Dota 2

Has DOTA considered streak matching?

Streak matching is a simple idea used in a lot of SEA online games and fighters. It’s not a dramatic change, you basically leave MMR and match making 100% like it is now, you just insert having similar win or loss streaks into the criteria for match making at a low priority so it doesn’t impact wait times. So instead of “Similar MMR, similar behavior, similar ping, ect” you match based on ““Similar MMR, similar behavior, similar ping, similar streak, ect”

It has two positive effects. On the win streaks side, it’s a first line of defence against smurfing. While you’re still only ever playing at your MMR, player who win at a disproportionate rate eventually end up against each other. While this is a lot more effect in games with short match times, it makes smurfing a lot less appealing as you only get a given number of wins before you’re theoretically against other smurfs

On the losing streak side, it has a D-R-A-M-A-T-I-C impact on the overall toxic environment. People on huge losing streaks are far more likely to flame or be toxic in general, and the knowledge that (again, although you never play a game at anything other then your MMR) you know eventually you are going to be up against other people on a cold streak. Given someone has to win, huge losing streaks become a statistical anomaly. One of the games I play that uses streak matching mathed it out to 95% of losing streaks ending at 4, but I’m too stupid to understand how.

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And while anecdotal evidence is the worst kind, I did play a game that shifted to this system after not having it for years. On the winning side … to be honest, I never really noticed a difference. I was still getting some big win streaks and it didn’t seem to happen less then before. On the losing side it was much more evident. The “mood” of the game changed pretty quickly. Overall, there was less toxicity in general, people saw the match making as more fair, and the most unexpected thing was that losing streaks eventually turned into support groups. People were bounding over the fact that everyone in the party and the other team were more then likely having the same bad luck rather then just being salty about losing the last few games.

The most important things to remember is this never effects the MMR of the people you play against. Although … mathematically it should have zero impact on wait time anyways, given that the pool of players no a 2-3 game streak is almost as big as the general pool at any given time, for higher streaks you put streak matching low enough in the priority that it doesn’t have an impact.

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