Taking a page out of Starcraft 2’s playbook (and perhaps League of Legends), Blizzard is revamping their ranked play for Heroes of the Storm come June 14th.
Now, after your placement matches, you’ll be placed in a corresponding league (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond). Those in turn will be split into 5 divisions. A such, a Diamond 5 player will be have a higher rank than a Gold 1. In order to ascend to a new tier, you’ll have to win a promotion match. Conversely, if you fall too low, you’ll have to defend your current tier by winning a demotion match.
The system doesn’t end with Diamond 1, though. Once you’ve reached that rank, you’ll you can ascend to the Master League, which is no longer split into divisions, but rank points. Earn enough rank points while playing in the Master League, and you can then ascend to the Grand Master League, which functions similarly to Hearthstone’s legend rank. It will be comprised of the top 500 point earners in each region. In essence, Grand Master rank 1 will potentially be the best player in all of Heroes of the Storm, or at least the best player who has played the most. The basic divisions, bronze through diamond, will be a good indicator of a player’s skill level, but anything past that seems like purely a grind for the best and most committed of HotS players.
One nifty change is that silenced players will now no longer be able to play ranked games until their penalty wears off. This will help to keep extremely toxic players out of ranked play once the update goes live.
Of course what would all these changes be if there weren’t rewards to incentive you to play? Each season, with seasons planned to last about 2 months, rewards will be given to players based on how well they’ve performed. That’ll range from gold, to a mount, to a hero portrait, all increasing in coolness based upon your rank. The rewards kick off with the launch of the new system based upon how high you’ve climbed in the current iteration of hero and team league, giving players a reason to climb as a high as they can before the update goes live the week of June 14th. Currently, you’ll get yourself a nice Elemental Wolf Mount if you reach at least rank 20, but each season of ranked play will offer different rewards.
In essence, the new system of bronze through diamond tiers will be similar to the current system of ranks 50-1. It’ll just be easier to tell where you stand in terms of overall skill level, and you’ll have to worry about promotions and demotions. Master and Grand Master leagues will be where it’s at in terms of skillful (and grinding) progression.