LegendoftheStars End-of-the-Year 2020 Championship

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Legend of the Stars
End of Year Tournament 2020
Round of 8 / Round of 4
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Tournament Director: @FtXCommando

Each player in the Round of 8 is matched against one other player. A best of 5 series determines who moves on to the Round of 4. Each player in the Round of 4 is matched against one other player. A best of 5 series determines who moves on to the Finals, and who moves on to the Bronze Match.

Quarter-Finals

Series 1 - Blackheart vs Tagada
#13413101 on serenity desert small (Cybran vs UEF)
#13413225 on Open Palms (UEF vs UEF)
#13413365 on Open Palms (UEF vs UEF)
#13413479 on Open Palms (UEF vs UEF)
#13413625 on The Ditch (Sera vs UEF)
#13414017 on Setons Clutch - FAF version (Aeon vs Sera)

Series 2 - Espeperant vs Paralon
#13413195 on The Ditch (UEF vs Sera)
#13413445 on Adaptive Hardshield Oasis (UEF vs Cybran)
#13413547 on Daroza's Sanctuary (Cybran vs Cybran)
#13413970 on Z-D Rasty Lite (Sera vs Cybran)
#13414159 on serenity desert small (Cybran vs Sera)

Series 3 - Petric (as Fremy_Speeddraw) vs Nexus-
#13413106 on Adaptive Hardshield Oasis (UEF vs Sera)
#13413230 on serenity desert small (Cybran vs Sera)
#13413333 on The Ditch (Sera vs Sera)

Series 4 - JaggedAppliance vs TURBO2
#13413123 on Finn's Revenge (Sera vs Sera)
#13413247 on The Ditch (UEF vs Cybran)
#13413556 on The Ditch (UEF vs Cybran)
#13413817 on Point of Reach v4 (Sera vs Aeon)
#13414031 on Setons Clutch - FAF version (UEF vs UEF)

Semi-Finals

Series 5 - Blackheart vs Espeperant
#13414623 on Adaptive Hardshield Oasis (UEF vs UEF)
#13414720 on Red Rocks - FAF version (Sera vs Sera)
#13414834 on Red Rocks - FAF version (Sera vs Sera)
#13414973 on Open Palms (UEF vs Sera)

Series 6 - Nexus- vs TURBO2
#13414594 on Setons Clutch - FAF version (Cybran vs UEF)
#13414715 on serenity desert small (UEF vs UEF)
#13414892 on Point of Reach v4 (Sera vs Aeon)

Also: here is a search string that you can enter into the Java client to pull up all quarterfinals/semifinals games (copy it to your clipboard, then in the FAF client, check the box for: display search query, and then paste this into the query input field, and press enter to perform the search directly from the query input field).

id=="13413101",id=="13413106",id=="13413123",id=="13413195",id=="13413225",id=="13413230",id=="13413247",id=="13413333",id=="13413365",id=="13413445",id=="13413479",id=="13413547",id=="13413556",id=="13413625",id=="13413817",id=="13413970",id=="13414017",id=="13414031",id=="13414159",id=="13414594",id=="13414623",id=="13414715",id=="13414720",id=="13414834",id=="13414892",id=="13414973"
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Legend of the Stars
End of Year Tournament 2020

Grand Finals and Bronze Match
Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bronze Match - Espiranto (Espeperant) vs TURBO2
#13422163 on Daroza's Sanctuary (UEF vs UEF)
#13422553 on serenity desert small (Cybran vs Aeon)
#13422768 on The Drunken Sailors Dance (Aeon vs Sera)
#13422965 on Point of Reach v4 (Sera vs Aeon)
#13423180 on Red Rocks - FAF version (Cybran vs Cybran)
#13423321 on Z-D Rasty Lite (Cybran vs Cybran)

Grand Finals - Blackheart vs Nexus-
#13423584 on serenity desert small (Sera vs UEF)
#13423803 on Finn's Revenge (Sera vs Sera)
#13423936 on Daroza's Sanctuary (UEF vs Cybran)
#13424187 on Adaptive Hardshield Oasis (UEF vs Sera)
#13424307 on Adaptive Hardshield Oasis (UEF vs Sera)

Also: here is a search string that you can enter into the Java client to pull up all grand finals/bronze match games (copy it to your clipboard, then in the FAF client, check the box for: display search query, and then paste this into the query input field, and press enter to perform the search directly from the query input field).

id=="13422163",id=="13422553",id=="13422768",id=="13422965",id=="13423180",id=="13423321",id=="13423584",id=="13423803",id=="13423936",id=="13424187",id=="13424307"
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Final Results:

The 2020 FAF Champion is...

