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Thoughts on using Double Elimination for the Top X cut

Hey Alex. That actually isn’t true that Joe played corp 3 three times(he did play corp 3 times against me in the tournament though). We played once in swiss(both sides). Then played 3 times in elimination. Two times I played runner, once I played corp. (so he played corp 3 times against me throughout the day total which is probably where the mistake came from, and I played corp twice against him). One of us had to play one side more. He did play corp back to back, but that was because I played an extra game in the losers bracket that he did not have to play.

I really like tournaments ending in elimination, it is a LOT more fun(for me). My favorite games of netrunner have been in the new double elimination system. And some of my favorite games of netrunner have been in the old elimination system as well, as bad as it was. One of my games in a store championship against sneakysly comes to mind, as well as a few others. My heart is pounding, the excitement/pressure is on. If they access/score an agenda I lose, etc etc. Swiss doesn’t ever really have that same excitement for me. Swiss is the optimal way to decide who is the best. Play enough(you need quite a lot) rounds of swiss and you will find the consistently best player of the day. Sometimes the swiss standings and double elim standings line up and that is awesome. In Seattle BazookaJoe and I left swiss as 1 and 2, and ended at the same spots. Other spots all shifted around though.

Maybe this is a carry over from other card games like MTG, where you need to win those elimination rounds, but I really love elimination rounds now that we have gotten away with the old system which was quite awful imo.

When I look for the “best” decks I usually look at who finished 1st/2nd in swiss. And then think about if that deck had holes in it that made it weak in best of 1 situations. Tournaments with eliminations are basically 2 separate tournaments. Everything resets going in to the cut, you have no advantages, any super byes are irrelevant at this point, there is a completely even playing field.(Not taking in to account bracket/matchup advantages of course). There is a different kind of mind set for these games. It’s 1 game, sometimes with your tournament life on the line. You put all this effort/time into this tournament, and it can end with a bad access.

In MTG at Pro Tour San Diego LSV went 16-0 with 16 rounds. It was a flawless record against the best players in the world that had never been obtained in swiss of the pro tour before(people intentional draw, etc). While an awesome, amazing accomplishment, he promptly lost in the first round of the top 8. Goes to show how consistency can turn on it’s head in elimination.


Ah, I misread then. It wasnt in a row.

(Still ridiculous!) :smile:

That’s a great idea!

[quote=“Alexfrog, post:20, topic:1395, full:true”]
At the Seattle Regional, the same two players played each other three consecutive times to end the tourney, and the same player played corp in all three games. GG FFG!
[/quote] Haha. You’re funny.

[quote=“Alexfrog, post:25, topic:1395”]
(Still ridiculous!)
[/quote]How is this ridiculous at all? They played 5 games all day. One player played corp 3 times and the other played runner three times (and vice-versa of course).


So you want to give free extra bonus points to the player who luckily gets paired against a noob, while penalizing skilled players A and B who unluckily get paired against each other round 1?

This is definitely a problem, but if you did give extra points for a 2-0 you could potentially do away with the shitty no conceding/IDing rule.

I think the current tournament system is flawed, but nowhere near as bad as the old one, which led to unpleasant fake games during at least some point of the elimination rounds in literally every tournament I went to using the system.

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It’s easy to think of why an idea won’t work, but harder to come up with good ideas. The asymmetrical nature of the game makes tourneys hard. We all understand this. @PeekaySK brings up some interesting drawbacks (many of which I agree with), but it seems obvious that the current tournament rules are the best of all the previous ones.

Maybe we could think of ways to make it better.

  • Giving one bonus prestige for going 2-0 in a match (would a timed win count as going 2-0?) seems like an interesting way to spread Swiss out more.
  • Having elimination rounds be two games, but not counting the agenda points seems bad. If a higher seed wins the first game (or whatever the tiebreaker is) then the second game is worthless. Having a third game as a tiebreaker would solve this, although you get into many of the same time and confusion problems that @PeekaySK brought up.
  • …any other ideas??

I think the new system would be much better if it wasn’t so long. I can’t think of a single person from Seattle whose report I’ve heard that hasn’t admitted to a serious play error (sometimes caught, sometimes game-losing, sometimes not) in part due to the late hour. There were other issues at that tourney with several breaks that went a bit long, but… it was a slog. I was carpooling with one of the people that took 5th/6th, and one of the things he mentioned was the wait between games let him run out of steam a bit, and he didn’t think to grab coffee. I don’t know how folks managed to go the rest of the way to 3am, it’s just ridiculous.

Honestly, would cutting to a second day be better? The cut can grow along with players, and having the option at least means that people going into the cut would be rested. Makes it harder for out-of-towners, admittedly, but 12+ hour tournaments are already hard on them in some respects.

I do like that it isn’t just divided outright into Runner players and Corp players, because there’s benefit to learning and getting good with both, but damn if it wouldn’t make things easier.

Cutting to a second day just is not feasible for an event that is any smaller than Nationals/Worlds, which are destination events. It would seriously cut down on the number of people competing, a lot of people have to drive a distance, and cannot afford a hotel room, or to take the time off for it.

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The problem with Seattle was:

  1. A scheduled 12:30pm start time. Seriously. Start this shit at 10 or 11am!
  2. The tourney didn’t start until 1:15. Seriously. Start your tourneys on time!
  3. There were random 10 or 15 or 30 minute breaks between rounds. Seriously. 5 minutes between rounds and an hour break before Eliminations!

Anyway, those were my thoughts after Seattle.


