You all have probably dove into your placement matches as Riot released Episode 2 of Valorant along with an overhauled ranking system. Most everyone is probably unsatisfied with how they have handled the new ranking system. So lets talk about why it sucks and why it is a problem for the player base.
So first off, Riot basically dropped everyone a few ranks, even if you won all of your placements you are still going to end up 2-3 ranks lower than what you ended with last act. The exception here is anyone in Diamond 1 and above, they all automatically place into Plat 3 where they will need to climb up from there again. They did this to probably reset all the higher ranks to implement the new Leaderboard system where Immortal is 1 rank and each player gets a numbered rank and the top 500 being radiant.
So why does this suck? Here we introduce – HIDDEN MMR
MMR is your Match Making Rating. This number represents how good of a player you are without taking rank into account at all. They use this number to match you with players of similar skill level. So why is this a bad thing? This rating is HIDDEN, so you have no idea what your MMR is. On top of that if your MMR is high since you are playing at a high level, the game is going to match you against people who are of high skill as well. That means if you top frag a lot, your games in silver are going to be against other people who are fragging out, while someone who is bottom fragging or getting carried, will be paired with people who also suck. This means you essentially get punished for performing well and your games will continually get harder until you are losing games, regardless of your rank. This means that Riot with purposely make your games harder and keep your win rate closer to 50% making your climb to your “real rank” a very slow and difficult grind.
So the video above shows some evidence where I was placed into a lobby with teammates of much higher rank. Keep in mind, if I had friends who were Plat 1 or above, the game would not even allow me to queue up with them – and yet they are ok with placing me as a Silver 3 into a game full of Gold 3 and Plat 2 players. I even scored higher than a lot of them even as a support character. So essentially I have to beat an entire lobby of players 4-5 ranks higher just to get out of my lowly Silver Status. And if I win this, my games would continue getting more difficult eventually demoting me back to silver or getting stuck in low gold.
More evidence of this can easily be seen among previously top Radiant players and Valorant Pros. Many pros are stuck in Plat 3 to Diamond ranks because to get out of Plat 3 or diamond they essentially need to beat the other top 100 pros to get there. While the other lower ranked immortals, only had to beat other low tier immortals to get wins and get onto the leaderboards. It is well known that the pros had to wait in ridiculously long queue times since matchmaking was refusing to put them into games with other Plat 3s to Immortals, they were only matching them with the most elite players. so the current immortal leaderboards are playing easier games than the professionals stuck in Diamond.
Smurfing is still a problem and Riot is not fixing it
The new system actually promotes smurfing since, most parties will gain a very similar amount of RR each match, so smurfs no longer rank up faster, they will stay within a rank of their stack. This promotes having mega smurfs boosting their friends by continuously partying up with them forever. Riot has almost 0 barrier to entry to play ranked and they don’t care because more accounts is good for their stats and people are inclined to buy skins on more accounts.