Dota Underlords: Seasonal Rank System - June 2019

Dota Underlords: Seasonal Rank System - June 2019

The rank system in Dota Underlords is composed of 8 ranks split in 5 tiers each. Find out the info shared by Valve developers Bruno Carlucci and Jeff Hill on the MMR system.

I will update this article over time including all the info we have on the rank system and distribution.

Beta season

There is not a casual queue, so every Multiplayer match is a ranked game.

The Beta season will last a few months, and it will conclude with the launch of the first competitive season, which will bring a new rotation of heroes, alliances, and items.

There are a total of eight ranks split in five tiers each:

  • Upstart

  • Grifter

  • Outlaw

  • Enforcer

  • Smuggler

  • Lieutenant

  • Boss

  • Big Boss

Upstarts can only gain rank if they end up top 6 and everyone else, top 4. However, you can still lose rank if you end up below someone with a worse ranking.
— Bruno “Bruno” Carlucci - Valve developer
  • Generally, it is necessary to reach at least the top 4 in a match to rank up. There is a hidden numerical MMR, and after each game we lose or gain points based on our placement and the rank of the adversaries.

  • We can still lose rank if opponents with a worse rank obtain a better placement than us. In Dota Auto Chess, you were pretty much guaranteed to not lose points only if you reached the top 2, so we can speculate that the rank system in Dota Underlords might be similar.

  • Bruno also affirmed that they are working on a progress bar. It will probably be like the one used in Dota 2 to track how far we are from the next medal.

Dota Underlords Beta season rank medals - Wykrhm Reddy

Dota Underlords Beta season rank medals - Wykrhm Reddy

Underlords uses a modified Glicko1 score

Valve developer Jeff Hill provided detailed info on how the Dota Undelords ranking system works:

Initial Calibration

“Underlords internally tracks your skill for matchmaking using a modified Glicko1 score.

To present your rank, we calibrate a rank score that converges to your Glicko over a calibration period that’s on average around 25 games. This rank score is what gives you a badge so you’ll see your badge level rising fairly often during this calibration period.

After this calibration period, you can expect your rank score to track closely with your Glicko, with one caveat. No matter how far your Glicko might fall, we won’t decrease your rank score below a major rank. You will enter matchmaking using your unmodified Glicko, but you won’t lose badge progress below this floor.

We felt this was a balance between letting your rank fall due to a losing streak, and outright losing the sense of accomplishment you’d attained from having a higher peak score within a season.”

  • During your first 25 games, the system will figure out your skill level with a hidden skill level score, so the rank will fluctuate a lot. After the calibration, it will take longer to rank up.

  • The rank medal indicates “the peak of your skill during the season”. Once obtained a certain medal, you will retain it as your best achievement for the current season (independently from your performance afterwards).

    • Losing games will decrease both your hidden MMR and your tier, but your profile badge won’t decline below a major rank: Grifter, Outlaw, Enforcer, etc.

Recalibration at season end

“All of these value will be recalibrated each season in a way that has yet to be determined. It’ll almost certainly be a “soft-reset” type of system, where we open up uncertainty on the Glickos, and hard reset the rank score to let your badge recalibrate for the season.”

  • At the end of the season there will be a soft reset that will add again some uncertainty to your skill score.

  • The medal badge will hard reset so you will be able to earn a new one.

Crucible of Light loading screen for KotL - Valve

Crucible of Light loading screen for KotL - Valve

Gaining and losing rank

Jeff and Bruno also explained how the system calculates if we should gain or lose rank at the end of a match.

Summarizing, the game predicts where we are estimated to finish, and we gain or lose MMR depending on our actual placement.

It depends on the ranks of all players in the game, your final placement, and the value of your rank uncertainty (how stable your rank is). It’s not as simple as top 4 / bottom 4, because we can get much more data about your skill from your final ranking than just a simple W/L.
— Jeff Hill - Valve developer

There are several factors in play:

  • The “real” rank of all the players in the game.

    • Do not forget that each player profile displays the peak seasonal badge, but their actual MMR might be lower.

  • You placement in the match (top 4 doesn’t guarantee a rank increase).

  • The value of your rank uncertainty according to the Glicko score.

You can roughly think about it this way: Based on your Glicko and your opponents’, you are expected to place somewhere between 1 and 8. If you overperform, you’re more likely to go up, if you underperform you’re more likely to go down. If you end up 2nd AND you were the best player in the game by a large margin, you might lose some rank.
— Bruno “Bruno” Carlucci - Valve developer

We don’t know yet the exact rank distribution, the percentage of players at each tier, and if the top rank is open or limited only to the best 100/200 players, but Dota Underlords is still in beta and hopefully Valve will provide a proper API to gather data in the future.

More Dota Underlords Articles:

Header image (Acid Hydra loading screen for Venomancer): 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.