Activision tells creators of popular Call of Duty stat-tracking website SBMM Warzone to shut it down by Monday
UPDATE 29TH MARCH 2021: As predicted, SBMMWarzone.com has shut down. The website is now blank.
"We've met Activision's demand and have shut down our website," the team behind SBMMWarzone.com tweeted. "Your Warzone stats are no longer available. We still believe we can reach an agreement with Activision to provide you with the stats you love. Hey Activision, let's partner up."
ORIGINAL STORY 27TH MARCH 2021: Activision has ordered the creators of SBMMWarzone.com to shut the website down by Monday.
The Belgium-based co-creators of SBMM Warzone said lawyers representing Activision sent a cease and desist demanding the website be shut down, citing privacy concerns.
SBMM Warzone uses the Call of Duty API to obtain player data and then provide useful statistics to players. Crucially, it organises Warzone lobbies into skill-based ranks, which players use to determine the overall skill of a lobby they've just played in. In lieu of an official Warzone ranking system, players have flocked to SBMM Warzone in a bid to better understand Call of Duty's mysterious skill-based matchmaking system.
One of the creators of the website, Ben, told Eurogamer he understands Activision's concern. "When we get their data through their API, they don't control it anymore," Ben said.
Ben explained that in order for SBMM Warzone to obtain this data, the player must have their profile set to public, and know their BattleNet, PSN or Xbox username. The website then obtains kills, deaths, number of wins and other stats, such as a list of the player's matches and the detail of a match. "We get nothing sensitive," Ben insisted, "and only from public players."
There has been a suggestion that Activision takes issue with the fact SBMM Warzone monetises this player data via its website. SBMM Warzone runs adverts and sells a premium membership of between $4 and $6, which unlocks extra data such as the last 100 games' worth of progress, and Gulag win ratio over time.
Ben insisted this monetisation has nothing to do with Activision's complaint, however. "Some people mention that on Twitter, but I don't know why they're saying that because it's not true, nor where they get that info.
"It's been clear talking to the lawyers that the issue was about privacy. It's funny also that people mention that because we still have to pay for our servers and stuff."
Ben said refunds will be made available if and when the website shuts down.
Ben is now desperate to work with Activision to achieve partner status for SBMM Warzone. Some similar third-party websites, such as tracker.gg, are official partners with Activision and remain unscathed. Ben said he's willing to tweak SBMM Warzone and the way it does business to become a partner.
"What we are asking them, it's just to discuss with us how we could become partners, and what should we have to change in order to comply.
"We are open to rebrand (change our name), change some features and pay a commission for using their API, but for that, we still have to get in touch."
Ben said he's tried to get in contact with Activision, but so far has not received a response. "That's what sadden me the most," he said. "We want to be able to talk to them. We believe there is so much more we can bring to this community."
SBMM Warzone began life in late 2020 and quickly rose to prominence within the battle royale's community, so it's no surprise to see that community back Ben as he desperately tries to save his website.
High-profile Warzone players have expressed their support on social media, and the SBMM Warzone website itself has issued a call to arms.
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It's unclear whether Activision will listen - and if it doesn't before Monday, SBMM Warzone will shut down.
"Our main goal is to become partners," Ben said, "and we still believe we can reach an agreement with Activision. We don't want to fight them, we are friendlies.
"If it's not possible, we'll have to shut down, yes... sadly."
SBMM has been a hot topic within the Call of Duty community for some time now, and some stat-tracking websites have been forced to change the way they work after players used them to cheat the system.
In January, Eurogamer reported on the developer of a controversial third-party Warzone app that let you see your lobby's K/D ratio before a match began.
Warzone - as well as Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare and Treyarch's Black Ops Cold War - have all come under fire for the impact of SBMM, which has sparked a "reverse-boosting" craze - that is, deliberately dying in order to negatively impact your K/D and, in turn, end up in lower-skilled lobbies.
Some have suggested Activision has taken aim at SBMM Warzone because of the lobby ranking system it provides and the insight it offers into the game's under-the-hood SBMM.