Nexus!

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FAF's 2020 Finalists:
2nd Place: Blackheart
3rd Place: Espeperant
4th Place: TURBO2

Challonge:
https://challonge.com/kxba6dnz

Nexus has finally broken Petric's 3 year stranglehold on the LotS title where he not only knocked out the past Champion in the RO8 in a total sweep, but he was able to defeat Blackheart in the final who had knocked him out in the Semis last year! Nexus had clearly come into the tournament at tip top shape, being able to go 16-0 across the entire Official Tournament, meaning he did not drop a single game since the start of the Group Stage. Even during the 2nd Qualifier where he managed to take the 1st place, he had only dropped a single game against JaggedAppliance! Overall, he showcased that he was in a league all his own this year and it will be interesting to see whether anyone else on FAF will be able to climb and reach this level of play in future tournaments or if we've entered the Nexus era of tournament domination. Regardless of the future outcome, it's impossible to dispute that Nexus absolutely deserved his placement this year and has shown that he deserves his place in the highest echelon of FAF players.

In addition, Blackheart shows once again that he is a force to be reckoned with and that he is always able to come back to FAF at tournament level performance. He wasn't able to overcome Nexus this year, but he was still able to beat favorites such as Tagada as well as the 3rd place finisher, Espeperant in his Round of 8 bracket. It's certainly evident that he is still a high bar to reach, even amongst the best players.

Finally, Espeperant and TURBO2 both have shown that they are rising stars on the FAF scene ready and able to compete with the more veteran pros like Nexus and Blackheart. In fact, TURBO2 was able to even snatch the first seed in his group away from Blackheart, showing that the margins between these new players and the old guard are quite insignificant! They are both quite new on the FAF scene, only making names for themselves over the last year or so, meaning they have a bright future ahead for themselves where hopefully they'll be able to manage their own LotS victory.

Thanks everyone for participating. I look forward to next year’s major event and hope all of you do too. Congratulations to all LotS qualifiers and especially the top 4 finalists!

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Credits and Thanks:

Major Donators:
LegendofTheStars
AndrewBell

Obviously, it's hard to get everyone excited for the big tournament if there is nothing incentivizing it to be big. Both of these guys provided about half the funds themselves, with the other half being provided for by the FAF Patreon itself. Without them, there would be no reason to put in all this work.

Tournament Directors:
Se7ven
f1lthycasual
angelofd347h
Morax
HintHunter

With the new tournament rules, it would basically be impossible to both manage the tournament as well as cover the event itself. Without these guys stepping up to help shoulder the burden of tournament management, it would have been impossible to cover the tournament, especially during the actual event itself when most of the casters that would be willing to join me were actually participating in the event. These guys were far more important than many people realize in creating a good tournament environment.

LiveCasters:
Farmsletje
Tagada
JaggedAppliance
Endranii
keyser
Petricpwnz

All of the livecasters both helped me in covering events (a lot easier if you have someone else to cast with and talk to rather than covering events by yourself) and in covering for me when I was unavailable due to real life issues. In particular, thanks to Petric for making it possible to even have a stream itself, let alone a decent one. He was the one that pushed me to make an official coverage channel and he was the one that made a decent overlay to give it the ever so slight semblance of a professional setup.

Casters:
Gyle
JaggedAppliance
Willows Duality
Endranii
Kenosis

A lot of FAF's exposure revolves around casts. It's thanks to these guys being willing to cover the event that this LotS will hopefully be looked back upon for several years. In addition, it's their work that tends to lead to more and more people getting exposed to high level FAF and hopefully getting invested into the scene. They are probably the reason half or more of this list are even here on FAF to help out.

