FAF League Invitational Series

2

@archsimkat

Magnus Carlsens title is that of the World chess champion. A world championship cycle happens currently every 2 years (with 2020 delayed due to covid) and he does the title defense regardless of the amount of games he played in those years. (Since you clearly didnt want to read up on that before posting, here a link to make up for that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship)

That first obvious point (he does not have to play a single game at all to be able to defend his title) out of the way - why does he play many tourneys & games regardless? He thinks it trains him (earlier champs used to be less active in their title defense years btw). He would be outclassed because the others dont slack if he doesnt play at all and also arent incredibly much weaker (Another interesting link for you: https://2700chess.com - the difference between top 1 and top 50 isnt 600+ points like on FAF).

To your next point, which is also inccorect. They do not invite only the top active players. A great example is the St. Louis which marked Kasparovs temporary comeback to professional chess - funny that you even mention him as not being able to be invited, when that is just what happened (https://www.chess.com/news/view/carlsen-kasparov-saint-louis-chess-chess960). Same thing goes for Karpov/Kramnik who have a trivial time getting invitations whenever they wish to play a tourney (https://en.chessbase.com/post/anand-vs-kramnik-no-castling, just 3 days ago, even catering to Kramniks favourite playing variant). The reason those people are not in the tourneys is because they do not want to play.

Then, to make it even more obvious how incorrect your statement is and because you picked it as an example: If you win the TATA you get invited back the next year. This is the same distance in time as there is between 2 LOTS. Also added on that, if you win your group in the TATA, you get moved up and automatically invited the next year (this happens to every chess prodigy rising up the ranks). So yes, chess works exactly as I stated and nothing like you think it does. All of what I wrote here can be trivially fact-checked where I didnt already provide the links myself, so feel free to do so.

Adding up, Magnus does not beat 2500 players in tourneys "all the time". If you would check his tourneys and games (as I do, a link for you to do so as well https://2700chess.com/players/carlsen), you will see that in serious competition (Banter blitz is not serious competition, neither are lichess titled arenas) he very rarely plays a player more than ~150 rating points apart from himself. In fact, some upcoming GMs even complain about this due to thinking they dont get enough chance to compete against him.

Anything else? Ah yeah. The majority of the big chess tourneys (including almost all of the ones you mentioned) are invite-only with ~2 wildcards mixed in. In fact I even disagree with this because I think you should have qualifying chances in some way (even if it is just rating).

So in sum: Your post is mostly incorrect and borderline intellectually insulting. I didnt pick my examples because they are blatantly wrong.

1

First off, I like this system and as someone who typically does well in ladder league, I'm looking forward to playing in it as well as hopefully seeing more high rated players in ladder. Props to ftx for setting this up.

That said, I'm curious what people would like to see from my invitational series going forward. My main motivation for it was to have quarterly serious tournaments when LoTS isn't around. I think it's been reasonably successful with the tournaments seeing decent player turn out and community interest.

This system seems to basically serve that role going forward with serious 1v1 tournaments in even months (side note: November isn't an even month?). This likely seems like it should be sufficient in terms of keeping higher level player interest and hosting bigger tournaments in between seems like it would attract less interest than it currently does.

Instead I would probably host other tournaments. I think we've seen a bigger interested in 1v1s with lower rated players with the Holiday Tournament and map gen than we have in several years and I would like to host some of those. I also have some ideas for gimmick tournaments.

My point is that I want to know: are people still interested in seeing a Swkoll Invitational style bigger tournaments 2-3 times a year in between these league tournaments and LoTS?

2

@Swkoll said in FAF League Invitational Series:

First off, I like this system and as someone who typically does well in ladder league, I'm looking forward to playing in it as well as hopefully seeing more high rated players in ladder. Props to ftx for setting this up.

That said, I'm curious what people would like to see from my invitational series going forward. My main motivation for it was to have quarterly serious tournaments when LoTS isn't around. I think it's been reasonably successful with the tournaments seeing decent player turn out and community interest.

