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Myths about Matchmaker – Part 2: Losing Streaks

In Part 1 of our Matchmaker 2.0 Myths series, we unveiled the basics of how Matchmaker 2.0 works and how it will change in Update 0.15. In Part 2 we will take a look at another common misconception.

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Myth #2: The Matchmaker causes losing streaks.

Winning or losing streaks are often incorrectly blamed on the Matchmaker mechanism and its influence on battles. Some even claim the Matchmaker is intentionally causing them to lose if they win too often, whereas wins are almost never "blamed" on the Matchmaker mechanism itself and are usually attributed to player skill.

In reality, the Matchmaker has little to do with either and does not contain any mechanisms that could be blamed for such winning or losing streaks. To better illustrate the issue, let's have a look at the streak statistics collected from the Russian server over the last month.

Click to Open the Table

Tier Winrate % of Matches with 5+ lose streaks % of Matches with 5+ win streaks
1 <=25 7.73 0
1 >25<=35 3.73 0.11
1 >35<=45 1.88 0.55
1 >45<=55 0.92 1.39
1 >55<=65 0.33 3.92
1 >65<=75 0.08 6.23
1 >75 0.00 10.65
1 Tier Weighted Average 1.22 1.14
2 <=25 9.21 0.00
2 >25<=35 5.14 0.07
2 >35<=45 2.39 0.60
2 >45<=55 1.03 1.66
2 >55<=65 0.29 5.22
2 >65<=75 0.15 7.10
2 >75 0.00 21.56
2 Tier Weighted Average 1.35 1.54
3 <=25 8.47 0.11
3 >25<=35 4.76 0.08
3 >35<=45 2.74 0.66
3 >45<=55 1.33 1.40
3 >55<=65 0.53 4.10
3 >65<=75 0.12 13.18
3 >75 0.00 14.58
3 Tier Weighted Average 1.50 1.47
4 <=25 7.84 0.00
4 >25<=35 4.68 0.39
4 >35<=45 2.64 0.82
4 >45<=55 1.58 1.57
4 >55<=65 0.64 3.33
4 >65<=75 0.27 7.95
4 >75 0.00 20.44
4 Tier Weighted Average 1.64 1.57
5 >25<=35 4.74 0.61
5 >35<=45 2.56 0.93
5 >45<=55 1.72 1.62
5 >55<=65 0.76 4.64
5 >65<=75 0.04 11.57
5 >75 0.00 7.02
5 Tier Weighted Average 1.73 1.71
6 <=25 10.00 0.00
6 >25<=35 4.58 0.00
6 >35<=45 2.62 1.11
6 >45<=55 1.84 1.65
6 >55<=65 0.88 4.08
6 >65<=75 0.22 14.30
6 Tier Weighted Average 1.81 1.75
7 >35<=45 2.39 1.05
7 >45<=55 1.91 1.74
7 >55<=65 1.01 4.71
7 >65<=75 0.41 13.23
7 Tier Weighted Average 1.85 1.96
8 >35<=45 2.42 1.40
8 >45<=55 1.90 1.75
8 >55<=65 1.07 3.56
8 >65<=75 0.61 7.29
8 Tier Weighted Average 1.85 1.86
9 >35<=45 3.63 1.24
9 >45<=55 2.13 1.83
9 >55<=65 1.18 4.70
9 >65<=75 1.39 6.19
9 Tier Weighted Average 2.02 2.19

The following can be observed from the table:

  • The average player (45-55% winrate) encounters a series of 5+ losses in only 1.84% of matches. The chance of encountering such a series of losses within one day is therefore very low, even lower than one might expect
  • The higher the winrate, the lower the chance of a 5+ loss series and the higher the chance of a 5+ win series and vice versa

This behavior is expected and there is no artificial influence on the streaks beyond basic mathematical statistics.

The counter-argument for this statement would be: "But the series exist and players complain about them!"

However, there are several ways to explain that.

  • First and foremost, it's a known psychological fact that people remember streaks more than they remember regular gaming sessions without streaks. This effect can be found in many aspects of life and is well-documented.
  • Another known fact is that Armored Warfare players – like any other group – tend to remember negative pieces of information better than positive ones. Players will remember that one losing streak, but will sometimes forget those three winning streaks they had.
  • Finally, human intuition does not work very well when trying to guess the real likelihood of encountering a winning or losing streak. In many cases, the scale of the streak issue is exaggerated and its real scope can only be seen when looking at actual statistics.

Series of Wins or Losses in Statistics

Calculating the chance of getting a certain number of wins or losses in a row is quite complex, but can be explained with several simple examples, based on the theory of probability. The simplest is the calculation of the probability of a 50% winrate player receiving a 5 loss streak per day when entering the game for the first time. This is 3.125% (0.5^5 = 0.03125 – five times 50% chance in a row).

But what about the likelihood that from (let's say) 50 players in one Battalion at least one will encounter such a situation?

The answer here is a bit more complicated, but the result is 79.55% (1-(1-0.03125)^50). This number was reached the following way:

  • (1-0.03125) is the chance of NOT ending up in a 5 loss series
  • ^50 is the 50th degree of the abovementioned chance

As a result, there is one person practically every day in a 50 man Battalion that experiences a streak of 5 losses. But in reality, the chance is even higher, as the more battles a player plays per day, the higher the chance of encountering such a streak.

The situation can also be explained as follows: Each battle gives the player a chance to start a streak without continuing it. For example, if a player plays 6 battles a day, the 5-loss streak can start from the 1st or 2nd battle. What then is the chance of encountering a 10 loss streak when playing 100 battles under the same conditions?

It is 8.5% (1-(1- (0.5^10))^(1+100-10) ). In other words, every 12th player with a 50% winrate who plays 100 battles will encounter a 10 loss streak at least once.

For 1000 battles, the number is significantly higher (62%). A player, who doesn’t encounter a 10 loss streak even once in 1000 battles, is therefore either very lucky or very skilled.

On the Russian server, a series of 10 losses happens roughly every 0.02-0.03% of matches (depending on tier and player skill). The theoretical value of a 10 loss series is approximately 0.0244%.

Conclusion

Winning or losing streaks exist, but their incidence depends on the laws of probability, not on intervention by the Armored Warfare Matchmaker. The chance of a winning or losing streak is not influenced by the previous amount of won or lost battles – there is no rule saying that losing X battles in a row guarantees the matchmaker will stack odds in your favor or vice versa.

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