Before I say anything else, I'd just like to remind everyone that I joined this tournament as a player. Although I offered to help Snype with some of the Lux hosting and rankings stuff, I never considered myself part of the tourney management. Furthermore, I have and never will participate in any tournament I chose to manage. Too many possible conflicts of interest, too many chances of upsetting other players. Just a credibility thing, in my opinion. I'm not sure why other tourney hosts would wanna play in their own events, but that's their decision to make. Not my cuppa tea, but so be it. It is what it is.
I've tried my best to see this tourney through to its conclusion as Snype intended, following the same traditions he's used in past years. His map, his rules. Ideally, this woulda been a simple process. Sunday, we woulda played three games, eliminating one team after each game, until we had our final three contenders for 2v2v2 and 3v3 games to be played today. Again, ideally, all teams would have shown up, been enthusiastic and polite. The games woulda been quick and fun. No clumsy targeting for meta-strategic reasons. No unhappiness about being mathematically eliminated. We just woulda stuck to the original format, and let everything unfold naturally. A pleasant conclusion to a long, long month of gaming.
(Do you know how much time we've all spent alive in games? 224 hours. Including teammates lurking and coaching? Probably 600 hours.)
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. First game marathoned for two and a half hours. kude got stuck alone, without older and wiser teammates to guide him, so players from other teams, myself included, got into a tug of war trying to influence his decisions. Second game was delayed for technical reasons, so I could work around an unforeseen host bug. Third game was rescheduled, 'cause it was late for everyone, but kude in particular. Oh well, Lux goes on. But then there was yesterday. One team didn't show, while some other players decided to vocally protest that an hour of their lives had been wasted, or that they'd signed up for a January tournament and thus refused to play any future games. There was an accusation that I was basing my decisions on the teams and individuals involved. In other words, I might have been saying different things had Earth been in fourth instead of Air.
(Needless to say, I never signed up for that sorta bullshit. Sooo, Thanks.)
Please remember: These finals aren't playoffs, where teams begin again, and all have a chance of capturing the championship title. These finals are more akin to the last few stages of the Tour de France, where the results are predetermined in most respects by the long grind before. Of course, there can be some intrigue, if the stars align, and there's just enough wiggle room given earlier scores, but more often than not, there won't be. As Millty alluded to above, Bane and Fire have locked up first and second. Earth and Air, either one, would simply be going through the motions in any 2v2v2 game, but unfortunately, such a game would be necessary, 'cause if we skip any remaining games, then it becomes mathematically impossible for Fire to surpass Bane.
Now what? I feel like I'm stuck trying to split the proverbial baby. I don't want this tournament to sputter towards a miserable conclusion, dragging on with no clear end in sight, while people become grumpier and more disillusioned. I wanna keep things fair for everyone involved, and keep as many people happy as possible, while avoiding any further complaints or accusations. Therefore, after talking with Drifter and Mazza last night, and sleeping on things long enough to better consider all options, I've decided to change course. Again, I don't like doing this, and I wish I didn't have to, but I worry that rigidly adhering to Snype's original intent is only gonna ruin an otherwise good month.
First, I am assessing Earth a penalty equal to one game unplayed under the required minimum. I haven't updated the leaderboard, but this will effectively drop them back into fourth place with 204.9 total points, just 1.3 points behind Air. Speaking as tourney master, that concludes both Earth and Air's tournaments. Officially, I don't care if you don't play another game. That's that. Congratulations. But, on a more personal note, I must say this: Seeing third and fourth decided on a technicality, after so much time invested by all parties, makes me ill. If I were Earth, I'd be embarrassed for giving up before the end. If I were Air, I'd feel like my bronze medal was cheapened by avoidable circumstances.
Second, if Earth and Air mutually agree, then they can play one 2v2 or 3v3 game to decide third place in a more honorable way. However, I will not organize this game. They will have to communicate with one another, either here publicly or via forum PM, and decide when to play. They must notify me of a date and time by Thursday 8pm EST. If this deadline is missed, the current results stand. The game must be scheduled to begin by Sunday 8pm EST. I will host and officiate. There will be a fifteen minute grace period after the scheduled start. If either team is late, they forfeit third place.
(If both teams are late, dammit, then I'll give Virtue third.)
Third, Bane and Fire should play two 3v3 games to determine this year's champion. I will also accept three 2v2 games, but only if team captains agree that it's impossible to schedule 3v3 games. Mazza and Whirly or Drifter are responsible for picking the format and time. Again, they must notify me of a date and time by Thursday 8pm EST. If this deadline is missed, the current results stand. These games must be played by next Tuesday 8pm EST. Same grace period and forfeit rules apply.
(Two 3v3 or three 2v2 games roughly equal the same possible point swing as the original remaining finals schedule in whole.)
If anyone has any questions or concerns, please speak up.