Promotors:
biass
nine2
arma473

biass greatly assisted in crafting a trailer that could be put on all the major FAF media pages to get everyone excited and nine2 helped spread the word both on FAF through the news page work as well as on other external sites. It's hard for me to find a place for arma because he doesn't exactly fit any category, but I and many others do appreciate the work he does in organizing the tournament games in the threads. In addition, his work analyzing whether changing to tournament rules had their intended impact or not is highly appreciated (at least by me).

Players:
Tagada
Turinturambar
Espeperant
Swkoll
Nexus
JaggedAppliance
Bullydozer
Petricpwnz
ZLO
Blackheart
Blin
archsimkat
TURBO2
Paralon
Blast_Chilled
Blodir

Perhaps the most self-evident of them all. It's thanks to these players both reaching their level of play as well as giving up several weekends of freetime that allows everyone to enjoy the tournament.

There are many smaller contributions that other people made that are also difficult to properly contribute. Whether it's Brutus working around LotS to ensure that no major client issues pop up during the tournament itself so things run as smoothly as possible or Blackheart giving me ideas on how to get rid of the constant issue of mirror games in the tournament. These people are certainly not forgotten and I'm thankful for the effort they put into making a better experience for everyone. I look forward to future tournaments, where hopefully I can apply the lessons from this tournament and make an even better experience for all involved.

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A final thing to ruin the tone of the last few messages, but I need paypal addresses to hand out the prizepool. If you cannot use paypal, then you need to PM me so that we can work something out.

Currently I do not have any payment information from:
Blast_Chilled
Blin
Bullydozer

Coincidence that they all begin with B? I don't know. Anyway, just writing this here because sometimes FAF pms get lost so I can't be sure whether they messaged me or not.

Prizes should be given out by the end of the year.

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first of all, thanks to ftx for organizing all of this. It requires quite a lot of work and time.

here some feedback from me :

The faction ban : I would require more feedback from players, to see how much it impact/restrict the strategy they wanted to use. But i think it overall achieved its goal, which was to reduce the quantity of mirror matches. I will remind you that mirror matches were one of the biggest issues of the last LOTS.

In that LOTS, several rules/change were introduce that induce needless harm :

  • First requiring participant to display on the leader board.
  • Second decision was to give money of winning the qualification tournament on showing up to the group stage. This induce several players to just show up to the tourney to get the money, but they didn't want to participate in it. While there was players that were motivated, and couldn't play the tourney.

About casting/streaming :

  • The quality of the stream could certainly be improved. Better microphone, sync tools when watching games from the vault. The delay to prevent stream sniping reduced the interaction with the viewers.
  • More streamers could have shown up to not have the same streamers most of the time. I know there was high rated players willing to cast. Although i understand that 1 recurrent streamer with good internet needs to be here to actually host the stream. I'm also disappointed that "famous" caster weren't there to stream part of the tourney, it could have boosted the viewers amount, and changed the way game are being casted.
  • Didn't watch the stream in its integrality yet, but I think it was missing interview of players after matches (when they lost in the tourney for example)

About the play :
I had the feeling the skill displayed was lower than in previous LOTS (maybe I'm wrong). I saw the benefit of removing snipe mod in this one, compared to the previous LOTS. I feel like we miss opportunities to create innovative gameplay (maybe due to balance/map design, maybe players just want to play safe) or at least we lack of bold/surprising/cheezy move/BO/gameplay.

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@keyser said in LegendoftheStars End-of-the-Year 2020 Championship:

The quality of the stream could certainly be improved. Better microphone, sync tools when watching games from the vault. The delay to prevent stream sniping reduced the interaction with the viewers.

Regarding delay and sync. I think the best Solution for it would be to fix the live replays and introduce smth like a 20s delay for the casters. (I think this feature was already a thing at one point) This would prevent streamsniping, which in my opinion is only a matter of time to happen when the stakes are high, and would make caster-chat ineraction possible. Replaysyncing would also be great if it worked again.

