Invite Structure Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sam, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Sam

    Sam shut your up Moderator Tournament Host

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    Twitter has been rife with discussion today about the current invite structure for qualifying for the World Championships. Let's provide a space for more constructive discussion, shall we? A lot of people seem to have the complaint that the bar is too high this year, and as is always the case there is a counter argument that the bar is just fine or even too low. Where do you lie on this issue, and what improvements do you think could be made to the Worlds bar in your region/other regions? As always, keep things civil and let's have some good discussion.
     
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  2. Tman

    Tman Active Member

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    Top 8 Regionals
    Top 8 Regionals
    Top 64 Nats

    Assuming no other Regionals finishes, this requires you to get 220 points from local level events. Merely getting CP at 4 MSSs should next you 120 of those points with the generous 30 points from Top 16. From here you either need 100 out of your possible 120 Premier Challenge points, or even less than that if you have any MSS Top Cuts. The bar for worlds this year is fine for North America. For EU and APAC, your event distribution is the main cause of issue. At that point, you either need more events or a modified bar with those totals in mind. Yes I'm saying you have to go to 4 PCs and 4 MSSs, but that's only if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for points, and can easily be avoided by having better finishes. If you think the events I listed up Top are "too demanding" then sorry then I don't know what to say. Worlds before 2016 was never "easy" and there's no reason it should stay easy.
     
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  3. TheMinimizer

    TheMinimizer Member

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    I'm a European Senior, so I don't really speak from experience, but the Senior bar in Europe (400) is perfect imo. Looking at the Masters ones, 500 does seem a tad too high. I feel like 450 might be better
     
  4. Giovanni Costa

    Giovanni Costa Active Member

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    I think the bar this year is fine, it just means you got to be more dedicated to the game if you want your worlds invite or you have to be extremely consistent. With regionals being distributed to different weeks as oppose to clusters of 3 in one weekend, you can go to a lot more events than you could previously. Money awards also help with traveling expenses which allows you to go to more events. Or you could just move to Ohio and have 2 MSS every weekend :rolleyes:.

    With that said, I feel other regions might have gotten the shaft this year. Latin America barely got any events. And Europe got their IC, weeks after the game came out, when the meta was on its early stages.
     
  5. Cano

    Cano Member

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    In Latam until now we have had 0 regionals at all, simple math says that by winning all PCs and all MSS you can't earn a day 1 invitation (320/400), there are 3 regs confirmed so far, one for Mexico, Chile and Argentina. I don't know if other regions are aware but Latam is geographically big, like very big, and travels are not that cheap compared to for example europe, so very few people can afford to travel to 'minor' events in other countries.

    I think a player should be able to qualify for Worlds by being consistent in his/her own country, if the 400 cp bar is not changed I think latam will have like 10 Day 1 players at all, and thats a very generous guess.
     
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  6. Drakon

    Drakon Member

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    I'd like to provide a Canadian persepective on this issue. I don't disagree with the CP bar being right for US players. However, I've seen that people are including all of NA when talking about this issue. The fact of the matter is, as much as TCPi would seemingly like to think we are, Canadians not in the same situation as Americans as far as CP goes, and the two countries being grouped into the same rating zone has always seemed ridiculous to me.

    The issue here has always been the cost of travel. The traditional issue of lack of large scale events in Canada has been exacerbated this year by a combination of an increase in total CP required, a decrease in CP gained from individual events, and a smaller BFL on local scale events. This means that Canadian players are required to travel to more big events in the US than ever, as our own events don't mean as much anymore.

    To get an idea of the costs associated with this, even if you were to do well as well as Tommy mentioned above, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation, those three trips would cost your average Canadian player roughly $1800 to $2000 in flight costs alone. This is just flat out unobtainable for many players.

    TL;DR: I do believe the change in CP structure is still fairly reasonable for US players. However, the same changes being applied to Canadians players just doesn't make sense due to the relatively larger financial burden it has put on serious Canadian competitors.
     
  7. Wolfey

    Wolfey Well-Known Member NPA 6 Champion

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    I'm only going to talk about the US Circuit, since I don't feel qualified to talk about other regions (especially those lacking in events)

    My personal opinion is that making it to Worlds is supposed to be an accomplishment - I started playing when the only way to qualify for Worlds was to make T4 at US Nats, or make it through the LCQ. While I think those requirements are far too restrictive, I think starting entering the competitive scene in that era has influenced my viewpoint.

    IMO there were far too many invites given out last year. While I understand that D1 Worlds turned into a kind of LCQ, in my view it is still the World Championships and should be more prestigious and difficult to get to. With the possibility of over 50% of required CP able to come from PC's, it allowed for the possibility to qualify without even attending Regionals or higher level events.

    I appreciate that the bar was raised, but I personally dislike the high BFL for MSS' and PC's. I do recognize that it allows for players to dedicate time and receive CP as a tradeoff, but personally I do not like a circuit that requires you to play for over 1/4 of your weekends each year. Fortunately, I don't think that's what we have right now, but only because I don't think it's required.

