Tiers NOT Played

Greetings, in lieu of this recent update: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/spl-xi-administrative-decisions.3656323/#post-8318197
I wanted to present a better alternative for preventing shady manager dealings and protecting players.

I propose adding a bar for "Tiers NOT Played" into the signup forms for future* SPLs and Snakes.

How it works:
Player Name: z0mOG
Tiers Played: RBY OU, GSC OU
Tiers NOT Played: SS OU, SM OU

Most people, if they were to buy me in a tournament like this, would likely consider me an SM player, but if I do not want to be slotted here I have the option to list it as a tier not played. Now, if a manager buys me for a price I'd be going for as just a GSC/RBY signup, they cannot bend the system and place me in SM unfairly.

Tiers not listed on either are fair game for managers to utilize. Prior to this recent rule, the tiers played section had no jurisdiction anyway.

What this accomplishes:
My method would help keep tournament integrity in two areas:

#1 deny shady manager actions of having a player they want only signup for a tier that will lower their price.
Now if manager X wants to buy player Y for RBY, player Y must not have RBY listed as a tier they do not play.
Currently, if a player is trying to pricefix themself by not listing their most valuable tier, there is no real recourse denying them from doing so. Now, said player must choose if they are truly denying to play their most valuable tier or not and killing the chance at a pricefix.

#2 prevent players from being exploited. Now, if player Y lists RBY as a tier they refuse to play, the manager CANNOT force the player into RBY. This will help keep players from being "team cancers" for not being willing to slot into a tier they initially refused to play.

This would also be a tournament-long policy to ensure that managers aren't just paying their 2 week tax to get their player in a tier they really want him in for half the price.
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local gaymer weeb
is a Tiering Contributoris the Smogon Tour Season 23 Championis a Past SCL Champion
This seems unnecessary since if a player lists the tier they want to play, then it's clear that the rest of them they don't want to. SPL is a high-quality tournament and, personally speaking, I dislike people making a fuss out of not wanting to play certain tiers, mostly because that lowers the quality of the tournament. However, you cannot force people to play a tier they are uncomfortable with, regardless of how good they are. So, I believe this rule also helps those players who want to go for alternatives to give their managers a small sample of how consistent/knowledgeable they are at that alternative tier.


Banned deucer.
I dont have anything to say on the topic but has this ever been an issue in the past 10 spls? Don't see why it would become one now
I've never seen it be abused but it's easy enough to imagine a situation where you could use the current rules to price fix. Say I, obvious DOU player, sign up for only GSC OU and say I'm only interested in playing GSC OU. If anyone but my favored team drafts me, I refuse to play anything but GSC OU. This is technically legal because you are only cancering if you refuse to play a tier you signed up for. But if my favored team drafts me, I play DOU. This would guarantee I'd only cost 3k and be uncompetitive. If anyone else upbids, they just get stuck with a worthless 3.5k player.

That being said, the solution the TDs have already employed is probably good enough, because anyone expensive enough to bother trying to price fix, is expensive enough to get upbid at least once even if they are trying this strategy. Besides, I would hope we have enough integrity on this site not to do that shit, but I guess you never know on that front.


grubbing in the ashes
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I dont have anything to say on the topic but has this ever been an issue in the past 10 spls? Don't see why it would become one now
While I think that being misleading in your signups as a way to game your auction price is definitely not new, we specifically made some changes last SPL that facilitate this kind of thing further.

Specifically, we clarified what behavior could or could not be considered unsportsmanlike or malicious behavior when you are drafted to a team tournament (aka “team cancering”). In particular, we clarified that refusing to cooperate with your team and meet minimum standards for participation was considered unsportsmanlike conduct and would garner an infraction, and repeated unsportsmanlike conduct or actively sabotaging your team (including but not limited to intentionally underperforming or sandbagging in an attempt to get traded) would result in a tournament ban.

However, we also added an exception: we would never consider an unwillingness to perform “unreasonable tasks,” including being forced to learn or play tiers you did not sign up for, as being unsportsmanlike. This exception was included so that managers couldn’t force players to either play tiers they were unwilling to play or take an infraction and potentially a tournament ban.

I’m happy with those rules as written, and think they’re a lot better than the super subjective “team cancer” rules we have had previously. However, they do open up a loophole. Players who want to land on a specific team can list tiers where they are less valuable both to lower their auction price and to discourage other managers from picking them up. This forces other managers into a catch-22. If they assume that the player will actually play the tier they are most known for and spend accordingly, they risk the player refusing in an effort to get traded away. If they don’t, they risk the player going for a significantly reduced cost to the team they were hoping for. And since we explicitly state that a manager can’t force you to play something you didn’t sign up for, players can do this without fear of getting infracted or banned as a cancer.

Anyhow, re: the OP, I think this method is fine. It’s basically a more clear version of listing all the tiers you’re willing to play but bolding the ones you specifically want. It’s too late to do this for SPL, but I’d be willing to explore using this format for future team tours.


Banned deucer.
I think the recent current implementation of the rule offers a good solution to subjective issues that are only seen usually behind closed doors and I understand the logistics to it. Price fixing and player honesty is a issue in tournaments that is not really publicly visible.

The current rule ensures for player honesty and discourages dishonest players from signing up for a specific tier when their intentions are to play something completely different to what they signed up for. Take this example for instance:

User: Player X
Tiers: SS LC
Timezone: GMT+0
Inactivity: None

Think of the scenario where Player X is a well known Old gens OU player at the highest level and has no knowledge of current generations or other tiers that are not OU. They intend to actually play say BW or DPP OU and fixed an agreement with a specific manager and team to avoid playing for others. This indirectly benefits said manager in the bidding process for a lower price tag. This is actually an issue in all team tours not just officials, I, as a manager have admittingly been approached by players to buy them for tiers they did not actually sign up for cause they wanted to play for me at a cheap price. Again, player value is subjective but this rule helps avoid all these hidden issues.

This rule is just additional protection for managers and players and helps to solve these issues, and puts no manager in the drafting process at a disadvantage. Tiers not played feels like it is redundant, because by not signing up for a tier you have automatically not committed to it, nor are you obliged to sub in or play for anything that you did not sign up for, according to the current rules.
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Banned deucer.
I agree with the OP. Adding a ‘Tiers NOT played’ listing is our best effort to eliminate misleading signup posts.

If this were implemented - Please consider locking signup posts a few days before the draft. This would disallow edits to tier listings, which could otherwise be changed last minute by sneaky players and managers.
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