I was thinking of casting games as well on our twitch. For this it would be nice to reduce redundancy in the games casted by different channels. It is very hard for me to keep track of which games got casted by one channel while casting myself by just looking at the stream. Some sort of organization tool would help a lot in that regard. It would also require for each caster to commit to some sort of a casting plan, maybe plan out one or two games in advance of what you are going to cast then "claim" these games in the shared tool so the other casters can adapt. It would also improve viewer experience if it was visible to see which channel is currently casting which game. I don't think challonge has such a feature but maybe new map banning site that is being tested out atm supports smth like that.

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@harzer99 Not sure what you are talking about with delay in live game. Streamer were sometime observing directly in the game, thus stream sniping is possible, and that's why delay in the stream was introduced.
You can obviously cast from live games or replay vault, but then streamers aren't synced and we need to use the sync tool (i heard from JA that it was still working iirc)

Ftx wanted only 1 stream to be available to cater all the viewers. So i don't get your 2nd point.

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Also if anyone that played in the tournament is interested in doing some sort of interview "going through their games" and their mindset during the tournament, PM me and we can try to organize something during the coming days. It would probably be an hour or two at most I would imagine.

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Would anyone mind a nice list of links to watch vods from the final day tourney? If not, no big deal I'll figure it out!

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This post is deleted!
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@sasin said in LegendoftheStars End-of-the-Year 2020 Championship:

Would anyone mind a nice list of links to watch vods from the final day tourney? If not, no big deal I'll figure it out!

They are highlights on the FAFLive channel.

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@FtXCommando

Nice thanks! Good job with the casting and organization, really cool to have this tournament.

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GROUP-STAGE STATISTICS – ALL GROUPS
There were 54 total matches. None of the matches went to a draw.

How many times was each faction played?
UEF – 38 (35%)
Seraphim – 30 (28%)
Cybran – 24 (22%)
Aeon – 16 (15%)

How many mirror matchups were there?
Total – 11 (20%)
UEF – 5 (9.3%)
Seraphim – 4 (7.4%)
Cybran – 2 (3.7%)
Aeon – 0 (0.0%)

Particular Non-Mirror Matchups
UEF-Seraphim - 11 (20.4%)
UEF-Cybran - 9 (16.7%)
UEF-Aeon - 8 (14.8%)
Seraphim-Cybran - 7 (13.0%)
Seraphim-Aeon - 4 (7.4%)
Cybran-Aeon - 4 (7.4%)

Favorite Faction
archsimkat – Aeon (50%)
Blackheart – Seraphim (43%)
Blast_Chilled – Aeon/UEF (33%)
BlInChIk – Cybran/UEF (50%)
Blodir – Cybran/UEF (50%)
Bullydozer – No favorite
Espiranto – Seraphim (50%)
JaggedAppliance – Aeon/UEF (33%)
Nexus – Cybran (50%)
Paralon – No favorite
Petric – UEF (38%)
Swkoll – Seraphim (43%)
Tagada – UEF (67%)
TURBO2 – UEF (86%)
TurinTurambar – Cybran/Seraphim (33%)
ZLO – Seraphim (71%)

STATISTICS – GROUP B

Morax provided me with the faction choices and vetoes for each of the 12 matches played by Group B.

Veto Frequency:
Seraphim – 10 (42%)
UEF – 9 (38%)
Cybran – 3 (13%)
Aeon – 2 (8.3%)

Most-Vetoed Faction
archsimkat – none
Nexus – none
Paralon – UEF (66%)
TurinTurambar – Seraphim (66%)

How often was a player’s first choice vetoed?
Total – 18 out of 24 (75%)
Seraphim – 9 (37.5%)
UEF – 5 (20.8%)
Cybran – 3 (12.5%)
Aeon – 1 (4.2%)

by player - how often this player's first-choice faction was vetoed:
archsimkat – 5 (83%)
Nexus – 5 (83%)
Paralon – 4 (67%)
Turin – 4 (67%)

How often did a player veto their own first choice?
Only 4 out of 24 times (16.7%). Each of the players did this only 1 time.

