At the end of the day, whoever won the most should win the tournament. Swiss already ensures that the winner faced the ones who did almost as good. The cut is there purely to prevent people from dropping after losing a match.
This isn’t magic; matchups only tilt the game a bit, it doesn’t decide the game before you start playing. If you get “eliminated” by a scrub with a good matchup against your decks, you didn’t deserve to win that day. If you lost against a good player due to matchups, the same thing could happen in elims.
Strongly disagree as it only encourages people to drop early after they’re had a few early losses rather than trying to make a comeback.
Some games you have bad draws. Some games you get flooded. Some games you draw 2/3 of your deck and never see one of the 3 off breakers you have.
Cambridge regionals I ended up being top seed from swiss. After the cut, I lost my first and third game. The people I lost to ended up being first and second place. I never played either of them the whole day in swiss and, quite frankly, I don’t feel bad losing to them in the cut, They’re both very good players and one of them I’ve played on multiple other occasions and I’ve yet to beat. But going by your logic I should have been declared the winner by virtue of winning other games? No, that doesn’t seem right to me.
Swiss rounds provide a reasonably good way to filter players and see who are probably the top players that day. The cut is a reasonably good way to see who is the best of those remaining as those players may not have played each other that day.
The real issue is that you can’t decide the true Best Player after a one-day tournament, you can only approximate it. You need a double round robin, at least (preferably even more rounds) to truly have a grasp of who is ‘best’. That’s impractical (to put it mildly). Swiss gets around it by having any candidates for winning (going undefeated) facing each other, leading to a fair win. Cut also gets around it, by playing a knockout tournament. It just spends the majority of the time on a qualification tournament first (the swiss part).
If you are the single undefeated player after an appropriate number of swiss rounds, you will have faced any other candidates for being undefeated, or the players who knocked them out. That is a deserved win.
Because the score is reset in the cut; the top seed has the advantage of picking which side to play, but beyond that it’s anyone’s game. It keeps things interesting, it keeps comeback dreams alive. If you’re doing that you might as well make the whole tournament a set of elimination rounds which just kicks out players early.
I’m happy to lose to those people because they played really well and had well made decks. I didn’t play them all day and if I had, I probably wouldn’t have been top seed. Heck, if I faced both of them earlier on, I might not have even made the cut. The person who came in first was the eighth seed and got in on SOS.
As much as netrunner is a game of skill, it’s also about preparation. Deckbuilding is a huge component of the game and with all the power cards that are countered by silver bullets, you can’t deal with everything. You can be a good player but have a terrible time in swiss because the decks you expected to see aren’t the ones you saw in swiss. But, after doing poorly in swiss, the decks you teched for are everywhere in the cut. The variance in netrunner isn’t just draws.
So being able to beat jank even if you’re unprepared is not a skill worth rewarding? That’s a totally subjective criteria, that wins/losses against unexpected decks is worth “less” than a win against a known good deck.
I’d like to quote Sirlin here, he’s opinionated as all hell (as always) and you won’t find anybody who’s more about winning:
[quote]The problem described there is that when you have no longer benefit from
WINNING a match, your incentives are screwy. Yes, they are screwy. This
is a problem inherent in anything involving swiss with cut to top 8, or
whatever. If draw gives 0, it’s a problem still. If draw gives non-0,
it’s a problem still. So it’s like some OTHER problem basically. And
it’s a problem that will never be fixed unless you abandon the entire
concept of swiss with cut to top X.
A long time ago, I thought that should be abandoned for exactly that
reason, but actually now I support it. Positive of swiss: everyone gets
to play a lot. Humans like this. If you say “but they shouldn’t!”, that
doesn’t matter. In the real world we actually live in, it turns out that
humans really and truly do like being able to play a bunch of rounds
rather than waiting around for their turn in double elimination. But
swiss all the way is incredibly unhype. At the end of a tournament, you
want a semi-finals and finals and you want no other matches going so
everyone’s attention is watching the hype thing. So “everyone gets to
play early rounds” + “hype finals” is so good that imo it outweights the
negatives of “swiss, then cut to top 8.”
So anyway, this necessarily means that we WILL have the problem such
that a player who cannot win the tournament will occasionally fight
someone who can. In this situation we can ask this question: “Should we
make it a lot worse by allowing intentional draw, and giving points for
draw?” No, we shouldn’t do that. That doesn’t solve the issue about
lame-duck contestants, but what it does is create many cases throughout
the tournament where everyone has to compute tie breakers and see if a
draw will help both players or not. Then if it does, they either need to
intentional draw (unhype), or if that’s not allowed, try to rig their
game to be a draw. So instead of adding that entire layer of problems,
we should not add it.[/quote]
Here’s a list, again, over the best tournament systems for deciding the worthiest winner, ranked from best to worst. Also included is the reason why they’re not practical:
Round robin - you play everybody. Takes too long to play
Knockout cup - to win, you have to be the only unbeaten player, and you will also have a “beatpath” vs all other contestants (that is, you beat somebody who beat them, or somebody who beat them and so on). We don’t want people eliminated after one round and out of the tournament.
