(__Most of this post is directed at Lyte, who I hope gives this a look__, even though I'm responding to someone else).

Quote:

Originally Posted by

**isobold**
We had so many Elo-Hell-experiments, it's not even funny anymore. No real good player got ever stuck in Elo-Hell, which in return means: if you get stuck there, it's because you don't belong onto a higher Elo.

No, that doesn't follow at all. Just because a 1800 elo player can go from 300 elo to 1800 elo doesn't mean a 1000 elo player can go from 300 to 1000 elo.

And just because one person can do it does not mean others can.

Look, there's two ways to formulate the elo hell problem. The first, which I'm about to explain and justify, is I think a serious issue. The second is a perceived issue which may not actually be one.

__The First Problem__
A lot of complaints about elo hell start with "I should be a higher elo, but I can't get there". The basis of the counter-argument against it goes something like "well if you should be there then you should win more games than you lose, but because you're not you deserve to be exactly where you are".

This response is flawed, and I'll explain why.

Consider the following definition for elo hell: for a particular player, their elo hell is an elo level at which luck in matchmaking causes their actual win ratio to drop below 50% when their expected elo would suggest that their win ratio should be above 50%. I think that based on this definition, at every elo there is by necessity some small subset of players who should be at a higher elo but can't get there; the question is not whether elo hell exists but how many players it affects and how seriously it affects them.

Obviously if a player is "unlucky" and gets repeatedly matched with trolls and afkers and (actual) intentional feeders (ignore for a moment the idea of being matched with bad players) on their team, they will by necessity win a bit less than they should be and may even go down in rating. It is entirely possible that luck with matchmaking brings their actual success rate below 50% even though it should be above 50%, especially if they're only 100-200 elo away from their "expected elo".

For example, if a player is expected to win 52% of their games given his current elo (say he voluntarily dropped it by 100 points or whatever it would take to have that kind of ratio), but in 8% of his games there's a troll on his team (and he automatically loses these games for the sake of argument) and in only 2% of his games there's a troll on the opposing team (which he automatically wins for the sake of argument), then his expected win ratio drops to 49% and thus despite his elo suggesting he should slowly be moving up he actually ends up on average moving down. This person is, through no fault of his own, stuck 100 less elo then he is expected or supposed to be just based on luck.

__You Should Have Less Trolls on Your Team?__
Now, the typical response to this is that you will have less trolls on your team then there are on your opponents team (assuming you are never a troll yourself), and therefore even if you're matched with trolls on your team there should be more trolls on your opponents team on average. This is actually not necessarily true for all players.

It's true

__on average__, but perhaps

**some** players are matched with more trolls on their team than other players. I would expect to see a normal distribution of trolls for each player: some players get a bit more than average on their team, some players get a bit less than average, but most players get pretty close to the average. Meaning it could be entirely possible that some small (granted, perhaps even miniscule) subset of players who are definitely not trolls and have never been trolls have just unfortunately been matched with many more trolls on their team than on the opposing team.

__But no matter how small this subset is, it is entirely plausible for it to exist and they could have a valid complaint: they're just unlucky.__
I'd like to emphasize this point: the average is not indicative of what actually happens with "every individual player". Saying you on average you should have more trolls on your opponents team does not mean that after say 200 games played it will happen. It might take an individual 2000 games, or it may never actually happen.

__But Wait, There's More__
Now, there's three more things to consider in relation to your assertion that elo hell doesn't exist because a couple of high elo players weren't stuck in it: at lower elos there is many more trolls than at higher elos (just based on the fact that if you troll, afk, leave, and feed intentionally a lot you tend to drop in elo quickly). Plus, high elo players will have much higher expected win rates than mid elo players when in low elo settings (plus, they can more easily carry the trolls).

So consider the following scenario; let's say you take a high elo player and stick him in a very low elo, where he would expect to win 90% of the time purely based on skill. Let's say further still that this high elo player is very unlucky: he sees a troll in 25% of his games (because he's such low elo), and in 20% of all games it's a troll on his team that causes him to automatically lose, and in 5% of all games it's a troll on the other team and he automatically wins. Given these numbers he should win 72.5% of the time despite this horrid luck and quickly escape this terribly low elo.

Suppose further still that as he goes up, his expected win ratio goes down to say 70% of the time, but the number of trolls on he sees goes down to say 15% of all games. With these new values his win ratio is 62.5%, so he keeps moving up. As you can see, it's entirely possible for a really good player to overcome bad luck and get out of a low elo.

Suppose that you take another player, under identical circumstances and identical luck, except he's not nearly as good; he should win only 65% of games when he's dropped into the lower bracket where he meets trolls in 25% of all games. In this scenario he has an expected win ratio of 53.75%. As he goes up, his win rate drops to 55% and the troll rate is 15%, meaning his actual win rate is just below 50% and he gets "stuck" here.

But there's more: remember when I asked you to forget claims of bad (not necessarily troll) teammates holding a player back for a moment? Well, now I want you to consider them. Yes, I know people are biased to rate their own performance higher than others. But your elo is an estimation, and just because you're matched with people who are of similar elo to you doesn't mean that they're going to be identically skilled. It is entirely possible that (just as some players get more trolls than other), some players are unlucky and get more bad (for their elo) players than others. Obviously actually measuring such a thing would be nigh impossible, but it's still plausible. These people have a

__very valid complaint__ with the elo system and do not deserve to be dismissed on the grounds that their claim is impossible.

__Where to Go From Here__
So I think a better discussion is this: how serious is the elo hell problem and how many people does it affect?

If it only affects players by about 50 elo and it only affects less than 0.01% of all players, then it's probably not a big issue. That said, acknowledging that it does affect players is important.

First of all, how would you figure out what impact it has?

You could start by gathering data for several elos (say 300 to 1700 in 100 elo increments) on the average number of trolls that caused a loss per game in that elo. And by trolls, that would include all games with a leaver, and all game with a player actually suspended in the Tribunal for intentionally feeding (plus any players with similar scores metrics who weren't reported, for example), and so on and so forth. Once you have an average, you may find a correlation with elo to estimate out the average for all elos in between.

Then you could try getting some data on the distribution of trolls across the entire population for each elo and see if there are any correlations there, too. Maybe the lower elo means the standard deviation from the mean is higher, for example.

Once you have that you can determine what percentage of the population is at a significantly lower elo (say 100 or more) than they should be because of trolls.

__The Second Problem__
There's a second Elo Hell problem, and it goes something like this:

"A bunch of players at 1100-1300 all suck and I know I could be a higher elo but they all hold me back because I keep getting bad players on my team".

90% of Elo Hell complaints are around that elo range (yeah, I pulled that out of my rear, but whatever). Why? I think the answer is obvious: there's a lot of noise at that elo range, a high variance of skill levels and trolls. I think that at and around that elo range, luck plays an even greater factor: who you get matched with/against and how this affects your elo. I wouldn't be surprised to see the greatest number of complaints coming from players around that range who think they're pretty good but keep getting matched with players who just hit level 30 and simply don't know how to do simple things like last hitting or don't understand how bad leaving the game is.

I think that if you can solve the problem of the noise in that elo range (which you have acknowledged is an issue in this thread) you can greatly decrease the number of elo hell complaints.

__Conclusion__
Look, I'm not saying that all or even most complaints about elo hell are valid. All I'm saying is that elo hell

**could** be an issue for

*some* players. I have no idea whether it is the all-encompassing problem that people assert it is; I am only pointing out that

__it is entirely logical to expect it to exist at some level and affect some people negatively.__