Growth and SPL

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slight tangent but: can we not have another awkward new generation spl? you know, the ones where if we don’t have lower tiers in the spl, the players who would remain unbought or cheap are collected and skew two drafts! because teams are also keeping in mind future retains? plz eliminate this mechanic, “managerial skill” is not worth the gross distortion of the draft and future deflated retains if we opt for no lower tiers this spl. retains should be eliminated entirely. thank u!
 

Heysup

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I asked Tony for posting permissions for this thread like two weeks ago, so I should probably actually use them...

I used to think the people against 14 slots were basically full of shit, and that an increase in team size was whatever. Then DPL increased from 6 to 8 slots last year and I found the tour to be significantly less fun. I think there are two main reasons this was the case. One is that I was less able to focus on prepping and helping each team member with more games to spread my attention across. Two is that there was reduced lineup flexibility when the number of slots increased but the number of subs did not. I think I didn't notice these things in SPL because I'm a mainer, but I can totally understand where multi-tier threats (and managers) are coming from now when they oppose increasing the size of SPL. In fact if anything, I think we should reduce the number of starting slots in our main draft tournaments.
This is a false equivalency.

Firstly, increasing the slots from 12 to 14 is a marginal increase of about 17% and 6 to 8 is an increase of about 33%. This is about twice the difference. The level of difference here is much lower in terms of the drop off of player quality and prep time allocated per player for the manager. On this point, I would also suggest that a drop off in a non OU metagame will be higher than in an OU metagame in player quality, based on community size.

Second, it is my experience that managers build for their players in other PL tours proportionately way more frequently than in SPL due in part to interest and also due in part that you may have great tour players who don't main the PL tier that you happen to be playing.

Lastly, but potentially most importantly, the additional slots in the SPL increase may come from entirely different player bases unlike in other PL tours. For example, LC or RBY have different bases than OU, and the building requirements are generally fulfilled by those players and I would argue the quality of games would not decrease at all.
 
I think there may have been a miscommunication. Your post is mostly about the idea that increasing the number of slots will decrease the collective skill of the tournament, but my argument doesn't rest on that at all. Even though I am willing to agree that adding RBY and LC or what-have-you to SPL won't have a noticeable impact on quality of play, I still oppose the idea of a 14-slot SPL because of the two points I mentioned in my post.

Additionally, I don't agree with the idea that because 12 to 14 is a small marginal change, we should continue on that course. If I felt that prepping 10 teams per week (DPL added a bo3 slot last year which was :blobnauseated: but I digress) was unmanageable, then moreso for 12, let alone 14. Better to reverse course back toward a manageable team size, than say ah fuck, may as well make it even worse.

Lastly, I think it's a mistake to discount the value of teamwork because "the players in SPL are mainers, they can handle themselves," or think that only managers need to worry about prep help. A culture of collaboration between players is what makes teams strong (and what makes team tours fun, imo). And fewer teams to prep per week (while not necessarily reducing the overall amount of players in the tour via increasing subs) helps collaboration happen.
 
the use of percentages in this conversation is lame and obfuscates the raw player addition necessary. 20! is still very significant, and two team slots spreads thin impact and notice toward individual slots. we’re inevitably gonna get more shitters w more slots. i admit, i like this tournament smaller and maintaining the status quo can be seen and lazy, but shit! i would even say 12 slots is too many.
 

Coconut

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Normally I don't particularly care to post in these threads because it's the same tired arguments over and over again and at this point no one contributes anything new to the conversation, but I feel the need to call out arguments that are poorly thought out and short-sighted under the guise of thinking in the long term.

Making SPL into all OU or keeping it at twelve slots or whatever is invariably a short-term solution. The quality of games might increase with a change like this, the attention given to slots by managers might be more considerable, sure. These are all hypothetical things that could happen that are net positives with the reduction of slots/tiers. But don't be fucking stupid and claim that less slots is better for the overall of Smogon longterm. Look at literally any growing or expanding community in history and it's apparent that when growth exists, so does representation of a wider spectrum of ideas, values, and change in general. People in other communities will value other things more, but when these communities are considered to be valid and equal to each other, you cannot discount an opinion coming from a community that previously had less representation in favor of one that has always had representation. You must weigh out the benefits of both and attempt to find compromise in an attempt to appease all involved parties. Smogon in general has a difficult time with this, however the tournaments community has a unique opportunity to thrive in this manner.

Longterm, more slots will be better because even if it is not immediate, player skill level will always catch up to the amount of slots. Over the years players on Smogon have become better and better and the natural skill level of players will continue to improve overtime. The amount of player independence will improve as time progresses and more and more players will become specialists, if not already. Managers might not have enough time to dedicate to individual slots, but players in those slots will need less assistance. These are not hypothetical; with the continued growth of the community, these are going to happen without fail.

If you as an individual think that we should focus on the immediate instead of the longterm, that's fine. I completely respect that regardless of what I believe or what is best for my community. But don't you dare claim that it's in our best interest to sit here and ignore what will happen, regardless of what we do now.
 

Earthworm

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Making SPL into all OU or keeping it at twelve slots or whatever is invariably a short-term solution.
I feel like this statement completely ignores the potential for complementing solutions, one of which is in the OP of this thread.

The quality of games might increase with a change like this, the attention given to slots by managers might be more considerable, sure. These are all hypothetical things that could happen that are net positives with the reduction of slots/tiers. But don't be fucking stupid and claim that less slots is better for the overall of Smogon longterm. Look at literally any growing or expanding community in history and it's apparent that when growth exists, so does representation of a wider spectrum of ideas, values, and change in general. People in other communities will value other things more, but when these communities are considered to be valid and equal to each other, you cannot discount an opinion coming from a community that previously had less representation in favor of one that has always had representation. You must weigh out the benefits of both and attempt to find compromise in an attempt to appease all involved parties. Smogon in general has a difficult time with this, however the tournaments community has a unique opportunity to thrive in this manner.
These are very generalised statements you are making and I can't see how or why they should apply to the issue at hand. I would appreciate it if you could please be more specific and provide some examples.

