What’s up, squids?
Rapture here – Squidboards GM, one of our head admins, and SQSS Head TO/Organizer – back with another SQSS wrap-up.
A bit delayed, but nonetheless let’s briefly get into SQSS February and what’s ahead for SQSS March.
This month’s event was unique for a couple of reasons. First, as our entrant numbers continue to climb month to month, SQSS February broke SQSS January’s entry records and became our largest Splat Series event yet. Last month, we had 104 register and 96 of those teams compete. This month, we had 124 teams register with 115 teams competing. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – this was (once again!) far and away our largest event so far and one of the largest Western Splatoon 2 tournaments of all time! Even with the holiday break long gone and over, teams are coming back each month and bringing more squids with them. And, this is all considering the lack of free agent teams, too.
The other major reason was the addition of two extra brackets following group play. We realized that, although teams were getting more matches with round-robin groups as opposed to a traditional double-elimination bracket (which is one of the reasons why we moved to group play in the first place), many teams were still sorely missing a substantial amount of matches against their own peers/teams of similar skill level.
The creation of the Alpha (Top Cut), Beta (Middle Cut), and Gamma (Bottom Cut) ensured that every single team that competed in groups would also get a chance to compete in further matches through a single-elimination bracket. Our goal of getting as many matches (and as many quality matches, especially) for each team was definitely met. I’d say the implementation of these new brackets was a rousing success, and thus we’ll absolutely be bringing them back for future events.
---This month’s Alpha Bracket winner was Saikai, marking their third all-time SQSS victory after their absence in SQSS November and 5th place finish in SQSS January. Only Rising Moon and Ethereal have taken a SQSS tournament besides Saikai. Saikai are currently the only team to have won multiple SQSS events and, of course, the only team to have won two SQSS events in a row (September and October). Sometimes we wonder if one of the “S”’s in SQSS stands for Saikai!
In the Beta and Gamma brackets, we had a different kind of cream rise to the top. Limitless outworked Spanish Army, Kairos, and the rest of the middle cut to take first place in the Beta Bracket. Considering how strong teams are even outside the Top 32, this was certainly a significant win for Limitless. Meanwhile, the rest of the field battled it out in a grueling Gamma Bracket featuring those who didn’t make the Top 64. Hue came out triumphant over the likes of The Leftovers, Trident, and many more, to become our first Gamma champion. Congrats to all of these teams!
(From here on out, we’ll continue to consider Alpha Bracket winners at the “winner” of SQSS, although we will continue to acknowledge the Beta and Gamma winners, too. As SQSS September, October, November, and January did not have separate brackets, any current and future Alpha Bracket winner is established as a SQSS winner just like those previous events with one bracket.)
That all being said, let’s wrap this up with a few more comments. It was pretty unfortunate that we had a server outage due to maintenance for the better part of an hour or so. First it was Discord, now it was Nintendo putting some pineapples on our pizza. Who’s next?
Thankfully, the server maintenance ended at a reasonable time so we could continue the tournament, but it did elongate an already lengthy event, which was unfortunate.
I’ve personally be lenient with teams and timings/DQs/substitutions because I want everyone to have a fair match and enjoy their time playing in the event. But it’s not fair to teams who are on-time, ready to play, and end up waiting for others.
For all future events, we’ll be strictly abiding to our timing and DQ rules. We’ll be calling each round start and end exactly to the minute. Matches must start 10 minutes after the round has begun, otherwise a team will take a game loss. Another 5 minutes is a set loss. Voluntary substitutions are to be three minutes (otherwise, game loss). Involuntary substitutions are to be five minutes (otherwise, game loss). We’ll be sticking to this exactly, so please be ready.
We’re also considering removing all lag and disconnection rules from the event, and having teams just “play it out” when teams face these kinds of issues. Arguing over disconnects and lag, and the delays caused by them, only hold everybody up. At this point, it’s Splatoon 2 in 2018 – we all have to expect, especially in an international tournament, that connections might be shoddy or suspect at times. And while disconnects are unfortunate and do happen, we want to have our events end in a timely manner and not have teams wait an excruciating amount of time for their next match. So that’s in consideration – I definitely recommend buying an Ethernet adapter for your console if you haven’t already! But, no decisions on this have been finalized just yet, in case this worries you.
That about wraps things up here. We’ll have details for our March event up as soon as possible, so stay tuned. If you have any feedback, comments, questions, concerns, etc. for February SQSS or anything mentioned in this post, please let us know in a post below or hit us up on Discord.
Quick thanks again to the SQSS team and InkTV for broadcasting our event. Always a pleasure working with you all. It's crazy how far we've come in such a short time! ^_^
See you all next month for SQSS March!
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Squidboards Update: SQSS February 2018 Wrap-Up