Toornament v2: Placement

With the Version 2 and its new structure system, we had to come up with a unified placement feature that would fit the role while allowing maximum flexibility. We decided to merge the seeding and placement aspects into a single interface where you can add participants into the phase (because you have to remember that now, all participants don’t have to start in the first stage of a tournament, and can be freely sent into different stages) with a multi-selection modal window. A seed is then attributed to them depending on the order you pick them.

v2_modal

Selection modal in Toornament v.2

From there on, you can manually modify the seeds, and it will naturally modify their placement in the structure accordingly, either in the list on the left, or directly inside the preview on the right side of the screen, just like you use to do in the current version.

v2_a

Placement interface in Toornament v.2

It is now also possible to lock some of the participants in their attributed seeds. This serves one major purpose: locked seeds won’t change if you randomize the participants into the stage, meaning you can have seeds stay in place while you randomly add participants into the stage. Furthermore, re-generating a stage (by changing its size for example) does not alter the seeds, meaning all seeded participants will keep their seeds, and locked ones will remain locked.

v2_lock

Locked participants in Toornament v.2

Another major change is that this interface is now basically a preview, meaning you can edit things, try and test things out, but ultimately, nothing changes until you save.

v2_save

With this new system, it is still possible to manually place each and every participant, either all at once before starting your tournament, or step by step, even after the stage matches have started (but a participant with a result in one of its matches will become locked).
Plus, combined with the new structure system, this will allow for stages played at the same time (like several groups played in different stages, qualifiers or anything you might think of), you will be able to add and play tiebreaker matches, or showmatches…

There is one downside to reaching this level of freedom though, and it’s the loss of hard connections between stages, meaning there is no automatic method between stages, so for example, when your group stage is over, you’re going to have to select the winners from said group stage and seed them into the playoffs stage yourself.
But that is a small price to pay for all the amazing things you will be able to do with this new system, and we’re not done working on it just yet!

Use Case: Cyber Espoirs League by the FQSE

We met with Patrick Pigeon and Cédrick Tremblay, Esports officials from Quebec, about their projects and how and why they came to use Toornament for them.

First things first, please introduce yourself and your association

Patrick Pigeon, C.E.O of the E-Sports Federation of Quebec (FQSE). I’ve been implicated in competitive video games and electronic sports for almost 20 years. I am one of the founders of the Federation that came into life in February 2016. It gathers student associations, schools, competition teams, players and other organizations linked to esports, all with a single objective: help develop the field in Quebec.

Cédrick Tremblay, C.E.O of Earthroot Gaming (their Twitter and Facebook). It’s a multi-platform organization established in Quebec, taking part in competitions all over the world. We are mainly famous for our Halo professional roster, Ryan Ford on Smash and Schemin on Madden as Top 10 players in the world. Earthroot Gaming brings professional players the help they need to progress, with personal resources management, tournaments organization and financial support. Earthroot Gaming was born in April 2015 and is currently in its 3rd year of existence.

Could you present your video games related projects and events?

Patrick: The federation is involved in many projects. Conferences, LAN, tournaments, leagues, shows, school projects are just some of our activites. Here are three of the main projects we are currently working on:

  • Exclusion Case: the Federation works since its creation to settle this issue (for more information, click here (FR))
  • The Cyber Espoirs League (LCE): league made from schools from Quebec. The project started on the 1st of April with a qualifier for an Overwatch tournament.
  • Quebec Cup [under development]: the Federation started the accreditation and regional check in preparation of the first Quebec Cup.
owlce
How did you discover Toornament?

Patrick: I saw several organizers from Quebec use it

What are the features you use most on Toornament?

Cedrick: It is actually a tough question. Of course, results and participant information are vital for a tournament platform like this one. I did enjoy the fact that we were able to fill precise date and time for each round and match. That is rare in other tournament platforms.

Tell us more about your mission to promote Esports through education and how Toornament helped you in doing so.

Cedrick: the FQSE is going to organize a full league (the Quebec Cup, mentioned earlier), and not just week-end tournaments. Hence, Toornament is really helpful with all the qualifiers, and will be even more when the league starts.

meltdownlce
What feature would you like to see added to Toornament?

Patrick: a clear and global ranking of participants at the end of a tournament, or at least the Top3.

Cedrick: Toornament should create a League system in which rules can be modified based on a Round basis, with for example participant information that could be changed between rounds (but remain visible on the previous ones).

One thing we can tell already, is that Cedrick’s wish is about to come true, with the release of our upcoming new version, and its new Structure System that will allow for much more versatility when it comes to handling long competition.

Thanks to Cedrick and Patrick for having taken the time to answer these few questions.

Esports are getting more popular, and structures more complex

As esports keep growing and attracting new actors and public, a foreseeable tendency emerges: diversification of tournament formats and structures. With countless new games and loads of organizers entering the fray, it was to be expected that standard sport formats would not be sufficient to cover every single case. Anyway, some organizers are going to great lengths to ensure the competitive integrity of their competition, even if it means going through major hassle with the structure itself, or its features.

