Proposal Revisiting the timings of Smogon Tour

Dj Breloominati♬

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As we bid farewell to this iteration of the tour and I finally acquire the permissions to write in this subforum; I want to bring up a concern in regards to the tour setup and possible steps that can be taken to avoid it in the future. This is regarding Smogon Tour , one of the most prestigious and historical tournaments on this forum. Its format is clearly distinct and unique from your more standard tournaments, which is exactly what makes it so popular. The close proximity of games gives a plethora of competitive matches for spectators to watch, whilst allowing the players to play successive high calibre games without the need to wait several weeks. And obviously, with the tournament being in such a distinctive format, it’s been remodelled several times in the past few years in order to “perfect” it. Whether that be tiers or an increase in the number of tournaments in a week. But there’s one big flaw which has been brought up several times, yet keeps getting overlooked. Timings.


Addressing the elephant in the room, the current times are incredibly unsuitable for those in Asian and Oceanic time zones. Given the growth of these communities in recent times, it feels quite unfair to brush this legitimate concern aside.

Current Timings:

• 6 pm GMT -4 on Fridays
• 4 pm GMT -4 on Saturdays
• 2 pm GMT -4 on Sundays.

Translation to some Asian/Oceanic countries:

India: (3:30AM Saturday, 1:30AM Sunday and 11:30PM Sunday)
China: (6AM Saturday, 4AM Sunday, 2AM Monday)
Australia: (10AM Saturday, 8AM Sunday, 6AM Monday during their summer when daylight savings are reserved ; 8AM Saturday , 6AM Sunday , 4AM Monday otherwise)

Majority of these timings are very early in the morning, which collide with unavoidable activities such as sleep and work. And again, this is just a major inconvenience for most people. The only really “reasonable” time listed above is the Friday timing for Australia. You could make an argument for India’s Sunday timing being sensible, but a lot of these tours drag on for 2+ hours, and roughly lasting until 2AM, which interferes with the sleep schedule of many.

Growth of Asian Communities on Smogon:

Roughly 8 years have passed since the last change in tournament timings, around Season 14. Tony also made a thread concerning this topic roughly 3 years ago. Notable time has passed since both of these changes/proposals respectively, and Asian communities in particular have experienced significant growth. Several more Asian based teams are competing in the likes of WCoP and POWC, with the percentage of signups from Asian/Oceanic gradually increasing within recent times.

Although it is not by virtue of the timings alone , the representation of Asia + Oceania in ST has been skewed to a great extent in recent editions of the tour. I have compiled the data of the qualifiers of the past 5 seasons in order to get my point across more directly / visually :-
Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 7.35.03 PM.png


Proposal:

There has been a substantial growth of Asian communities within Smogon since previous proposals of changing the times. Right now, it is practically impossible for anyone living in Asian/some Oceanic countries to compete. It wouldn’t be fair to neglect these growing communities and persist with these inconvenient timings, especially when this is the only official tournament which occurs twice a year. A participant from the US has three suitable timings to choose from, whilst only being allowed to select a maximum of two. Asian/Oceanic communities virtually have 0, which honestly should not be the case for a tournament that occurs as frequently as this one
.
I’d like to make a proposal for the change in the existing timings to (one of) the following:

•9PM GMT -4 on Fridays
• 5AM GMT -4 on Saturdays
• 1PM GMT -4 on Sundays.

Conversions:

For Friday:



For Saturday:



















For Sundays:





This proposal aims to give 2 reasonable times for each “major” timezone to attend. Albeit some time zones have more favourable times to attend, it is still way more inclusive than previously. The screenshots above aid to help visualisation, so the dates can be ignored.

UTC-7: 6PM and 10AM are reasonable.
UTC-4: 9PM and 1PM are reasonable.
UTC-3: 10PM and 2PM are reasonable.
UTC+1: 10AM and 6PM are reasonable.
UTC+2: 11AM and 7PM are reasonable.
UTC+5:30: 2:30PM and 10:30PM are reasonable.
UTC+8: 5PM and 9AM are reasonable.
UTC+10: 11AM and 7PM are reasonable.



These are obviously some significant, imperfect suggestions. And in a hypothetical, reasonable, situation where a time change is seriously considered, these should be further discussed, even if they’re not as significant. Any change should be changed, especially if it can benefit growth by catering to quite a growing playerbase.