Ben, however, said he truly believes Activision's complaint is about privacy: "but anyways, whether it's about privacy, SBMM itself (or any content on our website), or monetisation, there is a way to find common ground."
Call of Duty: Warzone skill-based matchmaking, explained
Want to know more about Warzone SBMM? The skill-based matchmaking system isn't particularly clear in Warzone. There's no official skill rank on your Warzone profile, but that doesn't mean that you aren't being grouped with players with similar ability. And while the SBMM system doesn't seem to conform to how other games handle skill levels, that's not to say that there isn't something in place.
So far, Activision has kept away from dedicated ranked modes and most players appear to be happy with this decision—though some think features should be implemented to encourage competitive play. Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, Activision claims that Warzone doesn't have skill-based matchmaking. We're not convinced, however, so here's everything we know about SBMM in Warzone.
Does Call of Duty: Warzone have SBMM?
Signs point to yes, despite what Activision has said publicly. Call of Duty's many developers usually don't like to disclose any details about skill-based matchmaking. In a rare move, Infinity Ward told CharlieIntel that Warzone has no SBMM because of the high player count.
That’s still the official word, but there is good evidence that Warzone does indeed match players based on skill. Or, at least, it tries to. Warzone YouTuber JackFrags recently released a deep dive into the game's seemingly light SBMM standards.
JackFrags pulled the data from 105 solo battle royale matches and found some consistency between the average skill of his lobbies. Since this video is fairly new, it's a good up-to-date representation of the average matchmaking experience. Paired with similar results from an examination done by YouTuber TheXclusive Ace around the game's launch, we have a pretty clear picture.
How exactly does Warzone SBMM work?
As far as we can tell, kill/death ratio is king. Warzone has no visible ranking system like CS:GO or Rainbow Six Siege, so the game's matchmaking appears to hinge around a player's current average K/D. This is also the way that unofficial stat-tracking services like SBMM Warzone would assign their custom lobby rankings—though the site has now been taken down by Activision due to privacy concerns, among other things.
As JackFrags points out in his video, it's impossible to know for sure exactly how strict Warzone's SBMM is. He makes an educated guess that Warzone prioritizes skill first before considering ping and time waited. From the evidence available, it's fair to say that your chances of finding unevenly skilled lobbies is greatly affected by the number of people playing in your region. If there are fewer people online, the game gets less picky about skill levels and mainly focuses on building a full match of 150 at a low ping.
This makes sense when you consider Warzone’s incredibly short wait times. It's no small task to gather 150 people together for a single match. Even a game as popular as Warzone probably can't afford to accurately matchmake players and keep queue times short. It's not uncommon in Rainbow Six Siege to wait 3-5 minutes for a ranked match of 10 players. No matter what time I'm playing Warzone here in California, I never have to wait more than 90 seconds.
That seems to be the tradeoff that Activision is comfortable making with Warzone, though a growing number of players say they want an official ranked mode that takes skill-based matchmaking more seriously.
How does it compare to Cold War and Modern Warfare?
Again, we can’t know for sure, but Warzone appears to follow the same philosophy as other Call of Duty games. As you can read about here, examining Cold War’s matchmaking results in similar findings. Kill/death ratio is the main stat that the game cares about when looking for similar players, but it's willing to compromise to speed up the process or favor a low ping. The same goes for Modern Warfare 2019, which may explain why Warzone also follows the same formula. After all, Warzone began as a side mode to Modern Warfare.
Stat trackers can be a valuable tool, just don't obsess
If you'd like to see the machinations of Warzone's SBMM for yourself, there are some useful stat-tracking tools that plug right into the game's API. The most popular in-game tools are Warzone Companion and Warzone Tracker, both of which can be installed easily through Overwolf (a handy all-in-one app for other game trackers).