By covering all the major competitions, we have come across a wide array of structures and formats, and some of them were… puzzling, to say the least.

buzzmeme

Oh, but we know you, words are good, but you want facts!
How about the now-standard Activision-MLG structure used for Pro Call of Duty events? It’s quite simple on paper, an Open Bracket where teams can freely apply, then try to qualify through a 4-groups Double-Elimination format. The four teams winning each group will qualify and join the 12 invited teams in the Open Pool, which only purpose is to seed them. Indeed, best 2 teams from each of the 4 Pools will enter the final Championship Bracket in the Winners Bracket, while 4th team from each group starts the competition in the Round 1 of the Losers Bracket, where they’ll fight teams having finished 2nd from the Open Bracket groups. Winners of Round 1 advance to Round 2 where they’re to face 3rd ranks from the Pool Play, and from here on, it becomes a standard Double-Elimination bracket.
So simple, right?
There is no questioning the competitive integrity or logic of such a structure… But what a headache for a new viewer who would like to spend some quality CoD time watching it live!

Another great example of such format, centered more on competitiveness that simplicity, is the world seeding-based international events happening in League of Legends. The Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Stage.1 just finished, and here’s what the whole Play-In stage looks like:

msi-playin
We explained the format and whole season in detail in a previous blog post

It’s basically about teams entering the tournament at different moments, with different structures, to reflect on their region’s past results in international events. It does make sense, but once again, the complexity of the format and its implications are deeply intertwined in the whole year’s competition, and one-time viewers probably won’t have the knowledge needed to understand the whole thing.

Which leads us to the Seasons, with their Leagues, Regional Splits, Mid-Season Brawls and other Major Events, Pro Circuits, Clashes, Promotion Matches and the likes of them… Easy to get lost in so many different competitions going at once, even if you’re only following a single game. Take League of Legends for example again, a standard year is composed of 2 Seasonal Splits & Playoffs, Promotion tournaments to promote/demote teams from the Professional League, a Mid-Season international event and the World Championship. Simple enough? Sure, but there are 13 different regions, each with its own ruleset and variations on this global format. And then, some teams qualify and they all mingle in the international events.

struct

Now, the vast majority of unique tournaments run with a well-known format, or a slight variation of it, with the Double-Elimination Bracket being more and more preeminent. But the increasing number of new and complex formats brings the question of whether esports will go large, or stay a niche hobby for people really into it. Sure, nothing prevents a casual viewer from enjoying a single match, or even a whole tournament, without understanding everything about it or its implications, but implication is precisely what drives (e)sports, when a connection appears and exists between fans and players/teams.
And with this, we have the 4 groups that need to be contended when organizing an esports event: organizer, teams, players, viewers. They all want a great tournament, but are not always looking for the same thing from it.

  • Organizer wants a format that runs smoothly and ensures competitive integrity.
  • Teams want their players to be able to perform at their best, but also a format that allow for their team to get ranked where they deserve.
  • Players want of course what their teams want, but also to have fun and have a shot at winning.
  • Viewers want the best viewing experience possible, and being able to cheer for their favorite team.

But there is no problem! Everything is compatible! Except no, not necessarily. For viewers to have a good experience, you have to have your matches played in a set timeframe, which will restrain how many matches you can play, meaning all teams won’t be able to play as much as they could, because you’ll have to eliminate some. So you go with a Seeding Group Stage, which doesn’t eliminate any team, but then, you take away the possibility for underdogs to create major upsets and rush a bracket with some state-of-the-art strategies and lucky strokes…

It’s all a complex balance, and to attain it, one must do sacrifices along the way, as no format will content everyone involved.
Hence, complex structures are becoming more and more common, and it might scare away newcomers. This was one of our driving factors when developing the upcoming Toornament new structure feature: allow for a complete freedom on the organizer’s side when it came to structures. This way, nothing would hinder an organizer from creating the competition he wants, to try and achieve that tough balance.

There is no denying, nor condoning or denouncing the fact that structures are becoming more complex, it is happening and we have to adapt. It may be prejudicial to some, but is a blessing to others, and while it requires more engagement to get into, it also shows how serious esports is becoming, with this constant search for the best, in all aspects.

First Season of the 2nd Year of R6S is in full swing, join the momentum!

First year of Competitive Rainbow Six: Siege has been a blast, with 3 seasons going from March to November. It ended in February with The Six Invitational (on PC and Xbox). We are now a bit further down the Year 2 road, and things have evolved quite a bit since last year. For starter, the roadmap and formats are different:

r6s-road-map

Just like last year, each season will see a Mid-Season Reinforcement, with major updates, new maps and operators being released into the game. The Velvet Shell Reinforcement introduced a brand new map, Coastline taking place in Spain, along two new Spanish operators:

  • jackal-icon Jackal, the attacker who can track your footsteps
  • jackal-icon Mira, the defender who can see through walls

As for the competition, 8 teams from each region will take part in the Pro League, consisting of regional group matches leading to the qualification for the Regional Playoffs. As for this first season, in case you missed anything, here are the results with replays:

Now that the groups are over, we are moving on to the LAN Regional Playoffs! Semifinals in North America have been played already, with the great absent being Continuum, current PC Champions, eliminated during the Group Stage.

