Starcraft 2 adds a new element to battle.net with its Leagues and Ladders. Instead of the traditional level system in Warcraft 3, Starcraft 2 places you in a League based on your skill level. Within these leagues you’re able to move up and down in rank depending on how many games you win / lose.
Winning a game against a stronger opponent will earn you more points to move up in rank, while winning a game against a weaker opponent will earn you less points. While playing the Beta for over a month I find the League system work great and place you in some very competitive matches.
The current Leagues go as followed
Copper -> Bronze -> Silver -> Gold -> Platinum
Q. How do your placement matches calculate which league you will be joining?
A. During your placement matches we match you against players from a wide variety of players and skill levels and we watch the results; whether you win or lose. From this, we are able to determine your ability and place you in a league that we believe to be appropriate for your level of play.
Q. How do we move up in rank in your division? For example, from rank 51 to rank 44.
A. Simply by competing with other players and winning. However, it is important to remember that the individual matches themselves can vary in points awarded based on the rated difficulty of your opponent.
Example: Player A may have a win-loss ratio of 19-17 and be ranked in the Silver League at 35; while player B may have a win-loss ratio of 18-19, but because of the difficulty of some of those matches (say playing against Gold League players) he either received more points for a win or lost less for a loss.
Q. How do players move down in rank on the ladder? For example, from rank 44 to rank 51.
A. This is done simply by losing matches. You are ranked relative to everyone in your division within your league. The amount of points you lose per match is comparable to how points are calculated when you win. If you lose to someone who is rated higher than you, you should lose less points then if you were to lose to someone who was rated lower than you.
Q. What is the relevance of the Favored indicator and how does that effect the points distributed from winning or losing a match?
A. The Favored indicator helps give you an idea of whether the contender you’re pitted against is considered to be even with you, challenging to you, extremely challenging to you or not a challenge.
Currently there is a known bug where the score screen will display a level of you or your opponent being favored that’s incorrect. The loading screen however shows the correct level of ‘favoritism’.
You can use the level of ‘favoritism’ to gauge the number of points you are likely to gain or lose after the match depending on the result.
Q. What are the league ranks?
A. Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. In that order. There is also the practice league for player’s starting out and there may be other special leagues created in the future, such as an invite-only pro league.
Q. How does a player move laterally from one division to an adjacent division in the same metallic league? (For Example, From Division 5 Silver League to Division 4 Silver League.)
A. In theory, they shouldn’t. There have been some select cases where this has happened, but this is a known issue in the current beta build and is being looked into.
Q. Do the different numbered divisions indicate various levels of skill; is 4 a slightly tougher division than 5?
A. No. The divisions are sectioned off so that we have the appropriate amount of people in each.
Q. How does a player move from one league to another? (For Example: from Silver league to Gold.)
A. After you’ve finished your initial placement, the system continues to review your performance and determines what league you should be placed in based on those reviews. The time and frequency of these reviews is kept hidden.
Q. Are matches ever made between different leagues? (For Example: A Gold league player playing against a Silver league player in a rated match.)
A. Yes, you may be matched up against players from different leagues to test your skill. So be on your guard and play your best in every match.
Q. What is the bonus pool and how are bonus points acquired?
A. The Bonus Pool (incorrectly called “Rested Points” in some parts of the UI) is an accumulation of points that every player receives whether they’re online and playing or not. They’re essentially used as a means to help give a player a catch-up boost if they haven’t played in a while. The pool does have a cap but it increases slowly until the end of a season.
Q. How is the bonus pool used in competitive play?
A. When you achieve victory against another player, you are awarded a certain number of points. The Bonus Pool points will match the number of points you received for winning.
For example: If you were to have a Bonus Pool of 30 and you win a match that would normally give you 10 points, points will then be pulled from your Bonus Pool to match those 10 points and you’ll be awarded 20 points for winning that game. Your bonus pool will then sit at 20. (We’re aware of an issue your bonus pool not displaying properly in some parts of the UI).
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