How often did a player veto the same faction for the same opponent?
Each player in Group B played 2 games against each other player.
Paralon vetoed UEF twice against Nexus
Turin vetoed Seraphim twice against Paralon and against Nexus
Turin and archsimkat both vetoed UEF twice against each other

How often did both players make the same first choice?
8 out of 12 times (67%).

How often did both players make the same first- and second choices?
Only 1 out of 12 times. On desert arena, Nexus and Turin both chose Seraphim and UEF.

Impressions:

The veto system seems to be accomplishing its goals (reducing mirror matchups and increasing faction diversity). Two mirror matchups were very poorly-represented in the group stage (just two Cybran-vs-Cybran games, and no Aeon-vs-Aeon). Otherwise, every single possible faction matchup was represented at least 4 times.

Seraphim at the moment tends to be favored, at least in ladder matches, but it was not the most common faction in this tournament. There were a very small number of Seraphim-Seraphim mirror matchups, just 4. They took place on crazyrush (2 games), desert arena, and Loki. Based on information from Group B, this is apparently because of the veto system.

It is surprising to me how infrequently players vetoed their own first choice. Each of the four players in Group B played 6 matches and only did this 1 time. Also, it was less than half the time that players vetoed the same faction for the same opponent. Each player in Group B played 2 matches against each other player in Group B. Only 5 times out of 12 did the players veto the same faction in both matches.

These figures indicate that players look at both the map, and the other player’s skills with a particular faction, when deciding what to veto. It seems that players did not just decide “Swkoll likes UEF, I will ban that” or “UEF is best on crazyrush, I will ban that.” The exception is that everyone who played on Crossfire Canal (archsimkat, Nexus, and Paralon) chose Seraphim AND banned Seraphim.

Even though players rarely vetoed the own first choice, they frequently vetoed their opponent's first choice, 75% of the time. This suggests that the players have a good idea of which factions their opponents prefer to use on any particular map. If you know that your first choice will probably be vetoed (a 75% chance) and that your opponent's first choice will probably be vetoed (a 75% chance) this means there is a high chance you and your opponent will both get the second-choice faction. Of the 12 games, in 7 of them, both players got their second choice.

While players usually made the same first choice of faction (8 of the 12 games), they rarely also made the same second choice (only 1 out of the 12). While players may have some idea that a particular faction is best on a particular map, it seems players have more diverse opinions about which factions may be second-best. And they might be playing a meta-game along the lines of "when I ban Seraphim, my opponent's second choice will be Cybran, and if they're going to be Cybran, I would rather have UEF."

If players had the same idea about what the second-best faction is on a map, we would expect to see a lot of mirror matchups as a result. For example, if both chose sera-cybran then both would probably veto seraphim (because 75% of the time, players picked their opponent's first choice to veto) which would result in a mirror matchup. But we didn't see that very often, at least with the limited data we have (Group B only).

Comparison to LotS 2019

In 2019, out of 56 matches, 41 were mirror matchups (73%). Cybran was the most common (38%), followed by UEF (20%), Aeon (9%), and Seraphim (7%). The primary reason given for adopting the veto system was the prevalence of mirror matchups during LotS.

in 2019, few people wanted to play Seraphim. In 2019, only 10 out of 56 matches (18%) had any Seraphim. This time, people were largely prohibited from playing as Seraphim, and still 26 out of 54 matches (48%) had Seraphim.

In 2019, Aeon-Cybran and Seraphim-UEF only occurred once each. Aeon-Seraphim and Aeon-UEF did not happen at all. So those four matchups occurred only a total of 2 out of 56 times in 2019 (3.6%). But in 2020, those four matchups occurred a total of 27 times out of 54 (50%).

Clearly, the veto system has accomplished what it was intended to do, namely to promote faction diversity at the tournament and to discourage mirror matchups. Whether it is a good thing, or a bad thing, is a separate question--this analysis doesn't see any of the drawbacks to the veto system. Maybe players think it is clunky, or some players hate not getting to play their chosen faction. I can't say whether it is good or bad, but no one can say that it isn't working.