The other proposal is potentially having different times for each smogon tournament season. One that caters to the wider demographic, whereas the other one caters to the current demographic. With a tournament that is as unique and frequent as this, there shouldn’t be a reason for those with unfavourable time zones should suffer by not being able to participate.


Time changes are something that have been discussed in the past, and with the constant growth of Asian communities, I feel like something, however small, should be considered.
 
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Oglemi

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I've been a big proponent of making one of the two Tours we have each year being Asian-centric. You always run into the "well, is there enough people to justify it" questions, but it's rather difficult to get an actual idea if you never run a tour during a string of times that works for them.

We did try catering saturday mornings(?) I believe for a couple years, but what really needs to happen is a full run. Hopefully we're in a place to give this a chance.
 

Aurora

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I remember starting out on Smogon and wanting to join Smogon Tours but finding it really difficult to motivate myself to wake up before 8AM at the latest on a weekend to load up Pokemon Online and get knocked out in the first round. Friday 10AM, the least frustrating option for Australians, was out of the question at the time because I had school. This is coming from someone who lives in a part of Australia which has the most "ahead" timezone, too. Someone in Perth, which shares a timezone with the Philippines and parts of Indonesia, would as it stands have to join the 8AM Friday tournament, which is even worse, and the further back you go timezone-wise it continues to get more and more prohibitive (up to a point, I guess, but...). Something like this would be a great change for Australian hopefuls too.
 

Batzi

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As an Australian, I believe there should be some time that caters to Oceanic countries as well as some Asian countries in similar shoes to us. I only attended one Smog Tour just because I happened to be up early for an auction PL I was managing in. Other than that one very rare opportunity, I am not able to easily attend Smog Tours, and if I am, I would most likely be to disorientated to make logical plays when I have just woken up. I am not just saying this for myself, but also for some of my friends and my tutees who want to improve at the game, but they are unable to get much tournament practice because they can't wake up at those times to play. It honestly gives those in other timezones a bit of unfair advantage because they get to play the better players more often in turn gaining experience but us Oceania and Asian dwellers do not get.

Possibly one solution to this as someone said above is to host one day that is on a weekend but also during +10 afternoon (around 3 or 4?) which will allow Asians to join as well as the Americans who are daring enough to stay up and wait for it. However I can also see how this is unfair for European and some South American countries.

I should add that a total of 47 people received a group DM for Oceania WCop tryouts with some people who haven't identified their countries left out meaning that there is well over 47 people who are from Oceania as well as the existing roster. Additionally ( devin might be able to confirm) Asia had plenty of players trying out for their World Cup as well as China and India who come in large numbers. In saying this, I do not think this is an issue of trying to find "numbers" in Smog Tours.
 
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agree with OP, timings should definitely change. Just have a different proposal:

Remove the tour on Friday entirely. The Friday timing is pretty awful for just about everyone - it historically has the least signups for a reason. The west/midwest people are at work/just getting done with classes, the east people are just getting home for work/have been at home for a bit but have two pretty fantastic timings on the weekend they will generally be able to join, the Europeans obviously prefer the Saturday and Sunday timings, and the Friday time doesn't even translate remotely well to the Asian/Oceanic countries barring some places in Australia, which is still pretty early for most people to be waking up on a Saturday for pokemon.

I think the Friday tour should be moved to 6-7am eastern on Saturday. 6am translates to 3:30pm Indian standard time, 6pm China time, and somewhere around 7-9pm Australian times, which are all very reasonable times. I don't think the other two timings should change considering they still cater to the large majority of the Smogon population. This would give everyone everywhere at the very least one very reasonable time which I think is a fair place to start.
 
I'm sure that I've discussed about this topic looong time ago (couldn't find anything on forums so it shoulda been happened on discord, maybe), proposing to take advantage of the 3x3 format to make timings suitable for all the 3 "major timezones", which are: Americas, EU/Africa, Asia/Oceania.

There were two ways to make it happen:

Having one day more suitable for each timezone (e.g. Friday EU/Af, Saturday US/LA, Sunday AS/OC); these days can be rotated weekly in order to accomodate any possible issue with a specific day. This proposal might sound a bit confusing since there's no way to get players used to it, due to its "volatile" scheduling. On a side note, this also may "nerf" every player's changes to increase their points weekly since, on average, everyone would have only one day per week perfectly suitable for them (this may be adjusted finding timings that can work for 2/3 timezones tho, like current Sunday for EU/Af and US/LA);

Having one week per gen more suitable for each timezone; issues are similar to the ones of the first proposal, just less spreaded throughout time.

