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Community Single Elimination Tours Need To Die

Discussion in 'Tournaments' started by Ortheore, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Ortheore

    Ortheore Senior Moderator

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    Tournaments that are based purely on single elimination are possibly the worst tournament format we can possibly run for a variety of reasons, and so we (not just PP, the pokemon community in general) ought to stop running tours in this format altogether.

    From an elite player's perspective, their deep run into a tournament bracket runs a greatly increased risk of being truncated due to random bullshit- hax is obvious, but also external factors (e.g. maybe they were feeling slightly ill, or there was some stress that affected their play) and bracket imbalance (e.g. two high level players meet early on). It creates scenarios where top players can easily miss out on opportunities due to reasons other than ability at the game.

    For a lower level player, unless they pull off a fluke run they're likely to get bounced in the first round and that's got to be the most unsatisfying and discouraging thing; "Nice try scrub, come back in a month". You almost ask "why bother?". Furthermore, in many tiers there is no substitute for competitive tournament play. For many of our formats there are no active ladders, while even when a ladder is available, the meta there can be very different to what you actually see in competitive play (RBY 1U/OU lol). This means that not only is it discouraging, there's also limited benefit from it as you get only a tiny opportunity to actually learn the game and develop and test your teams.

    From a host's perspective, single elimination is a fucking nightmare. First there's the rigidity of its brackets- you're forced to accept only 2n players, with only a little room for variation if you allow for the possibility of three-player rounds. This means you're often denying entry to active players, which is total bs. The biggest issue is that of deadlines and activity. Elimination formats demand that hosts make hard activity calls or risk mucking up the tournament. This creates a lot of stress and is both easy to get wrong and really shit when it does go wrong. Not helping matters is the fact that a LOT of players will communicate in a manner that hosts can't see- literally anything that isn't a vm or a post in a public thread/chat can't be seen by hosts, which means a lot of active players don't seem that way.

    Spectators are literally the only people who benefit from elimination formats, as there's no denying that they're exciting, but honestly they're by far the least important group to consider, and even then there are formats that offer that excitement while mitigating some of the flaws of elim.

    So what are the benefits of single elim? Well, it's simple and easy to understand. But there are many formats out there that are simple to understand so this isn't even close to being decisive. Another piece of feedback that I recall getting is that deviation from this format results in inactivity. I disagree tbh, as in my time running gsc seasons I've run both generic single elim tours and more experimental ones and I don't really think there's a significant difference in the rate of inactivity. The only exception to this was the time I tried running ultra league in addition to MTs, which was stupid and demanded way too much of players, and so I'd say it's not a reflection on the format.

    So what's the solution? I can't say for certain, but I'll damn well try and come up with ideas. Well, double elimination is an improvement... I guess, but imo it's got all the same problems, only made slightly less terrible. It's also made somewhat more complex (admittedly this could just be due to unfamiliarity), and I personally immensely dislike the fact that you can play a series and not know whether it'll decide the tour. At the moment the idea I currently favour is a pool/group stage followed by a single elim... which may be odd given that I'm currently railing against single elim, but the pool stage is crucial.

    The pool stage means that players are guaranteed more matches. That's the core premise. This means higher level players are less likely to get knocked out by some stupid fluke, while lower level players get more opportunities to prove themselves and develop their skills. From a hosting perspective, having variable group sizes means you get more flexibility, as you can include everyone that signs up, while if one group is short a player, giving a bye isn't as big of a deal, as players still need to compete against multiple other opponents to advance. Likewise, it's more forgiving of inactivity for a similar reason, allowing hosts time to contact players and accurately sort out who's genuinely inactive. By the time the tour progresses to single elimination, you should only have active players left, and those who are left are worthy opponents who are a challenge for anyone (in theory), so it's not as bad if you lose at that point.

