Winston’s Lab Overwatch Team Rankings

September 21st
written by Barroi

rankingHeaderAutomated ranking systems always have their flaws and by no means do we pretend to have found the perfect solution. But the new Overwatch Team Rankings on Winston’s Lab should give you a general idea of how well teams performed during the last 4 months. Additionally, it does not seem to be unlikely that this ranking system is the most accurate automated system for Overwatch yet.

Our ranking pages will show you the top 25 teams in the world (or the top 10 teams for each region). If you want to take a look just click on “Rankings” in the navigation bar or click here.

How does it work?

The Overwatch Team Rankings look at a teams’ matches of the last 122 days (about 4 months). It mostly evaluates a team based on its Win Percentage and its Strength of Schedule (SOS). Meaning, if you win a lot and play against teams that also win a lot your rating will be high.

Matches played online or with different players (than the current) are of less significance. The SOS is made off of two components, your opponents winrate and your opponents’ opponents winrate. Those factors create a basic rating that is then being adjusted by a teams’ Margin of Victory/Loss and the amount of games played.

If a team does not meet a certain threshold of played games it gets severely punished. Because of this you will rarely see teams that recently made big roster changes in the Top25 global (or Top10 regional) ranking.

The Star System

As you might have noticed, to make the pure numbers easier digestible a team gets stars based on their rating. To be a 5-star team you have to have at least 60 rating, usually 5 teams fulfill that criterion.

A 4-star team has at least 54 rating, in general 12 teams meet that requirement. With 45 rating you are a 3-star team, 30 rating is needed to be a 2-star team and 15 rating is enough to get 1 star. The top 30 teams usually have at least 3 stars, with 2 stars you are under the best 55 and 90 teams get at least 1 star. The actual amount of teams that fall in each star-category can obviously differ from the norm.

So if you want to get a quick glance at how good a team is using the star system is an easy way to do that.

Why does it work?

This system rewards you not only if you win a lot but even more if you play against good opponents. The brilliance behind that is that a team that consistently gets to the playoffs will in general play against good opponents. So if you are a good team, you get to the playoffs and play against other good teams.

To make sure that the system is as consistent as possible over time we put extra effort into choosing the parameters. We checked thousands of different combinations of parameters and checked the results against the World Rankings (the article series) of the last 7 months. The parameters we chose were in the set of the parameters that produced the most consistently accurate results over time.

The top10 are obviously not the end-all be-all as well, but since those were produced manually they are a good guideline. So increasing the degree to which our automated rankings match with that article series also ensures that it at least vaguely represents experts’ opinions.


Barroi is the founder of Winston's Lab. He is coder, journalist and statistician at once.