Worlds tournament system

Discussion in 'World Championships' started by LefaLefa, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    So I looked at the first round pairings for the Masters and noticed that there are over 200 players. Usually Worlds has had only 128 at maximum which in itself is already a lot of players, maybe too many. So there being over 200 players is definitely an overkill. It just means that there are more rounds which means that the tournament takes longer and the overall quality of games is lower. Also the amount of truly pointless games is ridiculous. I don't believe that players find these games fun and if the people could wacth these games from home, they wouldn't enjoy them (maybe it's a good thing that most of the games aren't streamed via Twitch...).

    This led me to think that should the tournament system be changed? Swiss might sound fun and fair for everyone but in reality in most cases when you lose a couple of games your tournament is practically over but you still "have to" play (of course you can always drop but I think you understand what my point is). If the games had a meaning after you had been eliminated from the top cut I guess that would be fine, but again, in most cases there aren't such games.

    So to what should the tournament system be changed? I think that Double Elimination would be excellent. You are allowed to lose once and after the second loss you are out of the tournament like with the current Swiss system (in most of the cases). However the difference between the two are that in D-E format there aren't any meaningless games. If someone wants to argue that these meaningless games are fine then why to waste tournament structure for these games when you can play these after you have been knocked out of the tournament? Tournament shouldn't have to spend time in these meaningless games that might take over the time limit and drag out the tournament unnecessarily.

    Other option would be obviously Single Elimination format, but this might be little too cruel. Of course with the time saved in this format all the games could be played in Bo3 format. In D-E the format should be Bo1 until, let's say Ro8 upper bracket (12 players left in the tournament), and after that games could be Bo3. Think how exciting it's to think that with a one coin toss you could be knocked to the lower bracket and with an another one out of the tournament. No more wasting time in those meaningless games that you don't even like to play in.
     
  2. iNewtonior

    iNewtonior New Member

    Double elimination would be rediculous at tournaments like US Nationals, with only 40 or so of the 1000 players making top cut. It is already very difficult to make cut at nationals going 6-3. Not to mention, all players at this year worlds who go X-2 will make top cut, wheras with your strategy they would be eliminated. At a tournament like Nationals, a QUADRUPLE elimination would be more viable, as anyone else is still able to make top cut with a 6-3 record. Double elimination is good for tournaments with a set amount of players, but in an environment like most pokemon tournaments, it doesn't work right.
     
  3. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    Either you didn't understand my point or your idea is just plain stupid. Let's start with this. There you can find the idea of Double Elimination format, mainly in this case that if you use D-E, you don't have any kind of top-cut. D-E tournament structure doesn't just replace Swiss before top-cut. It in itself is the whole tournament. Otherwise it would be just stupid.

    It's also funny how you decide to take the biggest tournament there is and because D-E doesn't seem to fit in it, it must be bad. Really, how often do you meet tournaments that big in one tournament season? Only the US nationals? I think that your everyday Battleroads, City Championships etc won't achieve same kinds of participant numbers as the US nationals. Also D-E works excellently with large number of participants. If it didn't work, why would it be used in large eSports tournaments?

    I don't really want to comment on your opinion about that you should be allowed to lose X number of games because the system now allows you to do so. My idea's main point was to cut the number of meaningless games. Still, why should you be allowed to lose multiple times in one tournament? Shouldn't you stay consistent the whole tournament and be rewarded accordingly? Personally I'd love to see 1024 person quadruple elimination bracket because it would look amazingly confusing and no one would ever have an idea how it's going to work.
     
  4. Shino Bug Master

    Shino Bug Master Front Page News Editor

    Why are you assuming that people can't like games after they've lost 2 of them? If you are only interested in winning, or lose enjoyment after tough losses you are allowed to drop at any time. Don't penalize the majority who are just there to play Pokemon for an alternate, and not inherently improved, system for the hyper competitive.
     
  5. iNewtonior

    iNewtonior New Member

    Firstly: I agree with Shino Bug Masters point, in that playing in a tournament is fun in and of itself. Secondly, Top Cuts are such a hugely important and fun aspect of Pokemon that they would never get rid of them. Even in Japans screwed up system they have top cuts.
     
  6. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    Like I said already in the opening post, no one is stopping those that still want to continue playing. If they want to continue playing even if they don't have any chance to get prizes from the tournament in my opinion that clearly means that they're playing casually. If they are playing casually why would they need to do that in the tournament structure? Casual playing can well be done outside the tournament structure, tournament premises propably don't just disappear to nothingness. So if you still want to continue playing after you have been knocked out of the tournament there should be others like you. If there isn't doesn't that then mean that people are playing because they want to win?