    But yeah, we need to kill single elim
     
    marcoasd likes this.
  2. Peasounay

    Peasounay qui peut me stopper Moderator

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    brutal post

    no we do not

    first off i don't think single elim tours on pp are an issue rn. In RBY (i'll only talk about that bc it's what i play + it's our most developped scene), the master tours are single elim, tokusane is single elim (but is a special format), the 5 other cups have a different format and world championships are not single elim either, so it's definitely not a majority.

    secondly i think single elim is best for the master tours of the seasons: it offers dynamic seasons in a very simple way (mts are supposed to be a way of winning a season, winning a mt "shouldn't" be the final goal technically, would you rather win a season without winning a single mt or win a mt without winning the season?). It's the only constantly available tour: i believe the fact that it goes fast is great. 3 seasons, 9 mts a year, it's perfect, dynamic, constant, and you don't have to wait too long for the next one. I think it would be a really bad idea to change that.

    I don't think a format > another but to me in depends specifically to each tournaments. Diversity is key: we have a lot of different formats which makes it interesting, if your tours have all the same ones it'd be boring and uninteresting.

    Luck has always been a factor in tournaments, and that doesn't only apply to mons but also to sports, chess, melee, poker, whatever. The pairings, the fact that you have an easier path, the fact that the two favorites face early etc it's just part of the games, it's how tournaments go. In a game like mons we have ingame variance as well which is diminished by playing bo3/bo5 and that's fine. You can't expect to have the most obvious outcome everytime (read: the best player takes it all period), it's the magic of tournaments and why we like them. As for the scenario of two big players facing early on it's usually avoided because mts are seeded, and if it happens well then what? if you want to win you have to be able to beat everybody

    I get your point about newer players not getting enough games but well... good players were beginners at one point too and it didn't stop them to improve... the ladder is quite active tbh

    I think you should've been more specific about what tournaments exactly you want to change: the master tournaments ? as i said previously i don't think it's a very good idea given that you'd kinda break the rythm because it would go way slower and you'd have less tournaments a year. One solution I can think of for this issue is to create some sort of beginners tours that are forbidden to enter for non-beginner players (if you have X points in player rankings you can't enter? idk) at the same time you're running the seasons in which you could do some round robin so that they can get some games done (and add some final boss at the end for the top 3 finish lol?idk. no medals please). Something like that

    As for the host perspective I disagree with a bunch of what you said, I don't see how inactivity relates to the format. I'll speak for my case: I did the best I could in the current season to keep things going fast. One week to play not more, fast subbing in blatant case of a player being dead, and I think I did a pretty good job at maintaining a high percentage of completed games. There are activity cases in literally every master tours so even if you limit the number of entries you end up subbing in a bunch of the people who were denied access anyway. Here's actually a counter argument to pool stage: let's say you have 4 players per group with 2 week deadline. One of these players schedules and all for the first weekend but disappears, then you sub in a player who has one week to play all the 3 series which may sometimes not be possible for him (and i guarantee you it would happen). I think inactivity would be wayyy more brutal in a pool format.

    I like single and double elim because there's a rythm to them: you're getting a new series to play every week (if you win ofc), whereas in a pool if you're very active you can get them done in half a week and then sit here for 10 days waiting for other people to play theirs. For the not so active players they will usually play on the weekends/last weekends so you're getting this huge blank where no games are getting done and it makes it feel like players don't care about the tour/they forget it/they're pains to schedule with because "we have time" etc it's slow and boring. I'm not a huge fan of the world championship format because it easily drags on for long and makes everybody fall asleep, you're getting two weeks to play 2 bo3s it's just too long

    ik my post is messy but it's my opinion on tournaments in general, i'd def be interested in what other players have to say as well
     
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  3. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    Of course single elimination tournaments are far from perfect. But we acknowledge those flaws and created a system where: we do what we can to mitigate many of these flaws. For example, longer sets, placing value on long term tournament performance over single tournament performance, and so on.

    About the only thing I can really agree on is that for a newer player who loses early on most tournaments don't get enough of an opportunity to play, and it can drive inactivity. I don't have a solution for that, but I know that we tried Intermediate / Rookie tournaments before and we don't really have a system for those that actually works: almost everybody wants to play with the best of the best / feel that they can.

