The Tournament Skill Tier system which was introduced at the end of 2021 was brought in to help rebuild a solid tournament foundation. Some of our key goals were to:
- Encourage more players to play tournaments.
- Put a stop to sandbagging. (Highly skilled players abusing systems to face less skilled opponents and increase their chance of winning).
- Create more balanced & fair competition.
- Help give players a reason to play in more appropriate Skill Tiers.
- Create a more welcoming experience for players just teeing off in tournaments.
There’s been a 12% increase in the number of our users playing tournaments.
Sandbagging and unbalanced competition have both been massively improved upon. We can see the scores in Weekend Rounds are far more evenly matched across all Skill Tiers.
We’ve seen more players than ever making the step up to play in the higher difficulty tournaments:
- Pro +18%
- Expert +67%
- Master +110%
And, first time tournament players choosing to come back to play a second tournament have increased by 8%.
New players coming in and existing players moving up is necessary for the long-term health of tournaments and, is the foundation we need, to allow for more exciting tournament changes in the future.
We acknowledge that system needed some time to self-regulate, but it is now bracketing players more accurately than ever before, and the longer it runs for, the more precise a measure of genuine skill the tiers will become.
Following some great feedback, we also made a couple of recent improvements. We introduced promotion changes to give fairer qualification opportunities and increased rewards for those that compete at the highest levels.
We continue to receive great feedback on tournament Skill Tiers and want to take the opportunity to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions:
Why aren’t I moving down Skill Tiers, even though I’m regularly failing to make the Weekend Round?
For some players that have a long history of successes (see previous point for a measure of success), it can take quite some time of not making the Weekend Round before dropping down a Skill Tier. We also have measures in place to help guard against players’ attempts to manipulate the Skill Tier system. Our advice for players that are having trouble qualifying is, where possible, to play at a lower Skill Tier within a higher difficulty. For example, it can often be more difficult to qualify for Rookie 3 than it is to qualify for Pro 2.
Are you doing anything to prevent the absolute best players from sandbagging the lower difficulties? (e.g. Players that could play in Expert Tier 3 choosing to enter Rookie 3). We measure tournament skill by examining tournament performance and use this to position players in an appropriate Skill Tier. For more information please check out of detailed Skill Tier breakdown –
Why have I moved up a Skill Tier when I didn’t finish in the top 10 of my Weekend Round?
MOST players don’t make the Weekend Round. In fact, 60-75% of tournament entrants do not make the Weekend Round. If you manage to finish in 50th place in your Weekend Round: you’re actually in the top 15-20% of ALL players that entered in that Skill Tier. This, as a one off, would not be enough to earn you a promotion to a higher Skill Tier. However, if you have previous good results, or are consistently beating ~80% of your opponents in this way, then you’ll rightfully earn a place in a higher Skill Tier (as will other players that are having similar or better success).
We’ll be continuing to monitor feedback closely and already have some ideas for how we’d like to evolve tournaments in future.
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