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Sysyphus - Pommard
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Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 01:39
I feel like it's time to give a second life to the Leagues.
Here are some proposals.

What is good :
*)Offers regular competitive games.
*) Challenges to go a division up.

What is an issue:
*) Players are going off a season too often. And are less motivated to come back.
*) Players are sometimes promoted by default. Lack of visibility from a season to another.
*) Do not attract many new players.
*) Lost the prestige from the first 5 seasons.


Proposals :
*) 3/4 Leagues going on at the same time: USA + EURO + AAT/Mix Swiss-Asia (both or only one of them)
*) 1 League season per tournament year.
Each league could go from October to June.
*) Bigger groups in USA and Euro. Why not groups of 16 ?
*) Allow players to play closed if they wish. Maybe that's the reason why some players would not join. League games do not draw many crowds anyway,

We want to include leagues in the new ranking system we are developing with Cromze. If we happen to have 8 league seasons, it may not help :
1) to attract new players
2) find the visibilty needed in a tournament year
3) give much value to the leagues.

Please share your opinions on that matter. Maybe explain also why you are not interested in playing League and what could motivate you to come back.

[Updated on: Tue, 06 August 2013 01:39]

      
DrakeStorm
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 02:06
One problem with leagues is there is no real structure, by that I mean, you don't play once a week.

I've been in every league since the beginning. There are 2 types of players - ones who try to set up matches and get their games done, and others who wait till the last minute to play. Most fall into the 2nd category. There is no way you can have multiple leagues going at the same time if you expect people to play in all of them.

Usually I send out PMs early and try to get my matches scheduled - which usually results in about 50% of my matches getting played, the other 50% I don't hear anything back and thus get played in the final 2 weeks. This current season I sent out no PMs to see what happens. I got about 3 PMs to set up playing times, that means my other 8 matches will be jammed into the last couple weeks. Can't imagine being in 3 leagues with this problem.

One reason might be Europenas are on Holiday this time of year, but like I said, I have been in every league, and I have not noticed any different behavior based on time of year.

If its time for a change, perhaps a pure "Ladder" model would work better than our leagues which are kinda like a ladder. Or maybe get rid of league and just fill it with a few new tournaments.


      
Sysyphus - Pommard
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 03:00
Pure ladder would mean you swap players in the rankings right after a challenge, if the challenger wins right ?

It would be nice to find a system for at least the US League and the EuroLeague :
*) which would be infinite
*) which would allow new players to join whenever they want to.
*) which would allow players who need a bit of time-off to stay in.
*) which would value competition and would draw interest.

Yeah, I know this is pretty much the defition of ELO

[Updated on: Tue, 06 August 2013 03:04]

      
SuperPello
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 10:25
Hello,
i agree with "good and issues" posted by Sysy, i would add that 7 games against each player of the challenge could be an issue, many people often don't play 7 games when they log and this could be another reason why league do not attract many new players.

I like challenges to go a division up and i like one night tournaments like Heroes after NC, so my merge-proposal is:

8 players challenges
one night tournament, players seeding and quarter finals 1-8 4-5 6-3 7-2 than semis and final. Every game 2 of 3 to win.
Winner challenge up, four loosers play one game tie (looser of 1-8 vs looser of 4-5 and looser of 6-3 vs looser 7-2). 2 loosers play the final tie to stay in the challenge.

      
Qorlas
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 11:16
I like the idea of the 16 players division and one league per year.

But

We have to consider intermediate deadlines.... larger divisions could lead to bigger mess if we have only one deadline at the end.

The reason to play more leagues was to have an higher mobility inside the divisions at the start. (We had division H back then....)

To explain the movement inside the divisions: at the end of each season I list all the players according to their placement and then make the divisions starting from there... reason: to keep the higher divisions full.

Example (from League):

A1
A2
A3
A4
A5
A6
B1
B2
C1
A7
B3
A8
B4
B5
B6
C2
D1
B7
C3
B8
C4 etc....
      
Sysyphus - Pommard
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Tue, 06 August 2013 20:38
Drake wanted to try to extract the ELO from tournaments with an excel sheet :

NC/Fusion/SPWC/EMC/SMC/AMC.

Problem is that it's a pretty limited database.
What if the league would help to fuel the ELO ?

No registration, open thread where players post their scores.
You can play whoever you want to, whenever you want to, whichever map you want to, bo3/bo5 minimum.
6/10 games a month (2 bo3/2 bo5) mini to stay in the rankings.

Post your score and excel calculates your "tournament" ELO.
Could work for 2er USA, 2er Euro, 2er Swiss, 2er Asia, maybe 2er AAT.
Not sure how relevant that is for multis.

We have several players in charge to update the excel sheet every day.
Could be a bit of maintenance.

