Tournament Efficiency: A Captain's Perspective (Part 2)
Nicholas "hermes" Devantier
Feb 17, 2018
Disclaimer #1: The opinions expressed in this article are my own, and do NOT reflect the opinions, views, or beliefs of InkTV and any staff members within those organizations, or any other tournaments/events/people I may be associated with. It also does not state that "Players need to start doing X now", but instead should be seen as suggestions based on what I have seen from my experience as Team Captain for a few teams, as well as a TO throughout my years in the scene. Also, do not take anything that is said bluntly to heart. I am discussing efficiency by also being efficient, which is inherently less friendly than other ways of doing things.
Disclaimer #2: This is also not going to delve into the recent topics of limiting/banning gametypes, special weapons, etc. in tournaments, but instead general guidelines that all tournaments, no matter the size, if there is a gimmick, or anything else, should consider following.
Again, boring disclaimers, that this is my personal opinion. Now, let’s get to the meat of the issue:
Tournaments have been taking too long lately. SqSS this past week was a great example of this slow tournament. Both TO’s and players are responsible for this. This piece will focus on the players. My good friend and fellow InkTV staff member, Jordan, has a piece for TO’s you should check out as well if you’re a TO.
Some players, and especially team captains, have been obnoxiously selfish with their time while in a tournament. Especially since our scene always spans many time zones, what might a nice leisurely morning tournament for you could push another player’s bedtime back an hour or more. So, it is kind and courteous to be quick and efficient with getting your rounds done. While there are time limits given for rounds usually, being done quicker is always a good thing, because you can often speed up the tournament if you do so. Plus, if you have signed up for a tournament, then you have consented that the following three statements are true, even if they actually are not (keep in mind I acknowledge that there are many times where none of these three statements are actually true, especially #2):
1) You agree to be ready to play at all times.
2) You have read the rules.
3) You will promptly let the TOs know about issues that you run into.
Then, we have situations like this, as detailed by InkTV's own Bleck on Twitter:
So how do you avoid this and get your matches started quickly? These are the steps I take and you should do as well!
1) Select a player on the team to be lobby host and a player to be the friend code exchanger. These MUST be seperate people. Either of them can be the captain, or neither and you have the captain coordinating everything with these two team members and the opponents.
2) Check to see if your next match is ready. Send a message if your opponent has not sent one yet, or respond to their message if they have.
3) The first message should include:
a) Friend code to add
b) Lobby Password if you want to set up the lobby
4) Respond to this first message with “Got it” or something quick to acknowledge that you have received it. Then, send “Sent” when friend code is sent.
5) If you feel like your team has a better lobby host, ask if you can host. Decide who hosts. This should take about a minute. After this, everybody hop into a room.
6) If you are going to be subbing throughout the set, warn your opponent beforehand.
It’s that easy. At worst, if your team is in a league match when you get the first message (unless your opponent mentions their team needs a few minutes), throw the league match so you can start as soon as possible. The tournament is more important than your League Power. If you think otherwise, check your priorities.
This process should take no longer than five minutes tops. And if your team is 100% ready and your opponent is not, after 5 minutes from your opponent responding to your initial message you should be notifying the TOs (especially if there are time limit rules for starting matches). It is your responsibility to let TOs know that the game is starting late so they can rule. If you do not mention this to a TO until after the match starts, you lose the right to get a free win or whatever other ruling there is in the tournament.
Also, here are a few tips to ensure your interactions setting up matches go smoothly:
1) Do not ping @Captain or other way of mass pinging people just to find one person. All you are doing is wasting the time of others. Look a little deeper to find the team you’re looking for.
2) Always use the channel distinguished for the tournament communication as your primary and only form of communication. For instance, if it is on Battlefy like BnS or SqSS, use the Battlefy match menus to communicate with your opponent.
3) Understand that people are trying to be quick and efficient. Sometimes a person will come off abrasive because of the direct language they use. This is because it is more efficient and they do not want to waste time. Often they mean no disrespect, just want to get the match going. Just respond to them quickly and efficiently so that the match can start.
4) Make sure that you are answering any notification as soon as you can to set up for a match unless you are in another match. In a League to stay warm between sets but get a message from the other captain notifying you they are ready? Put down your controller and respond. A League match means nothing compared to the tournament you are in.
5) Understand your ability to host lobbies. Make sure that you have your player with the best wired connection as your designated host and understand how stable their net is. And, while it is the top seed’s right to decide who hosts in most situations, if you understand your host is not as good as your opponent, please let them host so the match is the most fair it can be.
6) Make sure your players are ready to sub in between matches. If they are playing solo or turf to stay warm and the match is done before they are, you are delaying the match for no reason. You can stay warm with drills in the training room.
7) DO NOT CHECK IN UNTIL YOU CAN GUARANTEE YOU CAN PLAY! This is important because TOs seed off of who checks in. If you check in and then drop out before the tournament starts, you're slowing down everybody else's experience.
Again, I want to reiterate, these are frank, straightforward suggestions. You do not have to follow these suggestions, but know that if you do not, you are likely a part of the problem in some way. Please, take these into account when participating in a tournament. If you do take some of these suggestions, you should be able to shave an hour or two off of your tournament experience! Thank you for reading and I hope the best and speediest tourney experiences for all!
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