First off I’d like to clarify that this article is not bashing the current set of tournaments systems being used, but is here to raise awareness and start the community thinking on maybe better solutions to address this issue. If you have any ideas or would like to chat through ideas please email TactNetGaming@gmail.com or visit the Contact page. Now the article you came here to read…
Most tournament players have been in the position before where they win all their games, whether its a day event or a two day event, and excitedly go to look at the player rankings to find out that they placed middle of pack or bottom of the top tier. They then begin to wonder what is wrong or, “I don’t understand I won all my games shouldn’t I be at least top 4 or 8 or even 1st?”
Let’s take the above statement and apply it to a more real world example I feel most of you can agree with. Well use for instance college football here in the States. Hard facts and biases aside, college team Alabama is one of, if not “the” top team in the NCAA. However with that said if you made the same argument based on how many points they scored per game then they you would see that in 2017 they are ranked 13th for points per game and in the last 3 years you better just keep scrolling down the list because they are 82nd on that list. Again according to those last 3 years Alabama won the College Football Playoff National Championship 2 of the 3 years and the other year they still played in the championship placing 2nd overall for the year. This is exactly my point I’m trying to make that ranking’s based on battle points skew real results. If you still disagree I’ll go into a few topic points below.
Two top players pitted against each other in starter rounds.
Two top players each driving a very meta competitive list get slotted to battle each other the first round. I think you are already seeing the point to this situation being laid out, but I’ll keep going. These two ultra competitive players are more than likely going to have a low scoring game compared to the other players because their lists are designed to give up very few points and maximize the amount of points they are able to score against their opponents that did not come as well prepared. The first issue is in the above statement, “ their lists are designed to give up very few points…” If both players have a list designed to keep point gaining low for their opponent then that's the most obvious issue. They both won't be scoring very many points off of each other.
Now to the next issue with this scenario is we have two masters playing each other in a game they are both very good at and just waiting for the other to make one wrong mistake to try and capitalize on. If and when these mistakes occur they are few and far between. These two incredible players with amazingly meta lists are going head to head with the victor coming out on top. Only to see the end result in a very low or mediocre point scoring match. Now they have just knocked each other out of the top tiers because they both managed to score subpar to very low scores during their game. You may say, “Well hold on now they could make up the points in their next game or games.”
Well let's travel onto the next topic point then.
Mediocre lists running up the points on a not so good list or mismatched list.
The topic header makes this point pretty clear, but we’ll go ahead and theorize this topic playing on the back of the above topic point. Round 1 or even round 2 and honestly you could even say that this following scenario happens in both round 1 and 2 and so on. We have a top meta player or even a decent above average player that has been matched up to play a newish player or even say someone who plays often, but just isn’t that good and they don’t care cause they come just for a good time (which is perfectly fine and helping support the hobby and tournaments is awesome! Keep coming and throwing dice!) Back on topic… Again we can see where this scenario is going. The prepared and meta-ish player is going to have a really high scoring match against his opponent, being able to maximize all points scored during their match or even the majority of all points available.
Now this player who may be a great player, but for argument's sake let’s remind ourselves that the two actual top players played each other opening round, goes on to the next round or rounds with such a hefty lead in points that the other two players can never really catch up because this other guy just maxed out his points first round and scoring high the other rounds. This guy wins the tournament, but was he actually the best player there? Was the tournament pairing players based on points? Did the super meta then have to play a mediocre player to make a come back or hypothetically another super meta had the same match his opponent did so now two super metas are having another similar match, thus plummeting their scores even further?
A win is a win, fact.
At the end of a match and points aside who ever came out as victorious is the winner and there is no arguing that fact. Dominic "Dom" Toretto stated it in the best possible way you can in The Fast and the Furious - “Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning's winning.”
Winner’s should always play winner’s until there is only one winner. In a 300+ player tournament is this point of view possible? Hell no, at least not with the current way tournaments and leagues are run. Showing up for a two day event and expecting one winner is not a possibility that can be accomplished in that amount of time. Is there a solution? I’d say not yet. I will say though that tournaments that score on battle points alone are skewing the real results of top players playing each other or the underdog story of near victory after near victory till it is all over and the underdog just kept pulling off wins. How can you say who the winner is if two 5-0 or 3-0 players never played each other, but they are ranked based off of that they won all their games and then battle points are used to determine the overall winner? Or better yet someone who loses or draws a game and comes out with a higher ranking than a player that won all their games? As a plain fact you can’t say who won because in reality they never played each other. The 2nd place guy doesn’t get 1st because he perhaps played much tougher opponents then the 1st place guy?
I encourage anyone who finished reading this article to put some thought into the topic and reach out with ideas that can help change this issue because if we don’t take the time then what really is going to be done? Currently with time constraints and travel this is the only real solution to bring tournaments to a close? Should tournaments be a start and stop? Or should tournaments be invite only from local leagues (now what we run as tournaments) where the top 8 players from the different leagues get invited to play at a premier tournament where they battle each other for top player? I’ll let that idea set and I want to know what you are thinking. What have you had churning around in your thoughts? Reach out and maybe we can help spark an idea.