Over the last few days news broke about the end of RankingsHQ. RankingsHQ was/is an online ranking system designed for players and organizers to input results from tournaments they run or attend. RankingsHQ wasn't specific to only Warhammer 40k, but a variety of systems and towards the end, any competitive event.
The history of RankingsHQ started off with a bang, as is customary with a first to market idea for an emerging market. Quickly, though problems arose, as monetary concerns entered the equation. In attempt to generate revenue it seemed RankingsHQ ran into the secret truth about competitive wargaming.
Even if you combine all wargaming systems, competitive players are too small of a group to make money off of effectively. So, it became as no surprise in a last-ditch effort to save itself, RankingsHQ decided to focus on League of Legends. Unsustainability wasn't the only problem, RankingsHQ lost a lot of steam over the last couple years as errors, lack of customer support, and charging for access became prevalent. It also didn't help focusing on smaller games and avoiding a real chance for success: Warhammer 40k.
If you want to make money off anything I refer to Shark Tank; spending five years failing to make money on something means either stop,move on, or realize you have a hobby on your hands at best. RankingsHQ was also a victim of timing; good timing by striking when competitive wargaming was taking off, but bad timing because their platform wasn't designed with mobile in mind.
This brings up my final point RankingsHQ suffered the Myspace fate, first to blow up big and first to crash hard. By this logical progression the new Torrent of Fire could become Facebook by learning from RankingsHQ mistakes. Torrent of Fire has started with Warhammer 40k and is actually engaging event organizers. RankingsHQ wasted time on videos, jumping all over the place, and always seemed to lack a real clear focus; all the time relying and being exploited by everyone.
The demise of RankingsHQ comes at a time when competitive 40k is in a state of flux, with 6th edition putting a damper on many players, especially "competitive" players on the margins. Perhaps a unified ranking system is just a pipe dream anyway. 6th edition seems hell-bent on making sure competitive players never know what rule additions and changes will be next. What system can weigh events properly or prevent players from gaming the system?
In the end, RankingsHQ death was a foregone conclusion the first time the servers went live, at least they tried and for everyone coming after they better learn from its mistakes.
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Rumor Has It is rated: mongering for spreading pseudo truthieness through leaks and rumors about Warhammer 40k