I missed the rant, what timestamp is the rant at to get an understanding of T90’s point? I skimmed through and only saw BoA3 games being casted? It’s 4-5 hours long so might’ve easily missed the rant.
However, to answer the question myself, I’d say it depends. There are several factors that go into it. When I host lobbies, I usually say ‘average’ and for me, as I only host a specific map, I look at all the ratings combined - unranked (which I can see from aoe2 net lobby, though this is pretty annoying), 1v1, and ranked TG rating. For me, who is average is typically someone who is either 2k+ unranked, or 1700-1800 TG, or 1200-ish 1v1. I would also try to balance by what I gauge are the two best players being split, for example.
However, I believe that if someone hasn’t played a particular ranked game before (e.g. no 1v1 games at all) and only plays teamgames, then their first 1v1 game is played at around their TG rating, so someone could have a pretty bad winrate but still be 2k+ TG, play a 1v1 game and jump straight into 2k 1v1 rating as well. So I also look at games played at the particular ratings, and someone who has a 0% winrate but is 2k+ might not be as good as someone who is 1.4k 1v1, and is not going to be split with anyone who’d be near 2k 1v1 - though they are generally not joining an ‘average’ game anyway.
This is a lot of words just to explain how I look at the ratings, and what I determine to be ‘average’. I don’t really have an elo cap, whoever meets my minimums can play despite very likely also outclassing myself. I’d just be happy to get to play with stronger players in that case.
What someone else thinks is ‘average’ is personal. The same goes for noob, noobish, beginner, semi noob, etcetera. *Personally, I’d say beginner is just someone who does not have any games played. If you check them on aoe2 net, their profiles are either blank (aoe2 net doesn’t track unranked games any more - but somehow still does when you look from lobby browser - and won’t show up on your profiles, whereas ranked games require at least 10 to be played to be seen), or have very few games played.
Noob, noobish, semi noob are all vague descriptors for someone who may have a ton of games played, but for whatever reason is simply bad. Some hosts look at ratings to determine whether they are noob, but there is no set standard for this. It’s up to the hosts to determine who joins what. Sometimes, I’ve joined noob lobbies and get kicked because I’m 2k+ unranked and I observe the lobby afterwards and indeed see that everyone in the lobby is what I would also call a noob - the hosts passed my test.
However, sometimes I see ‘noob’ lobbies propping up and when you watch them from aoe2 net, noob players do join in, but the host is 2.7k+ unranked (no ranked games). Those are cases where the host just wants to stomp noobs. In those cases, you might also be 2k+ and join thinking to put up a fight against the host, but get kicked because the host doesn’t want a challenge.
Unfortunately, unranked elo by itself is very unreliable. I’ve seen 3k+ unranked players be worse than some 2k-ish unranked players. But it’s the best thing we’ve got, especially when it comes to specific maps being hosted. I think some players also manage to inflate their rating through playing against AI in lobbies, but I’m not sure if that works. I know TG ratings are also often inflated, and not everybody plays 1v1s. And not everyone who is good at 1v1s will be good in those specific maps either. I’ve also seen players who are 1.5k 1v1 get owned by someone who is 1.1k, because their skills don’t always translate over perfectly to those specific maps.
I don’t know why I made an essay over this, but TL;DR: there is no certain ELO bracket for ‘noobs’ or ‘semi-noobs’, it’s up to the hosts to determine who meet their criteria. It’s better to host yourself, so you have control over who joins (or find a trusted host who knows how to balance). Especially for specific maps, naively looking at only one set of ratings will not produce a balanced game.