Just to add my two cents, I do believe there is some level of sandbagging, but there also is the new season scrum that usually happens when the players are reset to a new trophy level. For example, I don’t do much pvp as I like grinding pve better, so I’ll basically do my 40 kills a day or 10 pvp battles to grind the 20 kill boxes unless there’s a pvp event I want to do. Meaning I do less battle pvp and earn less trophies during those events as the events fill up the 40 kills for me.
So since the reset I haven’t lost a single game yet, but I’ve seen loads of unbalanced games where I’m getting matched against lower level teams. That eventually will sort out as I keep climbing the ranks and the only thing I can do is keep winning to increase my trophy count and eventually I’ll stop seeing those lower ranked teams. Except even if I’m at the very top of the leaderboard I’ll still see some when I’m in battle and they are in a pvp event. Nothing, I can do about that as that’s Ludia’s matching making scheme.
But I’ve also seen this season a continuation of ghost games. Haven’t lost yet (keep mentioning it to show even someone continually winning will still get unbalanced games), but somehow I lost my streak and my trophy count when down because it went below a threshold I just crossed and I noticed it. When that happens it means the game matched you with another player but you aren’t seeing it. Happens ever so often and once had it happen where I was playing a live game with one player or bot and another guild mate was playing my ghost at the same time. Discovered because we coincidentally happened to be in chat right after at the same time and ended up talking about it—he thanking me for the win and me going what win? That looks like tanking from the other player’s perspective. It drove Greemage crazy for months these ghost games because he was religiously tracking his trophy count for a long while and saw just how many trophies he was losing to ghost games. I don’t think it happens as much now as back then, but still happens a fair bit.
The top player may just be playing nice with you. I’ve seen Standing Warrior, Fiz, and some other top ten players bemoan the mis-matched games and expressed at times the desire to just give the lower ranked player the win to be nice, particularly when there is a gem costing event going on or at the very beginning of a season. If you look for it, you’ll see their posts to that effect. You still end up seeing mainly bots as a top player, so you can give a few wins here or there and still climb the ranks.
That all sums up to several reasons causing the mismatch in pvp battles or games that look like tanking:
-Ludia matchmaking system
-Battle versus event pvp
-Intentional tanking (what the original poster is complaining about)
-Players not doing a lot of pvp battles and so therefore taking more time to climb the ranks
-Loading error issues where you can’t reboot and get back soon enough and pvp game is playing and you can’t
-Player being nice giving you a win
-Someone getting distracted before a game (you wait for a game, it takes a few seconds, something draws your attention that you need to attend to, you don’t notice you’ve been matched and pvp finishes before you can get back to game)
I do believe some level of tanking does exist, so I’m not disputing the poster’s concerns. But I am pointing out that there are other common reasons too for some of these mismatches.
Happy gaming all