Ninja claims SBMM “makes sense” amid Black Ops Cold War controversy - Dexerto

Ninja claims SBMM “makes sense” amid Black Ops Cold War controversy

Published: 20/Sep/2020 12:24

by Andy Williams


Streaming megastar, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, has given his two cents on the SBMM ordeal, claiming that it favors casuals more than higher level players.

Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is a topic which emerges every once in a while and has the power to divide an entire community. On the one hand, players want to be pitted against equally skilled players, to keep the game more engaging. But on the other, some prefer playing casually, and would rather ‘pub-stomp’ during their gaming stint.

And with players trying their hand at the Black Ops Cold War Alpha, the controversial debate surrounding SBMM has surfaced once again. Call of Duty pros have been vocal in their distaste for its inclusion, stating that it should be included in a dedicated ranked mode.


This, for the most part, is the crux of Ninja’s argument. Blevins reckons that SBMM is necessary, but could be offset by incentivizing a ranked mode — therefore making players more inclined to play against people of an equal skill level.

Ninja in his streaming setup.
RedBull / Ninja
Ninja has given his opinion on SBMM, which empathizes with both camps.

Ninja: Ranked could solve SBMM issues

During a September 19 Tweet, Ninja gave his “hot take” on SBMM. To begin with, the former Halo pro stated that casuals would be the party benefiting the most from SBMM. “The people who are going to be benefiting from [SBMM], are the casuals — which is the majority of the population; the majority of the people playing the game.”

On the other side of the coin, Ninja argues that its inclusion is arduous for content creators, whose ‘skill-ceiling’ limits their playing potential. According to Blevins, this is an issue because they end up being stuck within a group of equally skilled players and can no longer ‘pub-stomp’ — which isn’t favorable for the casual, who is on the receiving end of this.


In terms of a potential solution, Ninja thinks developers should strive for a “balance,” with ranked potentially providing a way out. “An incredible ranking system that actually works and rewards people for playing it and being good at it, might deter those people from playing regulars and ‘norms’ and then sh*ting on a bunch of people and pub-stomping.”

Ninja went on to agree that he doesn’t necessarily think it’s a “good thing” but it “totally makes sense” since it benefits the average gamer, since it avoids being matched up with players at a much higher level.

A Treyarch developer has explained how SBMM is just one piece of the puzzle that represents online matchmaking, stating that there are many “tunable” parameters which impact how individuals are pitted against one another.


While SBMM is present in almost all online games with a competitive component, Ninja’s concept of really honing in on rewarding players by playing a ranked mode might just be a step in the right direction towards settling the ongoing debate.