Implemented Fix the "Tiers Played" Signup Issue and Tierlock Retains

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We should permanently fix the “tiers played” signup issue to prevent pricefixing from coming into play during auctions as well as reduce pricefixing incentive by tierlocking retains.

The two teams in SPL finals, regardless of intention, took huge advantage of pricefixed players. Sharks had 7.5k suapah who signed up for RBY and played SS after mids, including winning a crucial tiebreak in semis. Raiders had 8.5k 100p who signed up for DPP, was benched until mids, and clutched for his team in semis and finals (and was slotted in tiebreak as well). In addition, Raiders had 3k Hclat at midseason, who was significantly cheaper than he would have been otherwise and allowed them to fix their ADV slot issue seamlessly. I am not trying at all to put down the Sharks and Raiders for their draft. In fact, I think both teams did a great job in auction and taking advantage of loopholes in the rules should occur if they exist.

My proposal is twofold:

1. Implement z0mOG's “Tiers NOT Played” proposal and make this condition last an entire SPL season (

2. Tierlock retains for four weeks for SPL 14 based on their SPL 13 signup, and then tierlock them according to “Tiers NOT Played” for future editions of the tournament.

Tiers not played is different than tiers played because it is easier to say what you won’t play than what you will. It allows you to have more flexibility in switching tiers during a season while preventing someone from pricefixing by saying they won’t play their best tier.

Dr. Rey — 03/20/2022
its not the same becuase
for example
100 said DPP
so now he can only play DPP
so he pricefixes himself
but if he says
"i wont play all the other tiers but dpp"
now hes stuck
in dpp
the difference lies in that
you can tierlock that
all season
bcuz its easier to post what you wont play
than what youll play

I think retains are dumb and should be nuked in full, but that is not something I think is practical to remove nor would most people be on board with. However, I think the idea of having a player pricefix one year and then be retained for a different tier sets a bad precedent and rewards players to “play for next year” by having their price lowered for several years to come. As seen from this SPL, pricefixing is effective and the drawbacks aren’t necessarily high. 100p shouldn’t be able to be retained to play a full season of SS for 11.5k after signing up for DPP only the previous year, and suapah shouldn’t be retained for 10.5k to play a full season of SS either. Roro and I had a 13k Felix retain this year, which despite our result gave us a huge advantage, and shouldn’t be used as a counterpoint to this proposal because Felix didn’t pricefix the year before and signed up for + played SS from week 1.

Thanks for reading.
Every SPL result after my original thread was created and ignored has been fraudulent, and will be fraudulent until "Tiers NOT Played" is introduced, as the tournament is just a display of who can game the rules better instead of honorably playing pokemon better -- see excal's mention of this tournaments' finalists as an example. Once again the vigilante TDenius tries to save the people of Smogon only for them to doom themselves (also see: WCoP tiers).
I hesitate to get involved with this thread because I don’t want it to come off as crying/excuse making/sour grapes because my team didn’t do as well as I wanted it to. That isn’t the case, but people will think whatever they want to think.

Regardless, I can tell you from my personal private conversations that at least half a dozen other managers/assistant managers from this most recent SPL alone, and myself, view this as an enormous problem and something that desperately needs to be addressed for the integrity of the tournament. Intentional or not it’s a really, really bad look that the two finalist teams this year were the two teams with the two biggest price manipulations of the tournament. I don’t even necessarily blame those teams- they simply took a strategic risk and exploited bad rules- rather, the rules themselves are the culprit.

I don’t want to play a word game and I don’t know EXACTLY how the rule should be worded to avoid every possible loophole, but in line with what Excal and Zom said it should be something straight forward and damn close to either “players can ONLY play tiers they signed up for outside of a playoff tiebreaker” or “players must list tiers they WONT play and anything else is fair game”.

In addition to that I think signups where players say things along the lines of “I may or may not be available for 3-4 weeks” or “I CAN play X but I really don’t want to” should simply be disregarded or disallowed. Those kind of signups are half the problem in the first place. In an ideal world rules are as black and white and straightforward as possible and do not leave room for ambiguity or grey. That’s why it should be either “I’m willing to play Tier X” or “I’m not willing to play Tier X”. There is no “I can but I don’t want to and maybe you shouldn’t draft me for it”. It’s yes or no.

It should be the same with threatened activity absences. “There’s a high chance I have to miss 3-4 weeks” and then they play every week is effectively the same thing as “I really only want to play Tier X” and then they play Tier Y all tournament. Again it should be black and white- you signup and you’re committing to be available every week/all but one week of the tournament or you can’t play. The tournament should not be bending over to make special exceptions for your month long absence that you may or may not end up taking. Intentional or not this kind of behavior should absolutely fall under the umbrella of price fixing and be disallowed.

