Ladder Matchmaking System

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Ladder Matchmaking System

Postby ThomasHiatt » 01 Aug 2020, 08:33

With the current ladder matchmaking system it is very difficult for high rated players to find games. Every X minutes it looks at the players currently in the queue and creates the most balanced matches possible. The problem with this is that it will often leave out the highest-rated player searching. This is quite unfair in the context of the ladder league system where there is prize money on the line and the number of games you can get effectively determines the winner. Instead of encouraging a good win rate, it encourages you to keep your rating low so you can keep finding games. This system also deters high-rated players from playing ladder at all, because it is so hard to find games. Neither of these things are very good for ladder. The old first-come-first-serve was better in these regards, but it could result in very unbalanced matches, there is a better way.

My proposed solution to this is to use a different matchmaking algorithm:
1. Sort all the players in the queue by their rating from highest to lowest.
2. Match the highest-rated player with the second-highest rated player (as long as they are within a certain rating threshold)
3. Repeat all the way down the sorted queue.

This ensures that high-rated players are not left out and will still provide well-balanced matches. Most players will still be getting their optimal match, or 2nd most optimal match. Only when there is an odd high-rated person out will it result in an unbalanced match, but I think that is worth it to ensure everyone can get games and have a chance at winning in the league system.

In addition to that, I would just like to remind everyone that a significant number of ladder matches still are not counted for rating or towards the league score. This seems to just happen randomly. It really degrades the ladder experience and is another factor of luck when it comes to being able to win a league or not. When the league is decided by just a few points it can make a pretty big difference when it is just a coinflip if you actually get your points for winning or lose them for losing. It is a pretty serious issue and has been around for several months now.
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Re: Ladder Matchmaking System

Postby TerryMulhern » 09 Oct 2020, 08:50

Good points, @ThomasHiatt
It looks like the system should be using an ordinary statistical calculation, that's all. Here's the ladder math and win/loss ratio in StarCraft II as an example:

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