But:
*) No registration.
*) No schedule problems
*) A la carte.
*) Could have a clearer ELO in the specific specialties.
*) Could be used for seedings in SPWC/EMC/SMC/AMC maybe multi too.

[Updated on: Tue, 06 August 2013 20:40]

      
onyx puffin
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January 2005
Re:Rethinking the Leagues Wed, 07 August 2013 02:50
My opinion: Leagues were nice to start, something different. Then when they seemed to run all the time and people were penalized for sitting out, I felt people figured, "Forget it."

Additionally, I think people felt if you dropped a division, it was embarrassing. So rather than risk embarrassment, people probably thought, "Oh well, I will just play the tops anyway. I mean how many 1600+ games happen everyday anyway." (Be interesting to look back to see percentage on how many who lose and would need to drop a division, then drop out the next round, or do not come back.)

That is my sense of where and why the League play started lacking.
      
GenuineFauxFarm
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Wed, 07 August 2013 05:18
Ok, I'll add my bit to the discussion.

First - why I am not a consistent participant. I'm a farmer. 'Nuff said. But, like many other people, there are seasonal issues and it makes no sense to sign up and be a problem player for scheduling. No matter what the reason is, those who stay in league from season to season are the exception rather than the rule.

Second, the league level system implies that we have to compete to go up leagues to be successful. The motivation to play becomes less when your schedule tells you that you cannot play every session *and* you are penalized on return. So - if this is supposed to be a competition and the goal is to make it to A and then win it - then a player who cannot play each session might as well not play at all.

So - why do I play when I do play league? At first I hoped it would be an opportunity to play people I do not normally play. Having the responsibility to set up a match with someone else is a good way to meet a new player. In other words, my motivation (and perhaps that of many other players) is purely social with a little head to head competition in the mix.

And - this may be the crux as to why you don't always get new players involved. If this league is supposed to encourage new players to join in and enjoy - then I suggest we should do the following with it.

1. get rid of the tiered system and randomly group players. That way, a new player gets a chance to play Sysyphus, or Drake, or Onyx or (heaven forbid) me.... The first time I joined I very much hoped to be given a chance to play some of the well known players at the time, many of whom would not necessarily play me outside of an organized event because I was not known. I have to admit to some disappointment when I was placed in a division with other people who were of the same mind. though I was happy to meet most of them and play them. And I will admit that Patterson ended up in that group (hence an exception) and taught me the meaning of the word "LOSE." But, I enjoyed playing against him and was ever so proud to win one game of the seven. aaaaaaah, I was so young and naive then. Wink
2. Have fewer iterations OR build up a points system for finish in each session. If a person has to miss a session, they might get a zero for that session. But, if they win their group three out of four times, they will finish in a good spot. OR, if they miss only one session, one could consider giving average points from other sessions.
3. If you take this suggestion further. Use earned points in league to set up the seeding for SPWC and the other 2 player map tourneys. (drop ELO?)
or if you don't like that then
3. Set up an end of season leagues that breaks us all down into league groups based on the prior iterations of league. With an A group that fights for the overall, etc.
4. If this suggestions sounds good to others - why not also try to do league groupings that try to avoid redundancies in the group. If I play in a group with yaelka and diplo one session, ideally they would not be in the same group the next.

But, then - this points to this question.

Is league supposed to be about competition or about getting players together to play that might not otherwise meet? Is it about getting new people involved or is it another way for the top players to see who is better? Surely it can be somewhat about both - but might it be best to decide if its primary function is to promote interaction of players who want to play decent quality games with good people?

My 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth. (2 cents)

Rob
GFF
      
dandee
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Wed, 07 August 2013 08:32
My idea is this:

WORLD LEAGUE TOURNAMENT

We 6-7 times of the year where do 6-7 tournaments.
We use the same method of tennis.
We can call the tournaments at Wimbledon and Roland Garros with the names of ticket city.Es: Houston, Palermo, Zurich

4 usa
2 europe
1 swiss or asia

At least 16 players for the tournament.If you enter more players in the preliminary rounds as individual tournament

The first tournament the draw is based on Elo rating list of the three specialty.
From the second the tournament draw is based on the World League Tournament.
If you sign up new players start in the preliminary rounds.
There is no limit to the number of players.
Only limit over 1500 or players who normally play tournaments

Matches from 7 meetings as nc

This idea has the advantage of simplifying the formula of the League which is sometimes too long.
And can entice new players to join.

Scores.
250 winner
150 finalist
90 Semifinalist
45 Second round
20 First round
10 preliminary

You can also think about tournaments with different formula (more or less players) with several victory points.
As in tennis the difference between Wimbledon and Montreal.

We have an annual ranking of the World League Tournament with a final winner.
From the second year the draw of first tournament will follow the final rankings of the previous year.

