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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Custom friendly tournaments planning ! How, when, who ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Custom friendly tournaments planning ! How, when, who ?

    EDITED TL;DR : I'd like to start a "fan" tournament outside of the existing structure. First edition (mainly just a test run) is likely to be a "double elimination" format with 16 players. Speak up to participate !
    Current participants are:
    franknarf, Bloodaddict, netnazgul, Bertez, Kletian999, Evil Laughter, Butters. 9 spots open !

    Now for the wall of text...

    Why ?
    We do have of course the main tournament, which is all well and dandy. But I know some of us feel that the format is less than optimal for multiple reasons. Mine are the following :
    - Elo system : a tournament based on Elo can bring less than intuitive results like this week, where Global Anarchy is winning while Another Persona has more wins. There's a significant element of chance (and to some extent manipulation) in who you will be matched against, which has a large impact on deciding the final ranking.
    - Time constraints : it's not practical for some to do 5 games a day on the given schedule, or at the times other players are online (the new matches unlock when it's 4AM for me ; this week I can't do my last 4 matches because I can't find an opponent ; it doesn't matter anyway because all the high Elo players have done their 25 already, so I will get only low rank opponents, meaning small gains per match, meaning no chance at winning).
    I'm sure some have different gripes with the system, but this is not meant to be a complaint thread (I do think the tourney system is decent enough).

    Regardless of these flaws and whether or not we can agree on them, I think an alternative tournament, organized outside of that format would be interesting. There's doing away with the Elo-related problems ; there's the opportunity to stream/spectate the high ranking matches (finals, semi-finals if there are any, etc) ; we could do some other things differently, if participants wish so.

    However, many questions arise, the main being :

    What tournament format ?
    There are many possible formats for tournaments (elimination, double elimination, round-robin, hybrids, etc). This is of course very dependent on the number of players - a round robin with 100 players would take ages. I confess I am completely unfamiliar with the topic, so let me ask :
    - what are the most common online sports tournament formats out there ? (preferably in at least vaguely similar games and player numbers)
    - what do you think is best ?
    I tend to think a relatively standard multi pool first stage and a single elimination final stage (starting maybe from quarter finals) would be simple enough to hold. We could do a direct simple elimination tournament if participants number is low enough.

    How do matches actually take place ?
    I imagine we can have a tournament ledger posted here on the forums (that's easy enough to make, with specialized services online and all), which the players use to contact and arrange a time for a match with their opponent by themselves. The format they choose (friend match, synchronized queuing) is of their choosing and irrelevant to the tourney. The results are then posted to the tournament thread and updated.
    Since this is solely for glory I expect honorable behavior, I don't think there would be a need for contingencies regarding dishonesty, etc.
    One of the hanging points is the time frame. Some opponents in very different time zones might have difficulties finding a time for a match. Against that we could maybe do a pool by availability time frame (which should be more or less equivalent to regions ; 1 for US, 1 for EU, 1 for Asia for example, reflecting player distribution of course). Since the finals should not be very numerous, waiting a few days for both players to agree on a time should not be that much of a problem.

    When / how long ?
    Again, completely dependent on player number. I imagine a mid-size tournament with pools and finals would take about a month to complete.
    If the idea catches on, I'd like to start the first one in the weeks to come.

    What rewards ?
    Glory !
    None in-game, unless Stoic decides to chime in, but that's not the point anyway is it ?

    Who ?
    I don't see any reason to limit entry. The question is do we set up a player count limit in advance and fill the spots (if so, first come first serve, reserved spots, invitational..?) or do we just adapt to format to the number of players willing to participate ?

