The cap would not automatically add system-wide inflation, it is a symmetrical effect: You will lose slightly less than expected, and the winner will also gain slightly less than expected.
If I had to guess, I would say that new algos entering the system could be ‘feeding’ more points to top algos before being deleted, since they can now match with them much sooner. This would cause system wide inflation, but the system can be pretty complex and it’s hard to intuit whats going on sometimes.
If we want to ensure everyone enters the final week with a fair shot, I have a suggestion. I’ll make a poll if it seems reasonable to the top players in this thread.
There are a ton of factors that impact algo ratings in unintuitive ways: The meta shifting around through its life, an algo that it performs well against being uploaded many times, and it getting stranded with very high ratings.
The only way to remove these anomalies completely and guarentee a perfectly fair outcome for all players is to reset rating (and matchmaking history to allow rematches) for all algos at the end of the season, when we prevent further algo submissions during the ‘settling’ period. This ensures everyone starts on even footing, regardless of how long their algo has been uploaded and how many people uploaded algos that they perform well against.
I have always been in favor of this solution, but it was vetoed by the team due to concerns that players would feel that they ‘lost’ the rating they had earned throughout the season, or that they would feel cheated if their new rating was significantly lower than their pre-reset rating.