Competitive gaming is a term that describes organized gaming where there’s more on the line than simply bragging rights. In other words, there is a reward for winning and tangible losses for losing.

Theoretically, competitive gaming can be offline or online. However, in the digitalized world today, competitive gaming mostly describes online gaming.

Such online gaming and e-sports have become popular because they increase participation. Furthermore, they enable the most skilled players to participate without restrictions. Read on as we delve into the global phenomenon that is competitive gaming.

What Does Competitive Gaming Entail?

From a gamer’s perspective, competitive gaming is a battle of skill. Players might spend consistent hours every day honing their skills. They then put their skills to the test against rival players and teams. They do so in organized leagues and tournaments online or offline.

There are different classifications of games and titles for categorization in competitions. There are first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and multiplayer online battles.

However, players don’t always have the same skill levels. For the games to truly remain competitive, there needs to be a way to measure abilities. Organizers do so by employing skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) or matchmaking ratings (MMR). From an organizer’s perspective, competitive gaming is as much about guaranteeing fairness.

What are Skill-Based Matchmaking and Matchmaking Ratings?

In the spirit of competitive gaming, players and teams should, theoretically, have a chance of winning. It makes for a more entertaining spectacle and keeps players engaged.

Organizers of tournaments achieve this by keeping skill levels equal or close. They do so by using skill-based matchmaking or rating. The concept is simple. The organizers of games use metrics to determine experience and performance, as well as group players or teams. Theoretically, it works in the same way as points per word help identify similarly skilled Scrabble players.


Matchmaking ratings use a holistic number to indicate a player’s skill level. In other words, the game or organizer of a game uses an algorithm to aggregate metrics. This could be the game results or the activities performed within the match, depending on the nature and the style of the game. The aggregated metrics then pop out a skill rating encompassing players’ abilities. Such a system ensures that players with similar skill levels play against each other.

Advantages of Skill-Based Matchmaking and Matchmaking Ratings

The advantages of both systems boil down to fairness and equity in competition. Game developers and event organizers want an entertaining event. Similarly, all players want to have a chance to showcase and improve their skills without being on the wrong end of a whitewash. By matching skills and rating, high-skill players are less likely to beat down lesser-skilled talents.

In some ways, it’s similar to not allowing a heavyweight boxer to fight a featherweight. Furthermore, the dynamism of the systems means that every performance matters. With that in mind, we have the following tips for gamers.

  • Choose games that align with your interests and skills when seeking to dive into the competitive space.
  • Learn the basics and work through them. Don’t skip tutorials or guides where possible.
  • Practice as much as you compete, especially in the beginning. Practicing helps identify what you can do, while competition helps perfect your execution.
  • Remember that you don’t always have to play competitively, especially if you are in it for the fun. While some games have less competitive game modes, others, like Call of Duty, keep it highly competitive with SBMM, which is proven to be bypassable via MW3 bot lobbies.
  • Join online communities and normalize asking for and incorporating useful feedback.
  • Stay consistent. Speed bumps will be in your gaming journey, so be ready to persevere when they come.


Besides winning, competitive gaming can help players forge relationships while participating in a seemingly antisocial endeavor. Skill-based matchmaking and matchmaking ratings help develop such relationships without losing confidence. Knowing you’re unlikely to pair with someone beyond your skill level makes it easy to develop skills and relationships. As such, you are in a position to win socially and, hopefully, financially.