2 fans believe that showing the ranked distribution is counter-productive, because if one realizes that most of the players have a low rank, he will lose all hopes for any personal improvement.

Instead, I think we should know what are the practical expectations and how we are ranked compared to the rest of the world.

Nowadays, people are obsessed by rising to 5k rank and more, while only veterans and pro players got to that point and beyond. Not everyone can have 10k rank guys!

In my earlier article you can learn all the info released by Valve so far on the new ranked system.


Header Image: Valve

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.