I understand that tournaments are the priority at this moment; this is just me thinking out loud again.
Right now we’re able to move up ladders relatively quickly by picking the weakest opponents possible. (I admit that I have done this at least a couple times.) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stronger players defeating weaker players to move up, but shouldn’t there be some kind of mechanism that gets people at least a little out of their comfort zone (throughout the entirety of the ladder rather than just at the top)?
What if you could only move up the ladder by issuing a challenge to someone randomly chosen from a range of potential opponents? (The magnitude of the aforementioned range should depend on how much higher up the ladder the challenger wants to go.)
My thinking is this: if you want to challenge someone at least N positions above you, then the range should be N positions wide. When N=1, there’s only one candidate - the person directly above you. When N=2, there are two candidates - the person two positions above you and the person three positions above you. This pattern could continue until N is equal to half of the number of currently challengeable opponents (e.g. if you are currently able to challenge anyone out of the 20 players above you, then N=10 would fix the range to the upper half of those 20). (Note: N could be even higher to help keep the average rank increase per match roughly the same as it is now.)
Anyways, I would welcome any kind kind of ladder challenge randomness regardless of how/when/if it gets implemented.