Injustice 2

Statement regarding INJUSTAH Swiss format

There have been a few comments made about the success/failure of our experiment with Swiss format at INJUSTAH (Gamestah’s Injustice 2 Circuit). Almost all of the negative feedback has been concerned with how long it took to complete the event.

Why Swiss (a reminder)

To begin with, we should consider the two previous events:  we held two rounds of INJUSTAH (the PRELIM event, and Round 1 of the Circuit) using double elimination format and this was the result:

  • Both events had a large number of entries (PRELIM: 36; Round 1: 30)
  • Both events ran for over 5 hours from start to finish – Round 1 in fact ran for 6 hours
  • Both events were streamed in their entirety, so caster fatigue became a real issue by the end of each event

At the end of Round 1, the suggestion was made to split the event into an off-air qualifying stage, with only the top 8 being broadcast. At this point, Gamestah took the decision to test Swiss format for the qualifying stage instead of double elimination.

Round 2 – what happened

On the day, 25 competitors checked in (of 45 registered). We proceeded to run six rounds of Swiss bracket, taking 2.5 hours to complete the qualifying stage. Unfortunately, this was much longer than anticipated, mainly because we had two competitors who had entered that were sharing a console. This meant that before one of these competitors could start their round, the other competitor had to complete their round. This effectively doubled the total length of each round, and thus the qualifying stage (the nature of Swiss is that each round takes as long as the longest match). So what was meant to provide all competitors with 8 matches (we intended to run 8 rounds of Swiss but truncated this to 6 due to time concerns) over a maximum of 2 hours, delivered 6 matches over 2.5 hours.

Obviously this is unacceptable, and as a result the INJUSTAH Rule Book has included clauses that will force matches that start late (for any reason) to be forfeited (by the player that causes the delay). Our intention is for each Swiss round, on average, to take no longer than 15 minutes – something definitely achievable for a standard BO5 Injustice 2 match.

Round 2 Top 8

The top 8 was run as standard double elimination as recommended by the players we consulted with. Here, things again took much longer than expected, due mainly to connectivity issues experienced by one player. Again, the INJUSTAH Rule Book has clauses to deal with this situation, placing the onus on the affected player to sort out their network issues within 5 minutes of the match start time, or forfeit their match. That said, the length of time to complete the Top 8 stage of the tournament had nothing to do with Swiss format.

Some comments about mid-bracket withdrawals

We had a number of players (three or four) that dropped out of the tournament early. This may have been because players decided they had no chance to qualify by the third or fourth round. It may also have been caused by players not realising the commitment that a full Swiss bracket requires – someone that has grown used to being knocked out in LB1 may have experienced a shock when they were expected to play more than 30 minutes of Injustice 2!

Again, we have specified rules to combat the phenomenon of early dropouts. However, we believe that players won’t need a stick to keep them playing – the opportunity to pit your skill in a competitive environment with a wide range of opponents should be enough of a carrot to do that for all but those who have real emergencies that require them to drop out.

Round 3 – Swiss’ Second Change

This brings us to the current round of INJUSTAH – Round 3. We have again set up a Swiss bracket for the qualifying stage. We are going to ask players to give it one more try – the first attempt, with its particular issues should not be used to judge the format. However, should the 2nd attempt not deliver on expectations, we will reconsider the format and schedule in a two-stage double elimination tournament for Round 4.

 

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Injustice 2

INJUSTAH Format Change

We’ve run two rounds of INJUSTAH now (INJUSTAH Prelim Event and INJUSTAH Circuit Round 1) and will be making a trial change to the format after observations we have made:

  • both events have run for much longer than expected
  • As a result, player and caster fatigue has been a negative factor on the entertainment value of the final rounds
  • There is a wide field of competitors with varying skill levels
  • The majority of competitors are not getting much play time – they are knocked out in the 1st or 2nd round of the Loser’s Bracket

We will be changing the format to compensate for these factors:

1 Two Stage Tournament

We will split the INJUSTAH Circuit events into two stages: a “Qualifying Bracket” stage and a “Top 8 Bracket” Stage. Both stages will happen on the same day, so the fortnightly schedule will not be affected. However, the Qualifying Bracket will not be broadcast and it will start an hour earlier (i.e. at 3pm AEST). Gamestah admins will be present during the Qualifying Bracket, so the bracket will still be actively managed.

The Top 8 Bracket will be broadcast, and will start at 6pm AEST. We anticipate this will allow sufficient time to complete the Qualifying Bracket and give players that make it to the Top 8 Bracket a dinner break of approximately one hour.

2 Introducing Swiss format for the Qualifying Bracket

The Qualifying Bracket will not utilize double elimination to find the Top 8. Instead, a Swiss format bracket will be introduced, a first for the Fighting Game Community (FGC) in Oceania. In Swiss, all participants play in all rounds of the bracket, regardless of their results – no one is knocked out of the bracket. Since most FGC players will not have encountered Swiss format in the past, we provide a brief explanation of how things will work:

  1. All participants are seeded by tournament admins. Past INJUSTAH results will be used as the primary source for initial seeding.
  2. Seeding is used by the Bracket software (Challonge) to generate the 1st round of match-ups.
  3. After the 1st round matches are complete, Challonge generates the 2nd round of matches.

We have published a video on YouTube that takes you through a full Swiss Bracket. Watch it before Sunday!