    I've never played in an MSS, and this season I only have two PC's and two Regional finishes. I appreciate that because of internationals, I am able to give up fewer weekends as long as my finishes at the big events are solid.

    Overall, I think the US CP bar could even be higher, but should definitely not be lower. The main complaint I have about the circuit is the high BFL on MSS' - I'd recommend giving them a shared BFL with Regionals again.
     
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  8. dprather

    dprather Member

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    I feel like virtually everyone who is arguing about this is only concerned with themselves: either their own prestige ("Worlds shouldn't be free - it never was, and shouldn't be!") or their own chances ("the bar is impossible"). But I think something we need to consider when making this decision - or appealing to TPCi so they can make this decision - is the economic sustainability of the game, as well as the growth of the community.

    For a player that consistently does well, the bar of 500 CP isn't that bad. That much I won't contest. We've seen big name players like Wolfe, Kyriakou, and others flourish enough that this isn't going to stop them. But these people are so good that they were probably going to make Worlds anyway, or at least have enough finishes where they'd be respectably close.

    For a player that is sort of middle of the road, 500 CP can feel steep - but the big issue isn't so much the bar itself, but, as Tommy said, access to events. To have Regionals that require a plane ticket and hotel each time, a player that isn't winning travel awards is going to shell out quite a bit. Often plane tickets are going to be $200-300, while the international ones can be about $1000 if you are not close enough to get a good deal. The problem isn't the CP bar. The problem is that, unless you're insanely good, a CP bar that steep means you have to be fairly affluent to hope to qualify. Other posts have talked about being "dedicated" enough, but that's just another way of saying "willing to sack that much money."

    Put simply, the only people that don't care about this are either so affluent they can still go to enough tournaments to max out each finish or they're so good that the money component doesn't matter. At that point, the people advocating for higher bars are not trying to protect the prestige of Worlds in particular, but more their specific prestige.

    Now, as for the original point: we need to think about not just what's good for us or our friends or our own pride, but what's going to keep this community going. Obviously the most vocal people, and the people who are going to get the most attention in this kind of debate will always be the people we already know and respect. You won't see many casual players talking about this - some don't even know what TT is. But the thing is, TPCi is at its heart a business, and these tournaments are not just for the people high on the ladder. If this ceases to be profitable, they're going to stop doing it. To that end, we need to "keep the dream alive" for the casual players as well as us. Dropping $300 on airfare, then another $40 on a regional for a chance to do well, which gives at most like 1/4 CP needed to qualify, is ridiculous for a newcomer's standards. Originally, our way around that was to have better prize support for individual tournaments like Regionals, so that Worlds wouldn't be the only goal - but as we have seen throughout this circuit, if the numbers aren't high enough to begin with TPCi isn't going to pay out for the top players.

    There's a lot of things that could be to blame for the problem of where things are now: the high entry fees with little prize payout, the CP bar, and just TPCi's usual lack of communication are all reasonable claims. But the thing is, most people will overlook the small stuff if it's possible to get into Worlds and keep going. The moment they have no chance of qualifying for Worlds anymore, a lot of players just stop paying to go to events and just play on Showdown until the next circuit. That means lower prize support for all of us, and it means TPCi has less reason to host more (or bigger) events in the future. We need a circuit that's appealing the whole way through, so that we consistently get players joining.

    While last year's Worlds was kind of a disaster for the qualifying and the spectators, that wasn't really an issue with the CP bar as much as it was the venue and the inaccessibility/lack of things to do for non-qualifiers (Also the VGC 16 rules, but that's another story). Having a low CP bar meant people from all over got into the game and played all season. The people that had already qualified kept going for the Day 2 invite, or just because they got into a groove. This year, we have people trying to switch to commentary or just dropping overall because they know they're not going to make it. Alternately, they'll go to the event to hang out with people but not enter, which means no money for TPCi, which continues the same problem. For us to be sustainable and for the community to grow, the prestige part is certainly important, but we can't make the only invite-only event of the year be one that the average player can't imagine themselves playing. We can complain all we want about the CP bar being too high or too low, but the high CP bar has a definite effect on prize support, the future of the community, and other things that are worth considering besides people who just want Worlds to be something they can brag about.
     