    Anyway, we shouldn't be changing master tournaments in my opinion, or world championships. If we want to deal with any of the flaws that there currently are in our system, the solution should be some sort of additional tournaments or events. All tournaments have trade-offs (see this thread: Community - Comparison Of Tournament Formats | Pokémon Perfect and MTs & WCs do a decent job. Peas addressed some of the additional reasons not covered here about why MTs are a good format.
     
  4. Ch01W0n5h1n

    Ch01W0n5h1n Member

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    I was about to write a wall of Text, but lets keep it short because not much needs to be said:
    Single Elimination shouldn´t cease to exist, but for Gens with a smaller count of players (such as GSC), it makes sense to run a Grouphase sort of thing, while Double Elimination would extend the tour to a point where it can be a pain to play out.
    Sure, it wouldn´t solve the issue with Extraordinary Bad Luck, but it would, at the very least, add a Buffer to both consistency and Ressource orientated Tournament play (to be specific, the latter plays a role when a player is in a temporary bad form, or if one simply doesn´t have the stamina at the time).
     
  5. Ortheore

    Ortheore Senior Moderator

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    Tbh I'm a little uncertain what you're getting at with the whole MT vs season thing, like I don't see what that has to do with tour formats. As for the whole "constant activity" thing, there's no reason that can't be done with a group stage. Hell, I'd argue it works better in this regard, since if the elimination stage is comprising a smaller proportion of the tour it reduces time between tours if you get eliminated. As far as running on time goes, I don't see any issue. It's still more than possible to run 3 seasons/9 MTs in a year. That schedule already has a lot of extra time available, such that even if an alternative format were to impinge (I don't think it would tbh) we can easily accomodate that.
    I guess this is a fair argument for single elim in fun tours, but what I'm proposing is not reducing diversity of tour formats. In any case I think the importance of tour format is greatly overstated. At the end of the day solo tours are all about battling and you don't really care about format in that context
    Well I'm not disputing that variance is fine, but no tournament format is ever going to eliminate such factors. Reduce them maybe, but never eliminate them. The issue I have with this is that an early elimination from a tour due to unrelated factors is an incredibly harsh punishment, given that you barely get any chance to play. As far as seeding goes, this isn't perfect, as not every season has data to implement seeding and even then, it doesn't account for if a notable player has only just started playing with us. And also the impact of fluke early eliminations extends beyond just that tour- if you're trying to win the season that can easily put you out of contention. And lastly, Bo3/Bo5 only controls for some factors, and even for the factors that are controlled, I'd argue that they don't do enough. I mean even comparing them to Bo1s is dubious because Bo1s are just sooooo bad and I don't think they belong in this discussion.
    First, for g5 onwards there are no active ladders, and second, I think we both know that playing on the ladder is extremely different to playing in a tour. Just look at the RBY ladder; even at its peak, any given battle is a coinflip as to whether or not your opponent is actually any good.
    Except if breaking a rhythm is an issue you can easily split the group stage into two rounds or something, so it's a new match each week. And there being less tournaments in the year isn't true either, as we have plenty of extra time per season to complete tours in, and my proposed format only adds about a week to the duration of the tour which is easily accomodated
    Uh, you say that inactivity doesn't relate to the format and then later that inactivity would be more brutal in pools? In any case, you've missed the point of what I'm proposing. This isn't some magic bullet to ending inactivity because as you say, there is none. What my proposal does do is mitigate the impact of inactivity when it does occur, as players still get to play and the host a) will have time to make sure they get the right call and b) won't even need to make as many activity calls as inactive players won't be picking up wins and placing themselves in contention for the next round. As for the whole strict deadlines thing, in my experience it not only doesn't do anything, it increases the probability of a fuck-up which leaves everyone bickering with each other, since you're forcing yourself into making activity calls based on limited information and you often don't have the time to ask players about their activity.
    If there's demand for it, hosts can easily replicate this "rhythm". You can vary deadlines for individual matches, and conceal some others until you're halfway through the round or something. These are all just ideas, but the point is it's not a problem that can't be solved.

