Heroes of the Storm developer Blizzard Entertainment announced big changes coming to ranked play. The current Hero League and Team League ranking systems will be completely overhauled next month. Coming soon are seasons, division tiers, and built-in rewards for ranked play.
Since Heroes of the Storm was officially released last June, its competitive setting has been in a state of “Preseason.” Anyone playing in Hero League or Team League begins at rank 1-50 depending on their initial placement matches. Ranking works similarly to Blizzard’s card battler Hearthstone. Winning moves you closer to 1, while losing doesn’t even affect you until you reach rank 40. This system has created some problems when people with vastly different rankings join a party together.
Heroes of the Storm’s new ranking system will be an evolution of Starcraft 2’s. The system will be divided into seven tiers. From Worst to Best the tiers are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grand Master. The first five tiers will be further broken up into five numbered divisions. Gold 2 is higher than Gold 4, and Gold 4 is higher than Silver 1. These numbered divisions will help players determine how close they are to rising or falling to the next major tier.
The top two divisions, Master and Grand Master, will operate a bit differently. Instead of divisions, Master tier will display your total rank points to compare with others. Grand Master League is the truly elite as only the top 500 point earners of their region will see this tier.
There are a few interesting new restrictions. Players may only group up together for ranked play if they are within one league tier. Someone in Gold 3 could group up with any number from Silver or Platinum, but their Bronze buddies would be left behind. Blizzard also revealed a firm stance on silenced players – players that have been repeatedly reported for misconduct will be unable to join ranked matches at all until their penalty expires. So play nice!
These big changes go live the week of June 14, which also kicks off Season One of ranked play. Other Blizzard games such as Diablo and Hearthstone operate in a Seasonal format, and Heroes of the Storm will soon be no different. Each Season will last several months, with this first season possibly lasting a bit longer. To incentivize ranked play until June, you can earn new rewards including gold and an exclusive wolf mount based on your final preseason ranking.