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  9. MrPenguin93

    MrPenguin93 Member

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    I feel the CPs bar is fine as it is for every region, but the events distribution is a joke. Latam this season has yet to play a local Regional while every other region out there has already played at least one or two on their area, which is rather ironic given TPCi assured that they would spread Regionals (or Special Events at least) to more areas on this season, but there are some countries that do not even have an Special Event, let alone a Regional, this has resulted into a lot of actual consistent players down here to be with just barely half of their CPs, if that, and we basically have just 4 months left for this season. Yes, it is true, we have Regionals confirmed in 3 countries down here: Argentina, Chile and Mexico, and we also have the InterC on Brazil (Which just like a week ago was a meme on its own), but what about the rest? As I said there are some that do not even have an Special Event, and very likely they will not, which means that even the most consistent player of their respective country will get up to 320 CPs tops, which obviously is not enough to qualify, so unless they put money into this by traveling somewhere else (Which is not exactly cheap either) it is very likely that they will not qualify to WCS, by no means this translates into "The best of the best" making it to WCS, but to who has the biggest wallet to play events outside of their local country, or even outside of their rating zone. And no, by this I am not saying that more Regionals should be spread-out all over Latam like last year (2016's circuit was a joke of its own as well with a lot of major events all over the place with just a mere 150 CPs qualifying bar). Keep the 400 CPs bar, give every country down here that counts into the official circuit ONLY one Special Event (Not even a Regional), and you will actually have the best and most consistent player(s) of said country qualifying.
     
  10. DualistX

    DualistX Member Editor

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    I think one thing we need to decide even before we start talking about the bar is: what is the purpose of Worlds? To me, that means pitting the best players against each other in a three day tournament (day one swiss, day two x-2 swiss, top cut) that will determine who the top dogs are.

    With that being the case, I think it shouldn't be easy to qualify for Worlds. And considering that, I think the best way to determine whether someone deserves to compete on the world stage is to pit them against the fiercest competition in their region. This happens mostly at regionals, and I believe that's where the bulk of a player's points should come from. Events on the extreme ends of the competitiveness spectrum (local events being the least and international events being the highest) should serve to supplement regional finishes to make up for random factors like RNG or bad match-ups. What this basically boils down to is that players should have to do a fair amount of traveling within their own country to earn an invite. How else can you prove yourself against your country's best players if you don't go to the events where they gather?

    The problem with this concept arises when you look at the disproportionate event distribution across the world. For those living in the US, the current bar/system seems solid. It's not easy to get an invite, and many rely on a handful of good regional finishes, supplemented by local events and the upcoming US Internats. Those that don't have the good regional finishes are basically gambling their season on winning one very competitive event, which is also fine.

    However, if you look at regions such as LATAM/APAC (and Europe to an extent), there aren't anywhere near as many events. And like Drakon pointed out, even Canadians suffer from a similar problem when dealing with North America. The above system of qualification only works when everyone in the world has access to a similar number of events. Just giving them a lower bar isn't the solution, in my mind, because that changes how everything else is weighted. I think what needs to be done is to increase the number of tournaments offered in most zones. The issue with that, however, is that the player-base isn't as high. As a result, that's harder to justify.

    As far as the other side of the coin (that it should be easier to qualify for worlds), here's why I disagree. While it's good for more casual players to feel like they can achieve qualifying for worlds, that's something that most should build up to. Unless you're winning regionals your first year out, I think worlds is something for two or three years down the road. Some say that will kill the game, because people stop playing when they can't attend worlds. And I think the latter part of that statement is true. But there's no reason to sacrifice the integrity of the tournament just to keep more casual/newer players around. If people aren't qualifying for worlds, they should be supporting the game by spectating. That still demonstrates value to TPCI without bringing down the qualify of the biggest event of the year.
     
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  11. R Inanimate

    R Inanimate Well-Known Member

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    Normally I'd say it's fine that we are in the same rating zone as US, and that we really shouldn't be given special treatment (because the last time they did gave us Can Nats 2012), but at the same time I also have to remember that the Canadian scene isn't just the Vancouver area, featuring Toronto, anymore. Canada does not have many large events. It is also not really feasible for us to be hosting stuff like Regionals as we just don't have the numbers in our playerbase for it. Vancouver and Toronto are at least areas where you can sort of drive down to the US and go to a Regional (Vancouver a bit more so than Toronto). Prairie provinces have no regionals of close driving distance so they have to fly out for any regional that they need to go to. Sometimes they need to drive long distances even to get MSSes.

    In the past I've often scraped by to get an invite going to 1-2 regionals, local PCs, and 1 National event. Pretty much bare bones in terms of # of events I can go to. Not because I like making things challenging for myself, but because that's the only events I can really go to without bleeding money profusely on travel. Only being able to go to a similar amount of events (or less) as I mentioned is a reality for a lot of Canadians, you pretty much you need to pull of something like my 2013 circuit run in order to qualify for Day 1 (Regs 1st, 4th. Nats T32 or better). I'm not sure how feasible it is to be asking people to do a run as good as one of their best players during one of their better seasons just to qualify for Day 1. So, maybe we could use some help after all?
     
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  12. Wyrms Eye

    Wyrms Eye Member

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    Going to obviously focus a greater deal of attention onto Europe as a region, but I will be looking to supplement some points I feel prudent from others in order to try and help validate the point.