    DA, you say that we mitigate these flaws but we don't have anything besides season/player rankings. Longer sets is absolute rubbish except in the case of RBY, Bo3 is the bare minimum for a tournament to not be a total joke imo. The trouble is that longer sets are totally unreasonable outside RBY, and they don't even control for all of the factors that might influence a bad performance. Also that thread you linked does nothing to support the idea that single elim is "good", as it doesn't even address many of the flaws of single elim, while arbitrarily overvaluing certain criteria. For instance, the simplicity vs complexity thing is total garbage because it sets maximal simplicity as a goal when a tour format really only needs to achieve a level of simplicity that's "good enough". More than that is nice, but unnecessary and absolutely not worth compromising our tournaments for.

    To put things another way, giving players only one chance to prove themselves and punishing them by denying them the chance to play more games (within a reasonable timeframe) is flagrantly unfair. If you sign up to a tournament and only get to play two or three games, would you realistically be satisfied with that, compared to if you played multiple sets and still lost?

    Sorry, but I can't take the idea of single elim formats being "good" seriously
     
  6. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    Couldn't really be bothered to write out a full response to start with but I 100% believe our current MT situation is optimal.

    Double Elim is a fucking garbage tour format that's basically straight outclassed by World Championship format except for that it's harder to keep it moving (it's literally better in every other way).

    MTs are the compromise between:
    - Tours that move along at a reasonable and reliable pace
    - Accomodation for variation in the game

    If we went to a group stage-based format we make the trade-off of tournaments not moving along at such a reliable pace for accomodating variation better. So to be clear, any change of format from single elimination to something else would be moving that dial further away from moving at a reliable pace in favour of accomodating for variation further. We already accomodate for variation in some ways: 3 MTs per season, first to 3 wins, 3 seasons in player rankings. Plus, one thing you have to consider is that single elimination is quite a quick format: it's hard to make something that is quicker, and if the format takes longer to play then that just increases the time between tournaments for worse players further.

    Basically: single elim doesn't need to die, you just want a format that: moves the dial towards having worse pace and takes longer but in return, variance is better accounted for, that is better suited for worse players / doesn't take too long between tournaments for people to get involved.

    Anyway, I think one solution could be to re-tool the new frontiers style of tournament in some way. But fundamentally, tournaments are these big discrete masses that take at least a few weeks to go through and in the later stages the majority of players in the tournament are out, or are playing but can't actually win by some technicality of the format.

    I didn't link it for the sake of saying single elim is good, just that it was worth noting I'd already done some comparison before this point.

    Is it though?

    If we had a group stage style of master tournament I'd probably do really well looking at past results: I've always done well in group stages (indigo mainly, world championship also went fairly well for me, but those are smaller groups), but I've literally never gotten to a master tournament final in single elim format in like well over 20 tournaments. One of the skills that single elim tournaments test is that consistency, and whilst a single single elim tournament doesn't do enough on its own, when you've played a bunch, you get a better test of that.

    So yeah... I do really well when I have to play a lot of opponents simultaneously, I do much less well on average when I have to play a single opponent every time to get through. I'm good at slightly edging people out overall, but not to the point where I can really make a break often in a single elim format. Is that unfair? Not really, it just shows that you need a higher level of consistency to actually make it at all often in single elim. You need to be on top of your mindset, you need to be good at not tilting, maybe you need to be good at adapting your style for your opponent in a more focussed manner, you need to have a style that matches up well against who you're playing against, not against the overall field.

