The 9th edition of our Team Cup is rolling around. The changes for TC19 were meant to fix some of the issues being raised from TC18. Some of them worked, others didn’t, and a few are a good basic idea but need a small fix to them.
As with every major cup we hosted in the last years, we asked you to give us your feedback, and although we didn’t compile it into one big feedback overview post like for the TC18, we did not forget about it.
So, as for every Team Cup opening post, here are all the things you need to know about the upcoming TC20.
Let’s start off with the schedule, which most of you felt was being dragged out, just to fill the calendar with TrackMania tournaments, rather than hosting a proper one. We heard and agree with you, therefore we shortened the schedule from 11 to 8 weeks of competition.
Out of necessity, all teams involved have to play 2 matches at a weekend, but that seemed to work for most of the players just fine in other TM cups as well. To give you some freedom on scheduling the matches, default times have been removed entirely. It is now in your responsibility to find an appropriate time to play against others, but we expect most of you to schedule the matches to Sunday night, anyways, we know you. (*wink*)
Because of the newly added 2 matches a weekend, and a few other reasons (general negative feedback, private-only training, prepared but non-playing drivers), the Pick & Ban system will be gone from the TC20. We experimented with it twice, both implementations of it were not really feasible for proper usage in our tournament system, so we had to let it go.
The exact map system is not ready to be announced just yet in full detail, as we still have internal discussions about it, but you can expect it to be neither an always increasing mappool, nor a strict X-map mappack system.
As a short reminder, we will use maps from the COMP but also TC20 exclusive maps, you can find the map request right here.
To move on, the used match formats remain largely unchanged, as there was no real reason to, and your feedback still remained positive about them. We will still use 4v4 in Rounds, up to 7 points, Tennis Mode in the Playoffs, a KO system in the Qualifications, Swiss System in the Groupstage, and a Double Elimination Bracket in the Champions Bracket. But there are a few minor changes to iron out potential pitfalls and to create fairer and more exciting matches the further we get into the competition.
The main complaint and consensus opinion about the KO Qualifications was, that it created unbalanced groups. While we held that opinion partially as well back then, on retrospective we are able to see, that in the Playoffs the group seeding did not seem that biased towards one side. Group A vs Group B in the Grand Finals, in the Top 8 of the Champions Bracket were 3 teams from Group A and 5 coming from Group B, which is a variance to be expected. A similar result goes for the Challenger Bracket, so your criticism did not get fully validated.
Still, the concern remains true, that a situation like that might be created from the current system. That’s why we will introduce a small variance of a 3/4 rating on the Qualifications, which will discount the worst result of a team in one of the 4 KOs, and with a very new feature to our KO plugin, every player receives 3 lives. Those actions does reflect the later Rounds-based matches better, as in 3 players can make up for the mistake of a 4th, and it should solidify the results of the KOs towards the true seeds (if something like that really existed).
Except being extended by 2 matches, the Swiss System itself remains unchanged, but because of the double match weekends, we have to draw the match-ups manually. We have the possibility to give the teams a fair trade-off between the TC17 and earlier world-cup-like Groupstages, and the TC18 and onwards pure Swiss System match-ups, which was disliked by a few of you. We cannot give you the details yet on how exactly we will draw match-ups in later rounds of the Groupstage, but there will be put some thought into that.
As stated earlier, we had 3 teams from Group A and 5 teams from Group B entering the Top 8 of the Champions Bracket, additionally only one team from those 8 ended the Groupstage outside of the Top 4 of their group, which was the later Runner-Up Venture eSports.
Because of those facts, and the double match weekends, which secure the standings of the Swiss System a little more, we will cut down the amount of teams entering the Double Elimination Champions Bracket to 8 teams in total. The Challenger Bracket gets extended to include all other teams, which will then fight in full groups of 8 teams in a Single Elimination bracket against the teams of their skill level. Only the teams at the very bottom after the Groupstage will be eliminated from the competition.
Before ending this post, we would like to mention, that it is simply impossible to satisfy every player with a tournament format, so we have to balance the players and our opinions a lot when we think about the tournament format.
Thank you, that you stick with us through the experiments we have run in the past editions. We hope, that we all benefit from it by at least making the experience what and why things (do not) work.
You can let us know already, what you think of the proposed changes to the TC20, if you join us on our Discord Server over at https://discord.gg/5meXtyA/, we’d like to listen to it. Down below, you can find a few more links to other pages, to find more information about the Team Cup itself. If you got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us, preferably on the previously mentioned Discord Server.