    I think it's fairly accepted for the most part that Europe as a region has suffered possibly a great deal in terms of its setup and accessibility to a wider audience than last year where we almost definitely had a glut of options available which brought many other problems that have been criticized. This year Europe has a drastically lower number of Regional and Special events in comparison to 2016 and lost two high earning CP events with the change from National Championships to Internationals, while the bar pretty much doubled. It's a pretty drastic change from one year to the next and over-corrected the warped balance in favor of the players with a substantial swing against them. We've also had other organisational issues in terms of the proximity of European Internationals being so close to the release of Sun and Moon where we already had an inherent disadvantage getting the game slightly later than the majority of other regions. Obviously one of the Regions was going to have to draw a short straw in terms of hosting the first major event of the year, but the impact of a very volatile metagame can't be understated in trying to create a fundamentally sound team when many potential factors would not have been fully explored, let alone understood.

    As far as the CP Bar is concerned, I do think that the bar would be a fair reflection on Europe provided that there was a better distribution and also a slightly healthier number of Regional and/or Special events provided across the season. As the bar currently stands, it is too high given we only have one Regional and two Special Events to go with approximately fifteen players within 150 CP of the bar which seems an ultimately realistic shot to qualify and around another fifteen who have reached the bar. Compared to North America, who while only nine players have hit the bar, have a further six Regional events plus the International to come in July, there is a much wider scope for players to earn points. I do agree with the sentiment that Wolfe has posted above that the US figures and the circuit seems relatively on point, and in my mind it would be better for Europe to try and bring itself more into line with the US. We only will have 9 Regional or equivalent level events this season, while the US has 16 and potentially a couple more depending on if any special events get organised (I don't know what plans if any are afoot on this front). If we had another three or four events, I would think the bar begins to look more respectable as a difficult but achievable target for players to hit to keep the gravitas of the World Championship field.

    I also mentioned the point of distribution. Obviously no matter which region you reside in there are always going to be black-spots where there is a dearth of major tournaments on offer. Europe is no exception here, especially given the state of play this season. Consider the Regional and Special events. The UK has been given three Regionals, Germany has hosted two and Sweden has hosted one. France, Spain and the Netherlands have all also received one Special event. Given this, Italy has been severely left in the dark despite having a highly respected playerbase and a healthy track record for hosting Nationals in previous years. That seems thoroughly stupid to see this. Subsequent years need to try to better promote the balance across Europe, and again the inclusion of more events could be a sensible way to achieve this. Places such as Austria could also be possible areas to expand, Portugal is another.
     
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  13. PhoenixVGC

    PhoenixVGC New Member

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    I understand the mindset of the bar being to low and I agree that Worlds should be prestigious. However I think the bar is fair or too high.
    This is my second season actively competing to try to qualify for Worlds. I'm a slightly above average player. I don't consider myself spectacular but it is very frustrating that I have little chance to qualify for Worlds this season. I'm currently at 127 CP (may be slightly higher I need to check) all of which came from local events. Being in the Kansas City area we don't have the largest events but we do have some top level players I face the likes of a 2016 top 8 Nats player, Day 1 x-3 top 16 Collinsville and top 8 Fort Wayne player, and more recently a top cut Worlds 2016 Dallas regional champ and Collinsville top 4 player. I constantly play top level players and perform well and better than these players often.

    I competed at the Collinsville (STL) regionals finishing 5-4 and earned no CP. I know I didn't play to the best of my abilities there. But I only played one player that I had heard of and he isn't overly well known. I play against higher level opponents at my local events and perform well but a regionals flop shouldn't define the likelihood of my qualifying for Worlds to fall exponentially. I'm a Senior in high school and have little to no time or money and stricter parents. I don't have opportunities to travel much to really redeem myself and qualify.

    Driving out to Collinsville from KC using PonchoVGC's mom's Hybrid and staying in a cheap hotel we still spent $400-500 (not including a certain group members excessive spending on cards while there) which is a little high for just living three hours away and using a car that can get you there and halfway back before needing to fill up. This makes it difficult to justify travelling to farther events that we would have to drop more on without earning CP.

    I don't really find myself worthy of Worlds at this point in time but I want it and the 500 CP bar makes it so I question whether or not I should continue trying at this point in the season due to lack of finances. 300 seems like it would be better this season and then raise the bar to what it is now because we have a lot of new players this year that play better than I do but they get turned off from the bar this year. I think they would be more obliged if it would have been just a little lower.

    This probably was hard to follow since I had to keep stopping and my mind was all over the place. But, that's my take on it.
     
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  14. EmbC

    EmbC Well-Known Member NPA 6 Champion

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    For the first time in a while, I'm going to actually try and write down something extensive about my opinion on an important matter. I usually feel like I'm not involved enough to be helpful for the discussions and I want to avoid any conflicts. However, the official circuit is a subject I feel very strongly about, so I think we could all benefit from my contribution. Keep in mind that this is my current opinion, which I want to improve by analysing your opinions as well.