If you think that top 8 DE is nuts you should have seen the top 16 at Durham on saturday. The winner had three byes in a row before his last two matches. We started at 11AM and I didn’t leave (I drove a guy who got to top 16 and who got to top 4, I was 33) until after midnight after top 4 got knocked out.

Top 16 is CRAZY INSANE NO DONT DO IT! At least as it stands.

10 minutes between rounds is not at all unreasonable for a tournament. The event is not being run by machines, every tournament for every game has downtime between rounds – administrative time is not to blame for long tournaments.

Furthermore, the people who run the big events are people who often work for the store you play at, they are essentially being asked to run black-friday walmart shifts for every netrunner event that they host with the current system.

Starting earlier will get people home sooner; however they are still playing the same game for 13 hours straight, mental fatigue happens at any time of day, not just late at night.

To perform well in the current tournament format you must:

  1. Playtest your decks until you know them inside and out
  2. Understand the metagame
  3. Get a Full Nights Sleep and Moderate your caffeine intake carefully to stay at your peak all tournament
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For larger events it’s hard to get round started right away, especially since with so many people it’s likely one person will go to time.

Nobody asked for my opinion, but I think I’d prefer to return to single-elim match play in the knockout stages with a best-of-three format.

Time is a problem, of course, but I’m not sure this would be any longer for those that make the top cut, at least based on watching/playing in it a bit at the two regionals I went to.

Then again, I like to bring netrunner games in around 15-20 minutes ;).


I disagree with this. No offence intended but I think this is a very American take on professional sports where they are all determined by play-offs and a winner-takes-all final like the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spectacle of a big occasion but nevertheless, in the UK, knockout competitions are definitely viewed with a lower regard than winning a league. It’s a greater achievement to be the most consistent team or player over a protracted period than to win a one-off game on the day. Essentially KOs are higher variance and less rewarding of skill. That doesn’t mean that the better team doesn’t win more often than not, but it greatly increases the chances of a freak result.

This is really important for a game like Netrunner in which a bad matchup or poor draw could be the end of your tournament; in a league or swiss it’s not nearly as damaging. I would hate to lose a tournament beating everyone all day but lose a final to someone who scraped into the cut by the skin of their teeth, won through the losers’ bracket and then just get lucky in the final(s).

This is a really important consideration. I think Regionals caught out more than a few TOs / stores - I attended two and both went on past midnight. The admin between rounds takes so much longer than people think, particularly with the absence of good tournament software. One venue I attended was doing pairings manually because the software doesn’t deal well with the byes from Store Champs and the associated SoS that goes with it etc.

The thing to bear in mind is that, even once time is called, an unfinished game could still have five minutes left to run if there’s a tricky decision to make - and players shouldn’t feel pressured to rush either. After that you still have to collate results, do pairings, communicate the pairings, get people seated etc. It all sounds trivial but those simple jobs add up.

I think long tournaments are bad for the game. They are unattractive for stores to host if they’re going to take out 12+ hours and in venues where the gaming space is actually the shop itself they can often put off customers. It also becomes harder for players to get to tournaments, particularly out of town events. A 12 hour tournament basically means losing a whole weekend and possibly even booking accommodation - that’s simply not viable for a lot of people.

This is a very valid point, but it’s really important to remember that it’s only balanced at the moment, this could change with each and every data pack. The problem with the current format is that if an asymmetry does emerge, the choice of sides (or random determination) has a massive impact, i.e.every seed will choose to play the “better” of the two sides and, assuming they all win, round 2 in both halves of the draw will be a random determination. We should be aiming for a robust system that avoids as much randomness as possible, otherwise we might as well just roll a dice at the start of the day and then all go home early.


First off, the generalization that preference of Elimination rounds is because I’m American is a pointless abstraction and completely unneeded. I made it clear that this was MY opinion and I am not speaking for my country as a whole. Second, I don’t think you have the right to speak for the UK as a whole. I don’t know which sport you are referencing saying that a league is a greater achievement than a knockout round, but I’m going to guess you’re referring to the EPL. If so, I’d counter the point that both the EUFA Champions League and the World Cup are far more prestigious and both employ Elimination Round to the delight of (non-American) fans across the world.

More important than all that I specifically said that if you prefer a league (which is totally fine), do a league.

I’m not disagreeing with this statement. But as you mention yourself, it requires a long period of time. My post and the thread as a whole is about how to make Tournaments better. If your argument is “we should do a League instead of a Tournament,” fine. I’d counter that they are not mutually exclusive. If you think 6-8 Swiss rounds are any less susceptible to variance than Swiss + Elimination and properly reflect a League format, I’d disagree vehemently.

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is there a compelling reason to play matches over single games in the swiss ? i always felt match play should be reserved for after the cut.

Do you mean, the game is so IMBALANCED, that the corps win all the time, so that when two players of relatively equal skill meet, they both win as corp, so they split?

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At present, Corp is somewhat advantaged. It’s probably 55-45 or 60-40 Corp in normal play, with the margins a little tighter at the high level, as skilled play tends to benefit your Runner game more than your Corp one.

This is MUCH better balance-wise than the 70-30 (Runner-favored) balance that we saw pre-Spin Cycle (at the highest levels of play!), though it may be slightly less fun for newcomers. Fun for newcomers is a serious issue and should be addressed, but we’re talking about high level play here.


Where are you getting this idea that the corp wins all the time? It seems as if you aren’t even playing the game anymore.

I also disagree in general with the notion that “good players always split”. Not in my experience, anything can, will, and does happen in any given match.