    If you meant with "Top Cuts being important and fun" that you can go X-0 swiss and then lose the first Top Cut game, then yes, I agree. I remember laughing so much when our Esa Juntunen went and beat Alex Brosseau (him going 8-0 Grinders and 7-0 Swiss) in the first round of Top Cut a couple of years back in the Worlds. That WAS fun, really. Still, I don't think that Swiss is really good format for deciding who should play against who in the Top Cut because your opponents heavily affect in truly tight situations. If your opponents decide to drop (at least that's how I have understood the system) or after having lost their chances for the prizes play without caring then good for you, you are propably going to be eliminated if you don't get enough wins to be safe. Maybe if group plays would decide who gets to Top Cut (well group system would be truly ridiculous) then fine, but Swiss really isn't good one to decide this.

    Oh and about Japan. If we can trust this (and I think that we can) then we can see that in small tournaments Japan has Swiss and Top Cut and in bigger tournaments there isn't a such thing as Top Cut so I guess your argument doesn't have any kind of backing.


    But maybe I wasn't clear enough. Maybe I shouldn't have made this topic under the "World Championships" category. Maybe I shouldn't have named the topic "Worlds tournament system". Maybe I shouldn't have started the topic with speaking about this years Worlds participant numbers. Because clearly the first thing that I want to change in the Pokemon tournament scene is every possible tournament and not the one that decides the world champion with the least amount of pointless games. Hey, sorry about not being that clear about my idea!
     
  7. trog

    trog New Member


    Playing after you are out of the top cut DOES NOT make you a caual player. Many very serious players continue on in tournaments with no chance of a top cup because they enjoy playing, and because it is kind of being a "bad sport" to drop just because you can't win. When was the last time you saw a PRO sports team drop out of a season of play when they couldn't make the playoffs? Are they CASUAL players?
     
  8. King Piplup

    King Piplup Active Member

    You can argue the number of players in Worlds this year if you really want. It was fairly high (though in Seniors it's not bigger then is used to be before the invite system was restructured a long while ago, and Masters wasn't horrifically bigger), and while you can debate the merits of such a large player group, I take issue with your suggestions.

    And who are you to say the "quality of games is lower"? While the tournament may take longer, that's really a good thing.

    Top 16 and the number of 5-2 whiffs that typically occur at the Master's level is absurd. With 8 rounds and a T32, all 6-2's made cut, which is truly a good thing because less emphasis is placed on tiebreakers.

    Kindly, play Worlds at get back to us. (If you have, I apologize for the poor experience you clearly had.) Worlds is an atmosphere unlike any other tournament, and really there are perfectly good players that will give you a decent and enjoyable match regardless of where you are in the tournament. Worlds is a whole different ballgame; the 8 rounds are completely worthwhile to play regardless of how you do.
    Shouldn't this be the ideal goal for a tournament system?
    At Worlds, as I've stated, it's still quite enjoyable to play out. If you want to drop, the option is always there. It really won't effect your opponent's tiebreakers for the different if you drop 0-3 or go 2-6. It doesn't matter.
    Tournaments are already playing games during this time period, so there's no "saved time". The one or two games that *might* go over the time limit aren't going to delay you for an hour or anything; the 5-8 minutes +3 takes isn't much above semantics in the grand scheme of a tournament.

    In fact, how realistic is doing a double elimination for ~130 in a decent time period?
    Yep, you nailed it with "too cruel".
    "exciting" all right. Let's just throw even more luck into things, yep.

    I've debated the "meaningless" point plenty, I think.
     
  9. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    It's a good thing that you decided to compare actual professional sports to Pokemon TCG. They really are similar to each other. In both the players are paid for playing the game, in both the players represent their sponsors that either pay directly to them or to their team and in both every competing team is propably member of a federation that manages the league and requires every team to play every game in their full strength. Truly these are identical things to be compared.

    In all seriousness about the casualness, yes, I think that if you are playing the game just because you find it fun and don't really care that much about winning then I think you are casual player. Is it bad being casual? No. If you just want to have fun then play for fun. And why would it be "bad sport" to drop out? If you are "hardcore" player then you don't have any reason to play in a tournament that you don't have any chances to get prizes. If you don't have any reason to play in the tournament anymore, why would you be showing bad manners by quitting?


    I think that when the participantnumbers rise about 63% that is little too much.

    The amount of good/great players has to rise exponentially when we get more and more players. If this doesn't happen the mean of the "quality of games" will go lower and lower. Because I don't believe this happens I said what I said and still stand behind it.

