Players are able to find out how they and their friends stack up against the rest of the Heroes of the Storm community by queuing up for competitive, ranked matches. With Ranked Play, they’ll be able to compete in two separate queues: Hero League and Team League.
- In Hero League, players can queue up as a solo player, or in a party of any size, and they’ll be given an individual ranking.
- Team League, however, requires a five player team, will allow players to create a dedicated, named team, and offers a separate ranking for each of their teams.
The ranked system is divided into League Tiers and Divisions.
A League Tier is a large bucket meant to give a general idea of a player’s skill level. The tiers in ascending order are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grand Master. Each tier up to Master League is then broken down into divisions, with the lowest division within a tier being five, and the highest being one.
Divisions within a tier designate how close or far a player is from advancing or falling to the next tier. As an example, a player in Gold 1 (Gold Tier, Division One) has a higher competitive rank than a player in Gold 4, and that Gold 4 player has a higher rank than another player in Silver 2.
Players will be able to easily tell how they rank across the Heroes competitive game modes. At the beginning of each season, a series of ten Placement Matches will determine their initial rank. With each ranked match played after initial placement, players will gain (or lose) rank points.
Earning enough rank points will present players with a chance to move up to the next tier or division by winning a Promotion Match, while consistently losing points will grant a similar opportunity to defend their current tier or division in a Demotion Match. Players will know if they're up for a Promotion or Demotion match via a message on the Score Screen and through a special effect played on their Rank Badge after the match.
Masters and Grand Masters Edit
The unique Master and Grand Master tiers will have slightly different rules. Instead of divisions, Master league badges will display the total number of rank points accumulated in Master league for the current season, so players can easily track their progression against other Master League players.
Grand Master league will be comprised of the top 200 (Hero League) or 100 (Team League) point earners in each region's Master League. For players in this league, badges will display a number. This number is a player’s position in the overall Grand Master rankings for their region, which will be updated on a daily basis.
- Skill-level Queue Restriction
In an effort to make the new ranked play system as fair as possible while remaining intensely competitive, only players whose ranks are within one league tier will be able to queue together as a party in Hero League matches. This means that a player in Gold could only party with players in Silver 5 through Platinum 1. During placement matches players will only be able to party with others doing placement matches, and the system will use current MMR standings as a loose guideline to determine initial tier and division placement. Please keep in mind that this may mean that players queuing together during placement matches could be unable to continue as a party if their Hero League placements are further than five divisions apart.
- Silenced Player Restriction
Hero League is meant to be the place to play for competitive, high-intensity matches. This means that communication will be integral to a team’s success. With this in mind, silenced players’ ability to queue will be removed in this game mode until their silence penalty expires. This serves as a head-up if players are currently under a silence penalty, as there is some time before the new ranked system hits live servers for penalties to expire.
The introduction of this new system will officially mark the beginning of the first Heroes of the Storm Ranked Season! Going forward, seasons will typically last a couple of months, with season one potentially being a slightly longer exception.
In an effort to give players more flexibility and control over their matchmaking rating, matchmaking certainty will be loosened during season one placement matches. This means that these games will have a much more significant impact on matchmaking rating, allowing players the opportunity to make quick and meaningful changes in their MMR.
Battling it out in Ranked play every season is truly an epic challenge, and all epic challenges deserve epic rewards. Players who participate in Hero League and Team League seasons will be rewarded with a practical pile of treasure at each season’s end based on their ranked performance in Team and Hero League.
Ranked rewards will be granted based on the highest rank achieved during the season, including preseason. Players can earn double rewards for participating in both. As for the rewards, keep in mind that later seasons' rewards may be completely different.
Patch changes Edit
- (Patch May 16, 2017) Note: Lúcio will no longer appear elevated on the Ranked Play screen.
- (Patch April 25, 2017) Note: Varian will no longer appear scaled-down on the Ranked Play screen.; Xul will no longer appear offset on the Ranked Play screen.
- (Patch October 18, 2016) Note: New voiceover lines have been added that will play when a player is promoted into a new League Tier.
- (Patch September 13, 2016) Note: Number of Grandmaster players reduced in Hero League; Changes to promotion and demotion.
- (Patch August 9, 2016) Note: Fixed an issue in which the player’s total ranked points or Grand Master ranking, located in the Ranked Play section of the Profile Summary tab, could mismatch the player’s current standing.; Fixed an issue in which a lock icon rather than the appropriate league badge could display in the Ranked Play section of a player’s Profile Summary tab under certain circumstances.
- (Patch July 20, 2016) Note: An “Unmet Requirements” notification will no longer display after finding a match while queued as a party for Unranked or Ranked matchmaking.
- (Patch June 14, 2016) Note: Ranked Play overhauled.