I don't know which one looks better, nor if both suck, just they seemed quite fine for me in order to make everyone have a fair timing at least once per week/once per gen.

I remember I had proposed this because, as European player, I was tired of having to play either on late night (friday), to stay at home on sat evening or to play on dinner time (sunday); I've been told the community was too much US centered to make that happen, since we would had too much difference in joining between different timings, and we had proof of that during that one experiment to accomodate Asian/Oceanian players.
This, however, happened several years ago, and things seem to have slightly changed now, just not sure on what extent.
I believe that either one of the two proposal could get a chance, and that these look quite more comfortable instead of having two whole seasons with different timings because, of the three timezones, there will be always one having to play on unsuitable timings. Sure, one can always try to wake up on Sunday morning to play Pokemon or to stay up late on Friday (let alone hosting lol), but I think that it would be way more acceptable if it's not the "set in stone standard".

I don't even play OU anymore and I think that even the "Two timings Seasons proposal" would eventually be acceptable (just a bit worse than these but it's just my personal opinion), so well, that's just my two cents.
 
With growing communities in the historically "minority timezones," the proposed change seems logical to me. Based on my 4+ years of experience advertising various Smogon tournaments within the Chinese communities, STour has always been the least popular one due to the timezone. (Literally maybe 1 or 2 players signed up despite my hundred bucks prize pool vs. Several dozens signups for OLT or OST, for example.)

So I'm here to show support to the OP on behalf of the Chinese community. Our community started from a two-tour-per-year server to today's 2000+ user (although the real number is much lower due to retirement and lurking) community with Circuit and Team tournaments all around the year. Even though on average Chinese community players are nowhere near the skill level of top tournament players on Smogon, I see the participation of STour as a great growing / improving opportunity for underrepresented communities in this tour (us alongside Indian / Asian / Oceanian to name a few). And I believe this change is also theoretically beneficial for the long-term development of the tournament community as a whole.

In terms of the implementation detail of the change, I think the OP's proposal is very well-thought-out, whereas I can see Chaitanya's proposal as a smaller and very likely much easier step to take atm.
 

Luigi

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if the td team decides to do something about this for tour 32 it should be with the mindset and expectation that it's a test run and that if signup numbers are significantly lower in the changed time that it would change back to the old format in tour 33.

i say this because the td team has tried this experiment before in 2016 and it lead to significantly lower signups, though to be fair the experiment was aborted after 2 weeks iirc, and a full season would be a more expressive sample size to see if it works or not.
 

abd1710

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if the td team decides to do something about this for tour 32 it should be with the mindset and expectation that it's a test run and that if signup numbers are significantly lower in the changed time that it would change back to the old format in tour 33.

i say this because the td team has tried this experiment before in 2016 and it lead to significantly lower signups, though to be fair the experiment was aborted after 2 weeks iirc, and a full season would be a more expressive sample size to see if it works or not.
After a detailed scout, I could only find these 2015 tours with a diff timing ORAS and BW which were hosted at 8 PM GMT -4 on Fridays (2 hours later than the regular time lol). This results in 5 AM (Pakistan), 5:30 AM (India), 8 AM (China) and 10 AM (Australia). This timing doesn't provide good time options for Asians at all and shouldnt be used as an example for last time change failure.

The SmogTour timing which we follow today (2PM-4PM-6PM) was decided back in 2012. It should be noted that the playerbase was still predominantly American at this time, much more so than now. This is also why there were barely any complaints. The situation is quite different today, Asia and Oceania have evolved into much bigger communities and it is time they get their due recognition.
 

IPF

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As someone who has played a lot of Smogon Tour in the past year from an entirely unviable timezone (+5.5) I thought I'd quickly voice some concerns I have with this proposed change that I initially brought up in the SmogTours discord, but figured putting it here would make more people aware of it.

First off, I'm heavily biased in saying I would like the timings to change, waking up/staying up until 3:30 AM/1:30 AM is not a pleasant experience, losing early sucks because it means you've wasted the effort of staying up, winning and going deep sucks because you end up ruining your sleep and generally being miserable the next day. Revised timings would be fantastic, especially considering the growth of communities outside of the US in the 6 years since the last attempt at this.

