Last night, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive received the biggest addition to competitive Matchmaking since Prime Accounts were introduced in April 2016.
Valve announced their newest algorithm for pairing 10 players in matchmaking games—the Trust Factor matchmaking system.
The developer aimed to not alienate dedicated players with the additional algorithm, after receiving feedback about the drawbacks of Prime Matchmaking for new players. Although the initial concept of verifying CS:GO users with unique phone numbers seemed optimal, the rank threshold was too high (level 21) to pique enough interest from newer players
Instead of changing Prime Matchmaking completely, Valve created Trust Factor as a new way for competitors at the casual level to have less toxic games and experience more overall positive match experiences. Trust Factor is a hidden profile of a player’s habits that are naturally observed by the game. The Trust system supposedly looks at Steam account behaviour, in-game cheating reports, and time spent on other Steam games.
This means that fresh cheater and “smurf” accounts (alternate accounts of high-ranked players) will be recognized automatically, and they’ll be subsequently paired with each other after enough analysis of their Trust Factor.
In theory the Trust algorithm is meant to reward dedicated players who are ranked, have a verified phone number, have multiple Steam games with hours played, and are less toxic in competitive matches. Valve purposely hid Trust Factors for all players by default because it’s apparently being updated constantly. Competitive rank isn’t shown for the same reason—to discourage obsessive focus.