Fact check: Is matchmaking limited to certain division brackets?


A common perception in the community has been that you always are matched up against players from your own division, or that the divisions are ordered in brackets, meaning that division 1-3 players never come up against players outside the division 1-3 bracket. Fact or myth? We checked it.

Due to that the game data section only contains the player’s best completed division, we need more information to determine whether two players involved in a match resided in the same division when they met. In this case, we will use the best completed division, number of completed seasons, number of titles won, number of relegations and number of promotions. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to determine the player’s current division via these stats. As an example, a player who played two seasons and managed to win the title twice must be residing in division 8.

Examples of players residing in different divisions

As our aim is to test, whether players always are matched up against opponents in the same division, in neighbouring divisions or inside certain division brackets, we start out by looking at matches where the gap in “best completed division” between the involved players is as wide as possible. Via this method, we have been able to identify a considerable number of matches where we can conclude with certainty that there is a gap in terms of current division as well. Below, we take a deeper look at five examples where the players minimum were 3 and 5 divisions apart when they got matched up.

Match Player 1 Best div S T P R Player 2 Best div S T P R
1 cabrera_702 1 29 12 1 3 kfcjosh50 8 2 2 0 0
2 Crimson77230 3 23 7 2 3 BigAnl_HD 10 0 0 0 0
3 sunehkn 2 19 4 6 2 johnshields 9 2 2 0 0
4 xConLegends 7 9 2 1 0 Khela007 1 23 12 1 3
4 xConLegends 7 9 2 1 0 Fifanator1010 2 12 5 3 0

(S = Seasons played, T = Titles, P = Promotions, R = Relegations)

Match 1

  • cabrera_702 played 29 seasons, won the title or got promoted 13 times. He only got relegated 3 times.  Based on these facts, Cabrera’s current division has to be between 1 and 4.
  • kfcjosh50’s current division has to be division 8, as he managed to win the title twice in two attempts.

Based on these facts, we can conclude that there minimum was 4 and maximum 7 divisions between cabrera and kfcjosh when they met.

Match 2

  • Crimson77230 was relegated three times and his best completed division was division 3, meaning that he must have resided between division 3 and 6.
  • BigAnl_HD was in division 10.

Given these preconditions, there must have been minimum 4 divisions between them when they met. Maximum distance was 7 divisions.

Match 3

  • sunehkn was only relegated twice, and had division 2 as his best, meaning that he couldn’t have resided lower than division 4 when this match took place.
  • johnshields’ best completed division was 9. He was promoted twice in two attempts, meaning that he would be residing in division 8 at the time, the match took place.

The minimum distance between sunehkn and johnshields was 4 divisions. Maximum distance was 7 divisions.

Match 4

  • xConLegends never got relegation and was promoted / won the title three times, meaning that he must have resided in division 7 when these data were collected.
  • Khela007 only got relegated 3 times during his 23 seasons. He got promoted or won the title 13 times in total. Khela’s current division must be between division 1 and division 4.

Hence, there must have been minimum 3 divisions and maximum 6 divisions between cabrera and kfcjosh when they met.

Match 5

  • xConLegends never got relegation and was promoted / won the title three times, meaning that he must have resided in division 7 when these data were collected.
  • Fifanator1010 played 12 seasons and he never got relegated, meaning that he was residing in his best completed division, division 2, when they met.

As xConLegends resided in division 7, there must have been exactly 5 divisions between him and Fifanator.

Concluding remarks

Based on hard facts, we can reject the claim that you can’t get matched up against opponents from other divisions than your own. Further, we can reject the claim that players are ordered into brackets, meaning that they are prevented from getting matched up against opponents more than 1 division away or outside a certain group of divisions such as division 1-3.

Based on our data, it is difficult to tell, exactly how often players get matched up against opponents from other divisions, as we don’t have data showing the current divisions for all players in our sample.

What we however do know is that players, whose best completed divisions are relatively far apart, can get matched up. We found examples of matches between players, where the gap between their best completed divisions was anything between 1 and 8 divisions. Although many of these players probably didn’t reside in their best division when these matches are played, it is highly likely that many of them were. Considering that we found examples of matches between players who were up to 5 divisions apart, it seems likely that matches between players from different divisions are very common.

In the table below, we counted all occurrences of matches where the difference was between 0 (same division) and 8. Although matches between players, who reside in the same division or neigbouring divisions constitutes 2/3 of all matches, the difference was 2 or more divisions in 1/3 of the matches. Please also notice that there are more occurrences of matches, where the difference was 1 division than matches, where the players had the same best, completed division. This also indicates that players getting matched up across divisions is a common thing.

Best completed division difference Count
0 944
1 1165
2 592
3 225
4 99
5 54
6 11
7 10
8 3
SUM 3103

2 thoughts on “Fact check: Is matchmaking limited to certain division brackets?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: