I wanted to start a post to see if I could get some discussion going surrounding this topic. I want to preface this by saying that I, in no way, know for sure how the matchmaking system works. I only have my own personal experiences along with a general idea of how things are working out for other people.
I essentially just want to point the the fact that our "TP" system for Smite ranked does not actively encourage people to end up at the appropriate rank. It may work to some extent on the fact that it is balancing games to the best of its ability (although we do see hiccups depending on time of the day and MMR spread). I want to point to the fact that players in diamond can have higher MMR than those in grand-masters. Now this might be fine if the TP "payouts" at the end of the game were player specific, but the diamond 1 player with higher MMR will lose points the same as if he himself were in diamond 1 or grandmasters – AKA the system is not pushing the high MMR player towards the higher ranks, despite the matchmaking giving them harder games.
I want to repeat what I just said to maybe make things clearer. I believe that players are being matched based on their MMR, regardless of rank and TP. This means that a diamond 2 player top pick could be against a grandmaster top pick with teams of roughly equal MMR beneath them. The player in diamond 2 may have MMR noticeably higher than that of the grandmaster. In this case, I believe the system will reward the diamond 2 player less tp for a win and more for a loss compared to the grandmaster player. That means that the player in diamond 2 that did well in their first games has been punished for starting out with a higher MMR due to strong qualifier performance.
I may not have written this clear enough to understand, but this has been mostly my own personal experience with the system. I am watching players like Barraccudda and Homiefe struggle to gain TP for what I believe to be the reasons I stated above. These just a couple players that I usually see dominating the ranked ladder, but this season I find players like "Piconator" gaining TP like a madman in comparison. I understand there was a hard reset, but there is no way in my mind that that the system is pushing better players towards higher ranks. Each game and the matchmaking will require context and information on the MMR that is hidden to us, but it doesn't change the fact that we are seeing players who started off better get punished.
I would like to push for a change in a system for determining rank in the future. Most other games use a hidden MMR and a shown MMR (rank) which I believe to be a much more effective strategy for getting accurate results concerning the placement of players. We just need to try to show a lot of support in order to get HiRez to notice that people think it is an issue. Maybe many people will not consider it an issue, but I think a healthy ranked system is the backbone for competitive play in almost any competitive game.
***To be very clear, the root of the issue seems to have to due with placements and early assigned MMR (elo) values