What is the impact of playing against opponents rated higher than I am?
Playing against higher-rated opponents does not necessarily lower your rating and, in some cases, can actually improve it. It all depends upon the percentage of games you win, and how much higher the opponent’s rating is.
Here's how it works:
If the opponent is rated too far above you and they win the match easily by winning a high percentage of games, that won’t hurt your rating, as it is the expected outcome. But your rating can get a boost if you end up playing a close match. On the other hand, such a match can lower your rating if you end up not winning a high enough percentage of games.
What is the impact of playing against opponents rated lower than I am?
Playing against lower-rated opponents does not always hurt your rating. In fact, in many cases, it helps it! Again, it all depends on the percentage of games you win and how much lower the opponent’s UTR is than your own.
Here is how it works:
If the opponent is rated too far below you and you win the match easily, winning a high percentage of games, your rating may not change. This is due to the outcome of the match occurring as expected.
Playing an opponent with a lower rating can raise your rating if you win a higher-than-expected percentage of games. However, if you play a close match against that lower-rated opponent, this could lower your rating.
Want to know more about how the rating is calculated? Check out our algorithm article with more details here!