Various leagues are available on battle.net for StarCraft II. It is part of the tool system making multiplayer StarCraft II available for all skill levels, along with the automated matchmaking system.
A player's career page lists their placement in previous seasons and can see their league display through the View Ladder button at the bottom of the Quick Match screen. The post-game score screen shows each participating players' league icon.
In March 2015 Blizzard began a program of modifying league calculations. New players will face lesser-skilled opponents than before, the league distribution will be modified, and "MMR decay" will be eliminated, at least temporarily.
Qualifying and Ranks
A new player is expected to qualify before entering a league. They must take part in 5 qualifying matches before being put into a league and division.
Players gain points for defeating opponents, especially stronger opponents. Before a match starts, players can compare their ratings – usually, one player will be "favored" over the other. If a player defeats a favored opponent, they will gain more points than if they defeat a weaker opponent. Players also gain points from a bonus pool (sometimes called "rested points") for periods of time they have not been playing for. Players gain these points at a slow rate when they're not playing, up to a cap at the end of the season. When a player who has accumulated bonus points wins a match, they gain a share of bonus points equal to the number of points gained for winning the match.
When a player gains points, they increase their rank and may even shift leagues. A player that loses points will, in turn, lose rank and can fall to a lower league.
On occasion, a player will face opponents from a higher league, in order to test their skill.
Playing more games results in a more accurate skill level.
The internal rating is not wiped or reset when league ladders are wiped and is separate from ladder points.
Each team has a separate skill rating. Individual team mates have very little effect on the team rating, except to determine what placement matches they are put in.
Under the free to play model of StarCraft II, players will need to achieve ten "first win of the day" awards to gain access to the ladder.
The Diamond league has 18% of the players in it.
|Grandmaster League|| Consists of the top 200 players on the server, and has been available since patch 1.3.|
Players qualified for the league following the first week of a season as of October 24th, 2011, the start of the fourth season. Inactive players who allow bonus points to accumulate will automatically be removed from the league.
A list of the winners, updated in real time, can be found on the Grandmaster League page on the official Blizzard site.
|Master League||This league represents the top 2% of StarCraft II players in a region. This league was added in patch 1.2 in January 2011. It is available for 1v1 through 4v4 matches.|
|Diamond||Only has 18% of players to allow for the 2% in Master league.|
|Platinum||Standard league. 20% of players|
|Gold||Standard league. 32% of players.|
|Silver||Standard league. 20% of players.|
|Bronze||Standard league. 8% of players.|
|Practice||Features slower-speed games with novice anti-rush maps for newer players. Players can play only 50 practice matches, and only upon creating an account. Once a player leaves (voluntarily or otherwise), they may not return. Blizzard Entertainment is trying to prevent "smurfing" of this area.|
Each league is split into divisions of about 100 players from the same area of very similar skill levels. Players are ranked against each other, and there are seasons of play. Tournaments held at the end of a season will determine division winners, who then compete for League championships.
Divisions have names such as "Silver Tal'darim Bravo". These names can be any reference to the StarCraft universe: the original game (ex.: Reaver, Valkyrie, Duran), novels (Ramsey, Bhekar Ro), mangas (Artika, Phash) and even StarCraft: Ghost (Grizzly).
The top eight players in each division qualify for tournament play.
The pro league does not have divisions.
Prior to 2012 season 4 not all divisions were created equal, but this wasn't transparent. Blizzard removed these tiers, meaning someone's rank in their division is giving a more accurate representation of their skill.
Ladders are compiled within the leagues.
A structured party can participate in the leagues and ladders system. They will be placed into games by the automated matchmaking system.
Warcraft III Automatic Matchmaking. Battle.net Accessed 2009-11-07. (Explanation for AMM in Warcraft III)