    I partially agree with this. If there aren't any tiebreakers then fine, but how often this happens? Once in a every hundred tournament or less? Pretty much this is the reason why I don't like Swiss that much.

    Haven't played at the Worlds (and propably never will) but have talked to someone with similar kind winning mentality to mine who has both played at the Worlds and just spectated. According to him the atmosphere feels amazing if you are just spectating but is completely different when you are playing. And I don't doubt that. In the end you are playing of winning the world championship. If you don't want to win, why are you even there then (except if your trip was paid, then I understand).


    Yes if it was the truth and not just part of what I was saying.

    I admit, it doesn't matter really that much in that case. In both situations you are screwing your opponents' resistances really hard.

    I don't understand what you are trying to say with this. Next round games obviously can't begin before every game from the last round are over so...?

    I checked the 128 player bracket and it looked more awful than I remembered. So yeah the tournament might not be at all shorter than 7 round Swiss + Top32. I honestly thought that it would be a couple of rounds shorter but I guess I was really wrong about that. If thinking just timewise then D-E isn't propably the best option.

    Yeah but on the other hand the stake is being the world champion. I have heard saying that when the bets go higher the game becomes crueler.

    You almost got my sarcastic comment but I guess it wasn't translated through completely.

    I guess but it really doesn't change anything. If the game doesn't have a meaning it stays meaningless. Nothing can be done about that.


    In my opinion King Piplup was the first one that truly used their brains and gave good arguments against using D-E and I agree with some of those. It seems that D-E might take even longer so timewise it might not be the best option. Still I stand behind what I have said about the meaningless games, in Swiss format there is too many of them. If this would be any random tournament I would understand the whining about not being casual but these are the World Championships. I personally don't understand why you would be playing in it if you didn't want to win it. If it's just enjoying the atmosphere then you don't have to be playing (and how could you even enjoy the bloodthirsty winning atmosphere), you can just be spectating the tournament. Because this is a special tournament in which people should really be competing of winning it, it should use some format that wouldn't place so much weight on how other players play, rather your own play should be only thing able to decide how you perform in the tournament. At the same time those meaningless games which won't affect on anything could be cut off.
     
  10. iNewtonior

    iNewtonior New Member

    Here is your problem, you can't seem to understand t he concept of a high level player wanting to continue to play after their chances at the tournament are ruined. Take Samuel Ligget for example. He went 2-6 at this years World Championships, meaning at best every game after his 5th round were "pointless" as you say. At worst it would be every game after his 3rd round. Now despite that he decided to play out the remaining 3-5 rounds DESPITE not being able to top cut, as well as continuing to lose rounds. Now according to you this makes him casual, but in fact Sam is VERY competitive, having earned a Worlds Invitation by taking Top 4 at US Nationals. He also has performed well at many State and Regional Championships. Pokemon is not a game for the prizes. If you want to play a card game with good prizes, I suggest Magic The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh, games were Professionals can actually make a living playing the game at a competitve level. Pokemon is played so widely because people love to play the game, and interact with other players. Personally I would LOVE to have a chance to play against world class opponents at that level, with no promise of reward whatsoever. I understand the motives of those who drop, sometimes they have had a bad day, or they have somewhere else to be, they might even just want to play in side events, but the point is that it is their choice. Being forced out of the tournament at 2 losses would just be rude. Not to mention that the 31st and 32nd seed at this years worlds were both 5-3 records, one of which ended up making it all the way to top 8. That amazing accomplishment would not be possible with your system. I think that the system as it is now works just fine, and being able to play more games is a privilege given to those best players.
     
  11. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    So you can't be at the same time a high level player and a casual player? Umm, why exactly?

    So first you say that someone is a competitive aka a hardcore player and immediately after that you say that in Pokemon there aren't any good prizes so obviously no one then can be a hardcore player, because why would anyone play this game seriously if they can't get anything out of it. So which one is it? You didn't notice this pretty big contradiction? Really? You are a casual player until you start to play only for the win. The level of seriousness that you play with doesn't matter one bit if you aren't trying to win. Though I think that you can't be serious if you wouldn't try to win.

    And about that people play Pokemon because they love the game... Well that's not true at all, at least here in Finland. For the last couple of years when the game has gone worse and worse people have just used the tournaments as an excuse to meet friends. We're starting to get over it now because we don't need tournaments anymore to meet each other.

    No it wouldn't be really. In this case the tournament format would favor and reward those that can keep on winning, not those that can lose.

