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The beautiful thing about most esports games is that they are constantly changing. Since competitive games remain in circulation for many years, there's enough room to tweak the games to keep things fresh and interesting. It’s also something that’s unique to esports that traditional sports can’t easily do.
Game changes are not only limited to in-game statistics and mechanics, they could also be applied to the systems on which the game is played on. In the midst of all the outcry against the new Dota 2 rank system, some important things are overlooked. We need to be reminded of the fleeting nature of the game and that if something is broken in this game, it will be fixed eventually.
Medals of Honor
Valve recently decided to adopt a new system for measuring player rank in Dota 2. Instead of the old number system, players will now be ranked according to tiered medals.
RELATED: The New Medal System
A multitude of fans and professional players were quick to express their displeasure with the new ranked system. Team Liquid's MATUMBAMAN was quoted as saying that the Divine 5 rank was too easy to reach.
This knee-jerk reaction to this brand new system was expected. There are those like Dota 2 talent, Capitalist, who are more concerned with the hidden information in the new system.
The Science Checks out.
One Reddit user surveyed over 1000 Dota 2 players to get a statistical overview on the rank changes since the new system was put into action.
Despite outcries of players claiming that the new system tends to demote players' old MMR, the data below suggests otherwise. You can check the thread, the raw study data, and the discussion here.
The graph shows a large concentration of data points congregating near the median line in the graph. This data plot translates into an average turnover from old MMR number value to current Medal rank. The output seems pretty balanced, with deviations only arising based on very clear relations between the ten-game calibration win/loss ratio and the final medal rank.
The new system is not perfect. I personally believe it could benefit from at least two to three more rank tiers above Divine.
I come from a League of Legends background. I’ve played for 5 years and the game has used a similar medal-tier rank system since its start. LoL is the other side of the coin since we have never been aware of our numerical MMR grade. The advantage of using a system like this is that the medal tiers are a better conduit of your rank than numbers. It feels better to say that I am a Divine, or an Ancient compared to saying however many thousands of rank points you’ve gained in rank games.
If the medal system proves to be ultimately broken, then I trust that Valve won't force the medal system in the game for it's immense number of players. In the meantime, if you're not a fan of how the rank system works, steer clear from medal-seeking endeavors.