Understanding MMR, match quality, climbing ranks

The biggest fallacy when it comes to the discussion of MMR, is perhaps the idea that you belong to a very specific MMR in a MOBA game. This is untrue, as there are way too many factors that play a role when determining one's MMR, such as the individual players' physical and mental state, individual players' hero pool, knowledge of the match-up, synergy between teammates, which socks you are wearing, etc . This creates variance, and variance is what is responsible for the MMR range that you belong in, not a specific value. Some people may have a wider range than others, but the idea is that you cannot belong to a very specific MMR. Just as how you can't measure anything with absolute precision but only to the level of precision that the measuring device provides, the accuracy of your HotS MMR (matchmaking rating) is limited to that which HotS matchmaking system allows. Although it works, it works as a range, not a precise value.

If you get stuck in any MMR range for hundreds of games straight, you most definitely belong there, and although it is possible to climb to the top end of your range, the only way to climb out of the range is to improve as a player. And the higher your range is, the higher your skill is. The higher your skill is, the higher your teammates and your oponents skills are, due to the matchmaking. But the reality of it, is that skill is relative, and no matter what rank you go to, as long as the ACTUAL skill level of the players in a single game stays relatively even with that of your own (which is what is suppose to happen), your version of "game quality" will remain the same.

The illusion that your game quality will magically improve at a MMR where you "think you belong", is created due in part to the small number of games where you either played exceptionally well, or got carried by better players. Both of which will happen to any given player at a very similar rate, EXCEPT for the people who belong to the highest group of MMR.

All this is not easy to grasp, especially when HotS does not show you MMR. But the one thing you can absolutely change, is your own view on the qualitative aspects of the game.
- Whether you win the match or not should not determine the quality of the match. This is simply statistics.
- Whether the game was close or one sided should not determine the quality of the match. This is simply statistics.
- Extremely toxic teammates DO lose you games, but they DO NOT lose you MORE games. The enemy team can just as easily lose due to high toxicity, giving you free win in this case. But since you have 4 players excluding yourself and the enemy has 5 players, it is YOUR level of toxicity that determines which team, on average, is more toxic. If you are less toxic than the average, this should help you. Conversely, if you are more toxic than the average, this should hurt you. If you are the average, this should not be a factor. In any case, YOUR level of toxicity is the variable.
- Extreme throws DO lose you games, but they DO NOT lose you more games. Same logic applies as the toxicity. YOUR level and consistency of throwing is the variable.
- Extremely bad drafts DO lose your games, but they DO NOT lose you more games. Same logic applies as the above. YOUR drafting skill and hero pool is the variable.
- This can be done to just about any qualitative aspect of the game. YOU are the variable.

So you are left with the choice, either blame your environment (your teammates, the game balance, RNG, etc), or blame yourself. Blaming the environment will maybe make you FEEL better momentarily, but it will not improve you. Blaming yourself will maybe make you FEEL worse momentarily, but it will improve you.

And as I've said earlier, only by improving will you be able to climb your MMR range, and consequently, your matchmaking rank.

git gud

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