The issue I can potentially see happening is the ease of attaining points in the tours aimed at Asia/Oceania timezones. I mean no offence by this, but the US playerbase is outright stronger than that of ours, making those tours more competitive compared to one that would have primarily Asian/Oceanic players and thus harder to get points in. Would that be an unfair disadvantage to American players? Could an American player on the verge of qualification sign up for the Asia-friendly tour in order to farm points? I think these are things that need to be taken into consideration.

Overall, I like Chaitanya's proposal the most, since it's more friendly to our European friends as well (they seem to be forgotten in these talks), and it being a trial run for this season also seems to be the most fair. Just wanted to make these concerns visible.
 
As an Indian,I definitely believe there should be changes to the timings of Smogon Tours.While I very much like the OP’s proposal, since it didn’t find enough takers among the Europeans and Americans I would like to propose a slightly different schedule.

-Friday: 10 PM UTC-4
-Saturday: 1PM UTC-4 ( 1:30 PM might also be fine )
-Sunday: 8AM UTC-4 (8:30 AM or 9AM might also be fine)

It should be a bit more convenient than the OP’s for the Europeans and American time zones.This proposal gives

UTC-4: 10 pm and 1pm are reasonable, even 8 AM should be possible for some
UTC-7: 7:pm and 10am are reasonable
UTC-3: 3PM Is ideal.One of 11PM and 9AM should also be reasonable
UTC+1: 6:PM and 1PM are reasonable.
UTC+2: 7PM and 2PM are reasonable.
UTC+5.5: 5:30PM and 10:30PM are reasonable
UTC+8: 10AM and 8PM are reasonable.
UTC+10: 12 noon and 10PM are reasonable.


Obviously this is not that big of a change from the OP’s so If Chaitanya ’s proposal is the preferred one I would like to propose a small change in that if possible, to switch the timings on Saturday and Sunday.


2pm GMT-4 on Saturday allows players from the Indian Subcontinent who can stay up late to play the tour as the next day is an holiday, while the same time on Sunday doesn’t allow it as most people have school/work/college on Monday.Personally I would definitely stay up late on Saturday while I cannot do so on Sunday.It is a very small change for which I cannot think of any repercussions but would allow a few more players to play the tour.
 
I'm a fan of Chait's proposal, as well as two different timings for each season. But I just want to build upon Chait's proposal a bit.

I totally agree with the proposal of the Friday tournament being removed and rescheduled to an Asian/Oceanic friendly-time on Saturday. However, when it comes to players from these timezones who genuinely want to attempt to qualify for Smogon Tour, they're still quite unfavoured, given they can realistically attend 1 tournament per week, whereas Americans/Europeans still have 2. So building upon this, why not remove the Friday tour, and have 2 tournaments on both Saturday and Sunday? One with the current timings, and the others that are more catered to Asia Pacific timezones. You'd still limit players to joining 2 tournaments per week maximum, whilst being much fairer overall. Americans/Europeans aren't drastically affected, and people from Asian/Oceanic timezones have a much fairer shot at qualifying.

Obviously, the main issue with this proposal is perhaps finding suitable/enough hosts for the new timings, but it's tough to say without trying, since you'd also get people from the Asian/Oceanic timezones potentially wanting to host, who usually aren't able to signup. And even in a situation where a trial run is given, and 4 tournaments ends up feeling a bit excessive, the less active of the 2 new times can be removed for next season. Again, this is assuming the hypothetical trial run is even semi-successful. Regardless, any change to cater to these demographics would be a start
 

Boat

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Smogon Tour 32 will have its Friday afternoon tournaments rescheduled to Saturday, 6 AM Eastern Time. This is an experiment, and if it doesn't work well, we will revert back to the Friday afternoon time in following seasons.
 
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freezai

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We have tried and unfortunately found out that the Friday time is not working as we expected it to. The very low number of signups from the previous two Friday tours do not just make the Smogon Tour experience worse for spectators - they also do not help the players at all. Using one of your 2 tournaments/week in a very small tournament may very well set oneself in a worse scenario for qualification, and we may see even smaller tournaments later in this Season as joining the Friday tournament might very well become a liability to players in contention for playoffs.

The early Saturday tours help an entire demographic actually play Smogon Tour. For example, ever since I started using this website, the smogon tours were always 11:30 PM, 1:30 AM, and 3:30 AM, basically unplayable for anyone who lives in Asia. For the first time, I, and many others, were finally able to play Smogon Tour. But, after two weeks, that time was replaced by a time that has even less signups!