    Yeah and how many with 5-3 record was left outside the top cut? Wait what was that? Did you say 43? 43 players were left outside the top cut because most of the players that they played against happened to play very badly. And you think that other players deciding who can advance was a good thing because...? I could understand you liking it if it had been Top-64 because over half of the 5-3s would have gotten to the top cut but in this case this is just a bad example of the system working at its worst.
     
  12. ShuckleLVX

    ShuckleLVX Active Member

    And that's where you lost all credibility.

    The Worlds main event, win or loose, is a wonderful chance to play against the STRONGEST international players in the WORLD. The 0-8 (Was there one? I'm not certain, but lets say there was for the sake of the point) is a better player than 99% of the players in the world. You're not going to get the opportunity to play against players who cause players in the 99th percentile to go 0-8 anywhere else.

    That being say, I will shoot at the naysayers the following - Yes, 5-2's made the cut this year. But Double Elimination doesn't include a Top Cut, as you play Double Elim until you have a winner.
     
  13. Mystery Thing

    Mystery Thing Administrator

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand why people drop from Worlds. I would love to get to play a constant stream of players from all over the world, no matter what my record is. I would LOVE to be able to go 0-8 at Worlds and play 8 people from the corners of the earth.

    Also, yeah, double elim doesn't have a cut. Or the entire thing is a cut, I guess it depends how you look at it. Keep in mind that double elimination is basically just two single elimination brackets stacked on top of each other, with one feeding the players into the other. Also, with double elimination, if the loser-side player wins the "final," you now have to play a SECOND final. Does anybody really want to watch a best 4 of 6 match? (Maybe they do, I guess we'll find out somewhat at Ness' tournament in a few weeks.)
     
  14. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    Why? He/she suggested that the tournament would use double elimination until there is n amount of players left and then it would just turn into a single elimination bracket (that's at least how I understood it). I don't think that he/she understood that the double elimination bracket was in itself already the whole tournament and just thought that the double elimination would replace swiss. In this case it's just a case of misunderstanding. In the case of if he/she knew what the double elimination format was and still suggested of it just replacing only the swiss part of the tournament, I really think that would be kinda stupid and would take away the double elimination format's point.

    About the quadruple elimination, even if I would like to see 1024 player quadruple bracket, I don't think that there is any tournament in the whole world (or maybe there is and I don't just know) in which this kind of format would be wise/good just because it's just too confusing. Of course if you put time on understanding the bracket (I haven't ever seen that kind of bracket) then you might like it (or be very scared) but even if I would understand how the bracket works exactly would I recommend it to be used in a "kinda casual" (though I think that the Worlds isn't a casual tournament) tournament? No, never. Even if the players had the idea how the bracket works I don't think that this kind of format should be ever used. It's just a ludicrous idea in my opinion.


    I understand that it's a really great opportunity to play against other really strong players but I still ask, to what for do you need the tournament system to play against other players if you have already lost your chances in the tournament? I have understood that there's a playing area outside of the tournament playing hall so why not play there? Of course if there isn't a such thing then of course this doesn't have any kind of backing at this point of time, but this kind of relaxed playing area could be set up for players that have been knocked out of the tournament but want to still play casually against others. Tournament structure isn't needed for this kind of playing.
     
  15. trog

    trog New Member

    I'm sorry if you did not like my comparison to Pro sports, maybe not the best one for the reasons you pointed out. However, I personally know several "Hardcore" players who did not do well in the tournament that played all of the rounds with no chance of top cutting. Neither point is right or wrong. Just wanted to point out that many so called "Hardcore" players do like to play out all of the rounds regardless of top cutting. Not everyone has the same determination for what makes a good or bad tournament. :biggrin:
     
  16. losjackal

    losjackal Technical Administrator

    Over 128 players is a good thing, because it made for 8 rounds with a Top 32 cut. Otherwise it would be 7 rounds Top 16. The time and effort playing the additional round is marginal, but the benefit of Top 32 is huge.

    In terms of size, there is no practical difference between 129 players and 255 players. The tournament runs the same. It just alters the math required to be in the Top 32.

    I suppose I disagree with your sentiments here, as I suspect many others would too. Try looking it at the eyes from the managers at TPCi offering this tournament. Their fundamental promise is that if you come (Worlds or not), you get to play a certain number of rounds. So my fundamental argument against Double Elimination is that someone's entire competitive day could be done after 2 hours. You point out there are ways to plays game on the side, but it's very hard to find worthy opponents. Also, there isn't much to spectate, since players aren't allowed in the tournament area. That's why Swiss is such a fundamental aspect to the day. I don't think you'll persuade many people to be okay with changing that.