We can also devise a final Masters tournament with the best 8 players in the standings at the end of the year.

cu
dan

[Updated on: Wed, 07 August 2013 08:33]

      
Sysyphus - Pommard
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Thu, 08 August 2013 02:33
Top-tier players see league as a good opportunity to play other top-tier players on a format slightly more exciting than a random game.
But, "average" players would like to have a chance to play more top-tier players, but can not because of the division gap.
So "average" players happen to play each other very often in the same division.
In the same time, they could play top-tier players in NC/Fusion/SPWC/EMC etc... more often than top players get to play each other.

My personal wish is to have more new players in League, and more players giving a try to Asia and Swiss.

I don't know if players need a bait to join but they probably would like to be flexible.
We can not penalize players for taking some time off indeed.
If we let things open, players may not be motivated to play a bit more often than usual.
If we put too much constraint, they won't join.

Updated proposal :
Groups of 5 (Could be 6 for US map), 2 months. Open registration.
2 Leagues going on at the same time.
Organizers make the groupping.

I.e : 
Jan-Feb :  US/Euro       by level  (to prepare for SPWC/EMC)
Mar-Apr :  Asia/Swiss    random groupping (for AMC/SMC)
May-June : AAT/Euro      random groupping (for maintenance)
July-Aug : US/Asia       by level   (for NC/maintenance)
Sept-Oct:  Euro/Swiss    random groupping (maintenance towards Fusion)
Nov-Dec:   Asia/AAT      random groupping (for Fusion)


2 seasons of US games only because we have NC.
2 seasons only of AAT because it's the least popular event. Maybe we could still keep the AAT tourney anyway.
3 seasons of Euro, Swiss and Asia to offer more competitive games on alternative maps.

Random pairings in Asia, Swiss and AAT since hierarchy is not clear.
Often random pairing in euro to give 'average' players a chance to play tops.
Levelled groupping in US to give top players a chance to play each other.
If those games could count for a tourney ELO, used later for spring tourneys seedings, that could be a bait.
If there's only 2 groups in AAT or Swiss, it would not matter much.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 August 2013 03:32]

      
DrakeStorm
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Thu, 08 August 2013 03:47
I think maybe the solution is to get rid of Leagues altogether, and replace it with Swiss Style Tournaments throughout the year (nothing to do with the swiss map!!).

In a swiss format tournamnet, the first round is usually a random match up, each round after that the winner(s) of the previous round play each other (and losers play losers).

Example - 16 players - In Round 1, the seeding would be random (though could be not random and based on ELO or something else).
For round 2, the 8 players with a 1-0 record get matched against each other and the 8 players with 0-1 play. Then for round 3, the 4 players with a 2-0 record play, the 8 players that are 1-1 play, and the 4 players 0-2 play. This continues for a set number of rounds and then a winner is declared or what usually happens is there is a cut to a top 2,4, or 8 and single elimination from there. Its a little more complicated than that because there can be ties, and a few other issues, but that is the basics.

It is a mix between a single elimination tournament and a round robin one. It's close to a double elimination tourney because usually if you lose twice you can't "win" the tournament.

Benefits for our situation:
1.) In the early rounds, low rated players have a chance to play higher rated players, but unlike SPWC's single elimination, they can still play after losing the first round.
2.) In the later rounds it will be the best players playing against each other which fills the competitive aspect (low level players can still play, but it would be against other people their level).
3.) There are no "groups" to figure out, everyone is in one big pot to start.
4.) If players drop out after a particular round, it isn't a big deal. It doesn't effect any results like it can in league.
5.) For incentive to play you can add in some reward system where in future tournaments you get a bye (i.e. you don't have to play the beginning rounds)... for example if SPWC was swiss style, maybe last year's winner gets a 2 round bye, and the runner up 1 round, etc.

Benefit/Con
1.) You have to have 'rounds', which is good for structure and getting matches done in a timely fashion, but bad if people want something more casual and play when they want in a 2 month time frame.

All the tournamnets could and maybe even should be done this way, including NC, SPWC, etc.



      
Sysyphus - Pommard
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Thu, 08 August 2013 05:11
I can see a clear benefit for the alternatives maps by merging championships and league.
It'd work well because of a reasonable number of players.

What about EMC (50 players)& SPWC if you have 80 players ?
2/3/4 pots to start ?
How long / How many rounds ?

NC : Realistic in 3 months ?
      
dandee
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Re:Rethinking the Leagues Thu, 08 August 2013 09:18
the idea of Drake I like.

you could also merge to mine.
We could make a first round with a mini Group (3 players)one high-level, one medium and one low.

The first player goes to the final knockout stage draw
The second to that of losers with knockout
The third deleted (it's nice that there is also deleting)

to attract players need a new ideain

my opinion, to a League with an Atp ranking style only of the best and they do the tournaments may affect

classical charts there are players who either know or we've never played

cu
dan
      
    
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