No, I didn’t count the “early leaver”, which makes the game end in 10 seconds without rating change to anyone, including the leaver.
The main reason for the high leaver rate is that Blizzard in its infinite wisdom decided not to penalize leaving. Yep, we have an “e-sport” where regularly quitting mid-game in ranked gets you no suspension from he game or even from playing ranked. All you get is decrease of cosmetic lootboxes (in the form of XP cut) which doesn’t even count as slap on the wrist.
But this post isn’t a rant about evil Blizzard tolerating evil leavers, it’s a solution offer. The solution is trivial to implement, because it’s already implemented. If you get a leaver in a quick game, you quickly get a replacement player. He gets some extra cosmetic XP for backfilling. I simply suggest the same to be implemented in ranked. Sure, most leavers rage quit when the game goes bad, so being backfilled means a likely loss. That’s why I do not suggest to backfill any ranked game players. Backfill a quick game player into ranked if there is a leaver! He won’t notice he’s in ranked, he won’t get ranking, just his usual cosmetic points.
The backfilling should happen after 20 seconds of disconnect or instantly if the disconnect is due to AFK. If the original player returns, the backfilled player is kicked (and properly compensated) next time he dies and the original player can re-enter the game. Sure, a quick play guy in diamond probably won’t save the day, but in bronze and silver he will do just fine, giving decent chance to the other 5 to win. And even in diamond he can slow the enemy just enough that if the original player returns (because he had a PC crash) the match isn’t over.
It would cost no programming. It would annoy nobody (any more than quick play backfilling. It would save several games from being one-sided massacres). Implement it!