    On a more immediate level, who would be up for such a tourney ? Show of hands, everyone !
    Let me know what you think
    Last edited by Butters; 04-15-2013 at 08:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Answering one of my own questions with an example of tournament format, from IGN's LoL "IPL5" tournament :
    (disclaimer : just Googled that, I have no knowledge of LoL or this particular tournament whatsoever)

    With 16 participants here, that's between 4 and 11 matches for all players depending on performance (3 pool +1~8 elimination matches), not accounting for the "best of 3" mechanic in the eliminations. It seems a bit tedious for players to spend about an hour for each matching . Then again Google tells me LoL matches also last about 30 minutes, so that doesn't seem unreasonable in TBS:F in comparison. The choice could be left to the discretion of the players themselves, or be sudden death and switch to best of 3 for the highest level matches (Final, Grand Final, Championship Match).
    Last edited by Butters; 04-15-2013 at 09:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    - what do you think is best ?
    I tend to think a relatively standard multi pool first stage and a single elimination final stage (starting maybe from quarter finals) would be simple enough to hold. We could do a direct simple elimination tournament if participants number is low enough.
    See, I don't even know what that means! I think it would be best to try out several tournament formats quietly in small groups. Propose and explain an idea for one to the smallest group of your Steam friends that will make it feasible. After you're done (or while doing it), report how it goes.

    Why limit entry? To keep it simple to manage and track; and perhaps, to get more experiments running (since not everyone will fit into the first one). The results won't be taken seriously, but so what? That can come later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    On a more immediate level, who would be up for such a tourney ? Show of hands, everyone !
    Let me know what you think
    Sure, I'm in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franknarf View Post
    See, I don't even know what that means!
    My poor explaining of it is probably a factor...
    What I'm referring to is the same as the diagram two posts above, minus the purple part. See draft rules below for a clearer explanation.
    I'd love to try something out with my Steam friends ; the issue is that I have close to none... Also, I'd rather have it done through the forums as this is how I see larger scale tournaments happening in the future.

    So how about we try a tournament as described above/below, with 4 groups ? That's minimum 16 players for 4-player groups, and up to 20 players in 5-people groups.


    Here is a first draft of what the rules could be :

    1.Inscriptions
    Through the dedicated forum post. max 20 players, first come first served. Tournament may start with fewer players if not enough show up.

    2. tournament format
    A. groups (pools) stage : you get randomly assigned to a group of 4 or more players, you play each other once. The two player with the most wins advance to the next stage (If there is a tie for 2d place, an extra match is played between the tied players), the others have lost.
    B. final stage : the first of group A gets matched against the second of group B, etc. With 4 groups, these are the quarter finals. Winners go to semi-finals, winners go the final match deciding the victor (there's also a loser's final to determine who comes in 3rd).

    3. Matchmaking
    When matches are announced in the tournament thread, it is up to the players to take contact with their opponent and arrange for a match. The details of the how the match is undertaken is at their discretion (as long as there is prior agreement between the players, anything goes - best of 3, sudden death, ranked or friendly, etc). If an opponent is a no-show no-call for 1 full week, they will be considered forfeited. Results are to be reported ASAP in the tournament thread (match reports are encouraged).
    Note : group matches will be announced simultaneously, which means you start with 3 or 4 opponents you have to face. This should speed things up a bit compared to doing the matches sequentially.

    4. There is no 4.
    Last edited by Butters; 04-15-2013 at 01:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    How exactly do you plan to spread 20 players between four 4-player groups?

    Apart from that, groups + double elimination is the most common system to be used among the different games. To make tournament even shorter just double elimination or even single elimination can be used.

    With 20 participants, that's between 4 and 11 matches for all players depending on performance (3 pool +1~8 elimination matches)
    The maximum here is 10 matches (3 in group and then 7 in loosers bracket).

    Double elimination is more interesting in account of not implementing best-of-3, as you can win even if you lost once. But for the first tournament we can try the simpliest system described in your latest post and then think how (and if) to improve that. Although I suggest to shorten the no-show no-call period to 2 days, 1 weeks seems too much. The whole 10-20 players tournament can be held in several days then.

    upd: yeah, I've completely forgotten about different timezones that way it will be better to hold tournaments on the weekend so that there will be much more time to play each other
    Last edited by netnazgul; 04-15-2013 at 03:53 AM.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    On a more immediate level, who would be up for such a tourney ? Show of hands, everyone !
    Let me know what you think
    *hand raised*

  7. #7
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I mentioned 4- or 5- player groups

    Also, I do count 11 maximum matches assuming you start in the losers bracket and go all the way to the win. But that's not very important.