    Championship Points. What a pompous name for something we've grown to both love and hate. At the beginning, the idea of collecting them sounded very exciting, as we could go from tournament to tournament to try and earn as many as possible to reach the final goal of the World Championships, meaning that consistency would be rewarded, rather than a single lucky run at one event. Or so we thought, as TPCi tried to improve the structure and make it a fair system. However, many would say that even now, in 2017, we haven't reached said fair system, which leads us to this discussion. What is a fair system? Who deserves to be at Worlds? Should Ray Rizzo get an honorary paid trip to Worlds every year? Those are the question I will try to answer in this post.


    Analyzing past years

    Up until 2015, I'd say almost everyone agrees the system was pretty terrible, globally speaking. The US had it much easier than every other region, but it was still far from ideal.

    I would like to, instead, look at the 2015 season. Despite still having some major flaws, I believe this is where things started improving. The LCQ was replaced by the infamous "Day 1", which resulted in a larger amount of invites. Many considered this first day to be the "new LCQ", which I think applies much better to 2016's Day 1, but it was an interesting perspective, as it ended up leading to 2016's structure. It was this year that LATAM started having some events, and even Russia managed to create their own circuit sponsored by TPCi, in a deal that gave them the authorization to choose one representative to play on Day 1 through the aforementioned circuit. As such, I think we can safely say that this was the year that marked the beginning of a more globalized Worlds.

    In 2016, we saw the introduction of a completely new concept, where Worlds invites were much easier to obtain. Basically, this meant that Day 1 would be a gigantic LCQ, giving many players the opportunity to go to Worlds and play a Swiss tournament for a chance to get their Day 2 invites. At least to me, this tournament felt like another national, for which top cutting meant that I would get a Day 2 invite. Even though this concept wasn't very well accepted at first, I always believed it was a clever way to make Worlds an even bigger event and a much more enjoyable experience for many. As it turned out, every player in the Top 4 of that competition only had the opportunity to prove themselves thanks to this system, one that I think was much fairer, as it allowed players who had an unfortunate season to have a last chance. I don't think anyone would disagree that Wolfe, Markus and Jonathan were part of the best players of 2016, as proven by the consistent play shown by them throughout the tournament.


    The Present

    The year is 2017, and everyone is travelling the globe for those nasty virtual rewards that we work so hard for, but never even get to touch!

    I feel like TPCi decided to change their gameplan completely this year. Instead of making Worlds a big social event where everyone and their mother is welcome to play, they decided to split the fun through 4 International Championships and make Worlds a more prestigious event, where only the most hardcore (wallet) warriors will be allowed. This all sounds like fun and memes, until you realize they kept the 3 day format for Worlds and that they're giving stipends to the Top 8 of each region for each International... WHILE COUNTING THE CP EARNED OUTSIDE THEIR REGION!

    First of all, let's address the "3 day" topic. I think that, if they want to make Worlds so prestigious, they should make it a 2 day event, with or without LCQ. It's a matter of consistency. If you're already restricting the amount of players so much, then why would there be a day 1 a.k.a pseudo-LCQ? I mean, will there even be enough players to make day 2 a viable swiss tournament?

    Now, the stipends. I mean, I think stipends are great for this concept. They want Internationals to be, you know, international, but a gigantic snowball effect will occur if you count CP earned outside the players' regions, as they will earn more CP than their region-mates who aren't even attending a second International. It's such a small change that would cause such a huge impact, that I feel like it's a complete shame we were so close.

    There is, however, a very significant change that ended up being a huge double-edged sword for Europe: money prizes for regional-sized events and higher. It was obviously an enormous step towards the right direction, as it made tournaments even more exciting to participate in and gave us another reward that isn't virtual points. The only problem was that some technical issues made it so that certain countries of Europe couldn't host Regionals due to legal constraints, which meant that our situation was significantly worse than North America's. The event distribution is just overall super unfortunate and it's been a huge struggle for us to even have a chance for a simple Day 1 invite. I'm just glad I already have my invite locked up, as, otherwise, I'd have aggressive PTSD towards ducks by now.


    Facts have been exposed; now, what does this all mean?

    As we've seen, we have different concepts for each season that have many points in common, but that end up going opposite directions. The question, now, is: "which direction do we want to take?"

    In my opinion, there are reasons to appreciate both. 2016's structure was much better for the sake of enjoyment, as you could focus on school/work without worrying too much about VGC, invest the money you would usually spend travelling to events on your Worlds trip and then have a great time at Worlds.

    I'm pretty sure, however, that we all want to #GrowTheGame, meaning that I think a variation of this year's structure is the way to go. 2016's structure stimulated a more passive behavior towards the game, which is never the play if we want to make our game bigger. As such, we need players to be involved throughout the whole season, making them fight for a slot at the most prestigious event of the year.


