Heroes of the Storm

Why HL had to go – reminder for soloQ “fanatics”

HeroesoftheStorm 8 - Why HL had to go - reminder for soloQ "fanatics"
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With increasing amount of people complaining about HL removal, I feel like it would be a good time, to remind you why it is gone.


It got polluted, beyond redemption, with ton of boosted MMR accounts. Sure, Blizz (finally) capped max placement one could get from QM/UD seeding, but before it happened it was a common practice to get some people to boost your smurf in QM and then "place" in HL starting with 4.5k MMR. That created many players who shouldn't be in their leagues, which – in result – affected many more players by placing potato teammates in their games. And then it went on, destabilizing HL MMR more and more.

Oh, I'd forgot – Blizz fiasco few seasons ago where they've messed HL MMR even more. And then they attempted to fix it, two or three times. Resulting in even more chaos and even more bad data for matchmaker.

Sure, on very top (GMs) it was better. But everything under was laughable – to the point, where opinion "there isn't much difference between diamond and silver player" wasn't anything strange.


Introduction of voice-coms. One of initial reasons of splitting ranked into HL and TL was unfair advantage pre-mades were getting by having ability to coordinate better. With voice chat added, this was nullified – everyone has CHANCE to coordinate now. Sure, there still is a question if someone is willing to do so.

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Population. Let's not pretend we aren't aware of this – population of HotS isn't crazy high, and from that we have (as we approximate by hotslogs) about 45% playing drafted modes. While having Unranked Draft is beneficial (new players have place to transition from QM without spoiling ranked games for other players), having HL and TL separate at the same time resulted in having lower population for both modes – so longer search times and worse matchmaking. And, no matter if one likes TL or not, MOST of players chose TL as soon as it got open for everyone. Simply put, HL wasn't important for most of ranked players. I know it can hurt to realize that, but that is exactly what waiting times are saying. HL population was so low, that one had to wait ages to get a game. In other words – there wasn't enough HL-only people to justify HL existence anymore.


Let me end by one more observation. HL-hardcore fans often are saying that TL (or now SL) is just about boosting and unfair advantage. And sure, there are perhaps people who seek unfair advantage, boosting or whatever. But you guys seem to forget that HotS is team-based game. Many people (I'd dare to say most) if they have such chance, prefer to play it with friends. It is only natural that if they play with friends – they want to also rank with them, to cooperate with them to get rewards for their joined efforts. If something is odd, it is a soloQ player, not a pack of friends playing together. Playing with friends is normal and healthy.


disclaimer: I do play with friends. Perhaps 20% of my HotS time. I was playing a lot of soloQ in TL, and I don't see it as unfair or no-fun to face player stacks on enemy side.

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