I request the TDs to bring back the early Saturday tours ( ftr I think they can be a few hours later ) and abandon the failing Friday tours.


tldr early sat more signups than friday. also early sat means asia isnt locked out from Smogon Tour
 

Finchinator

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I do not care what is done for the rest of this season at this point, but the best ultimate solution for the "third" time (really the first time each week) is going back to Saturday and finding a time later than 6am GMT-4 that is still well before the 4pm time. Sometime like 10am or 11am GMT-4 Saturday would likely fit the bill (even 9am if that works better for the Asian community -- idk timezones perfectly). I think this will solve a lot of problems, even if some compromising will be required.

Friday tour is not the worst thing ever, but it is not optimal. Friday is not nearly as bad as people are making it out to be today or recently -- nobody had any adjustment time and changes like this mid-season are unprecedented, but they still were the least popular tournaments for a while and a 64 man tournament is a pretty tough sell regardless. It's a cool time for me personally and I have loved Friday tournaments for years, but as a frequent participant, I can also admit when something feels a tad off. Friday gives out 2-3 less points than weekend tours sometimes, any European playing is basically forced to stay up to ungodly hours if they get far, and it is far less spectator friendly than weekend tours in general.

Saturday 6am tour is ideal to a vocal demographic, but that demographic is not enough when it cuts out a ton of players and did not seem to get the ideal outcome in practice either. It was an interesting idea that would be better with an adjustment to a slightly later time like I alluded to above. We hardly even had hosts for this 6am time and a lot of the communities that protested for it to begin with had a pretty mixed showing in terms of sign-ups.

Given this, a few hours later than 6am on Saturday lets you still do 2 Saturday tournaments, but also finds the best middleground.
 

Clone

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I find it odd how the 6am Smogon Tour was taken away due to "low turnout", yet with two weeks of the original times low turnout still happened on Friday. It's pretty clear the 6am timeslot wasn't the issue. Less people play in the first tour as an aggregate.

Why screw over half the world under the guise of "low turnout?" It's pretty clear by the screenshots that reverting back didn't fix the problem of low turn out. I would like to see this timeslot revisited. If it needs to be modified that should be discussed, but to take it away completely was not the right decision.

 

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Its disappointing to see the appeals in this thread get no actual response on here, and for hosts to be requested for the Friday timeslot still. Asia has been essentially locked out of SmogTour for low turnout, only for the new/old time to receive even fewer signups and have it continue as is. I dont know if this has been discussed thoroughly in the Smogtours discord or behind closed doors somewhere, but can there be some sort of statement as to why the time is staying at 6pm Friday EST for the rest of the season?
 

Mannat

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I think serene proposed what is probably the best solution in this thread, so I'm gonna elaborate on it and propose a new potential schedule. I think the biggest failing of the 6:00 AM tournaments were that they were in the middle of the day in Asia, which meant people would have to sink their entire afternoon to play a tour. The new system I'm proposing gives everyone either a night or morning block to play tours instead.

Tour 1: Friday @ 2:00 PM EST - This tournament caters more to European timezones, as it's approximately 8:00 PM in GMT+2, which gives them ample time to finish a tour. This time is obviously pretty inconvenient for Australians and Asians, but I think the trade off is fine.

Tour 2: Saturday @ 6:00 PM EST - This tournament is notably advantageous for people living in Australia, who are notoriously difficult to cater to. This tournament translates to approximately 9 AM in Australia (specifically GMT +11), which is a pretty reasonable time to play stour.

Tour 3: Sunday @ 10:00 AM EST - This final time caters to Asian timezones, who have been historically shafted by Smogon Tour. This tournament translates to being at 7:30 PM in GMT +5.5 (India), which is about the same time that the Saturday tour is for Europeans, while not being too early like the previous 6:00 AM tournaments were.

I think these 3 times should fix most of the timezone conflicts we've had while catering to everyone that would want to play in one of these tours.

edit: Clarification on why I moved the 6:00 PM tour to Saturday is because it's really shitty for working class Americans that do a 5 days a week 9-5 to make it when it's on Friday, so moving it to Saturday fixes that issue.
 
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Something that's being forgotten or ignored in this thread is the availability of hosts. It's not the job of the players to think about hosts, but any discussion about the long term viability of a schedule change needs to take it into consideration.