    Conclusion

    This is all I have to say for now. I may have forgotten to say some of the stuff I had initially planned, but I think this is already enough to start a solid discussion. I hope I helped you understand my interpretation of the VGC circuit and what we need to do in order to improve it. Looking forward to the feedback!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  15. Smith

    Smith Member

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    A lot of the discussion above about "where the bar is" is not really that interesting because ultimately it's a matter of opinion. "It's too high" vs "It's too low" aren't really logical arguments and people are just posting their feelings about things. Feelings are great but are ultimately not constructive. Rather than talking about flaws in the current system and being reactive (TPCi takes 1-2 years to change 1-2 things), let's be proactive and describe the kind of system we want from the ground up.

    Goals for a good Worlds Qualification System:
    -Rewards consistent play: This rubs us old veterans the wrong way, but we do, to some extent, want to reward people that go to every PC / MSS. This is an investment in the LONG TERM growth of the game. We have to have opportunities for new players to show their faces as old players disappear from the scene. Promoting local tournament play and year-long tournament play is one of the best ways to keep new players invested.
    -Rewards strong play: Obviously.
    -Does not allow for "wallet warriors." You have to be good to be a Worlds Competitor!
    -Gives proper "honorary" invites to past Worlds competitors with strong Worlds placements: Legendary players should get to play whenever they want.

    Based on these criteria, I have generated the following system:

    My suggested Worlds Qualification System: a "Hybrid" System

    There are now three ways to receive a Worlds Invitation:
    1. Individual Achievement Invitations: Internationals Top 8 and Regional Champions receive invitations in the season they are current playing in. Worlds Top 16 players earn invitations for the next Worlds Championships. I think nobody would disagree with this.
    2. Seasonal Achievement Invitations: Something resembling our current system. Consistent, middle-to-high performing players may receive Worlds Invitations for the season they are currently competing in. This will be the bulk of the invitations, something like 70-80%. I don't want to talk about specific numbers, but I think we want this to be somewhat difficult, but also a reasonable goal for a mid-level player.

    There needs to be a few changes, however. Currently, players are being asked to attend at minimum 14 events a season, which is too many. Not all players live close to events and this places an unfair burden on high level players who are not quite good enough for Individual Achievement Invitations but who are nevertheless Worlds-strength players.

    I would cut the sum total BFL of minor events to 8: 4 for Premier Challenges, 4 for Regionals or Midseason Showdowns. (Then, obviously, you just adjust the bar to a reasonable number to accommodate this change. Maybe around 350?) This is roughly one live event a month, excluding Wifi tournaments, and you may go to a few more if you get some bad bounces at important tournaments. I think this is a reasonable level of tournament attendance to expect from a B-tier player trying to establish himself as Worlds-strength.

    Also, it is obvious that Internationals BFL should be 1. Anything higher really encourages the wallet-warrior mentality that we all don't like. Stipends and everything surrounding Internationals is a whole different question that I don't really want to talk about here, but basically the NA Top 8 is staying ahead of everybody for free, and it is absurd. People will still accept free flights and competing even if they don't get free CP. A chance to improve on a Top 16 or Top 8 finish is plenty incentive to take a free trip to a foreign country!

    3. Lifetime Achievement Invitations: Players may also now receive Lifetime Achievement Invitations from the Pokemon Company, meaning they get an invite to every single worlds. World Champions automatically receive these Lifetime Achievement Invitations. Pokemon may also give out Lifetime Achievement Invitations completely at their own discretion for legendary players who may not perhaps have ever been World Champion yet. Candidates I would consider for this would include Aaron Zheng, Ryousuke Kosuge, Markus Stadter, and others I'm probably forgetting in the moment.

    People might find this unfair and controversial. However, Worlds functions not just as a competition but also as a sort of "hall of fame." We want to see heroes of the past fighting in the present: it is good for the event and good for the expansion of the game. Giving invitations for lifetime properly conveys respect for superior trainers of the past and present, and is another goal for extremely top-level players to aspire to. This would serve as the highest honor, alongside World Champion, that a Pokemon player may receive.

    Important note: These Lifetime Achievement Awards would be restricted by division. I'm sorry, but I don't think a Juniors World Champion should receive an invitation to Masters world championships.



    This structure seems fair to up-and-coming players and veteran players alike and gives players of every strength different goals to shoot for every season:
    -Low level players or beginners can still attend events and connect with their local scene. I think eliminating MSS or PC level tournaments neglects this group, and I don't want to do that. Low-level players are the future of the game!
    -Mid level players can start planning for a Season Achievement Invitation
    -High level, obviously Worlds-strength players can aim for Individual Achievement Invitations and not play as much during the regular season
    -Top level players can try to earn Lifetime Achievement Invitations and cement themselves in the history books of VGC

    The only final sticking point is "how many players should we invite to worlds" or "what exactly the bar should be." I'm not interested in discussing this and is ultimately a matter of preference. "Prestige" moderates itself: everybody knows that it was more prestigious to be a 2013 Worlds Invitee than a 2016 Worlds Invitee. I think the bar in 2016 was too low but early formats were too rigorous, now that we have eliminated the LCQ and instituted the Day 1 / Day 2 system. It's kind of an issue for another time, and I'll let other people figure it out.

