In Progress Team locked best-of-three support for VGC

DaWoblefet

Demonstrably so
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Top Researcheris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Unlike traditional best-of-three matches for most Smogon tournaments, VGC tournaments see both players locked into one team for all games of the best-of-three set. This applies both for in-person events as well as every major unofficial offline VGC tournament. The current implementation to emulate team locked best-of-three is to open all three games prior to the start of Team Preview for game 1. This is done to prevent any possibility of changing one's team mid-match (for example, dishonestly modifying a team to change an unrevealed move, item, or EV spread to something that would give one player an advantage). I could imagine a front-end implementation looking something like this (though there are likely many ways to do it):

At the challenge option, let there be some sort of checkbox indicating the match should be teamlocked best-of-three. Perhaps to avoid confusion with traditional Smogon best-of-three, this could be restricted to only show up for VGC formats or whatever else needs team locks.
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Of course, there would be some indicator on the screen of the player receiving the challenge that this is a best-of-three match.

I could imagine the Tab for indicating the format/players might also display links to each game, perhaps in some way like this:
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Even at a minimum, just having a challengeable best-of-three option is good enough if no further work wants to be done. However, I can think of a number of helpful features that would benefit from having a best-of-three base option to work off of:
  • Best-of-three laddering
All major VGC events, and even the vast majority of smaller local events, use team-locked best-of-three in tournament play. While best-of-one tournaments do exist, and there are other benefits of playing best-of-one ladder (more games against a variety of archetypes, varied experience against multiple opponents, faster laddering), the benefits of a bo3 ladder would be even stronger (rewards adaptation over trying to cheese wins with gimmicks, reduces the impact of luck on a match since there are more interactions so the better player tends to win, practice for irl settings). I would expect there to be significant activity on such a ladder for VGC. I imagine it could be run concurrently with a best-of-one ladder, or best-of-three would just supercede best-of-one entirely.
  • Disabling mid-turn forfeiting
With the current workaround in bo3 play, either player may opt to forfeit a game at any time, when doing so at a live event is not possible without turning off the cartridge, which can result in a set loss (turning off 3DS, failure to be able to provide Battle Video of previous game = 2 game losses = set loss). This can result in information concealing that would otherwise not be possible in-game. See discussion on Showdown's Github.
  • Helper tools keep track of revealed moves, items, etc. over the course of a match rather than a single game
I think this is a relatively low-priority feature, but it would be very helpful to spectators coming into a match mid-set and wondering if a certain move, item, etc. was already revealed to the players in game one or game two.


Potential questions/concerns:
  • How would saving replays work?
Probably the easiest way would be to save each game individually as its own replay still. Perhaps bo3 protocol could be worked in to link to other games in a set at the top of the page or something for replays? Regardless, I would just check to see what games have passed Team Preview, then save those games beyond Team Preview from the set when /savereplay is done.
  • How would forfeits work? If a player DCs, should they lose the game or the set?
I imagine a new command would be needed, something like /forfeitset or something similar. This would be different from /forfeit, which should be reserved for the particular game. I think that if a player DCs and the disconnect timer runs down to 0, they should lose the set. Recall that VGC timer is different from Smogon timer, so if a player times out on their moves or at Team Preview, appropriate auto-selection actions should be taken, which Showdown already gets right.
 
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Nails

shay-
is a Tiering Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
A best of 3 ladder has been something the VGC community has wanted for a long time and has been oft requested. It'd be a massive leap forward for the growth of VGC. I don't think it can be understated how important this change is for all of the reasons DaWoblefet listed.
 
the best of three system in a ladder would be very useful for vgc players, I would love to see something like that and not have to schedule around with others for practice best of 3s in vgc.
 
Team locked best-of-three would be so amazing.

Just a minor point, a lot of players use /ionext to hide their games before even starting games to avoid any chance of spectators. It would be a good idea if this command could hide all three games at once too.
 

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