This system seems to basically serve that role going forward with serious 1v1 tournaments in even months (side note: November isn't an even month?). This likely seems like it should be sufficient in terms of keeping higher level player interest and hosting bigger tournaments in between seems like it would attract less interest than it currently does.

Instead I would probably host other tournaments. I think we've seen a bigger interested in 1v1s with lower rated players with the Holiday Tournament and map gen than we have in several years and I would like to host some of those. I also have some ideas for gimmick tournaments.

My point is that I want to know: are people still interested in seeing a Swkoll Invitational style bigger tournaments 2-3 times a year in between these league tournaments and LoTS?

I think there's still plenty of room for your tournaments during off months for League Invitational Series (LIS, or whatever).

I also think LIS sounds cool, but unsure how to proceed with the LotS invites. In an ideal world people would be forced to practice to keep up with the competition, rather than forced to play just to meet some arbitrary threshold to qualify for tournaments.

Disclaimer: I have a horse in this race since I take frequent 6+ month breaks

2

Got bored so did some fun calculations.

In LotS, 4 people have qualified for each single LotS. These are: Nexus, ZLO, Jagged, and Petric.

4 people have qualified for 4 of the 5 LotS events. These are: Turin (2016), Adjux (2021), Blodir (2017), and Farm (2021).

4 people have qualified for 3 of the 5 LotS events. These are: keyser (2021/2018), Tagada (2017/2016), Pepsi (2017/2016), and Blin (2019/2016).

Of these, all qualified for the last event aside from Farm, keyser, and Adjux. Farm because he can't manage a schedule and Adjux because he got a lobotomy over the last year or so. Keyser was busy with a degree.

I could also just include dudes like Blackheart or TURBO that also managed to perform well in all their LotS even though they only qualified for 2.

All in all, I could just do an invite tourney of the guys I know are good and disregard everyone else or maybe just give 2 slots for new guys each year.

But that kind of sucks so I don't want to do it.

For those wondering, 8 people qualified for 2 of 5 qualifiers and 12 people managed to only qualify for a single qualifier.

25% of the one-time qualifiers came last year.

0

@Blackheart The system is seemingly similar to the StarCraft 2 IEM Katowice tourney layout. they host weekly tournaments with smaller prize pools and literally anyone can enter, they call them open cups. meaning right now I could sign up for an open cup as some platinum scrub and get smashed by the pros. If I managed to win or place highly I get ESL points which qualify me for IEM katowice the biggest tourney of the year.

it's not an unreasonable system and since it's a $100-$150 prize pool it is quite reasonable and allows you the shot at a few extra bucks each month. if you are confident that you will place top 4 in every one you enter then why not enter every single one for the practically free money then?

Edit: spelling.

0

@WillowsDuality Because im not remotely interested in preparing for/playing an entire tourney for a share of 100-150 bucks. If I was, I would not have posted here (..obviously).

I do not care if there are monthly tourneys or whatever open for everyone (always good to have an active tourney life especially for people trying to get better), I care that there are 0 invites for LOTS (the tourney I would want to play).

2

If anything Swkoll's system is the closest thing we have to ESL system. Firstly they have 200$-100$-50$ spread for 1st through 4th places which is a decent enough motivation for most people but just isn't anything FAF can provide on a weekly basis. That gives enough incentive to play them regularly and not feel like it's a brutal grind. They also only give only 10 pts for 1st and 5 pts for placing 2nd.

And here's the prize pool for seasonal (winter-spring-summer-fall) ESL tourneys which they have one per region + a global one with the finalists of the regionals for about half as many ESL points. This one is for the European region.

alt text
This goes on until 37-44th place which give 3 points.

Heromarine is the most successful ESL Open Cup "farmer" ahead of anyone from any server by a landslide with 26 1st places and 9 2nd places and summed up they only give him 305 points which is about as much as you get for placing 3rd in a single seasonal regional ESL tourney. Heromarine himself has been placing ~4th in all of them. And this is just ESL seasonals which basically are the equivalent of what Swkoll has been hosting for faf since last year. Every other tournament also gives EPT points relative to its size and prestige, just like Swkoll is giving points for winning tournaments hosted by anyone that isn't him.