    Basically, I think a hybrid system is the way to go and we should be focusing our efforts on vocalizing FUNDAMENTAL and INVENTIVE ideas like this instead of talking about "bar too high" or "bar too low." There's not a real reason for either and it ultimately makes us look silly as we complain back and forth about ideas not grounded in actual problems. The problems, if they exist, are with the SYSTEM and how the points are distributed, not the final number they chose at the end. Let's please think broadly and creatively about the root problems, and try to fix them, instead of stretching and contorting the current system to fix problems it isn't designed to fix.

    EDIT: This is all from a US perspective. Europe and LATAM have their own problems that I'm not qualified to talk about, but those problems are very, very real and also need addressing.
     
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  16. Mindape

    Mindape Active Member

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    This is mainly going to cover Oceania (Formerly APAC), since that's where I'm from. Mostly going to complain about event distribution, rather than the travel grind others have mentioned.

    I decided to have a look at the way CP was distributed through the field in each rating zone, and how close different places were to reaching an invitation.

    Please excuse the mistake labelling Oceania as Australia
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, LATAM and Oceania are significantly further away from reaching invitations than the USA(and Canada) and Europe. This can probably be put down to a combination of 1) Poor event distribution (lack of events and large travel distances), 2) lower field numbers, 3) lower skill levels in those parts of the field. I'd argue the main contributing factor is event distribution, but to each their own.

    Interestingly, North America is at a similar level to Europe despite Europe having held an IC. Make of that what you will.
    Oceania is also somewhat behind LATAM despite having held an IC as well.

    Although Australia has not had any regionals yet (nor any official information about them), it's still concerning that so few people are in with a chance of making even day 1 at Worlds in the region. It's difficult to compare with last year (where 86 would have qualified for worlds with the same CP hurdle as this year) simply because of the way National Championships have been replaced with IC's, meaning fewer opportunities to earn CP, and more competition for CP from travelers. That said, I don't think the bar is the issue - 400 CP is reasonable, as long as there is a reasonable amount of events available to be able to make that bar attainable. The way the Oceania season is timed makes it difficult to pass final judgement until much closer to Worlds, but I am concerned that there will be fewer day 1 representatives from the region than I think should be aimed for. The nitty gritty of event distribution within the various parts of Oceania is probably a different conversation.

    On the whole I think it's good to not have quite as large a day 1 at the World Championships as last year, but my concern at this time of the season is that day 1 will be too small and restrictive. At least in Australia, I know that this is a contributing factor to a lot of Australian players being more casual about their 2017 season than they otherwise might me.


    Sorry if this was a bit all over the shop, I've done my best to make this coherent.
     
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  17. kingofmars

    kingofmars Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this is an old school mentality, but Id rather worlds caliber players miss worlds than give invites to people who don't deserve it. I think the current system does an excellent job of balancing out being able to get an invite by doing well at few events or grinding out several, at least for day 1 US invites. As is, day 2 is pretty flipy since its driven so heavily by ic points. Drop the bfl on that to 1 or 2 and I think you improve it greatly.

    The problems with the current system aren't in the US though, its pretty much entirely driven by tge lack of events and subsequent difficulty in hitting the laid out cp bar. I think it should be lowered for this season, and next season work to increase number of events by asking more organizers in a best case scenario, or allow approved organizers to run multiple regionals at worst.

    All that being said, I do think idealy number of invites should scale with how big avg regionals are, as its as good of a representation of difficulty of region as any. That requires a lot of guesstimation and napkin math, but what it does mean is that ideally US players should have an easy plurality though not majority of invites. As is its looking like % of US players is too high even with lowered bars by around 100 for other 3 regions, though I think its acceptable for now.
     
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  18. Smith

    Smith Member

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    I don't agree with this since theoretically Day 1 weeds out players who "don't deserve" to be there. I'd rather have as much talent as possible at the tournament and let the results speak for who the best players are. Trial by direct game result instead of trial by direct invitation system. After all, we all decried Arash as a "charity European" invite in 2013 and he ended up winning the whole thing!

    Invites should definitely be dependent on amount of active players in the region to imitate some sort of "proportional" invitation structure. This should be an element of consideration when constructing CP numbers + bars for different regions and event types. Also, you have to let other regions actually get events!
     
