Blizzard recently released an official video announcing the new ranking system for Heroes of the Storm. This revamp is something that I have been personally waiting for ever since I achieved Rank 1 and wanted a new tier to see how much higher I could climb. It honestly felt a little weird not knowing exactly where I stood on the leaderboards compared to other people in Rank 1. There were sites that calculated this, but I always felt like this should have been something in the actual game – and now it has finally arrived. The introduction of the new Ranked Play system will also mark the very first official season of Heroes of the Storm’s Hero and Team League.
Heroes of the Storm’s revamped ranked system is very similar to Blizzard’s other title, Starcraft 2. It’s a league format that is broken up into seven tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and Grand Master. And like Starcraft 2, each player will undergo placement matches to assess which league they should be placed in. For the first five leagues – Bronze through Diamond – there will also be five divisions. To climb these divisions, you will need to earn enough points to get a chance to play a match that promotes you to the next division in the league. When you are in the top division for the league, you will need to earn 1,000 points to be promoted to the next league. Fortunately, points are awarded and deducted by 200 so this won’t be too grueling of a process. But be careful to not drop below 0 points, because when you do, then your next game determines whether or not you will be demoted a division.
The Master and Grand Master leagues work a bit differently. Instead of having divisions, players in Master earn points that determine their place on the leaderboards. The top players on this leaderboard are then placed into Grand Master and are given a rank depending on who has the most points earned. These leaderboards are updated every day to help accurately show who earned their spot in Grand Master and who deserves to be demoted back to the Master league. Overall, this system has proven to work in the past with other games, and it gives players something to compete for. It’s also a great way to attract new people while keeping the game’s current player base from getting bored, which happened to me.
And with this new system there are additional things that I really appreciate. Having end-of-season rewards are nice because it provides an incentive to climb as high as you can, potentially making the level of play as good as possible. You can only queue with somebody one league above or below you, to help keep competitive integrity intact. You also cannot queue with somebody that is in their placement matches so the system can accurately place players in the league that best suits them. And people that have chat restrictions cannot queue for ranked games until those restrictions are lifted. All of these features help make the ranked experience as competitive as possible, while keeping the toxic environment to a minimum. It’s really nice to see that Blizzard is doing everything in its power to make the new ranking system as polished as possible.
The one thing I dislike is that Blizzard is thinking of making each season around eight to 12 weeks. I don’t feel like this is enough time to climb the ladder in certain situations. I personally think that each season should end when a major tournament is finished, which would be around two seasons a year. This would also give teams enough time to assess the leaderboards for talent and give the players a chance to climb as high as possible before the next circuit comes around for a chance to be recruited.
The revamped ranking system for Heroes of the Storm releases June 14th. So if you are somebody that has a taken a break from the game like I did, I would suggest giving it a try even if it is just for the end-of season-rewards. I am just glad that Blizzard is putting time into this game and I’m optimistic that the new ranking system will help attract new players while keeping the current ones interested in the game.