    So I guess I'm trying to say it's not even that single elimination is better or worse than other formats. It's just different, they're all different, and every possible type of tournament has trade-offs, in things like
    - how well does it measure skill
    - do players have to play the same amount of players to get to the same place
    - how many players who are active typically won't get to play
    - how many activity wins are typically handed out
    - how many redundant series are there (series where the outcome of the series is irrelevant to how both players do in the tournament)
    - how late can someone join the tournament and be in contention
    - how well does it measure certain skills
    e.g:
    > how well does it measure your skill against the whole field
    > how well can you prepare for individual players
    > how well can you handle tilt over a set
    - how many games do players have to play to lose
    - how long do players have to wait to get games
    - how often do players forget about the tournament going on (both those actively engaged in the forum at other times, and those who aren't)
    - how easy is it for the host to manage the tournament
    - how simple is it to understand
    - how easy is it to create a sensible scoring system for the points for the season and rankings

    and I'm sure you can come up with more. Single elim does okay to great in plenty of these and badly in a few. Whatever other formats you propose will have different strengths and weaknesses. So your job should be to figure out:
    - What are the flaws in the current format you specifically want handled?
    - What features of the current system are you adamant about maintaining, and what standards can be lowered in return for dealing with specific flaws?

    And then come up with as many possible formats as possible, evaluate them against those criteria, and then bring that idea to the community, see their reception, and so on.

    I'm not adamantly against changing the current system exactly, I just like the current flaws over a different set of flaws with regards to all of the other formats I'm aware of. So, that's why I think the current situation is "good", because to me the trade-offs are satisfactory.





    Damn how did I write so much... anyway that last bit with the bullet points and onwards seemed really good when I wrote it so hopefully it looks good to you. It takes a hella lot of time and space to write about this, so the more we can streamline and quantify logically what we think, the easier it'll be to understand eachother without boring eachother.
     
  7. GGFan

    GGFan Member

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    I disagree with most of the OP. As others have pointed out, double elim tours suck unless they're an annual thing. That format prolongs tournaments to insane degrees, as it essentially doubles the time it will take to finish them. Take, for example, the current RBY OU season. With one-week deadlines and extensions, these tournaments have all taken at least five weeks to complete. If they were double elim, you'd be looking at tournaments that would take 10 weeks to finish, if not longer when you factor in extensions. No thanks.

    Example: the shitty RBY2K10 anniversary tournament on Isa's dead forum was before most peoples' time (you're lucky). It was a 32-man double elimination tournament that took six months to get to the finals. To add insult to injury, the tournament was actually canceled in the finals. Yes, that's right--six whole months of nothing. However, when organized properly, they CAN be successful. TOS6, a 32-man double elimination tournament on THE Alternative that took place 10 years ago, was completed in about 59 or 60 days. Given how TD's here are adamant about progressing tournaments as smoothly as possible, I'm confident that we'd always see the latter and never the former. Nonetheless, keep them annual, as they still take too long even if they're ran efficiently.

    I don't see what activity has anything to do with the structure of the MTs. I'd say 95-99% of the playerbase has no problems communicating with opponents; it's only the 1-5% of Smogon castaways who think that only logging onto Smogon constitutes appropriate activity. For the rest of us, we're smart enough to figure out how to PM each other. With that said, there WAS a time when activity in the MTs was an issue, as we all remember from MT18, and I'm glad I played a major role in enhancing the credibility of PP as the medium of contact by demanding that players have a presence on the forum as well.

    New players don't get enough opportunities? You don't have any idea what's it's like to have no opportunities. Today we have a simulator with hundreds of RBY OU players, it's incredibly easy to find opponents, there's a competitive ladder, there are copious resources available for helping new players build good teams, there are dozens of YouTube videos, etc. When I started playing, we had none of these things. The new generation of competitive Pokemon should count their blessings everyday that the game has developed so much over the last 15 years. Even random Smogon alts on the ladder have a pretty decent foundation of the game, and it's not as uncommon for randoms to beat experienced players in tournaments anymore. Remember Ice Tea? Yeah, nobody else does, but he knocked out marcoasd in the first round of MT17. Huston recently knocked out Mister Tim in the first round. Isza made it all the way into the fifth game of the finals of MT35. It couldn't be any easier to learn RBY OU. Motivated players who make an effort to learn will find success in tournaments, usually sooner rather than later.