Now I love watching ESL open cups but I wouldn't ever want sc2 players to be forced to grind every week to gain acknowledgement they already have and ESL does a great job at it by giving only a small portion of EPT points to these tournaments but still enough for the 2nd-3rd rate pros to compete for.

All this is to say that I think Swkoll already has a good system and I don't see why you should reinvent the wheel, ladder league could and should be made relevant but not the the extent where you are placing arbitrary grind requirements on players who really don't need to prove their skill. The only question is how many invites to give vs how many qualifier places but even that can be adjusted by changing the tournament size overall.

0

The top 8 performing players in the 1800+ ladder league of last month will result in a less competitive tournament than e.g. the Fall and Spring invitational tournaments (sorry to the top 8 but it's true), yet yield higher point rewards for placing into LotS. Even worse, according to Swkoll's post on the 2021 Spring Invitational, 1st place in LotS was only awarded 4 points?

I like the idea of trying to make ladder a more competitive environment, but as stated before I don't believe the top players are willing to put in that much effort just to even get into LotS. Sure, they could resort to the usual qualifier tournaments where they'll then weed out other top players to then be matched with active 1900 ladder players in the group stage, which realistically have slim chances of getting there (as they should).
Even just placing fourth or fifth in ONE of these league tournaments (which is guaranteed to happen for at least one of the 5 <2000's in the top 8 of ladder league) would give you a similar or higher point amount than top players such as Adjux, pepsi, mephi, turin, and farms.

All in all I think this would result in LotS becoming less competitive, while I believe it should have only the strongest players. It would, if they were all to grind ladder, but this happening is very unlikely. Therefore I propose the idea of drastically reducing the points awarded for these tournaments (especially considering they will occur bi-monthly?).

1

@NoundedElkWoob I think you are under the impression that these league points are going to be mixed with the invitational points. Ftx is making a separate pool of points just for seeding LoTS. The invitational points are going to be entirely separate.

The Seasonal Invitationals are going to continue to run on their own point system which currently has no bearing on LoTS. I will probably award some points for being in the lead in the League Invitational before the Summer and Fall Invitational, but these points will only have bearing on who gets invites to the Seasonal Invitationals. (I'm currently thinking 2 points for 1st, 1 for second, but this is very subject to change)

The League Invitationals will award LoTS invites to whomever finishes in the top 10 of it's Round Robin tournament series.

0

Ah okay, that's a lot better then. Still, 10/16 of the players in LotS coming from the ladder league invitationals could still result in the actual top players beating eachother in the one qualifier, potentially leaving out other top players.

3

I’m entertaining the idea of reducing league slots from 10 to 8 and inviting the 1st and 2nd place of last LotS into the next tournament.

I am set on having 2 qualifiers for the other 6 slots.

I’m also aware that this runs the risk of skill dilution for LotS, but I also see it as pertinent for the long term health of FAF to reward active high level players. By having the slot invites as an incentive, I not only have the incentive of prize money (which can only apply to the top placers) but also points that could allow you to win money during LotS (means you actually want to play all your games during the round robin to secure your slot).

This is me answering the “what now” question of getting into the top 10 on ladder.

0

lol nice thread already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think its all in all on ok thing! taking all into consideration I conclude it will most likely enhance top ladder activity which the competetive scene needs to generate skill because otherwise we would lose overall skill over time, overall skill being a good proxy for "competetive scene aliveness"

0

maybe I should add analysis about overall skill distribution. Because sometimes generated skill does concentrate on incumbents which leads to the generation of new top level players, a mechanism that must not be underestimated, as # of players is highly correlated with competitive scene aliveness if not directly.

0

I think that it is necessary to divide the 2000+ league and 1700-2000, since the level of games and the number of possible games played are significantly different. It is really impossible to outrun by 2200 rating, players with 1800 rating, which can be caught by players from 1400-2100 depending on the tactics. Although i think so, this problem still does not interfere, but perhaps in the future it will be a problem, do you have any ideas on this? This problem can up if the activity at 1800 + - increases.