Swiss. A perfect setup swiss (like 16 players, 4 rounds) is a Knockout cup where you get to keep playing for ranking after you’re eliminated from winning. Not used because we don’t want people to leave after they’ve lost once.
a) Extended swiss. Adding an extra round or two keeps you in with a chance longer - there’s no longer a mathematical certainty that somebody will be undefeated, so you’re not out after a single loss. Keeps everybody in it, but won’t have an exciting finals match that everybody can watch.
b) Swiss + cut. Here you’re not out until you’re mathematically eliminated from the cut, which is far harder than being eliminated from being undefeated. Has exciting finals, but devalues performance during the swiss rounds and takes extra time. If you think you can make the cut you need to have time to play, but may be eliminated anyway.
4a and 4b are the worst at finding the most deserving winner of the above. Prefer a cut if you want, but do it for the right reason - not because it’s more “fair”, but because it’s more exciting.
It’s weird how when you suggested graduated randomization for who makes the cut to reduce IDs, people foam at the mouth at that impact of luck, but when you point out that maybe you should go pure swiss because it has less luck, people call you a dream killer. (it might not be coming from the same contributors, I’m not paying super close attention)
I’d be pretty happy with an extra 1-2 rounds of Swiss and a cut to top 2. It’d be kind of nice to watch grand finals after my participation was over without having to watch the 8 seed get wrecked by the 1 seed to stay at the venue till that happens.
I’m bumping this thread because something has become pretty clear to me over the tournament season.
There have been numerous cases of players who do very well in the early rounds of Swiss - sometimes only 1-2 rounds - and tnen ID all the way into the cut. This can happen with a Bye particularly often, but sometimes you can just play 2/5 rounds of Swiss and ID all the way into the cut.
I’m not particularly fond of IDs, but a ton of other people seem to enjoy them. But right now they are not functioning with the rest of the tournament structure. The best summary I think is here, from Dan:
IDs were introduced but the number of rounds of Swiss was never adjusted upwards to compensate. This is undermining the whole point of a tournament structure and really needs to be addressed. If you’re running your own tournament series, I would deeply encourage you to either remove IDs or bump the number of Swiss rounds upwards (probably reducing the size of the cut). Right now the format is not functioning appropriately.
I think the most ridiculous thing I heard was a guy went to my regional with a bye, swept once, and then ID’d into the top 8. There just aren’t enough rounds for the game, and how often splits occur. Same event I was there in round 5, had I swept I would have made 4th, but I split and ended up 18th (my SOS was awful). I don’t think they’re doing enough to really determine who the top players are. Almost 1/4 the event went 7-3 on the day, and tiebreakers pick the 4 of them who get to go on.
I considered this ridiculous too. I assumed it would be a non-repeated statistical fluke. It’s clearly not. In fact, this seems quite common given the tournament guidelines we have for rounds of Swiss.
There are not, and IDs exacerbate this issue hugely.
Well my own day was pretty silly when I was looking back at it. I started off with 1 point from a timed win, then I swept, split, swept, and in the last round was somehow still playing for top 8. We were player short of needing 6 rounds, and I was pretty happy at the time to only play 5, when I looked at the standings a 6th was definitely needed. 2 points separated 4th and 19th place.
It’s worth noting that the winner of the most recent regional I attended, rather than playing the cut, would have been equally happy (if not more so) going to the bar or playing some other games after nine hours of Netrunner in the Swiss rounds already. While banning IDs or increasing the rounds played may be equally valid in the mathematical sense of finding the “best” players, there are practical issues to consider.
“More data!” is easy to cry when statistical uglies rear their heads. But for practical purposes “Better data!” is almost always the preferred option where possible (and IDs degrade the data quality in this case).
Is the correct answer to have approved IDs only in the last round? Clearly, if players wish to ID then no amount of rules will stop a clever pair of opponents from doing so. But this may be discouraged to the point where public disapproval can work to reduce the amount it happens by, somewhat similar to how many regionals this year did not have much IG simply because people disliked playing against it (or playing it themselves).
Personally my current thoughts on this issue are to simply not have a cut and to play more rounds of swiss. Everyone gets to play more netrunner, IDs don’t really matter, and with more swiss you are pretty likely to have someone come out on top at the end.
As things currently stand all that matters is sweeping your first couple of opponents. Losses in round 1 or 2 are absolutely killers if you want to make the cut.
I don’t agree with allowing IDs because it is unenforceable. Maybe there were a few people that were sneakily trying to do it before, probably only in the last round. But now it is being done en masse. Things were better when IDs were illegal, IMO.
I suppose the other way to mitigate the effect of draws is to make sweeps more valuable. If it was 5 points for a sweep and 2 points for a single side win, that strongly rewards players who sweep and makes IDs less likely.
However, I don’t know this would affect other aspects, and it might make it so that it favors people who got lucky in getting paired against less-skilled players in the beginning. A sweep and then getting swept still gives you 5 prestige under this system, while two tough splits only give you 4.