In addition to the new heroes, skins, and battleground coming to Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard is also retooling its ranked play mechanics. Placement Matches will be introduced in order to improve matchmaking accuracy in Hero/Team League. All ranks will be reset and players will need to participate in a few Placement Matches before being assigned a rank and become eligible for Hero/Team League.
The internal skill ranking system, known as MMR, will be unchanged by this ranking reset. The placement rank will be adjusted in coordination with the internal MMR to create a “true rank.” This true rank will be a bit conservative at first, to ensure a good experience.
Hero League ranks will be retooled, with Blizzard making it harder to stay as Rank 1, and tease that the Grandmaster Rank will be coming very soon in a patch.
Team League will be losing the option to create and play as a pre-created team name in the match type. Instead you can only play in Team League when you have a party of five players. Blizzard did this in reaction to the relatively small amount of players who were able to coordinate between a set number of people to play in Team League. Now any party of five will be placed into Team League, if you are a party of 4 or less, you’ll just be in Hero League. This way, there is only the “Ranked” game mode, which automatically places you in the Hero or Team compartment.
Preseason will continue throughout these updates and shifts in the Ranked play. For now the first Season of competitive play is still undated, though Blizzard is offering more details in the near future and encourages feedback when the changes are made.