The discussion has come about since Season 2 Act 1 kicked off.

11:25, 15 Jan 2021

Due to a recent spark in smurf accounts at low ranks (alternative accounts for high-skilled players looking to face lower-skilled opponents, often for easy content), Riot Games introduced some balances in VALORANT's ranked playlist.

It intended to push those smurf accounts back up to their correct ranks much quicker, with them being tough to clamp down on. This meant allowing players at low "MMR" brackets to be able to rapidly rise through ranks, spoiling as few games as possible. 

However, as one Reddit user pointed out, this also allows some overperforming players to be placed in high-MMR brackets despite being of lower skill, counter-intuitive of the original idea.

"Hardstuckbabe", who like many others has plateaued in Gold rank, has found that many "golds" are subpar with only a few ranked games to their name, seemingly being mistaken by the MMR system for smurfs. This could simply be because they have been lucky enough to be carried on numerous occasions, or has had an easy opponent in the same lanes as they go.

In a bid to clear the confusion, Riot Games Developer Jon Walker (u/EvrMoar) explained why this can happen.

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He stated, "We didn't change anyone's skill rating, how their MMR changes, or changed any back end calculations for players directly. We only moved the cut-offs for lower ranks.

"When you match make we use your MMR to match you with similar MMR players. So it doesn't matter what Ranks you run into in your lobby, your MMR is around theirs and you are put into the match because of it.

"Your forward-facing rank doesn't determine the players you match with, your hidden MMR does".

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Whilst this doesn't quite clarify as to why you would be placed in a lobby with substantially worse teammates, it does offer light into why they would be in the same rank.

Maybe it's time to take players having a bad game being a normal practice, just think about the other team's reactions to the player you've been dropping for the last 10 rounds.

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