WEEK 1 - SS OU
  • Saturday, September 18th @ 6 am GMT -4 perish, velvet, quantum (maybe)
WEEK 2 - SM OU
  • Saturday, September 25th @ 6 am GMT -4 perish, velvet, quantum (maybe), dorron
WEEK 3 - ORAS OU
  • Saturday, October 2nd @ 6 am GMT -4 - lunala, perish, quantum (definitely), dorron, sificon
^ a list of people that signed up to host on the 6 am times
The same two people (Perish and velvet) ended up hosting all 3 of the Saturday's and a TD that didn't sign up ended up having to fill in for the 2nd backup on the first tour of the season. Sure, other people signed up, but there's also 6 other slots to fill. When all was said and done, there were barely enough hosts to have one person only host once in the first 3 weeks, excluding the Saturday 6 am times. Having two people host 3 tournaments just isn't good for the long term. People get busy or have to get vaccinated (this actually was a thing last season lol) or any number of things comes up, and then we're left with not enough hosts.

I don't think any changes should be completely off the table for the rest of the season, but before the time gets jerked around again, the availability of hosts should be assessed before, not after.

Friday time definitely sucks though.
 

Finchinator

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To expand on my prior post and make it a formal proposal, I think the following times would be optimal:
  • 10 am or 11am EST (currently GMT-4) on Saturday
  • 4 pm or 5 pm EST (currently GMT-4) on Saturday*** -- see edit, would be ok moving this further back
  • 2 pm EST (currently GMT-4) on Sunday
This keeps two times the same (or very close) and finds a stronger time than 6 pm Friday or 6 am Saturday. Let's talk about some likely questions and the benefits of this proposal.

Why will two Saturday tournaments work better than one Friday and one Saturday tournament?
Saturday is a day that has far more activity than a weekday like Friday by nature -- many people have work and/or class during the weekdays. If we have two spread out tournaments on Saturday, most interested parties should be able to participate in at least one of the two because of this. Friday tournaments have always been less popular than weekend tournaments, especially during more recent seasons. Even if we were to make it earlier on Friday, there would still be a large portion of the playerbase that would be excluded at any point in time.

Why will this work when the initial experiment with two Saturday tournaments was stopped after 3 weeks?
The two Saturday tour experiment initially did not work due to the 6 am GMT-4 time being too early of a time and there being a very brief sample size (more on this later). This will be 4-5 hours later than that time. Let's see how that works for the common timezones:
  • 7/8 am and 1/2pm for the West coast of the US
  • 10/11 am and 4/5 pm for the East coast of the US (same applies to US Central, but one hour earlier)
  • 4/5 pm and 10/11 pm for most of Europe (same applies for the UK, but one hour earlier)
  • 7:30/8:30 pm and 1:30/2:30 am for most of India (I know GMT+5.5 is very common, but pardon me if this neglects others)
  • 10/11 pm and 4/5 am for many other parts of Asia (Again I know GMT+8 is common, but pardon me if this neglects others)
  • 12/1 am and 6/7 am for many parts of Oceania (Again I know GMT+10 is common, but pardon me if this neglects others)
I underlined times that are either clearly reasonable or have worked for people in prior seasons. For example, midnight when the next day is a weekend worked for Europeans before, so I underlined it for GMT+10 -- I am well aware this is not ideal still, but if they cannot make that late, there is a chance they can make the earlier times at the other end. I still do not think this is ideal for people who are GMT+10 and I accept that as a con of the proposal, but it is infinitely better than the status quo is in this regard and look how good it is universally.

Ultimately, every single other timezone has a clearly reasonable time they can make with most of the USA and all of Europe having both times work out. I think this fits perfectly to the current playerbase demographics we have and makes the most sense logistically; it would also be much easier for hosts than the 6 am time or potentially even Friday tournaments. I also want to specifically note that most of Asia should still have a time that works for them despite it being 4-5 hours later than the initial 6 am time, too, which is a huge plus as it is important to cater to this demographic.

When should this be implemented and what is an appropriate sample size to make a conclusive judgement?
I think it is best we use next full season, not the tail-end of this season on no notice, for this proposal.