0

This is evidently false just by the example of ThomasHiatt who has won a huge portion of league months (and you only need to get into the top 8 in the first place) while being 2100-2300 at nearly all times.

0

Well, Thomas is the exception that proves the rule. Idk how, but the man must have hardcoded his search button to always being on.

And while I agree with FTX that it is for sure possible to get enough games for top 8 at 2k+, the fact remains that when you only have 3-5 people in your skill range to play with you are entirely dependent on them for matches. I have, conservatively, 85% of my 40 matches or so are against the same 4 people. Last month it was 85% with the same 3 people. If in one month 2 of the three people I play a majority of my games with (swkoll, Thomas, or Espi) were to take a break, it would completely destroy ladder at 2k+.

Again, I don’t think this will be too much of an issue for a 2k+ player to make top 8, but it is worth keeping in mind in case ladder does die for a few weeks. Burgerzone can have a real problem with getting matches sometimes.

3

Just imagine not being a burger and not having swkoll thomas raider and you in your timezone ... Imagine being arch 😄

1

Yeah lol, most ladder matches happen starting 2am my time and ladder basically stops 11am. This is an issue when I must work starting 8am on weekdays...

3

Perhaps you could include top 5 during ladder league + 3 active highest rated guys in the 1800+? as a 2.3k it's kind of hard to get games cause I can get matched with legit 3 people and I don't have time to spend so much time queueing and playing ladder., while having to prepare and participate in big tourneys like spring Inv. There is right now no incentive to having "high" ladder rating, it only matters in some qualification tourneys in which the highest rated players don't participate anyways most of the time. So right now or rather during next ladder league it would make the most sense for me to drop to 2.1k rating before the league starts and then farm 2k rated players to get enough league points.
I understand that the league is supposed to promote activity and I agree with that, but I think there is a balance between rewarding activity and achievements eg. highest ladder rating. The current system is heavily stacked against me and unless I am prepared to invest 15-20 + hours into ladder I won't be able to get top 8 in the league despite being currently #1 on ladder which is pretty absurd.

On another note while there is some improvement to the system with the number of LoTS spots granted by the league reduced to 8 from 10 I think it's still too high. Considering the top 16 1vs1 players only 5 of them plays ladder consistently, subtract two invites going to Nexus and BH and we have 9 players remaining that need to qualify within 2 qualifiers granting 6 slots total, so yeah, something is quite wrong here. I understand that you want to promote activity but then you either need to make the Ladder league events more about skill and less about spamming games or grant fewer spots based on league performance.
LoTS is supposed to feature the best players, not some of the best + the ones that had the most time to spam games.

3

From reading this post and the big discussion on the FAF discord you seem to think getting experience versus the top players to improve is something people want. Not everyone plays the game only to improve and tryhard to be the absolute best. I had plenty of experience playing versus the top players and it just led me to stop playing in tournaments because it is not fun. They are just better than everyone and spend weeks prepping build orders on top of that. If you or Nexus were invited to this league tourney I would just drop out. I only choose to participate in it because I get to play against normal opponents who play the game for enjoyment and not money (maybe Esperanto is the exception but that's 1/8). The system is good precisely because it is stacked against you.

That being said I don't see why the league tourneys need to be tied to world championship invites. Even if I play in all the league tourneys and win it is very unlikely I would choose to participate in LotS unless I accidentally improve to the level of a pro player.

I think the balance between awarding achievement and activity is fine because there are Swkoll's invitational tourneys and still LotS invites for top players and other random tourneys which crop up occasionally to reward the best, most tryhard players with money. The ladder league tourneys exist to reward the other people who aren't sickened by the idea of "having to play" 10 hours of ladder a month for only $100. It is good to divide the prize money up between different players and type of players instead of giving it all to the very best. I probably have more of my games casted per year than some of the top players even play in a year, giving me the opportunity to win a small prize now and then encourages things like that to happen.