Using an exploit, trainers are choosing favorable match ups in Pokemon Go's GO Battle League, but not in the way you'd think.
Instead of trying to get easier matches, players are actually trying to get higher rated opponents. This is because, while it would be harder to beat them, doing so has a much greater benefit to their rating.
If you are a high-rated player of between 2,800 and 2,900, facing a 3,000+ trainer (as opposed to less than 2,800), this allows you to increase your rating a lot more. On the other hand, a loss to a trainer with a rating less than you can hit your rating hard.
This is annoying those who are trying to reach a 3,000 rating, as this will give you the coveted Rank 10. Some trainers picked up on the latest exploit when several of their matches with 3,000+ rated Pokemon Go players were being canceled.
"I have also been noticing that most people above 3,000 rating will quit the match before it can begin," Telebar shared on Reddit. "This happens in about 50-60% of the cases."
This is only an anecdotal account, but these thoughts are shared by other trainers, too. Even if the actual number is far less than this – around 20% – then this is obviously still significant.
Is it cheating?
Trainers will have differing opinions on whether this constitutes cheating or not. At the very least though, it is a grey area that Niantic do need to address in some form.
What can't be denied, however, is that those who know the 'trick' do gain an unfair advantage. So, by this logic, cheating would seem a fair way to describe it.
SvanGe also highlighted the issue and made it public for two reasons:
"Make this technique known to other trainers and let them decide if they want to use it."
"Make Niantic aware of this so they can patch this. Because I think it is an unfair advantage."
Trainers, we've identified a technical issue that needs to be addressed before we transition to Season 2 of GO Battle League. Due to this, we are delaying the start of Season 2. We will share more details on our official channels soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) April 30, 2020
They even suggested a way to fix it: "I suggest that when you are matched with an opponent, as soon as you can see their name and rating, quitting the app should result in a loss." This is a good idea, but it would undoubtedly infuriate those who still think the exploit works — maybe that would be a good way to balance out the advantage, though.
How to cancel GBL match
We won't share it here directly but if you click on the above links you can figure out how to do it pretty quickly.
Trainers had been previously losing Pokemon Go matches on purpose but this is the latest way to gain an advantage. Interestingly, Niantic delayed the start of GO Battle League Season 2 and maybe this was one of the reasons why.