There are numerous negative effects to increasing the number of slots per team tournament and there are superior potential solutions to handling and supporting the growth of other communities. Splitting the tournament as per the OP is one of these superior solutions in my view. There are also many benefits to restricting the number of slots and variety of tiers. Exceptional players who are strong in many mainstream tiers become much less valuable the more slots are added due to the limits of how much time they have to help their team, how much specialist knowledge is required to do so, and the fact that they can only earn one win a week through actual gameplay contributions. The ability to work as a team is lessened the more specialist tiers are added. It also becomes more difficult to manage substitutions in the event they are needed. It becomes harder to get the necessary support from within your team and can make the tournament feel like more of an individual tournament than a team tournament for some players. Teamwork in particular is something that we should be trying to enable and maximise the potential for in a team tournament.

Longterm, more slots will be better because even if it is not immediate, player skill level will always catch up to the amount of slots.
Firstly, this is again ignoring other potential solutions. Secondly, this is only one facet of the arguments against increasing the number of slots, therefore it is quite inappropriate to use this as the sole reason for stating that this is a better long term solution. Thirdly, there are certainly hypotheticals involved with what you are saying. You are assuming the community will grow and not stagnate, which requires further assumptions such as the continued activity of proactive and positive leadership that continues to attract players and develop and update resources. I'm not saying these things won't happen, just that there are not as many certainties as you are saying. This kind of thing also applies to old gens.

But don't you dare claim that it's in our best interest to sit here and ignore what will happen, regardless of what we do now.
I don't understand what you are saying here. As far as I can tell, you haven't stated what will happen or under what circumstances something will happen.


If increasing the size of the tournament seems like a good idea, then I agree with whoever mentioned additional teams rather than additional slots. There are ways around the issue of tournament length while retaining round robin format, especially since this tour is Bo1 in most tiers. One way could be to make some weeks into "super weeks" where all teams play twice.



As I have previously expressed in other places, I do find it regrettable that some lower tiers have suffered in terms of solid official tournament representation. My Smogon Tour win was in the OU/UU/Ubers format and I feel that it was that tour format that really kicked off the development of serious lower tier play in the first place. That kind of exposure is desirable for these tiers but I don't believe compromising on team tour slots is the way to achieve it.
 
Coconut lower tiers will never be 'equal' to ou. in fact, the corollary of lower tiers' existence is a less skillful OU. while i acknowledge the sentiment behind these pushes of inclusion (invested time, fun factor, community, etc.) you must realize that spreading thin our formats is a side effect of this ~all tiers are equal~ bs. there is not a single competitive game i am aware of that has such an emphasis on lower tiers as we do. why? because the more people that play a central tier, the more attention, progress, and development there is.

so there's always this debacle every year. i am very confused by your post, Coconut, because you are using the frame of "what's best for the community" when i have not seen that verbage at all? and furthermore, you are posting in defense of tiers whose very existence are antagonistic to your goal. ~unless~ your goal isn't ~Competitive Pokemon~ and instead general community growth. but i am a tournament player posting in tournament policy, so.

the fulcrum of competition is exclusivity. we already had this conversation in last spl's thread. finding the right balance of exclusivity:fun(loaded term but u know what i mean) is what this thread is for. i don't mean to come off as a dick, but this is how i and a lot of other people view lower tiers: a distraction, an inherent flaw we tiptoe around because too many folks are invested and no one wants to be the executioner.

i feel like everything i posted in this thread has been very accusatory and complain-y! but like fuck! i know a lot of us, myself included, want better tournaments. we have some flawed shit! let's effect some real change! less milquetoast responses to our tournament issues!
 
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What seems to make intuitive sense to me for the annual tournament schedule. Right now it's really weird that Classic overlaps with the old gens teamtours, and Slam overlaps with Snake.

January-April: SPL - CG OU and old gens
March-May: Grand Slam
June-July: WCOP - 8x CG OU
August-October: Classic
September-November: Snake - CG OU and lower tiers

Rinse and repeat. OST, OLT, and Smogon Tour stay the same.

Having only 1 lower tiers team tour and only 1 old gens team tour will improve the standards of play, as they are both ailing compared to CG OU, with the level of old gen tournament play being particularly bad over the last year. That's due to oversaturation and overrepresentation. Less is more.

also @ dice, for the record I believe that the level of play in lower tiers is far higher than in old gens
 

TonyFlygon

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The format for SPL 11 will be as follows:

SS OU
SS OU
SS OU
SS DOU
SS LC
SM OU
ORAS OU
BW OU
DPP OU
ADV OU
GSC OU
RBY OU


The tournament will keep its 12-slot format and the new retention system we implemented last year remains as well.

I also want to expand on how we the TDs stand on SPL as a whole going forward. For us it's a matter of striking the right balance between inclusion and hosting a competitive tournament. As for lower tiers specifically, we fully intend on them being part of SPL in years to come. This tournament uniquely brings together different sections of the website to work together and lower tiers being part of its fabric has everything to do with that.

The TD team might eventually expand the tournament to 14 (or more) slots or we might experiment with different models in the future. I can't possibly rule that out today. However, we're not there yet. The SPL format is and has been fantastic. SPL is the tournament we all look forward to as soon as it ends for a reason. WCoP provides us with an official team tournament that focuses on OU tiers specifically. SSD provides us with an official team tournament that focuses on the current gen and lower tiers specifically. SPL allows us to tie our communities together and that isn't changing for now.
 
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