Oops, Blizzard accidentally trapped some Overwatch 2 players in Bronze 5 Elo hell

Do you feel like your Overwatch 2 competitive ranking isn’t quite as it should be? Are you being matched against players far above, or below, your skill? Do you really and truly believe, somewhere in the back of your mind, that Overwatch 2 is jerking you around? When things don’t go our way, it’s easy to think that we’re being hosed by Elo shenanigans or broken SBMM. But for some players in Overwatch 2, well, it turns out that the conspiracy was real.

The Overwatch 2 patch notes (opens in new tab) released yesterday, November 17, reveal the strange truth: “Resolved an issue where some players could be stuck in Bronze 5 even after several rank updates.”

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 competitive rankings are divided into seven medals—Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster—which are further broken down in numerical divisions, from 5 to 1. Win games and your rank goes up; lose them, and your rank goes down. That part of it is pretty straightforward, although you can dive into our explanation of how Overwatch 2 ranks work in competitive (opens in new tab) if you’d like a more detailed breakdown.

In that ranking system, Bronze 5 is the absolute bottom of the barrel. I mean no disrespect to anyone—I’m a terrible online shooter player myself—but Bronze 5 is a rank that the vast majority of players will leave behind quickly. Look at it this way: Even if you exclude the Master and Grandmaster ranks, the median Overwatch 2 ranking is Gold 3. That’s your cold, hard, middle of the road, and the numbers back it up: In 2018, former Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed that 32% of Overwatch players ranked Gold (opens in new tab), bracketed by 21% Silver and 25% Platinum. Only 8% languished in Bronze, a smaller number than the much higher Diamond rank, which accounted for 10% of players.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

From a distance, being stuck at the bottom of the bottom is kind of funny. But it’s also undoubtedly frustrating for the players trapped in that position. For one thing, they’re probably pulling their hair out trying to figure out why the hell they can’t get out of that stupid sub-basement rank. More importantly, Overwatch 2 players on Reddit confirmed that the bug wasn’t just visual, but did in fact impact MMR ratings, which throws SBMM for a loop by pitting legitimately low-ranked players against those who belong in much higher ranks—with predictable results.

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