If we implement this for the final three weeks of this season, we are setting the proposal and the community up for failure. The changing times have already caused confusion for would-be participants, arguably hurting the sign-up numbers. In addition, the short leash and diminished sign-up numbers have led to both the early Saturday and the late Friday times to be subjects of much criticism. Some of this criticism is genuine and a direct byproduct of these times not being optimal, but a portion of it is because there were 3 weeks with a time 12 hours off of the norm -- at 6am EST -- and then 3 weeks with a time back to being 12 hours earlier -- on a Friday -- with little time for adjustments to be made. Let's not leave our community or the proposal in an awkward state of limbo and give things a fresh slate when possible.

Moreover, giving this a full season allows people to adjust to the change, lets us to see how the sign-up numbers start and trend, and gives us valuable data to see if this is perhaps optimal or if further adjustments are needed. There is no shame in admitting that there is no perfect solution to this problem, but we absolutely can get closer to the best fit if we do not land perfectly on it. Finally, changing the time for the last 3 weeks of this season already seems unrealistic and perhaps downright unfeasible due to host sign-ups going up already. I do not believe tinkering with this season is in our best interest and I firmly believe we should give a full season to whatever proposal the TDs ultimately decide on.

Why does this make more sense than alternative proposals?
I am glad that people are interested in this topic as Smogon Tour is important to the community and I think other proposals have merit, but I believe this one fits the community the best.

Let's take a look at the most recent proposal from Mannat. It has some good ideas, but I disagree with some parts. For starters, I do not think 2pm EST on Friday is ideal as you suddenly lose parts of the working/schooling American playerbase and do not even gain all of the Asian playerbase due to it being the middle of the night for GMT+8 and GMT+10 people (even quite late for GMT+5.5, but very doable for them). I think Friday altogether will never lead to an ideal midground actually, but this trade-off does not make the most sense to me as European players are not really struggling to find times to play with any other proposal either whereas Asia and Oceania oftentimes is. In addition, moving the time more friendly to Asia / Oceania of 10 am EST to Sunday is much worse of an idea than doing it on Saturday. Many people have work or school early on Monday and this time would be 10 pm for parts of Asia such as China and midnight for Oceania, meaning that this is only a clean solution for India. People are far more likely to be able to play at later times on Saturday than Sunday, which is why it is a much better day for this and also a big part of why I proposed what I did rather than this.

As for people saying that the 6 am EST time did not get a long enough sample size, I do agree that it got a small sample size. However, I still do not think that 6 am is as good of a fix to the problems presented as possible, especially given how many new problems it has pop up for prospective hosts. If we go to a later time such as 10 am EST on Saturday, we are still catering to the same demographic for the most part, but we are also giving many others a greater chance to participate without negatively impacting much else. This seems like the optimal midground to me rather than the 6 am time.

---

Overall, I feel this proposal is the best chance for an inclusive and practical Smogon Tour experience for our playerbase. I implore the TDs to consider this for the future edition of this tournament.


***EDIT: I was told that OCN is actually GMT+11, not 10. If anything, moving the second Saturday time back some time (say 2-3 hours) could cater to them more so long as the other two times stick, which gives enough times for Europeans.
 
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abd1710

I SHOULD BE BANNED!
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Signups at 6 AM Saturday

1635161654968.png


*WILD PERRY APPEARS AND MOVES THE TIME TO AMERICAN EVENINGS*
Signups at an ass 6 PM Friday

1635161040879.png


This resulted in a drastic decline of 50%, 30%, 20% in signups in SS, SM and ORAS signups respectively after resident evil Perry makes an ass decision by moving the Asian friendly timing to 6 PM Friday just to get pathetic number of signups

Pictorial Representation:

1635161065698.png


He/TD's switched to the Friday time so soon without giving the 6 AM Saturday time much exposure/experiment duration. The least they could have done was to stick to the Sat 6 AM time for one whole season. Worst thing is that Perry has been unresponsive to the question, "why he is still sticking to the Friday time after they were such a failure during Week 4-6?" Just to appease a section of users and dump 2 continents of playerbase? People think Covid burnout is killing smogon. The bigger reason is such ass decisions by Perry . I don't have any issues with any TDs personally. I understand you do a thankless job, but decisions like these effect a big amount of playerbase in a negative way.