    Yeah, sometimes we don't always play at our best. Sometimes we're sick, or sometimes we're stressed--that's what makes succeeding in seasons all the more gratifying. Doing well in seasons is all about proving that you can be consistent over a three-month period, and play through whatever issues you have. But I would never use my real-life problems as an excuse for losing. In the battlefield, you don't know anything about the opposition, and the opposition knows nothing about you. You've got to put your issues aside when you decide to commit to a season, as being mentally strong is as important--if not moreo--than your skill.

    And yes, sometimes you get haxed out of a tournament. It's happened to me not once, twice, but many times. It's happened to you too. It's happened to all of us. The reality is that RBY is a terrible game half the time; it goes back to my point about mental toughness. You have to accept the fact that you will lose eventually, whether it be because you ran into a worthy adversary or because the wheel of Fortuna didn't spin in your favor. When this does happen, it's on you if you can't pull yourself together and try to salvage your season.

    You have to accept that hax is an integral part of the game as well as the brackets themselves, and that's ok. Sometimes you'll be like Lusch and have to face marcoasd in the first round, and sometimes you'll be like me and get activity wins all the way into the semi finals. Luck of the draw benefits you as much as it hurts you. It evens out over the course of a season; for example, after making activity wins into the semi finals of MT20, I had to play Alexander in the second round of the next tournament. Besides, who actually complains about having lucky brackets? I ALWAYS want easy brackets. I ALWAYS want Peasounay to lose in the first round. I ALWAYS want to get lucky against my opponents. And I NEVER have any qualms with receiving activity wins. I have a very competitive philosophy that isn't politically correct, but one that I strongly believe other players abide to. We all want to get as lucky as possible, and that's ok.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  8. marcoasd

    marcoasd Mod Emeritus

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    Bringing up swiss rounds again.
    "Outsiders" still need the same number of wins to get their time in the sunshine, players who get it bad early can redeem.
    Beginners are getting experience.
     
  9. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    Swiss still has problems like you can only join so late before you can enter but can't win, and you can have people dropping out once they don't have the possibility of getting through to the next round, and so on. It's also complex to manage and harder to understand. There can be a lot of redundant series. And creating a sensible scoring system for it with regards to season / rankings. You don't necessarily have the same amount of people through each time depending on how you set it up.

    No reason we couldn't experiment with it though. But it would take some ironing out.
     
  10. Ortheore

    Ortheore Senior Moderator

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    Ok just to be clear, I don't think double elim is a reasonable solution ok? Also as much as swiss is tempting, I have my doubts about it. I have tried it in GSC and it frankly wasn't a success, but it's more than possible I implemented it poorly.

    Also can we please stop pretending my proposal is only about mitigating variance? Heaps of people seem to be making that assumption and it's absolute rubbish. Although I listed it as a flaw, I'll say right now it's the least of my concerns relative to the other flaws I mentioned. Stop fucking picking and choosing which of my points you'll actually fucking address, like the fact that a pool stage is blatantly superior from a hosting standpoint by being far more flexible and tolerating inactivity better.

    DA you completely missed the point I was making with the unfair comment. In addition to the flaws I addressed in the OP, there's the fact that calling two or three matches a "tournament" is total bullshit, yet it's the reality for literally half of all players. Why the fuck would you be satisfied with that? I know I sure as hell wouldn't. I'd much rather play 3 opponents and get my ass handed to me each time then play all of two games and then go back to doing nothing for a month. On that note the ladder rebuttal is stupid because it ignores the fact that most of our tiers don't have active ladders- how on earth are we supposed to develop them if half the people that play only get 2/3 matches in a given month?

    also this
    is simply incorrect. My proposal may take slightly longer, but it doesn't start eliminating players until much later, and so at worst it maintains the same lag between tournaments, but it's also likely to improve it

    "One of the things a single elim format tests is consistency" Bull fucking shit. A season tests consistency. Single elim does not, for reasons literally everyone knows. If there's no bias (there isn't afaik), then even a shitty procedure will eventually begin to reveal the true results with enough repetition. This is why it's easy to point to performance over a number of single elims and say "player X is the one of the best", but making that same conclusion from one single elim tour is fucking stupid. Is it still stupid under my proposal? Yes. Is it less stupid? Also, yes. The point is that causality is being grossly misattributed and that by doing so we ignore the problems that crop up in the details.