    On the other hand, it seems part of your beef with Swiss is resistance being used as the tiebreaker mechanism. I agree, and I've suggested a more fair algorithm based on when your wins and losses occur, rather than what kind of day your randomly paired opponents had. Who knows if a change like that could be adopted, but in short I see Swiss is a good thing.
     
  17. AlphaZealot

    AlphaZealot New Member

    eSports tournaments are bound by the number of setups available to play matches. MLG uses a 32 setup system, EVO uses a 16 setup system - they can never support Swiss unless they reduce the number of players allowed to enter (= X2 # of setups) or increase, at a huge cost, the number of setups (usually being console + TV + game, and in the case of running CoD or Halo, X8 PER SETUP).

    Double elimination also has other draw backs - for a casual audience it can be hard to explain or follow. For a broadcast, it is difficult to manage since the winners brackets and losers brackets are taking place at the same time and hugely important matches in the losers bracket are missed (matches are always missed, but I digress). Solving the broadcast system of double elimination eventually lead to an extremely convoluted tournament system from MLG, for example, where players in the open bracket could lose twice and be eliminated, but pre-seeded players played in an awkward pool system that then seeded a losers bracket based on performance (among other details that I won't go into).

    Additionally, as mentioned, with Swiss you are guaranteed a fair amount of matches based on attendance. With double elimination, you are only guaranteed (obviously) two.

    Finally, within the realm of Pokémon, TCG players have become accustomed to a level of performance where two losses doesn't mean elimination, in fact, three losses usually doesn't mean elimination (you still have a chance). Changing from this mentality to double elimination (where a second loss means you are 100% eliminated) would be extremely difficult on the player base. This is obviously dependent on attendance and I am referring more to a Nationals sized event.



    There are drawbacks to any tournament system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  18. ShuckleLVX

    ShuckleLVX Active Member

    What you said matters less than how you said it.
     
  19. LefaLefa

    LefaLefa New Member

    I agree with that the difference between Top 16 and Top 32 is huge. But a couple of years back Top 32 was played with only 7 round swiss which would mean that there were only 128 players at maximum. If it was possible then, why isn't it possible now?

    I guess I understand this viewpoint. I am at crossroad do I think that's a good thing or not. In a way it's nice to have that promise to be able to play X number of rounds though I still think that because the event being the Worlds it should be different from normal tournaments with stakes being higher than usually.

    Disagree with that because I think that none of the players that are knocked out should think that they are better than others who have been knocked out if they still want to continue playing casually. If you still want to play but think that most of the players available are too poor to play against you then someone might have some issues with their attitude in my opinion.

    Well yeah, though this also speaks for the fact that the tournament isn't just a playful playground but an intense battlefield so then why the need of relaxed casual games then.

    Never have liked Swiss with the resistances, never will. So change in there would already be something though I still would like to see the Worlds to differ from other tournaments in some "more radical" way which would support more competitive play.


    If we got 2 players through with 5-3 when there was a little over 200 players, how big tournament would you need that there would be significant amount of players with 3 losses? I guess at least 257 and Top 64. And how many tournaments are there in one season that have those amounts of players? US Nats and...? I'm really asking because I don't think there are any others. Well Canada's and UK's Nats maybe? Don't know. Still the comment that you could be alright with 3 losses is kind of absurd. Here in Finland we have gotten used to the fact that when you lose the second time you can start packing your backpack unless you're extremely lucky. Maybe it's just a culture difference.


    I guess not being a native English speaker doesn't mean a thing and you should be able to use English as well as you can use your native language. I mean, of course you know every possible word there is and understand what's the difference in tone when using synonyms. There's no way that I would write only after I actually thought what I wanted to say and didn't just come up with any other words.

    Yeah, so what in particular was so bad in that, really? I don't think that "plain stupid" is really a rude saying. Well except if I hadn't given any reason why I thought that way, then I would agree it being kinda rude, though that's still just the usual day in internet. My friend said that I should have instead said "brain dead idea" but I think that would have been really rude. Maybe "absurd" would have been good word? Though I remembered that that word existed only when I was writing this particular post.

    In any case I still presented enough backing as to why I thought the idea was stupid (if I had used only this would it then have been okay?) in my opinion. If there was something wrong with my chain of reasoning then anyone could say that "this is wrong" or that "by doing X then Y can't happen". Even if I would like to be a perfect human who never makes errors in what he does, I sadly am not that kind of person. I happen to be just a normal human prone to mistakes time to time.
     
  20. SMP88

    SMP88 Active Member

    There were a handful of regionals that were over 256 players. They were artificially cut to T32 since that's as high as they're allowed to cut to. I think a couple states hit around 200 also. I'd need losjackal's event tracker to completely figure that out though.
     

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