Hi! You may have noticed that there have been very few, if any, unofficial tournaments that have started in the past couple of months. This is partly because we wanted to rework unofficial tournament structure but mostly because our resident unofficial tournament workhorse Oglemi has recently moved on to bigger and better things. We're going to take this opportunity to change several things that will improve how unofficial tournaments are run, so if you are interested in hosting or playing in them, please read on! 1. The tournament queue will now run on a monthly basis, as per Ciele's suggestion in a discussion about unofficial tournaments over a year ago. This will fix several issues with our tournament queueing process, including the enormous (read: several months) wait to host a tournament after you apply for it. It will also let us be somewhat more selective with the kinds of tournaments we accept, meaning that the selection of tournaments we include will be of overall higher quality. Additionally, running them on a monthly basis also lets us plot out exactly when signups for each unofficial tournament will run, so if you are interested in a certain one you will know exactly what day they will be posted! Running it this way means that unofficial tournaments aren't dependent on one another, so if one tournament is going slowly it won't affect others in the queue and make it even longer for people who are excited for a certain tournament to start. 2. Unofficial tournaments will now have regulated deadlines. One of the primary issues we wanted to fix with unofficial tournaments is that they are far too long to hold interest, especially with little reward, and lengthy deadlines (or even a lack of deadlines, depending on the host) are a huge roadblock to having efficient tournaments. As a rule of thumb, signups for unofficial tournaments will be expected to be open for 3-4 days, and each round will be expected to be roughly a week in length. Exceptions can be discussed if they would be necessary, but having mandated, regular deadlines will make unofficial tournaments that much easier to participate in and not completely disregard because a round takes three weeks. Also... 3. We will be striving to minimize extensions given. This is not to say that we will remove extensions altogether because they are the correct activity decision in certain situations, but there will be a major focus on minimizing extensions granted in order to keep our tournaments running smoothly. This will especially be in effect for later tournament rounds; nobody wants to see tournament finals go on for a full month because nobody can be bothered to actually schedule a match with their opponent. 4. Eventually, we would like to implement tournaments that happen at a certain time every year as well (a good example being Secret Santa late in the year) to add prestige to them and a sense of an unofficial tournament schedule. These tournaments would largely be ones that have been well-received in prior editions, meaning that you can look forward to some of your favorite unofficial tournaments every month much like the official tournament schedule. We're not 100% ready with a plan for this yet, but stay tuned (and let me know if you have any ideas you want to share)! --- So, how will the monthly queue work? In general, the last two weeks of each month will be used as an application period; myself or one of the other TDs will post in this thread to remind everyone that tournament applications for the next month are open, so follow this thread if you are interested. It would be best to post your application as soon as possible to get the most consideration, because if you submit on the last day we might already have a plan of which tournaments we want to run for that month. Submissions will also NOT carry over to the next submission period because that would re-create the backlog we have been struggling with, so you must resubmit for every monthly period if your tournament was not outright disapproved. Once we're set with which tournaments are happening for the next month, we will post that applications are closed and give a schedule of tournament signups, including the host and a brief description of the tournament. It will look something like this: The schedule for sign-ups won't necessarily be every five days or whatever, we'll figure it out as we go along. For April, since we are starting mid-month, we will open applications immediately and create a schedule as soon as we have one we're happy with. From there, we will follow the pattern described above (so there will likely be two application periods in quick succession in April). In order to proceed with a monthly-based tournament queue, we unfortunately have to wipe all our current backlog clean and start anew, meaning that anybody who has applied to host a tournament recently and hasn't had a response will need to re-apply by simply posting a new thread. Those of you who have already been approved and just weren't added to the queue earlier will receive stronger priority for inclusion, but I implore you to realize that we will only have a limited amount of available slots per month and that it is likely some tournaments (even ones that have been previously approved) might not make the cut. If there is a surplus in great tournament applications and we feel like there will be enough player activity to merit it, we may also consider expanding the number of slots in the future. This thread will be locked so that we can use it to give queue updates, but if you have any questions or feedback on these changes, feel free to PM or VM me (Zebraiken) about them. I will also probably change the thread title once it's no longer an announcement. Thank you for reading!