Tuesday 30 January 2018

Grand Prix Tournament Structure

This is an off topic post and has nothing to do with cube so I'll keep it short. I still follow most big events, all the PT level events and any GP I have an interest in the format or people attending. The last couple of GPs I have followed have had several people I was following go on amazing runs winding up X and 2 which is insanely good for a 15 round or more event. That is better than I have ever done in a swiss and I would expect such a result to be a lock in for top 8. Well, in these vast GPs it turns out X-2 only gets about half the people on that record into the top 8 and it is a gross tie breaker affair. Now I think tie breakers are a good system when it is deciding a slot in the top 8. When it is choosing half of it then that sucks. What must really really suck is putting in a blinding performance, going X and 2 over a two day event and still not making top 8 due to events rather outside of your control.

What makes this much worse specifically in limited GPs is that day 1 is a bit of luck fest, day two is the real skill tester. You can just open a great pool and ride that pretty hard for your day one. In day two you have to be good and lucky to get it done. Now, the way tie breakers work is that they penalize early losses. The way GPs work mean that early losses could very easily just be down to a crappy sealed pool. Someone who goes undefeated day two after working their arse off on day one with a weak pool to scrape in X and 2 deserves that top 8 slot far more than someone who went X - 0 with a bomb pool on day one and to then go 4 - 2 in day two. Limited GPs must make a lot of players feel shitty but worse still, they are probably rewarding the wrong players more often than not when it comes to top 8 tie breakers.

I think the GP has outgrown the swiss format. I think a straight up double elimination bracket system as is so often used in esports events would work far better. I am sure there are plenty of other ways of working a big two day event that would not feel like such a let down for players. At the very least I think having points equal to someone in a top 8 of such a big event should count as a top 8 for things like HoF considerations, perhaps they do? That is the case for propoints and invites at least (I think?) which shows that the issue is a known one. This doesn't affect me at all but I do really feel for the people that it does. It seems like quite an easy fix at least.

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