Rocket League Competitive players,

⁠We’re introducing an update to the Competitive rank system designed to increase match quality. Specifically, this change addresses “unintentional smurfing,” which is when a player is at a rank below their actual skill level simply because they haven’t played a specific playlist in a while.

⁠Since the start of 2024, this change to the system has been tested on small groups of players across all Competitive Playlists. Because we’ve seen a significantly positive impact on match quality and player experience in these groups, we rolled out this change to all players earlier this week.

⁠From now on, a player’s Competitive rank will be evaluated when they’re completing their placement matches, and may be adjusted upwards if the new system recognizes that their starting rank is too low. A player’s predicted rank is based on their rank in other Competitive Playlists. While building this feature, we analyzed skill transference between playlists, and found that a player’s rank can be predicted with high accuracy using their ranks from other playlists. 

⁠A rank change will only happen when all three of the following scenarios are true:

  • The player played at least ten matches of a certain Competitive Playlist in the previous Season. (This means the player is “fresh” in the playlist.)
  • In the previous Season, the player did NOT play the Competitive Playlist they’re currently queuing for. (This means the player is “stale” in the playlist.)
  • The player has a rank significantly below their predicted rank for the playlist they’re currently queuing for.

For example, consider a player who was Silver in both Doubles and Hoops two Seasons ago, and now is Diamond in Doubles but hasn’t played Hoops since. When they begin their placement matches for Hoops, their rank may be automatically adjusted upwards.

⁠This change is one of several we mentioned earlier this year for improving gameplay. Have more questions? We’ll try to answer the ones we anticipate in the FAQ below! 

Rocket League Competitive Rank System Changes FAQ.jpg

⁠⁠Competitive Rank System Changes - FAQ

Q: My highest rank is Diamond III. Does this mean you’ll adjust me to Diamond III in all my “stale” playlists?

A: Most likely not, as skill transference is not necessarily one-to-one between playlists. Playstyle differences between playlists are taken into consideration. In most cases, players would be placed within a few ranks of Diamond III, but all adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: I have multiple “fresh” playlist ranks. Which will you use to make predictions, the highest one?

A: It depends on several factors. Ultimately, the playlist ranks that allow for the most confident prediction will be used.

Q: So players are being rewarded with a higher rank without having to win matches?

A: In this case, the higher rank is a rank that’s fair for the player, their teammates, and their opponents. We believe it’s preferable to the alternative of players smurfing to win those matches (unintentionally or not). Also, the adjusted rank is determined from existing ranks, so adjusted players will generally not be “rewarded” with a rank they’ve never achieved before across all playlists.

Q: If I’ve never played a given playlist at all, will it be considered stale?

A: Yes.

Q: With Snow Day and Dropshot alternating each Season, will all players’ ranks be considered “stale” for these playlists when they return?

A: Yes, and we believe this will have a positive impact on these playlists, since players will likely be more evenly distributed skill-wise. 

⁠(As a reminder, just because a rank is “stale” does not always mean it’s going to be adjusted. The other two rank adjustment scenarios must occur.)

Q: Will this change apply to Tournament ranks?

A: It will not, but we may consider this in the future.

Q: Will ranks also be adjusted downwards?

A: No, but we may consider it in the future.

Q: Is performance in Casual Playlists taken into account for Competitive Playlist placements? 

A: It is not, but we may consider this in the future.