As in, your score for the season is the peak amount that you had achieved. Got up to 1k+? Great! Want to keep playing and get a bad group of randoms? No worries, your highest rating number is kept to determine your ranking.
As of right now, a lot of people are getting high rankings and then just… stopping. There is no reason to keep playing. In fact, continuing to play can be more damaging than good. This is not really good for the longevity of the game.
If your max rating attained was kept as your ‘permanent’ ranking, one could continue playing without worrying about losing it. If you go below it, it stays at your max, and if you go above it, your max adjusts.
You would still have to get a highest consecutive win, so no, not who plays the most would win. It would not be cumulative.
For example, if I hit 1100, then lost 8 matches and got down to 900, my ‘highest’ score would still be at 1100. I would have to win another 8 matches to get back to 1100. Supposing I won another match, and got to 1125, that would become my new ‘high score’. If something awful happened and my rating dropped down to like 800 from there, and I never recovered, my highest score would be kept at 1125 as my best score.
As of right now, if you get to 1125 and stop playing, that is the optimal play if you want to be in the top 100. My suggestion would just bookmark that score and allow one to continue playing without the fear of losing the highest attained score.
Personally I really like playing. I enjoy the competition and the game, but I would also like to be in the top 100 at the end of the season. We still have quite some time until the season ends. Not only is the mode fun, but it is a great way to get esos and lore and wolf marks.
I had attained a personal best of 1221, which would have put me rather high up on the top 100 for the season. However, I continued to play, and through some bad RNG, disconnecters, feeders, and what have you, I am now not even on the board. It is really discouraging to be so harshly punished for simply continuing to play. Had I just stayed there and quit playing, I would have been better off in rating.
That way, if people want to push themselves for a higher rating, it is less of a gamble and more of a challenge. Dropping off the board after being in the top 20 just because I decided to keep playing is pretty crushing and discouraging.