Overwatch Ranks: How the ranking system works

Here are the key differences between the levels of Overwatch competitive play!

Overwatch is a well-known multiplayer shooter game released by Blizzard in 2016. It has the same premise and style as other multiplayer shooter games like Team Fortress 2 but what makes Overwatch unique is its highly-followed league and a complex ranking system.

If you want to advance in Overwatch’s competitive circuit, it’s crucial that you first understand the game’s ranking system.

Overwatch ranks are based on two systems, namely skill ranking (SR) and competitive ranking. Keep in mind that the game has other intangible and non-quantifiable factors that may not be related to skill ranking but can significantly help you to rise through the competitive ranks faster.

You, therefore, need to understand how SR and competitive ranks work in Overwatch if you want to get the most out of the game’s highly competitive play.

Overwatch Skill Ranking

Overwatch skill ranking or SR in short is a primary metric that basically determines each player’s competitive ranking. SR dictates how far and how fast you can rank higher.

You’ll have to improve your SR rank to achieve a better competitive rank. SR is also a hidden ranking factor that has a major influence on each competitive season. Every Overwatch League season lasts around two months but you can still change your SR within this period.

However, it’s worth remembering that Blizzard, the game developer, doesn’t reset SR ranks before the season ends.

Overwatch Competitive Ranks

Overwatch’s competitive ranking system has 7 levels which are categorized as follows:

  • From 0 to 1,500 SR – Bronze
  • From 1,500 to 1,999 SR – Silver
  • From 2,000 to 2,499 SR – Gold
  • From 2,500 to 2,999 SR – Platinum
  • From 3,000 to 3,499 SR – Diamond
  • From 3,500 to 3,999 SR – Masters
  • From 4,000 to 5,000 SR – Grandmaster

We’ll look at these levels in more detail shortly.

As of February 2018, the percentage of players in Overwatch ranks was as follows:

  • 8% Bronze
  • 21% Silver
  • 32% Gold
  • 25% Platinum
  • 10% Diamond
  • 3% Masters
  • And 1% Grandmasters

Key differences between Overwatch competitive play levels

Overwatch competitive play levels
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch gameplay differs from one level to the next. Let’s look at each level to learn more about the differences.

Bronze and Silver Levels

At these two levels, you can pick your preferred hero without considering issues such as teamwork and coordination.

In fact, most players in the Bronze and Silver levels hardly use microphones to communicate with each other. The player’s skill and SR are lower at these basic levels.

These are basic levels of the game with around 29% of Overwatch players ranked there. A majority of players don’t stay in the Bronze and Silver levels for long.

Gold Level

A great percentage of Overwatch players move from the Silver level to the Gold level and stay here for quite some time.

This level includes ambitious players struggling to rank higher and those who play just for fun. Most players in the Gold level play one main hero and hardly change roles.

Platinum Level

At the Platinum level, most players tend to focus more on teamwork and coordination. This is where you find a majority of players communicating with each other using microphones.

It’s a serious level in which strategy plays a key role. Players in this category have garnered skills and abilities.

They are quite adept at precision shooting and using their ultimate abilities.

Diamond Level

At the Diamond level, the gem becomes increasingly competitive because this is where you find the top 15% of the best Overwatch players.

Most players in the Diamond level consider Overwatch as their main game in life. They play with passion, experience, and advanced skills.

They know how to use their ultimate abilities and work with team members. They also have excellent map awareness and strategy.

Masters Level

You’ll find the semi-professional Overwatch players in the Masters level, well at least not the hugely famous players but truly dedicated and passionate elite players of the game.

Players at this level have already been in the game for long and discovered their main roles, for example, healer, tank, and support. They focus on excelling in their fields of specialization.

The Grandmaster Level

The Grandmaster level is an exclusive club of the best of the best in Overwatch. This is where you expect to come across famous league players and Overwatch Twitch streamers.

This is where live matches happen. The Grandmaster is not for every player but you can always aspire to reach this exclusive level with time and dedication to the game.

How can you quickly rise through Overwatch ranks?

Overwatch Ranking System
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch is a highly complex and demanding game. Don’t expect to rise through the ranks overnight but if you dedicate enough time, anything is possible.

This is what you can begin doing to start leveling up in the game:

  • Improve your playing skills by mastering the game’s mechanics
  • Learn different strategies that can be applied on different maps
  • Learn how to coordinate and work as a team with other players
  • Always strive to improve your overall game awareness so you can exploit every available opportunity to become a better player and progress to the next level.
  • Practice, practice, and play every day.

It’s not clear how Ranks and Skill Rating system works but like every game, you need to win to get a higher Skill Rating and rise to the next rank.

Keep in mind that personal Skill Rating and individual performance isn’t enough to rise through the ranks. You may have won many medals but your SR won’t improve if your team loses.

It’s, therefore, important to have excellent communication and coordination skills so you can work together with your team and win more.

More importantly, remember the goal of playing any game is to have fun in as much as you want to rise through the ranks and achieve your goal of becoming a true master of the game.