Lina from Dota 2 showcasing the new ranked ladder system

While Dota 2's old ranked matchmaking system did its job quite admirably, there was always the problem of what to do with returning players. If someone was gone for well over year their skill level and game knowledge were bound to deteriorate, especially when you consider how massive Dota 2's patches can truly be, yet that player's rating always remained the same. This brought in a heavy dose of uncertainty into the matchmaking system, which is never a good thing as one small mistake can easily result in a 'wasted' hour for 10 different players.

As such, I am very glad to say that Dota 2 has now transitioned to a seasonal ranked system. Each season will last six months and will require the player to do a series of placement matches before they are truly unleashed upon the matchmaking system. Furthermore, players are going to be split across seven different levels (or rather skill tiers), each of which will come with five divisions within them. As you might expect, you will need to climb through all five of the divisions before being given a chance to prove your worth and move onto a higher skill tier.

For the first five ranks your performance in both Party and Solo queue games will be considered when it comes to evaluating your skill and deciding whether you will go up a tier, though Solo games will have a greater impact for obvious reasons. Perhaps most importantly of all, the final two ranks (Ancient and Divine) will be entirely based on Solo queue, which should hopefully go a long way towards ensuring fair and balanced matches.

If you're currently a little bit confused about how all of this works, don't worry as its really quite simple. Just play a few matches and you'll figure things out surprisingly quickly. That said, there is one very important thing to mention, and that is the fact that you are highly likely to be placed significantly lower than your old ranked MMR. This has nothing to do with your performance or skill, its just Valve doing a bit of an MMR squish in order to achieve a better spread of players across the various ranks. So if you truly belong in a higher tier, you'll climb up soon enough.

Good luck in the new system, and here are all of the various medals, just so you know what exactly you're striving for:

Dota 2 ranked level icons