Here's How Overwatch Competitive Mode Ranks Work

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The way the system works is still a mystery, and even the development team cannot explain its structure.
The way the system works is still a mystery, and even the development team cannot explain its structure. Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch can be a fun game, especially when playing together with your friends. But if you are really into experiencing the thrill of victory, then the competitive mode is what you are looking for. This is where you can compete with other players and prove your skills.

Essentially, each season of competitive mode in Overwatch last for about two months. And in every season, you are required to play 10 placement matches before your initial rank is determined. Unfortunately, the way the game determines skill rating is trivial. Even the development team has no definite answer as to how the entire system works.

Here’s a breakdown of ranks in the game’s competitive mode:


If you achieve a skill rate between 500 and 1499, you will be placed in the Bronze tier. This is the lowest skill tier in the mode. According to game director Jeff Kaplan, around eight percent of players tend to fall in this rank. It is ideal that you try to focus on building your basic skills, so you can finally move up in the ranking.


If you earn an SR of between 1500 and 1999, you automatically earn a Silver rank. Kaplan iterated that at least 21 percent of players in Overwatch are in this tier. Players have found out that this tier is the trickiest one to escape. Not only is teamwork a bit shaky here, but there are also players who love to “throw” matches. Your best course of action is to excel in multiple heroes, so you can help your team succeed.


This happens to be the most populous rank in the game. If you are here, it means you have an SR between 2000 and 2499. Interestingly, the amount of players in this tier allows you to easily find a team to work alongside. Often times, it is best to group up with reliable teammates to move up from this tier.


Achieving 2500 to 2999 SR means that you are in the Platinum tier. This happens to be the most discussed rank in the game, especially since a quarter of players in the game are in this rank. But pretty much like Silver, this is a difficult tier to escape. Sometimes, it is imperative that you specialize in certain heroes and be really good at using them.


Reaching 3000 SR means that you are a beast in the competitive mode. It can be a tiring tier to play, though. That is because you need to play a certain amount of matches each week; otherwise, your skill rating will decay. The algorithm is not exact, but the safest number is five games per week.


The level of “Elite,” this rank is where the right decisions and plays really matter. Players here are not just very competitive, they make sure that all their plays make sense. It is important that you are knowledgeable of the different team compositions to succeed.


Also known as GM, this tier offers one percent of all Overwatch players. This is where you need to have an SR of at least 4000. As of the current competitive season, GMs are only allowed to play with one other GM teammate. So if you plan to “stack” GMs beyond two teammates, it is not going to happen.

Top 500

This tier is completely different in the sense that it exists as a “bonus” beyond the aforementioned tier. Asia, China, Europe, and America each have their own region of the game’s competitive mode. The 500 players with the highest skill ratings in the region are ranked in order and, more importantly, will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the leaderboard.

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