    Lastly DA you tell me it's my job to outline flaws with our current format and propose an alternative, justifying why. Is what you're wanting a single post clearly outlining my proposal and why it's superior? Because otherwise I'm doing all of that right now
     
    Lusch likes this.
  11. GGFan

    GGFan Member

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    Wait, did somebody say pools? This is also known as the German format, and was a staple on Pokemonexperte, Pokefans, and Bisaboards for over 10 years. For those not familiar with it, you place players into groups and the one or two players with the highest record advance to the next round. Here's an example of one:

    Tauros-Cup [Runde 1] | Turniere
    Tauros-Cup [Runde 2] | Turniere

    I didn't think a thread like this would actually trigger nostalgia. It brings me back.

    It's a pretty legit format, too.
     
  12. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    You need to chill out a bit dude, it's hard to have a reasonable discussion when people get too heated.

    Anyway...The way I meant about single elim testing consistency is that if you're not a consistent player you will almost never make it that far. If you're not as consistent of a player but you have a slight edge over most players (like I do) then you perform really well in group stages but really poorly when you have to face a string of opponents face to face. Kind of a finer point and a harder one to describe but I think this short paragraph does that.

    So okay the flaw you're stating you're bothered with is:
    ~ most players who play don't get to play many games before they're out of the tournament

    It's kind of simple to just say that actually... if you hadn't written like 20 lines I wouldn't have written 20 lines and peas wouldn't have written 20 lines. I kind of just said what I wanted to say about tour formats without really directly addressing you because I wanted to elucidate my reasoning for the current format and to illustrate that changing tournament formats always involves trade-offs.

    So, it sounds to me if we want to deal with the flaw of:
    ~ most players who play don't get to play many games before they're out of the tournament
    is to introduce a group stage for the first round early, which specifically deals with that problem. Then let's look at the additional pros and cons of this as well as what would have to be addressed to implement it.

    + You can still pre-determine later rounds
    + Players play more games before they're out of the tournament


    - Takes longer to complete the first round
    - Players in the tournament who play all their matches in a small window (particularly if they do so at the start of the round) will have a longer waiting period before they get new matches
    - Some chance that some matches are redundant
    - More complicated than single elim, but still fairly simple.
    - Tournament takes a week or two longer


    ~ Do you use the amount of series won or the amount of games won from the games in the group stage to determine who makes it through to later stages
    ~ What do you do about ties, where players have the same number of series and/or battle wins? Surely that means that the whole group needs to replay all their matches in that scenario. That would introduce the flaw of making the round take even longer
    ~ We would need to decide upon how to handle points in the format
    ~ What size groups? Would it be the same each tournament?
    ~ Format better suits people who have a small advantage over the field as a whole, moreso than players who have a large advantage over most players but a much smaller difference versus a handful
    ~ You can guarantee that more active players get to play, but that can backfire, as it will mean a smaller pool of substitutes available, and so unexpectedly large numbers of players who were presumed active but weren't can cause trouble with heavy amounts of activity wins in the first round. Single elim / WC-first-round-only generally has a better buffer but is worse at getting all active players a spot. This is always a balancing act and it's unavoidable; group stage r1 does offer more flexibility / options to get it right though.


    Another possibility is that of having a WC-style first round only

    + We already know how to handle a points system for this format
    + Players play more games before they're out of the tournament


    - Players may still play only two people before being out of the tournament
    - It takes longer for the first round to complete
    - Players in the tournament who play all their matches in a small window (particularly if they do so at the start of the round) will have a longer waiting period before they get new matches
    - The second round and so on can't be determined until most, if not all, of the round 1 matches are decided.
    - Can't seed in the usual way
    - More complicated than single elim and r1 group stage.
    - Tournament takes usually a couple of weeks longer


    You might want to add more to the list of upsides and downsides (as you can see I used + to indicate an upside, - to indicate a downside, ~ to indicate a comment/mixed picture).

