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Lobster Roll S1: A Look Back

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14 days ago
Hi! My name is Qrow (or Parzival or train factory man). Most of you probably know who I am, but for those of you that don't, there you go. Also, I run a 1v1/2v2 tournament series called Lobster Roll (LR) which is what this post is about.

This post is being created as a reflection on this ongoing season of LR. I know to some it might not make sense for me to create a reflection and community input page halfway through the season, but any improvement I get basically immediately gets put towards either the ongoing season or the next one. I'm not going to make this OP the whole discussion - instead I'm going to post one part/day(ish), that way input can be recorded and can actually be applied to the next segment of discussion.

The parts will be:

I. Tournament advertisement, setup, bracket rules, event rules and DQs/Hosting Procedure

II. Map selection, pools, banning/Making sure that the map pool keeps the competitive 1v1 tournament meta "healthy"

III. Running the tournament, gameplay, keeping tournaments "smooth" and following procedure/player retention

IV. Results, playerbase statistics, ranking systems/misc

Section I will come out 2/21 before midnight EST, hopefully.

(this was originally supposed to be all one video, but currently DaVinci is eating my PC for some reason, so maybe next season lol)

+4 / -0
14 days ago
Part I: Advertisement, Setup and Rules (Hosting Procedure/Being a Good TO)

First, as in any good review, let us start with documenting what the baseline is.

As for advertisement, prior to the advertisement of LR #8, the only methods of advertising were by posting in main channels such as #zk, making forum posts such as this one, or by word of mouth. Discord counts as a method of retention rather than advertisement as I have yet to find any evidence connecting player participation in tournaments going up from people joining the LR discord (in fact, it seems like the only people in the discord are people who have signed up at least once, which is to be expected). Possible other sources of minimal advertisement effort would be those like the Mumble server.

Setup and rules for the event have remained fairly consistent throughout all LR events so far. Bracket setup has always been double elimination style. However, there are two main things to take into account here that have changed: set duration and map selection. The latter will be talked about in its own section, but it is worth noting for set duration that at one point all finals were Bo3. This has now been changed to grands only Bo3 as numerous complaints were heard about the amount of time that all of finals as Bo3 took.

Disqualification timers and finding partners/match communication rules were changed along with the switch from using smash.gg as a reporting platform to Challonge. Previously DQ timers were 5 minutes/round, which then changed to 5 minutes before tourney start and then to not being there at all. Match coms moved from smash.gg match chat to either Discord or ZK lobbies (As expected). Map bans also were reportedly easier after this switch.

Hosting procedure has remained consistent throughout all tournaments. Tournaments have started on time (in terms of bracket finalization), and no manual DQs have had to be given. Tournaments have run smoothly and self reporting has worked with minimal admin intervention. (Quick shoutout to CArankAdminShadowfury333 for usually being the minimal admin intervention.) Time limit on matches has never had to be enforced. The cutoff remains at 45 minutes/match.


From my viewpoint, these results are mostly satisfactory. The switch off of smash.gg was a bit rough for me but beneficial for the players (which is a good exchange) and after that and the removal of needless check in timers, everything seems to have smoothed out quite a bit.

I have not gotten any complaints about double elimination, but I will go ahead and say that there is the possibility of swiss tournaments in the future. However, I would prefer to save these for bigger tournaments.

We have the #zk topic now advertising the tournaments, so that's really about the best advertising we can get for now besides forum posts. Maybe I should start streaming as well and promote Zero-K to the smash community?

Other than the aforementioned issues with smash.gg, I am quite content with the way that things are currently happening, at least in regards to rules and procedures.

+0 / -0
13 days ago
Part II: Map Selection / Pools / Banning

Baseline facts: There have been a total of 20 unique maps in the 1v1 LR series so far. These maps are:

* Titan Duel
* Barren
* Hourglass
* Prestige
* Izki Channel
* Fallendell
* Mercurial
* Intersection
* Frosty Cove
* Mechadansonia
* Red Comet
* Shimmershore
* Bandit Plains
* Isis Delta
* Cobalt Dream
* Sparkles Reef
* Valles Marineris
* Comet Catcher Redux
* Gecko Isle
* Obsidian

All maps in this pool were taken from the 1v1 search on the maps page.

The map rule was constant for LR #1,2 and then changed for all LR after, likely soon to change again at LR #8.
First map rule: "In each round with three maps listed, the player who has the smash.gg task of "create the game lobby" bans one of the three maps, then the second player chooses a map from the remaining two."

Second map rule: "Lower seeded player or winner of last game (in Bo3) bans one map. The opponent then bans one map. This process repeats until there is only one map left, which is the map played."

Map rule is already getting fixed. I have learned "Quanto Tournament Map" and Izki are forbidden.

+0 / -0