The Swiss bracket generator is designed to surface the Top 8 from a large field of competitors. We anticipate we will need at least 8 rounds to do this. If we complete 8 rounds and there is still not clear Top 8 we will manually match tied competitors in head-to-head matches to determine the ranking.

3 Top 8 Playoff Bracket

After the the top 8 has been identified through the Swiss Bracket, they will be matched up in a double elimination playoff bracket. In order to keep the playoff stage as close as possible to the way standard FGC Top 8 brackets are played, the following will be applied:

  1. The Top 8 bracket is divided into an upper (Winners) and lower (Losers) bracket
  2. The Winners bracket contains seeds 1, 2, 3, and 4. Players in this bracket have 1 extra life.
  3. The Losers bracket contains seeds 5,6,7 and 8. Players in this bracket have no extra lives, it is a knock-out bracket.
  4. First round match-ups in the Winners bracket will be Seed 1 vs Seed 4 and Seed 2 vs Seed 3
  5. First round match-ups in the Losers bracket will be Seed 5 vs Seed Seed 8 and Seed 6 vs Seed 7.

After the first round, 2 players from the Winners bracket drop down to the lower bracket, and two players from the Losers bracket drop out of the competition. The remainder of the bracket continues using standard double elimination processes; in the Grand Final one player, who enters the Grand Final from the Winners bracket, will have an extra life and the other will not.

We understand that this format is new to the FGC and so there may be many questions about it. We will be releasing additional information through the week to ensure that everything is covered off, but if you have a pressing question, 1st watch the video, then head to Gamestah Discord to ask an admin.

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdq4q5ZTFzE

Gamestah Discord: https://discord.gg/tewyeru

Register for INJUSTAH Circuit Round 2 here: http://gamestah.challonge.com/injustahr2.

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Heroes of the Storm

Competitive Ruling: MilkShake Playoff Roster – Week 2

Last night’s Blizzard ANZ HotS Season 3 Playoff bracket (Week 2) featured some unusual circumstances that unfairly disadvantaged team MilkShake:

  • MilkShake were unable to field a full team of five.  Under rule 1.4(b) they were not permitted to change any team members. Based on this they notified admins that they would not be playing in the Week 2 Playoff bracket.
  • City Wok were also unable to field a full team of five. They contacted admins and requested an exception to rule 1.4(b).
  • City Wok were due to play Dark Sided in Dark Sided’s first match under their new organisation. This match had been advertised on Gamestah’s social media and had received considerable attention due to the entry of Dark Sided into HotS.
  • Because of these exceptional circumstances, the admins agreed to a substitute for City Wok in order to allow their match against Dark Sided to go ahead.

MilkShake raised an objection to this exception, arguing that if they’d known they could play with a sub, they would have, rather than withdrawing (and thus forfeiting their bonus point).

At Gamestah we always try to be consistent with our rulings. Given that we had agreed to allow City Wok to play a sub, for the sake of the Round 1 match against Dark Sided, we would have allowed MilkShake to do the same, had they requested to do so. The only reason they had not asked for an exception for themselves is that they assumed it would be refused under 1.4(b).

The result of these circumstances is:

  • City Wok received a Bonus Point (for playing in Round 1 of Playoffs) – a bonus point they received only because an exception to 1.4(b) was made.
  • MilkShake forfeited a Bonus Point – which they would not have done if we had given them the same exception to 1.4(b) that we had given to City Wok.

This unfairly disadvantaged MilkShake. For this reason we have decided to award MilkShake a bonus point in lieu of the opportunity to compete with a sub.

It should be noted that this ruling will not be allowed to set a precedent. Teams should not assume that they will be allowed to disregard 1.4(b) in future weeks. It is unlikely that the same set of extenuating circumstances will arise again and the admins of the Tournament will expect teams to forfeit their Playoff Bonus Points if they are unable to field five players from their official roster.

However, teams should be encouraged to raise issues like the above with admins as soon as possible. We understand that the Season 3 two-day-per-week format is new and may stress some team’s rosters. If you are unable to play in a Playoff bracket for which you have qualified, please contact the admins as soon as possible so that the option of an exception can be explored.

 

142

Heroes of the Storm

HotS Update: Playoff Seeding

When considering seeding for the weekly Playoffs, the following principles apply:

  • The Season 3 Qualifiers should surface the top two teams in the region. At the end of the season, these two teams should have the highest points and progress through to the ANZ Finals
  • The Top 4 teams in the region should, as often as possible, play in the weekly Playoff bracket, and not in the Swiss bracket
  • Seeding should be consistent from one week to the next

From a regional development perspective, the ideal would be for a competition to provide all teams (at a given level) to play against each other. While we would like to ensure this happens, teams should remember that the Qualifiers is a qualification series, not a practice ground. With that said, the following seeding system will be used for the Weekly Playoff Bracket:

  • If a team qualifies from the Swiss Bracket, their seeding is based on the rank achieved in the Swiss Bracket:
    • Rank 1 is seeded 5th
    • Rank 2 is seeded 6th
    • Rank 3 is seeded 7th
    • Rank 4 is seeded 8th
  • For seeding the teams that have qualified for Playoffs from the previous week’s Playoff:
    • In the first instance, the team with the most amount of total points will be seeded higher
    • If teams have equal total points, seeding will be applied to provide varied match-ups from the week before

The above method will ensure that teams with the highest points will continue to receive favourable matchups, but, where possible, teams that haven’t yet faced each other will get the opportunity to do so.

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