Arguments that a tier lock could hypothetically make it so a team wouldn’t legally be able to submit a roster or have a legal player to fill each slot are silly. Just make some rule that the four least expensive players on a team can play anything or players costing 5K or less can play anything and that problem is instantly solved. You can easily iron out the details. The heart of the matter here is price fixing, integrity and equal opportunity for all teams, not nonsensical technicalities like that.

Finally, wholeheartedly agreeing with Excal, both the Suapah and the 100%PH retains should NOT be allowed next year. Buying the latter, for example, one time with a BS tier signup and ridiculously low price and then retaining him to play his main for the next 3 years, which it mathematically makes sense to do should he stay at the same level of play he’s at today, is absolutely ridiculous and imbalanced.
People should be able to simultaneously
1) communicate preferences
2) be flexible as needed for their team

Having overly strict rules makes the aforementioned impossible. Getting rid of minimally impactful gaming of the system is not worth the collateral of inhibiting player freedom.

Retains are extremely watered down and balanced as is. There's no need to touch them further.



Banned deucer.
I'd like to preface this that I'm basically new to this scene as a lot of you aren't, so my opinions can be horribly wrong and you're free to tell me so; that being said, I'd like to express them because I genuinely desire to help and I watched this SPL enough that I feel I can express myself on the matter.

I agree on two counts with what said above; on pricefixing, I agree that the rule is "broken", as in "not working well enough to entirely cover the problem", as in you can still pay nothing for a particular player just because he's playing half the season a single tier but then helps you get to poffs just for the huge amount of support in the latter half (although on this I want to say that players capable of this feat should be regarded higher, but it still makes up a problem in the auction, so...);
I think we can easily go the way of adding a "Tiers NOT played" clause on the signup form to bind players from not playing certain tiers at all, or just put a "Tiers preferred" instead, with different caveats; the former being that generally people are against such restrictions since it might cause problems down the line with possible lineups and whatnot, needing to add a whole bunch of rulings to patch these scenarios (and I get the "this should be less restrictive" sentiment), while the latter only needing a rule saying that a player CAN refuse to play in a tier that didn't sign as "preferred", and overall makes it for the least restrictive solution; generally both of these are aimed to combat pricefixing with the simplest of ideas behind them: just think as almost everyone can play almost everywhere or can be useful almost everywhere, so you actually have to pay for them
That being said, this won't instantly solve every problem, since quite frankly some players being pricefixed is just... what happens in an auction; of course the strongest and most useful players will get called first, but there's ALWAYS the one that gets paid less than what you should if you then see what they bring to the table, but I agree that we can change the rule to be more flexible and less restrictive, while fighting the idea of pricefixing as a whole

on retains, I think they're quite honestly dumb and shouldn't exist at all, BUT if people are adamant at keeping them I'd suggest making them harder to justify than just drafting them, such as rising their price with some formula like "last season's price + tot credits based on their W/L ratio" or something along those lines, with some hard limit on how high they can go (like, 1/3 of your max credits or something like that; preventing them to go SKY HIGH, but still making them go high enough that to justify them you need a LOT of good reasons)
again, this falls again in the "why is their price this low" category which is basically what people are complaining about pricefixing, but w/e
also please just get rid of retains

Generally I think you can improve over the current rules to be more flexible while covering the existing issue, but it's a issue that will never go out completely as it's the core of a auction-based team tournament, and there will be someone that will always complain about this :blobpensive:
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maybe this is heaven
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unfortunately, i don't believe there is an effective solution to this problem. this type of strict adherence to the rules is only going to lead back to the same place, no matter what guidelines are chosen. the half-season lock is quite obviously undesirable due to the various price-fixing issues. whereas players being permanently locked into the tiers they sign up for makes it such that it is in the best interest of any player to simply sign up for "all", removing their ability to effectively communicate their preferences // or // listing only the tiers they actually want to play and then risking getting stuck if the season does not pan out as anticipated.

it's also worth mentioning that players should be able to play whatever they want in a tiebreak situation, even if a full-season tier-lock comes into effect. logically this goes without saying, but we've definitely seen some questionable decisions be made before due to a lack of clearly defined rules. so if we are going to lock players for the full season, this should be codified from the get-go // situations like prinz coming in to win dpp for the ruiners in the spl xi finals tiebreaker, despite not playing a dpp game all season, should always be allowed. it would be a travesty if all this rulesharking ultimately lead to the best players not being able to compete in the biggest moments.
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