Home Gaming Heroes of the Storm employs Starcraft ranks

Heroes of the Storm employs Starcraft ranks

3 min read

Dustin Browder

Heroes of the Storm are doing away with the Rank 1-50 system which has been in place since the game release its competitive matchmaking. The rank grind was tedious, and Blizzard overhauled the ranking system twice making it not nearly as enjoyable as it used to be. The did away with quad queue, and instead allowed duo queue for players. This was supposed to even out matchmaking, but it did the complete opposite. There’s also the problem that Rank 1 was not very hard to achieve, and by playing far too much and being just above average, you could do it. It got to a stage where saying “I’m Rank 1 in Heroes of the Storm” was meaningless.

But that’s about to change as lead developer Dustin Browder announced that Heroes of the Storm will now employ the same ranking system as Starcraft – ranging from Bronze to Grandmaster, something worth bragging about.

Image courtesy of Gosugamers.

In Starcraft 2 there were only a handful of South African players who reached the Grandmaster rank, and that is an achievement. It takes time and dedication, but Starcraft is a 1v1 game, so that makes sense. Heroes of the Storm is a team game, which will make the solo ranking that much harder, but at least you will hopefully play with people on your skill level. The great thing about Grandmaster is that only a few players will reach the level of Grandmaster and Master, thus those people who achieve such ranks will be placed in the highest pool in the game.

To be completely honest, and I’m not a fan of Heroes of The Storm, this is a somewhat exciting development in the game. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s enough to make the game a better eSport. The game has become less exciting to watch, and falls short of the gameplay needed to compete with other titles in its genre. There are still evident balance issues and the interest seems to be wavering as of late. Perhaps the new ranking system will be enough to bring some of the players back, but that won’t fix the fact that game is essentially broken and caters to the more casual players instead of the more competitive.

I spoke to a source who currently plays for a top competitive team in South Africa, and asked why he feels the game is failing as an eSport, he asked to remain anonymous.

“Competitive games themselves  come down to draft rather than skill. You can out play people for 20 minutes, lose one fight and just lose the game. There’s no real advantage you gain for being better than your opponent. You can be three levels ahead, lose one fight, lose the game, or they’re instantly the same level as you. Heroes require next to no skill, there’s some skill heroes, but the ceiling in general is extremely low. You just aren’t rewarded enough for being better. Let’s not forget every new hero that is released only breaks the game more. Blizzard’s balancing is, not exaggerating, the worst I’ve ever seen in a ‘competitive’ game”

Personally I thoroughly enjoyed playing Heroes of The Storm last year, I didn’t however try and play competitively, but I can empathize with the comment made above. In closing, the ranking system could bring about some change, but as an eSport there’s still a long road ahead for Blizzard.

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Last Updated: May 19, 2016


  1. Admiral Chief Protector

    May 19, 2016 at 15:06



  2. Raptor Rants

    May 19, 2016 at 15:17



  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 19, 2016 at 15:25

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought this:


  4. Wyatt Smith

    May 19, 2016 at 16:11

    No wonder he asked to remain anonymous. His opinion is trash.


    • Wyatt Smith

      May 19, 2016 at 16:22

      That is to say, you don’t just lose one fight being +3 levels and lose the game like that. First off, if you’ve been ahead all game and have 3 levels over your opponent, it should be impossible for them to wipe your entire team unless you royally fuck up everything. If they don’t wipe all 5 of your team, you can easily stall for another fight.

      But most importantly, if you’ve been dominating all game, you should reach Level 20 before the enemy team and really have no problem taking a victory.

      It’s also ironic that he claims you aren’t rewarded for being better when such comebacks are possible. It’s contradictory. The other team wins because your team badly screwed up an advantage. Does he want the first 10 minutes of the game to carry him to victory?

      Personally, I think one of HotS’ very greatest strengths is that you must play skillfully all the way to the very end. If you falter, get lazy, or simply stop being accurate, you can be punished. If your opponent starts playing better after losing a mid-game fight, they still have a very real shot at victory.

      The way I see it, that is far more demanding than other MOBAs where you establish a lead with your Carry and can pretty much wait for your inevitable victory.


      • Hargrim

        May 19, 2016 at 16:58

        Thank you! The competitive scene in SA seems to be made up of the scraps of the DotA scene, and have not left their DotA mentality behind

        If you lose a fight with a 3 level lead, that means you made a mistake, and a big one at that. And if that happens to you enough for it to be a problem, should you really be playing competitively?


      • Noire

        May 20, 2016 at 20:21

        Completely agree with everything above, this “article”, if we can call it that, just shows they have absolutely no knowledge about the game, even less the competitive scene.

        “Let’s not forget every new hero that is released only breaks the game more.”, which is why new heroes are banned from tournaments during the first month? So blizz can have the time to check how the new hero fares and balance it accordingly? One should at least do some research before commenting on something.

        I’ve been following the competitive scene of hots since alpha and not once did i see a south african team, in fact theres not even a server there, i have no doubt in my mind its just completely made up to undermine the game, which seriously it just makes you look bad.


  5. Charl van der Merwe

    May 19, 2016 at 18:43

    Soo..for the 99% of the players that aren’t competitive it’s a good game ?

    Also one of HOTS strengths as a Viewer based eSports is the comeback mechanics! who wants to watch a 45 minute dota2 game where the team that dominates in the first 10-15 minutes decides the whole game ?


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