    I actually like the idea of double elimination better. From an organizational point of view it's not that much more difficult to pull either.

    I agree 1 week for no show is too long. I meant it more as "incapable of finding the time to do a match", in which case 2 days seems a bit harsh (I know there are plenty of occasions when I couldn't synchronize with someone in a different timezone in under 2 days).
    EDIT : just saw the update
    On a foot note, I'm one of those weird people who actually almost never play on week-ends, which is one of the reasons I'm struggling to keep up with the regular tournament.


    back to the format, the options are (for relatively small numbers)
    - Direct elimination
    - Double elimination
    - Groups + single elimination
    - Groups + double elimination
    Those that have an opinion on the matter, please come forward ! (Others, "I'm in !" will be plenty )

  8. #8
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    I suggest starting with plain double elimination format for 8/16 players and then see where it leads to Main problem I can see is to fit random player count into tournament formats (as if there are 17 players for example). This way groups come in handy as they can be any size (the closest example I can see is European Football qualifications, where teams are split into 6- or 7-team groups).

    Also, I forgot - count me in
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  9. #9
    Junior Member Bertez's Avatar
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    I'm by no means pro but I would be happy to participate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kletian999's Avatar
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    I would love to join this. I think the matches should be grouped by time regions to start (so we can have 'Local titles') before starting the intercontinental matches. As mentioned before, I'm US based.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the feedback.
    Local titles are a great idea Kletian, and I do hope we get to that in the near future, but I was hoping to once test out the system on the global scale. It should make problems more apparent. We'll then see if it can work, or if it needs some looking into (or if we should just stick to local leagues, although that'f be disheartening). The "usual suspects" (and soon-to-bes) are scattered around the globe, and getting them together is kind of the point I think.
    Last edited by Butters; 04-15-2013 at 08:05 AM.

  12. #12
    I'd be interested in joining.

    Maybe instead of random you base the initial seeding on ELO, this is how some sports do it. The idea is you want to the top people in the final, but this can lead to minnow bashing in the group stages. Something to consider though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    So assuming we do a 16-player straight to double elimination, here's what the bracket looks like :

    As the name indicates, you're out if you suffer two losses. One loss is always recoverable (unless in championship match!). Minimum played matches is 2, and the winner plays between 5 and 8 matches (depending on performance). That's "only" 30 matches total.

  14. #14
    And the initial ranking is done based on ELO?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    There's no initial ranking to speak of. I was thinking a good old pure random seeding. This is double elimination anyway, if two very strong players end up against each other on the first match, they can still both make it to the finals.
    For later tournaments with grouping, an Elo-based seeding will be preferable in order to avoid having like the 4 strongest players in the same group.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Bertez's Avatar
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    I would say do it based on time zone or available times

  17. #17
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Good point, that would facilitate things on the first couple of matches. Let's gather the participants and their regions, then we'll see about a grouping that makes sense.
    I'm just afraid that this could feel unfair ("I'm in Europe so I have a x% chance to get destroyed first round by Tirean !", that kind of thing) or biased to some. We'd probably need a neutral hand to do the randomizing btw.

  18. #18
    This sounds fun. Would you do different types of team lvl tourneys? 6,12,18... maybe even 0 just for kicks.

    Also, as a prize, maybe you could find someone willing to do a custom avatar for the winner or maybe create a seperate site for the tourneys (and maybe leagues and ladders at some point). Just my two cents.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    I was thinking about 12, but if there is enough demand we could run another at 6 ? I feel most of the forum-goers are of the dedicated crowd who mostly play 12. Let's see if we can find an audience.
    Good idea on the reward ! We should try that if/when this thing takes off and we have a stable format.
    I don't really like the idea of a separate website for this. The forum is already pretty quiet as it is, I wouldn't want to fragment the community. A dedicated section on this forum, at most, would be plenty.

  20. #20
    I actually just made another post proposing a separate website that would include the tournaments. One thing we could do is keep forums out of it and make it a portal to these forums. Integrate them so to speak.

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