It has been a few days now and the world's top Valorant players are still not on the top 500 Radiant leaderboards. This is happening because of Valorant's design and not a bug. While some argue that this system is bad, others talk about this in a positive manner.
How does Valorant's MMR work?
First of all, it's important to know how Valorant's MMR work. If you don't know, Valorant has two MMRs, one for determining your rank and the other for matchmaking. The MMR which is used for matchmaking is hidden, and you see the other MMR (RR) on your career tab. The rank MMR resets every Act, while your hidden MMR does not.
Because of the hidden MMR, you get matched with the players around your skill level, whatever be the rank. For example, at the start of an Act, you and TenZ could be in the same rank but you won't get matched with him. Your hidden MMR is bound to you and it changes only based on your performance.
Low MMR players are climbing the ranks faster
Now the problem is that the pro players are stuck in the lower ranks while low MMR players are climbing the ranks much faster. This is happening because of two reasons. First, high MMR players are not finding matches. The matchmaking time gradually increases along with the increase in your hidden MMR, it can even go up to 3 hours. Second, lower MMR players are facing relatively easier opponents.
This is the reason why your favorite streamers are still not on the leaderboards.
Is this bad? What does Riot have to say on this?
While this may seem a flawed system, but it's vital in matching the players of the same skill level. Moreover, as we progress, the hidden MMR will fix this issue.
We are definitely talking about this and trying to figure out what is healthy and enjoyable. I definitely hear the feedback about finding matches, 5 stacks, and the speed at which some players are getting on the leaderboard and getting radiant.Riot
High MMR players will get more Ranked Ratings and climb the ranks faster
As they say, "Now there is a second part to this, your MMR also makes it so you will get more Ranked Rating for a win if your actual rank is lower than your hidden MMR. TenZ will be gaining a higher Ranked Rating for a win consistently, even after he gets on the leaderboard. Where alternatively a player that was immortal last season will start to gain Ranked Rating much slower once they get on the leaderboard."
"So I think the combination of “Make everyone try to have the same chance to win/lose” and then “Ranked Rating is increased based on your hidden MMR” makes it so everyone has a fair chance at racing to the leaderboard, then also the big dogs will climb it more effectively as they play."
Low MMR Radiants might be on the top of the leaderboard for now but they will have to fight with high MMR Radiants later in the Act to retain their position. Moreover, they will get less Ranked Ratings than the players with high MMR, and this will make it tough to retain the top positions for the players with low MMR.
By the end of the Act, the leaderboards will finally showcase the really top 500 Radiants. And remember, the leaderboards get frozen only at the end of the act.