In spite of Skellige omnipresence (especially on high fMMRs), it wasn’t the most often played faction amongst Top2800 players. Nilfgaard is in a slight lead, almost 1/4 of games was played with this faction. It could be attributed to being commonly judged as the second faction, but way harder to play and less consistent (more matches required) than Skellige. Also, Master Mirror expansion introduced some new fascinating possiblities, like Assimilate decks with Braathens and Coup de Grace. On the other hand, the sentiment towards Nilfgaard amongst Gwent players is consistently observed in our stats (have a look at preceeding season stats, when the meta was balanced).
Syndicate is at the opposing pole, and its unpopularity is extremal. This faction was also least popular season before, and revisting of Firesworn archetype did not change the picture. In fact, the net effect is even negative, as other factions got more plausible options for competitve play. Scoia’tael joins Syndicate as the clear second least popular faction.
While Skellige is chosen by almost every pro player, Scoia’tael and Syndicate are in minority, just like in popularity chart. One thing to remember while looking at this chart is that all pick rates should be equal to 2/3 in the case of perfectly balanced meta and players preferences.
As the graph shows the performance of the picked factions only, it could be said that dropping Syndicate and Scoia’tael wasn’t the worst decision. Monsters, Nilfgaard and Northern Realms are in similar power range, while Skellige is clearly outstanding. Let’s see how these averages translate to actual fMMR distribution.
Multiplying this distribution by popularity, there is no wonder almost exclusively Skellige is met on high fMMRs. Remember also that we included here only Top500 players from last season, who in general try to compete with 4 factions. In matchmaking reality the effect is even bigger than shown here.
Thanks for reading, and see you back when the season ends!
Written by: lerio2
Writing in-depth Gwent articles is fun, but time consuming. If you like ‘Alphabet’ or ‘Gwent for Geeks’ cycle or other articles, and fancy to support my efforts – here is the way to go: https://www.patreon.com/lerio2