Solutions:
1. Switch back to 6AM Sat time from this coming week
2. Implement a complete Asian+Australian friendly time slot for one whole season. The 6 AM time can definitely be moved a bit ahead/behind based on discussions
3. Completely modify the timings of all tours to something like this:
1635161094244.png
 
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SoulWind

is a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris the 6th Smogon Classic Winneris a Past SPL Champion
Moderator
Signups at 6 AM Saturday

View attachment 379971

*WILD PERRY APPEARS AND MOVES THE TIME TO AMERICAN EVENINGS*
Signups at an ass 6 PM Friday

View attachment 379964

This resulted in a drastic decline of 50%, 30%, 20% in signups in SS, SM and ORAS signups respectively after resident evil Perry makes an ass decision by moving the Asian friendly timing to 6 PM Friday just to get pathetic number of signups

Pictorial Representation:

View attachment 379965

He/TD's switched to the Friday time so soon without giving the 6 AM Saturday time much exposure/experiment duration. The least they could have done was to stick to the Sat 6 AM time for one whole season. Worst thing is that Perry has been unresponsive to the question, "why he is still sticking to the Friday time after they were such a failure during Week 4-6?" Just to appease a section of users and dump 2 continents of playerbase? People think Covid burnout is killing smogon. The bigger reason is such ass decisions by Perry . I don't have any issues with any TDs personally. I understand you do a thankless job, but decisions like these effect a big amount of playerbase in a negative way.

Solutions:
1. Switch back to 6AM Sat time from this coming week
2. Implement a complete Asian+Australian friendly time slot for one whole season. The 6 AM time can definitely be moved a bit ahead/behind based on discussions
3. Completely modify the timings of all tours to something like this: View attachment 379966
1. you don't have to tag perry 5 times per post
2. it was an all TD decission, not perry's
3. friday stour has always had more than decent signups every ST edition, which logically decline the more deep the season goes because people lose interest
4. if you want to emphasize the numbers so much, 2/3 of the saturday 6 am tours didn't even have enough players to reach a 128 tour, so 96 players played in them besides the first one, which is always the most popular
5. your paint graphics look great but don't show the real issue here, which is that even with a more than respectable time for asia/oceania, at least 80% of the signups were from europe/america players. and i have actually checked the ips of pretty much everyone that joined

if you are going to use this thread to complain about the time change that's good, but try to not insult other's intelligence with these half assed arguments. the new tour time failed hard to meet the expectations we had, as week 2 already was unable to even reach 128 players. and i repeat, the vast majority of signups were still from people from europe and america. the friday tour time isn't going to change for the rest of this season.
 
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abd1710

I SHOULD BE BANNED!
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
1. you don't have to tag perry 5 times per post
2. it was an all TD decission, not perry's
3. friday stour has always had more than decent signups every ST edition, which logically decline the more deep the season goes because people lose interest
4. if you want to emphasize the numbers so much, 2/3 of the saturday 6 am tours didn't even have enough players to reach a 128 tour, so 96 players played in them besides the first one, which is always the most popular
5. your paint graphics look great don't show the real issue here, which is that even with a more than respectable time for asia/oceania, at least 80% of the signups were from europe/america players. and i have actually checked the ips of pretty much everyone that joined

if you are going to use this thread to complain about the time change that's good, but try to not insult other's intelligence with these half assed arguments. the new tour time failed hard to meet the expectations we had, as week 2 already was unable to even reach 128 players. and i repeat, the vast majority of signups were still from people from europe and america. the friday tour time change isn't going to change for the rest of this season.
I don't want the thread to deviate from the topic so I will accept your points 1-2. The only reason I am salty is because we got no response from the TD team even after this post. Apologies if you felt attacked by my post Perry

The problems are:
1. The sample size given for the new time slot was very low. It's wrong to give a judgement so soon on it. I however agree that it wasn't the best option and it can still be bettered
2. 80% of the signups being just from Europe/American timezones is just so wrong. I went through all the 3 tours R1 matchups and 18-25% signups were from Indian tz players (I can recognize them by their usernames so its easy to count). Going into this further, I went through profile of everyone who signed up for the Week 1's SS tour and "atleast" 71 out of 190 signups were from Asia/Oceania. Pretty sure there may be more of them but I could spot only 71 from the details/tz on their profile as I can't do IP checks. (Its either that you messed up your count or you counted the 100 Chinese players on proxies as Europeans just because their government doesn't allow a lot of websites like these)

If you say that the Friday tour time isnt going to change this season then its fine. It's pretty late in the tournament right now. But your half assed reasons shouldn't be used to shut up the chance for Asian+Oceania playerbase. They aren't asking for too much as the Friday tours have always been not so good which has already been explained by others in the thread
 

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