    What other options are there? Do you have extra comments on these formats? What do you most favour / want to try out first? Where should we test these new formats first - I'd rather not change all seasons simultaneously to begin with, we could try either inside one or two of the seasons, or we could try in some tournaments outside of the season.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  13. GGFan

    GGFan Member

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    I like seasons the way they are now. Even if you use the German format, you're still going to get players who will play all of their games early, and they'll have to wait even longer before they can play again.
     
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  14. marcoasd

    marcoasd Mod Emeritus

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    There will be no redundant series, and scoring systems aren't hard at all... besides from that, people who don't play for the season are likely to drop out more often than not.
    That's exactly the main weakness.
     
  15. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    There can be redundant for swiss & for group stages.
     
  16. Ortheore

    Ortheore Senior Moderator

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    I mean the main reason I got so heated was because of posts that casually dismiss my perspective while simultaneously reducing my arguments down to one or two points. There's no "one flaw" that bothers me, it's a combination of factors.

    DA I also think your description of consistency is inaccurate. I mean it sounds like what you're describing gets you to the 2nd/3rd round or so most of the time which sounds consistent to me. An inconsistent player would have wildly varying outcomes. And in a group stage with say three opponents, a fluke series against one opponent would be balanced against the series against the other two opponents, whereas single elim is winner takes all.

    The delay of the tour is the biggest flaw to a pool stage. Simplicity I don't think is an issue. As for playing matches in a small window, it's possible to work around this by releasing matchups over time, or designating one match to be played in the first week or something (the exact implementation varies depending on the number of players in a group). Potential for redundancy isn't something I think can be addressed.

    As for the questions:
    • I would use battles won rather than sets, as it simply gives more data which means a smaller chance of a tiebreaker
    • As for ties, seeding I think you can get by with a coinflip as it's less important. When the stakes are advancing to the next round or not, then I think just the tied opponents play against each other. An alternative is to use their head to head set as a tiebreaker, but idk about that.
    • Giving out points based on rank, or battles won seems best. It also slightly minimises the issue of set redundancy, since even games which have no weight on qualification count for something, even if it's fairly small
    • The size of groups imo should vary based on number of entrants. The key thing is that you have enough groups that you get a good number of people in elimination stage (2n or whatever)
    • I honestly don't think what you're describing is much of an issue. By playing more battles, the overall outcome will come closer to average regardless
    • It's improbable that a group sees enough inactivity to cause problems. Subbing is a little awkward in a pool format for reasons Peas mentioned, but this is counterbalanced by the reduced need for it
     
  17. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Global Moderator

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    I mean, consistency is the wrong word, but the point is about having a small advantage vs almost all of the field vs having a large advantage... if you have a small advantage then you can only do consistently well when you get to play a lot of people per round. If you have a large advantage then you can do consistently in head to head matchups too. So basically you need a higher level of skill difference to be consistent in single elimination than a group stage style of thing. A consequence of that is that if you are really really good then a batch of single elimination tournaments will certainly show it, but if you're just like a little better than most (say like 60/40 or 55/45 vs the majority of players) then you get very mixed results in single elimination but all of a sudden you do very well when you have group stages; I guess it makes it harder to distinguish between the good and the great but it makes it easier to distinguish between the good and the average.

    Agreed
    Agreed; noted for completeness.
    Agreed.
    Sounds good.
    Yeah I like the idea of battles won.
    Alright the only problem that there might be with this sort of system is its interaction with the point system (can a smaller tour award the same or more points than a larger one, for example? How do you decide the format based upon the number of entrants - there should be a consistent system for it). Also what group sizes are on the table? 3? 4? 5? 6? Specifying a range would be a very good idea.
    It's less an issue, more of a comment.
    It's less an issue, more of a comment.

    ------

    Another thing to note: another consequence of a group stage and the point system that goes with it is that it does make it easier to get a couple of points per tour.
     

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