The reason no one is getting into an in-depth discussion on this topic is because the "luck or skill?" topic has already been discussed, debated, and argued ad nauseum already. And there is no definite answer, and never will be. People perceive what they want to perceive based on their own circumstances.
For a kid on summer vacation who has nothing better to do than play elo all day, elo becomes the epitome of skill because they have virtually unlimited time to get to 1400, losing streaks be darned, so whether or not they actually get to 1400 is almost wholly dependent on whether or not they have enough skills to get there.
For people who have more limited playing time, getting to 1400 becomes much more luck-dependent. For example if you only have time to play 60 games a week, whether or not you get to 1400 in that amount of allotted games depends wholly on having a good winning streak. Sure, if you stick around 1350 for an extended length of time, that winning streak will eventually come, but you just don't have the time to do that. So some weeks you will get to 1400, some weeks you won't. Ta-da, luck.
And believe me, getting to 1400 relies on win streaks. Very, very few people have a 70% win rate at above 1300. I don't mean to go into ad hominum attacks, but you mentioned previously that your 11-game win streak was based on skill. Given the fact that you have a 56% overall win rate (0.56^11= 0.00169), I highly doubt no luck was involved.
(continued for previous post)
And the key difference between my first example and my second one? The time you spend playing elo, aka persistence. This is why I was so keen on pushing the idea that persistence is the only thing that matters in elo. If you play enough games, your skills will improve. If you play enough games, your luck will balance out. There is no easy path to elo greatness, you just have to play, play and play some more
The thing is, my 56% overall win rate includes games that I deliberately lost for the sake of missions, experimenting with weird decks in DT, and the good old days when I was a complete noob (rather than the semi-noob I am now.)
The other thing is, I have a big issue with the whole "it can't ever be determined" answer... Because it's simply not true.
ELO scores are observable. Win rate is observable.
We can, in theory, see what kind of win rate people who achieve high ELO scores have, specifically in ELO, when they are playing to win, with decks that they feel comfortable using. That would give us a good idea of just how much luck factors into ELO play.
Maybe you feel that's too much work, and that's okay.
But you can check your battle history, talk to your fellow players, try to get a rough idea of how often win streaks happen (as opposed to losing streaks...)
And then you can come in here and give an opinion that's based on something.
I just don't get why someone would want to say "this game is 37% skill, 25% collection size, and 38% luck" and then not try to explain that at all. I'm not necessarily saying that person would be wrong. I'm saying until people at least offer a hint of why they've come to their conclusions, there isn't anyone who can guess whether they have any validity or not.
TLDR: If you want to discuss game mechanics, pretend this is 5th grade math and show your work.
Okay, I'll share with you my experience. My win rate in elo this week is 62.5% (30W18L1D), which I believe is pretty much in line with my overall win rate. I could probably go further than 1300 (I think), but I have to visit my gandma this afternoon and go to the lab for some work-related stuff, and be sure I get a good night's sleep so I can wake up early for monday. Plus Smurfs is premiering on HBO tonight, and I wanna catch that
So I guess that means no 1400 this week for me But I don't understand how that makes me unlucky or unskillful
Those who look at win rates in ELO are doing it wrong. Best elo players have less than 55% winrates, probably like 49-51%
This is because the ELO starts by throwing cannon fodder at you, that will give you opponents that give good winrate. But the further you play, the more difficult it gets. Thats why reaching good ELO score requires you to play your absolute best amongst people that can beat you 50% of the time, and you need to make meaningful row - thus you have to repeat the process long enough to know you are doing your absolute best = your win ratio crashes but your final elo ranking reaches its potential.
I like where this conversation is heading.
I think that doesn't make you either unlucky or unskillful. A consistent 62% isn't bad, especially taking into account that there may have been matches were you weren't feeling terribly motivated to win, or experimenting with a new deck, etc. Let's assume that you *really want* to get a 70% win rate over the next 50 matches, say there's a great prize in it for you. Do you think you can do it? I would bet that you could... Or at least come very close.
I think pure luck = 50% win rate, give or take. We can assume that most ELO players have collections that are "good enough" (so when you get past 1200 or so, you're generally not fighting some whom you can beat purely because you own better cards.) So the missing element that causes this significant deviation, I think we can safely assume that's skill.
@DeepEnd: I agree. I am not interested in overall winrate, really, but how a player performs when fully motivated, accustomed to the week's meta, etc. Being able to *deliberately* get a streak of 8, 9, 10, however many wins among people who can generally beat you 50/50 means that you are doing something right. To chalk it up to pure chance, as I tried to say before, doesn't seem reasonable. It would probably take a good 200+ games for a run like that... You would be looking at people needing 10+ hours to get from 1300 to 1400.
I think that something like 60-70% vs the expected 50% doesn't just imply that skill is an element that helps a bit, it implies that skill is very prominent. Combined with the fact that top-notch ELO players can experience large win streaks every single week, often without investing some ridiculous amount of hours, it implies that skill is HUGE in this game. I'm not sure what else to say on the topic... I am trying to keep an open mind about it; there is definitely a possibility that I haven't taken something into consideration.
" You would be looking at people needing 10+ hours to get from 1300 to 1400."
YEP. And 30+ hours for 1500.
Ofc. there are strokes of lucks and people reach that high easily, but to do it consistently and constantly over time requires time and dedication - it is still doable. Those people I consider extremely good players, since they go for their best potential even if the road is long and there will be huge setbacks.
@Deep: what makes you say that it takes 30+ hours for 1500, and *who are these people that can afford to play UR for over 30 hours a week?!* I'm just curious... I see a lot of people in the "pro" guilds getting great ratings every week, and I just have trouble imagining that these people spend so much of their time playing UR.
@subclavian: Oh yeah, grinding is definitely possible, but I think it's not always necessary.
For me, a typical UR week goes like this (I am Lucky enough to work from home, by the way
Sunday Night-Monday Night: New ELO week, yaaaay! I am going to experiment with all kinds of silly decks. I usually play inconsistently during this period of time since I'm trying out new ideas. I may end up at 1100-1300, depending on how much I feel like playing, and whether I settle on a deck.
Tuesday-Thursday: A few ELO matches here and there when work wears me out. This is usually 2-10 games per day. Unless I'm really busy I make a point of hitting 13 by Thursday.
If, and that's a big if, I have time on Friday/Saturday, I sink a few solid hours into the game going for 1400. I end up spending 4-5 hours over those two days. Because of my play habits, there are two possible outcomes: 1) I hit 1400 or somewhere thereabouts 2) People's decks evolved a lot while I was slacking off during the middle of the week, so I need to change decks to proceed. In that case, I usually settle for 13+.
Bottom line is, I do okay with less than 10 hours a week to spend on ELO.