Just don't obsess over skill levels too much. Having that much data at your fingertips can be a thrill, but seeing enemies with high K/Ds can psych you out and negatively affect your performance before the game even starts. I went through the same thing with Siege's tracker tool and I eventually uninstalled it. That said, live stat tracking can be a crucial tool to identify cheaters in your lobby. If the top squad has somebody with an impossibly huge 12 K/D, you probably have a cheater on your hands.
Morgan is an FPS specialist and one of PC Gamer's resident young people. He would love to spend more time playing weird stealth games and immersive sims, but he's still waiting for Warzone shaders to install.
How To Check A Warzone Lobby Rank
Season 2 of Warzone is about to reach its halfway point and as the outbreak of Zombies continues to spread across Verdansk, more and more players are dropping into the action than ever before.
Ever since the battle royale launched in March 2020, the topic of skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is one that is debated regularly within the community and for some time, players have seemingly accepted that the feature is here to stay.
Thanks to a third-party website, players are able to check how strong the SBMM is by using a ranking system that determines the overall skill level of the entire lobby.
Ever wondered if you’re playing in Diamond lobbies? Find out how to check the rank of a Warzone lobby below.
Read More: New Warzone Map 2021 LEAKS: Release Date, Setting, Points Of Interest, Trailer, Gameplay And Everything We Know About The Black Ops Cold War Warzone Map
How To Check Warzone Lobby Rank
The process of checking the overall rank of the lobby you’ve joined is incredibly straightforward.
Before you begin, log into the Call of Duty website, make sure your account is linked, and that the ‘Data Visible’ tab is set to ‘All’.
Once that’s all done, head to SBMM Warzone and type in your username. A page that shows all of your recent matches, highest K/D ratio, and more will appear.
Scroll down the page to find a list of your recent matches and the overall difficulty will appear.
Read More: Warzone Season 2 FFAR 1 Loadout, Best Attachments And Class
How Is Rank Determined?
According to SBMM Warzone, lobby ranks are determined by the average ranks of all the players that have loaded into the lobby.
For example, if the majority of the lobby has a rank of Gold 1, it’s more than likely that the match will be given a Gold 1 rank.
If you find yourself scoring wins and plenty of kills in the process, your rank will increase, meaning you will find yourself playing in lobbies with some of the very best that have ever stepped foot in Verdansk.
Call of Duty players can use this handy website to check their Warzone SBMM Level.
Skill-based matchmaking or SBMM is a tool that Warzone uses to find lobbies for players. People will be matched with other players of a similar skill level – this is calculated using a player’s KD ratio.
A new fan-made website lets players see the quality of their past lobbies, Warzone SBMM level, and a load of other stats.
This might help explain why you keep losing every time in Warzone. Either that or the DMR nerf hasn’t changed anything at all.
Warzone SBMM Website
The website uses the KD ratio of the players in the Warzone lobby to make a ranking. Lobbies of top players are given a Diamond difficulty rank, while Bronze will be for lobbies of low-skilled players.
Players can also see how difficult the lobby was in terms of a percentage of the player base. For example, Silver 3 is the bottom 40% of players while Diamond 1 is the top 25%.
In addition to checking the Warzone SBMM level, players can also see the leaderboard of who got the highest amount of kills in the lobby and see how they compare to the rest of the players. You can even check to see who won the match – you might feel a bit better knowing that the eventual winner killed you.
In addition to seeing your Warzone SBMM level, the website also lets players check the lobbies of content creators and friends. All you need to do is type in their username and you can see their stats.
Find out your Warzone SBMM level at sbmmwarzone.com.
It is also a good way to see if players are reverse boosting to get into easy lobbies. Streamers have been manipulating Warzone SBMM to get into easy lobbies.
Meanwhile, YouTuber and Streamer NICKMERCS has quit Warzone tournaments until this matchmaking glitch has been fixed.
Warzone players might also be dropping in somewhere else soon. Some exciting new details have leaked about the upcoming new Warzone map.
You could even check the Warzone SBMM level of record breakers. This father-and-son team just broke the Duos kill record in Warzone.
Ranking warzone lobby
.Warzone SBMM I Bot lobby-t mindenkinek!
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