  19. Silver Ally

    Silver Ally New Member

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    I'd only consider myself a slightly-above-average player (I only have 80 CP for the whole season lol), so I don't necessarily think I'm qualified to comment on how high the barrier to entry to Worlds should be. However, I've noticed several comments decrying the "wallet warriors" allowed by the current system. This is something that I don't really believe pertains to how high or how low the bar is. The biggest thing that had discouraged me from actively attempting to get enough CP for a Worlds invite in the past was the lack of major events within reasonable driving distance; this is the first season where I have a realistic chance of attending more than one major event, and that's only because I have some chance of being able to attend Indianapolis this summer. It occurs to me that you cannot realistically expect to get a Worlds invite without meeting at least one of these criteria:

    1. You have the resources available to be able to travel hundreds (or even thousands) of miles to attend multiple Regionals without having to declare bankruptcy
    2. You are Gavin Michaels

    As you can probably imagine, unless you're some kind of super-god like Gavin Michaels and win two regionals in your own state, there is a huge gap between players who can travel and broke college students like me. And I'm lucky here; I go to college in Southern California, thus putting me within (reasonable) driving distance of one major event per year (Long Beach in 2014, Lancaster in 2015, and Anaheim in 2016 and 2017, all of which I attended except for 2016 Anaheim). If I went to college in some middle-of-nowhere place like Saskatchewan, Oklahoma, or Wyoming, I probably wouldn't have a sliver of hope of attending even one major event.

    So, to me, the structural problems regarding number of major events appears to be more major than how high or how low the CP bar is. In my scenario where I could only expect to travel to one Regional per season, my absolute best-case-scenario for any given season (barring Internationals) would be winning that one Regional, winning four Midseason Showdowns, and winning two PCs per series. This would net a total of 520 CP, which is just barely enough for a Day 1 Worlds invite, but this is obviously a highly unrealistic expectation (unless you're Gavin Michaels). Given this, I think the biggest improvement would be to allow for there to be more major events. I feel this would narrow the gap between people who dump buckets full of of dollar bills down the toil - er, sorry, I mean into travel, and people like me who are broke because we have college expenses and also live with a broke parent who's even more broke because divorce blows. And while we're on the topic of scheduling more major events, it probably wouldn't hurt to stick some Regionals in major cities in otherwise middle-of-nowhere states (say, a Regional in Oklahoma City, for example) so that people in these states don't have to travel ridiculously far to attend even just one major event (though, to be completely fair, Yukon, OK to Dallas, TX isn't too bad regarding travel, but I did just drive from Pomona to Phoenix for an MSS a few weeks back, so I probably have a warped standard here.) And, as already mentioned, regions like LatAm just need major events, period.

    Of course, if there's more major events, that also means more Regionals for the wallet warriors to travel to in order to hoard CP. As such, the BFL and/or CP payout for Regionals would probably need to be adjusted if this were the case, but I'd take the chance to reasonably travel to two Regionals over just one Regional, especially when I had to drop Anaheim this year after four rounds due to a health issue that frankly made it a terrible idea for me to even go in the first place. At this point, the only thing keeping me attending local events is the incredibly slim possibility of a strong finish in Indianapolis giving me a last-minute Worlds invite.

    Also, Internats BFL came up, and yeah, a BFL of 2 seems like an absolute maximum for Internats given that winning just one gives you a Day 1 Worlds invite.
     
  20. DonVGC

    DonVGC Member

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    I'm going to talk about the situation of Latin America:

    In 2016 we had a great number of events. Most countries had at least one Regional (some had even three), and around five countries were given a National. The distribution was pretty good since countries which didn't get a nats could go to neighboring countries to play in theirs.

    The CP bar (150CPs) was way too low though. You could get a Worlds invite just by playing Premier Challenges, which was absurd. Around 200 players from Latin America qualified for Worlds last year (lol), although many of them couldn't go because of money/visa issues.

    This year they raised the CP bar to 400CPs, which is a great change. The event distribution is way lower this year though. We only have 3 regionals confirmed (Argentina, Chile and Mexico), and only a few countries have Select Premier Events. Like some of my LATAM friends have said, we can't qualify for Worlds with just Premiers + MSS. Regionals should be more widespread (5 would be great, like last season's nats), and every country should have at least one Special Premier Event (the more, the better).

    On the other hand, I agree with Edu that having a BFL of 4 for International Championships is too much and produces a snowball effect. While I understand that each IC is meant to have players from every region (and that's why TPCi motivates with paid trips and stipends to each of these), it makes it almost impossible for the rest of the players to keep up with the players who win the paid trips. Here's proof: out of the 13 paid trips so far, 4 for each IC (one was a mistake from TCPi's part, gave 5 trips to Australia), there have been only 6 different players.

    The soultion to above's problem wouldn't be to reduce the BFL of the ICs (because it would defeat the purpose of traveling to ICs to get CPs), but rather announce the exact dates of every travel award in the beginning of the season. Knowing these dates beforehand allows the players to make themselves plans to compete optimally for the travel awards, and allows the tournament organizers to organize good tournaments for their city/country before these dates so their players can get a better shot of earning the travel awards.
     
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