Sunday, August 15, 2010

New fnm format????

Well, I have decided to add my two cents into what the new tournament format at 3rd should be. There has been a lot of discussion about how we should organize the prize pool. Hmm, I guess I should go through the history of Friday Night Magic at 3rd universe.

In the beginning, we had four rounds and whoever was on top after the four rounds, was the winner. Usually that meant whoever, had 12 points or 4-0 was declared champion. The people in the 3-1 bracket usually were in the top four places of the tournament. We went that route for many reasons. One, it was easy, go undefeated and win. Two, it was a small shop, no need to get complex. Three, the prizes were not big enough to fight over. And four, well the tournament organizers didn’t know how program playoffs into the system.

Then bigger tournaments happened at third universe. Occasionally there would be two people who were undefeated. The biggest debate was when Robert “Civil war vet” Greene and Dylan Demartino, both sitting at 4-0, one got a box, and one got three packs o_0. Tie breakers determined the winner, and with a big prize, the difference is huge. Playoffs were immediately entered into the discussion about how to resolve this matter to ban tie breakers. The next prerelease came and went. This time playoffs were added, with a cut to the top 4. In the fourth round, Jesse “Cruel Ultimatum” Adams and Garrett, intentionally drew thus giving each 10 points(3-0-1), which after much debate is more than 9 points(3-1). Intentional draws are when too players decide to draw the match(before play has started) so each get one point in the total standings, rather than one getting three points and the other zero. Thus both benefit rather than one benefiting and one losing out. Intentional Draws have been in competitive magic since the beginning of the pro-tour. Believe it or not they were very controversial, as they are inherently anti-competitive as you are “supposed” to try and win each game. ( fact, similar strategies like “taking a knee”( were at one time controversial, are now like intentional draws accepted by the public. Many seeing an intentional draw for the first time were not happy with this move, although I am perfectly fine with the practice

In the weeks that followed, we had a cut to top 8, which had mixed reviews. I remember one tournament were I was 1-3 and then playing in the top 8, which was almost embarrassing. I really didn’t have any reason to be there. Playoffs in any competitive environment are supposed to mean something; you achieved the right to be there. 1-3 is achieving something? Not really, that’s a bad performance. I shouldn’t be allowed to try and win the tournament with that record.

Anyway we see that we need to have the following, a system that promotes competition (where you try and win every game), a system where people do not lose on tie breakers, and one that is based off of achievement. The best one I can think of is one based off of record rather than standings:
4 wins gets the best prize, maybe two packs and a good foil and a so-so foil. 3 wins gets a pack and a so-so foil. (depending on attendance, Bryan’s generosity, and meaning of the event.)

And that’s the new format I propose. For one thing, there would no longer be anyone who comes in first. So there will be no champion. However, you will get what you achieved, it isn’t based on crazy math, and it’s based on wins. It’s also pretty simple, everyone gets it. If anyone thinks of a better idea please post below.

There is an old cliché in sports “you are your record.”

Until next time…


  1. Dylan Sez
    good thing I'm going to college and will not have to continue to live with the unresolved chaos and bungling in the wake of my triumph at ROE. thus my waves will outlast my presence.
    i also was not aware that third place got only 3 packs at that prerelease, seems like a weird drop off from a box, to 12 packs for second then a plummet to 3 im fairly certian people in less than that spot got as much or moar than 3 mabey im wrong and mabey such a statement is simply subjective hyperbole
    In addition I find interesting the embrace of certain pt competitive style practices such as splitting for the x-0-1 but the scorn and elimination of tie breakers which are a reality in tournaments in your suggested policy. tie breakers ARE based on acheivement as people who defeated moar skilled opponents have clearly done moar than a grixis mage who gets 2 byes and then crunches a 0-2 player to get a shot at the finals should not come in second place when they loose in the finals and go 3-1 as they have been preceded by 3-1s who played better players
    also splitting up our usually smalll fnms to reward all 3-1s will put a stretch on the prize base and result in a lesser reward for players who perform better, its not hard to crunch 3 scrubs and loose a real match

    furthermoar since the real issue seems to be with big special events, why doesn't somebody just call h2h in irvington and ask them how they do it instead of trying to blaze a trail for yourself as if its your role to decide anyhow, I got 10 packs for a 4-0 win there at a prerelease and 8 for the same performance at a release event both of which with bigger turnouts than a comparable event at third
    or better yet, why dosent a member of the player base at third become a certified judge, rules advisor or t/o and regularly facilitate events so that self interested competitors in these events will be less able to influence structure and rulings of tournaments especially when they assume to have knowledge on subjects they don't and unknowingly cheat their way up the ladder while they complain about tie breakers

  2. Can't figure out how to log in but this is Sawm.

    First, a cut to top 8 at 3rd? What? Seems a little silly, hard to believe the crowd has become big enough to warrant it while I've been away.

    I do approve of the wins=prize payout method. Pitch it to BDeyo and see what he thinks, I do think it would help a lot with morale in the lower brackets as well, depending on how the payout ends up. My experience is that if you're in a losing bracket (think 1-2 going into the 4th round) there's really no point playing anymore except to drop would be to screw things up by adding a bye, because at that point you're not placing into any kind of prize so why bother? If you could get Bryan to set up "2 wins= a (crappy) foil," it might relieve a lot of the stress and frustration that might otherwise deter newer players from coming back. 1-2 with no hope of getting anything is a lot worse than 1-2 with a shot at a small prize.

    I hope something like this flies, and I agree with Dylan that we/BDeyo should look into how other stores run prizing for events like the prerelease because what happened to Bobby was just awful. IIRC they run something based off of wins as well, which again works well and is a lot more casual and fun than the current system.