As for Europe, the matches are scheduled to start on the 27th of April (as in tonight if you read this article the day it gets out!), and high level of play is to be expected!

Finally, last region, but not least, Latin America will see its semifinals be played on the 30th of April, after all 4 qualifying matches got dragged all the way to 3 games, and what games!

Stay tuned for more Rainbow Six: Siege action, and why not take part in one of our Community Open Tournaments yourself?

The LoL Mid-Season Invitational is close, time to catch up on the Spring Season!

2017 is to be another amazing year for competitive League of Legends, and we are about to see the end of the first half of it, the Spring Season. This year again, the Season is divided into several tournaments spanning 4 months, 5 continents, hundreds of pro players and more than a thousand matches!
We covered all the major steps of this Season, and are now ready to gather all information into a single place for you to see. As usual, every tournament listed here links to its public page, with detailed results, statistics and replays!

Time to dive into the 2017 Spring Season!

lolbannerseason
Things started off with the Spring Splits, league play to determine the teams that will reach the Playoffs. Those tournaments lasted for weeks, with points awarded every week depending on the results of each team in their respective matches.
The Challenger Series are a bit of a special case, as they are Tier2 competitions for teams to try to reach the Championship Series (a.k.a the Professional League).

csna Challenger Series: North America
6 Teams
25/01/2017
01/03/2017
cseu Challenger Series: Europe
6 Teams
05/02/2017
05/03/2017
lcsna Championship Series: North America
10 Teams
20/01/2017
26/03/2017
lcseu Championship Series: Europe
2×5 Teams
19/01/2017
02/04/2017
lck LOL Champions Korea
10 Teams
17/01/2017
02/04/2017
lms LOL Master Series
8 Teams
21/01/2017
09/04/2017
lpl LOL Pro League
2×6 Teams
19/01/2017
16/04/2017

lolbannerplayoffs
With the Splits over, a variable number of teams got qualified to participate in the Playoffs of their region. This time, no more points awarded, but Single-Elimination formats where only the strongest were to go forward, to try and qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational. And even though Spring Season doesn’t qualify directly for the Worlds Championship, doing well during the season awards the much wanted points that will award a team with a qualification!
Here are the Playoffs and podium for each one:

csna Challenger Series: North America
4 Teams
goldcoin eunited N/A
cseu Challenger Series: Europe
4 Teams
misfits fnaticacademy N/A
lcsna Championship Series: North America
6 teams
tsm cloud9 phoenix1
lcseu Championship Series: Europe
6 Teams
g2 uol fnatic
mlg LOL Champions Korea
5 Teams
skt kt ssg
mlg LOL Master Series
4 Teams
fw ahq jteam
insomnia LOL Pro League
8 Teams
we rng edg

lolbannermidseason
And when the Spring Season is over, it is time to move on to the Mid-Season segment, where teams from the Challenger Series test their skill against the lowest-ranking LCS teams in the Promotion tournaments:

csna Summer Promotion: North America
4 Teams – Winners go to NA LCS
liquid envyus
cseu Summer Promotion: Europe
4 Teams – Winners go to EU LCS
misfitsacademy fnaticacademy

The biggest upset happened in Europe, with both Challenger teams managing to defeat the teams coming from the LCS, and therefore taking the LCS Spots for themselves! No such luck in NA, where the LCS teams managed to hold on to their spots.
As for the Spring Champions, they are now about to face each other in the Mid-Season Invitational, for prize and glory of course, but also and mainly for Worlds’ sake. Indeed, since last year, the MSI is where the seeds for the Worlds are determined. Best ranking teams from the MSI allow their regions to get the best seeds in the Worlds, with a few additional spots available for best-faring secondary regions.

msi Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Stage 1
5 Teams – Winners go to MSI Stage 2
bausm gam
msi Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Stage 2
4 teams – Winners go to MSI Play-Offs
gam gam gam
msi Mid-Season Invitational Main Event
6 Teams
gam gam N/A

This year, the MSI is about to be played in 3 distinct Stages, with teams starting at different stages of the competition depending on the previous results of their region. The starting seeds are as follows:

  1. Teams (Region) seeded into Play-In Stage 1
    redcanids (BR) – vp (CIS) – rampage (JPN) – lyon (LAN)
    isurus (LAS) – dire (OCE) – marines (SEA) – supermassive (TUR)
  2. Teams (Region) seeded into Play-In Stage 2
    tsm (NA) – fw (LMS)
  3. Teams (Region) seeded into Play-Offs (Main Event)
    skt (LCK) – we (CN) – g2 (EU)

Two teams will emerge from the Play-In Stage 1, one per group, and they will move on to fight the two teams seeded in the Stage 2.
They will then have two chances to qualify for the Play-Offs stage, as one win is enough to qualify in a Double-Elimination bracket with 3 out of 4 teams qualified.

Finally, the Main Event will start, with a standard Group Stage + Playoffs structure, at the end of which a MSI Champion will be crowned. It will then be a matter of weeks before the Summer Season starts, inexorably leading to the Championship of all Championships, the Worlds!