Age :38
Group: Member
Location: Czech Republic
Did spend a lot of time playing QW and developing ezQuake back in the day.
Tournaments  /  6 Jul 2008, 11:24
Running Quake Nations Cup
Eyy, long time no blog
I'd like to note down here some comments and thoughts I got from admining Quake Nations Cup 2008. Maybe this text then can be used by me or anyone else who may want to organize such event in future. (BTW: there will be typos and "gg english", sorry for that, this is not an official article)
Just a note on the beginning: I didn't want to admin this big event first But it somehow "fell on my back" later and also I kinda saw that if I don't step in, the event would go into an unpleasant troubles.

Now when the tourney is over for a few weeks, my "updated" idea of "ideal nations cup" has settled quite well and here is how I see it.
The tourney should:
1) not take too long time
2) focus on the final stages on the tournament
3) have admins with lots and constant amount of free time
4) focus on the favorized teams rather than on outsiders
5) not limit signed players anyhow

Let me comment on these thoughts a bit more:
The Time
QNC2k8 started in January and ended in June and that was way too much. If this happens in a tournament, lots of players will go inactive and the lineups of the teams will change, which decreases their performance and removes the initial motivation of the team.

Why did the tourney take so long?
We had 16 teams which we divided fairly into 4 groups by 4 teams. After some time some matches were played, but still a lot matches were remaining. We didn't set any strict schedule so it was up to the teams to play their games. What we didn't realize, though, was that some teams got confident with their actual position in the group and therefore lost the motivation to play the remaining match or two. If this happens for all 4 teams in the group, the remaining matches will never get played. That is the right time to move on and start next stage of the tournament. We didn't see this and we were waiting for group games to be played for too long. And then putting all 16 teams to playoffs was a big mistake too.

Finals stages and favorized teams are important
Another delay happened during the playoffs where some of the outsiders stated that they don't want to play any more matches. As an admin I had no understanding for this (and I still think it's a bit lame behavior), however it took me too long time to accept it and finally give out walk-overs. This hesitating only damaged the tournament and teams that actually wanted to play more matches.

Tournament format
In my opinion, much better format for 16 teams would be groups 4/4, then remove 1 lowest-scoring team from each group, make new 2 groups with 6 teams in each. Then remove two lowest-scoring teams from each of the two groups and finally start playoffs with 8 teams. Full Double Elimination is good! Once you have teams that are willing to play and are active, the enjoy FDE.

This whole system helps good teams getting more games against other good teams, therefore practice more and most importantly it's a better way to remove outsiders from the tournament soon enough before they start to delay the whole tournament.

The Finals
And the most important thing about the tournament are the finals anyway. Everyone outside of the scene cares about "the best of the best", so the admins should make sure that finals are well covered, that the favorized teams reach the finals. This made me give out walk-over for some semi-final matches, Russia A and Sweden C left the tournament by walk-over - it was a high price for getting the tournament finished. But I still think it was necessary.

Admins with constant amount of free time
Because I'm still studying, I had lots of free time I could spend on IRC forcing teams to schedule the games - or better to say, scheduling the games for them. This was my main role as an admin here, without this I can't imagine how the schedules would be done.

An admin who is able to message team leaders every day is necessary. It's not a job where you can decide "ok, I have free time now on monday, I'll talk to the teams" - this won't work, because probability that everyone who you want to talk to will be online exactly on monday is very low

I did even another step towards the teams - I joined their channels instead of making them join some "our" channel (tournament channel). This at least helped me to see when the people are typically online.

Coverage is important. I'm surprised how other tournaments don't realize this. One news post every week is what is necessary. Since I was alone, I got tired of admining and preferred longer news posts not so often rather then shorter but periodic. But well, at least this. Coverage "is the shit", every tournament needs this, put "drama" and some good thoughts in the coverage. Just scores, statistics and tables is boring, static, "dead".

I was surprised with the help I got from the QW commentators. It's only important to know where to ask and if they have time, they will gladly do the commentary of your tournament matches. It's good to know in advance when a match will get played, but well, this was very hard in QNC. So typically most commentary was "uh well they asked me 10 mins ago to do the commentary so here I am, sorry what tournament is this?" But still, it was much better than no commentary at all.
2008-07-06, 11:42
Here comes the pain. Eh ok, I'll shed some tears for/with you and say what I think of those things you mentioned

1) not take too long time
2) focus on the final stages on the tournament

Agreed, nothing to add. Keeping the schedule should be enforced somehow, but if people don't want to play then what can you do? This is the trend these days on any tournament we have, and only thing that could make things different is some price money... perhaps.

3) have admins with lots and constant amount of free time

I disagree. What is lots? You really DON'T HAVE TO waste hours of day trying to get people play. If you're on irc everyday you could bother the players somewhat but not by wasting time waiting for their reply for hours or so. Like I mentioned above, it's up to the players to be active and play their games, it would be bothersome to have someone whine to you at irc all the time, perhaps the timing wasn't the best possible this time?

4) focus on the favorized teams rather than on outsiders
5) not limit signed players anyhow

I don't know about focusing on anything, however players that could be able to play shouldn't be limited on some roster. If you are a finnish qw players then you should be able to play in finnish qw team. In QWWC it was like this and most of the games got played, except in that last QWWC back in 2004 or so.

Edit: quotes did look like shit

Edited by Renzo on 06 Jul 08 @ 12:44CET
2008-07-09, 08:09
I am just a noob, so feel free to ignore me ;-)

Something I have always wondered about with regards to QW (and other e-sports) is why so much of the organising is left to the players. It is not a am/pro issue - my local darts team always make their matches :-) I guess what I am asking is why not just schedule all matches? If all matches are scheduled then the teams have no excuse for not showing and it would be MUCH better for spectators (which means more of a buzz). It wouldn't need to be a strict schedule for groups, could just be available "slots" like Monday - Friday 18GMT and 21GMT. Teams and players could easily say (before the start of the tourney) which slots they are available for which would make scheduling a bit easier.
2008-07-09, 08:44
Yeah it turned out that majority of the matches was played on sunday evening anyway.
2008-07-09, 09:02
This is because the youth is spoiled.

20 Years ago, scheduling a meeting, being there on time was an important property. Nowdays with cellphones etc, people think it's okay to give a last minute call and tell they are 15minutes late. Deadlines in general isnt as hard anymore.

Last weekend I organized a football game with my friends.

15minutes after the "DONT BE LATE",
9 out of the signed up players had showed up +3 that didnt sign up
4 of the signed up players didnt show.

We played a few good games and i scored 3 goals. But if people cant make it on time for a football game on a sunny summer sunday, forcing a schedule for an event on the internet will be hard.
2008-07-09, 09:11
I don't think it has been tried for 1on1 tournaments and maybe that would work better as there would only be two players that had to cope with a scheduled game.

In 4on4 tournaments it has been tried to let clans state three times in the week when they were most keen on playing, and then let these choices match the other teams choices as good as possible. This didn't make that big of a difference as far as i remember, just like JohnNy_cz said.

As always i think it's a question of players/clans not being commited enough and not getting punished enough for not giving a damn about a tournament and that will always be a problem as QW probably can't afford punishing players that hard. And even if you banned them from a tournament you'd soon see "Ben Dover" or some other "new" player enter.

Good job with the tournament JohnNy_cz, I'm sorry that i was one of the bastards who just let go of it all in the end. :|
You have to be logged in to be able to post a comment.