So, I went into Regionals hoping to defend my title and gain some rating points to put myself in a position to where I wouldn't have to crush U.S. Nationals to qualify via rating. After a 2-0 start, I unluckily get paired down with one of the best players in the room who happened to be 1-1. On top of this, it isn't an easy matchup and I lost a close game. It's cool, I'll just win out and make cut as this ruins my resistance. I end up winning out in swiss to finish 5-1 and make the T16 cut. At this point I figure it's been a pretty good day and I've gained some points for sure. I win my T16 match and am now feeling pretty good. In T8 I have some unfortuante things happen in Games 2&3 and I lose. Could have done better, but I had some uncontrollable things happen. Still, T8 with a 6-2 overall record is nothing to cry about.
I look at the ratings just minutes ago and see that NorCal Regionals has been put in and I gained only 10 points. I thought ratings were supposed to award consistent play? I'm 27-5 on the season, which has to be one of the highest win % in North America. I'm almost punished because I made T8 at Regionals?
Because my state of California doesn't have very many high ratings at all, I gained feeble amounts of points with each win. And I lost a ton for my two losses. It's not my fault that there aren't high ratings here. I can only control what I do and I like to think I've played pretty well this year and last year.
Once all the Regionals have updated there will be 0 players from California in the T25 going into Spring Battle Roads. I pointed out after States that I was the only one in the T25 after them. This is the largest playing Region in the World. Home of several winners, great players, judges and just a lot of great people. But just look at how hard it is to get an invite here.
This isn't just something like a different person wins every event here, either. Some people seem to think that, but it's not true. I won 4 of the 6 events I attended in California last year and got 2nd and went 3-0 drop in the other two. This year I got 2nd at the one City Championship I went to and dominated States going 10-0. This seems to show that one has to be absolutely perfect to gain an invite from here.
Why is this?
Other areas simply have more events in a closer proximity. This allows people to go to several events and build up their ratings across the board. If you take a look at the ratings right now, you'll see that there seems to be the most players from the NorthEast, MidWest and Pacific NorthWest in the T50 or so. These happen to be areas with many events in a concentrated area, as I pointed out. Places such as Washington recieve several Battle Roads and City Championships in a very small radius compared to other areas and are able to build up their ratings. This isn't a new thing. It's been going on for two years.
It's great that there are many events ran in these places on different dates. But to say it doesn't give these places a distinct advantage is simply false and there is plenty of evidence by looking at the ratings to suggest this. Going to more events DOES give you a higher rating if you are doing well.
So in the end, it looks as if I and California are in the same boat we were last year: I'm about in the T30 and will have to at least top cut Nationals to qualify and the rest of my state is going to have to at least T16 with a great record. All this for just an invite to Worlds. And here I thought Worlds was supposed to be a collection of the greatest players from each Region. I do my part in California.
Thanks for reading!