By Damorquis, February 11, 2018
Suffering a loss on pro ladder hurts twice. Not only you lose a high amount of MMR, but also you suffer the opportunity cost from a foregone victory. We took the time to dive into a quantitative analysis of losses on pro ladder and calculated how much losses actually hurt and how significant the effects of preventing them are.
Pro ladder winrates - a quantitative analysis
At high ranks suffering a loss on pro ladder hurts, a lot. Above 1400 MMR you gain +4MMR per victory and lose 11MMR per loss on average. I will take you 4 victories in a row on average, sometimes even more, to make up for that loss, which can be frustrating but for sure is time consuming. We wanted to know how big the impact of strategies is that decrease the rate of losses. These strategies could be forcing yourself to play more slowly, establish ways of preventing autoplay mode, where you don't think about your plays anymore or co-oping with team mates on the ladder.
„cutting your losses is the grand objective”
To analyse the effect of loss avoidance, we created a variable called "Delta Delta Loss", which we will use in the following article. The "Delta Delta Loss" is an exogenous parameter, it is a percentage that you can decide for yourself. You should ask yourself: With this new strategy I pursue, how many percent of the games I normally lose on pro ladder can become avoided losses in the future? The "Delta Delta Factor" describes the estimated share of losses that you can prevent with a new game strategy. Sounds complicated? Let's calculate an example:
Imagine you win 74% of your games on pro ladder. You think with playing more slowly you could avoid 20% of the losses you face. 20% of the 26% games you played were avoidable losses then. With your new strategy you could improve your winrate to 74%+(20%*26%)=79,2%.
Calculation logic: 20% of the games you previously lost (26% of all) will now become victories and therefore add to your winrate.
„slightly increasing your winrate, will make you much more successful”
Let's now jump into the stats behind winning and losing on pro ladder. For our analysis we investigated the effects of loss reduction for winrates of 74% to 77%. To consistently climb at ranks above 1400 on pro ladder, you need a winrate above 74% on average, therefore we take 74% we take it as the lower border for our analysis.
We calculated the average per MMR game for each of these winrates and then analysed the effects of reducing the amount of losses depending on different Delta Delta Loss values and winrates from 74% to 77%:
For all of our calculations we assumed that a victory provides a +4MMR gain and a loss a -11MMR change.
We observe that higher winrates lead to higher per game MMR gain. Increasing your winrate by 1% increases your per game MMR gain by roughly 0,15 MMR, which is indicated by the per MMR gain line in the first part of the table.
How to interpret the additional MMR per average game? Let us assume you have a 74% winrate and your estimate for loss reduction from the new strategy is 20%. You think, by playing in coop you will be able to avoid every fifth loss. How will this affect your average MMR gain per game? The calculation shows that the additional MMR you will gain per game is 0,78 which is almost 9 times higher MMR gain per game in total!
„the climb to high peaks can be faster than you think”
Of course when seeing the per game MMR changes, we were interested, how much quicker we can achieve a climb from 1400 to 1450 with different Delta Delta Loss assumptions. Our next table shows the amount of games that we would have played unnecessarily if we had the chance to avoid 10%, 20%,... of our losses
Losing games on pro ladder feels bad. But here you can see how punishing exactly it is. The amount of games you play unnecessarily for the same score can become obnoxious! Efficiency is a virtue that truly could be called the most important one on the pro ladder when you see these numbers. Few people have the time to play an extra few hundred games, and even the ones truly committed to a competitive career in Gwent surely prefer not to do so.
Our advice for you? Learn from our ropemaster shinmiri2, who takes time to analyse each of his turns to find the best play. Your games will take longer, but you will find ways to improve your gameplay, avoid dumb mistakes and climb more consistently.
„do not waste your time, take your time”
After seeing these values we obviously we asked ourselves, how much time does it actually cost us? For our calculation we assumed an average competitive game of Gwent to last 15 minutes which resulted in the following values:
Our conclusion: The time loss is as extensive as the "amount of games played unnecessarily" implies. Therefore, the highest goal on the pro ladder should be avoiding losses, in particular the throws. Players who commit to the game often have to play a huge amount of games where avoiding autoplay mode, lack of attention and emotional disctraction impose challenges that are hard to overcome. We recommend everyone to work on a healthy mind-set, structure the ranking days, set up routines to face these problems and reduce the amount of losses.
„utilise your Gwent friendships, cooperate to the top”
One possible way to challenge these problems is co-oping which has been successfully done by big players as Superjj102, Lifecoach, Cmel, or Eisloth. All of them achieved outstanding scores and showed efficiency in avoiding losses.
To help our readers estimate if coop will benefit them we calculated the math behind it. Using the Delta Delta Loss as as the percentage of losses prevented by coop and keeping in mind that time will be equally played on both players accounts we calculated the break even points for different values. In a less statistical language: We checked if it is worth to spend your half of your gameplay time to help you coop partner or if the coop is too time consuming.
The idea behind the table is the following: If you could play less than 50% of the games you require with your own winrate to get the same result with cooping, then you should do it. The 50% cutoff results from the fact, that you spent half of your game time playing with your coop partner on his or her account and do not work on your own score at that moment.
Use the table to check if you too can profit from it and to convince your partner to join you on your competitive journey!
„even high level players throw games”
During the article we talked a lot about the Delta Delta Loss. What is the actual Delta Delta Loss value of the average top 50 player? We discussed that question within the team and came to the conclusion that even highly competitive players have a Delta Delta Loss value between 10% and 20%. Behind the top 50, the value probably lies around 25% even. This shows how high the skill cap in Gwent is and is a great motivation to get better!
We hope you enjoyed the quantitative analysis and it helps you pursue your personal goals on pro ladder with a higher awareness and increased efficiency!
Damorquis qualified for three consecutive Gwent Opens and holds the title of Gwent Challenger #4 champion and Challenger #5 runner up. His passion for The Witcher universe and his real-life knowledge of behavioral economics helped him develop Team Aretuza, the strongest Gwent esports team in the world. Currently he focuses a career in management consulting and will compete in Gwent's biggest tournament so far Gwent Masters in 2021. His extensive tournament preparation often results in ambitious, innovative decks that catch even the best opponents by surprise, and his highly disciplined approach to gaming, always looking for mistakes and areas to improve, provides his unique edge against the competition.