Curse, coincidence, or common woe?
For four seasons in a row, during the final match that my team plays in the season, we have been missing at least one starter due to unavoidable IRL reasons.
Is this just a Highlander “if you roll the dice nine times, it’s less likely that all of them will come up ‘yes, I can make it’” thing (with a dash of bad luck WRT it being the last game of the season), or is it a sinister curse of vilest intent that has been cruelly wrought upon a hapless mortal who merely wishes to play game with teammate?
Let me see if I can gin up an information-gathering poll. [edit: Apparently the answer is "yes, but the options will be in a wonky order!?]
Mods, please feel free to schlep this to OT if you deem it too silly; I am genuinely curious about people’s experiences, however.
I think you’ll find it hard to find meaningful answers. Someone with only a few seasons won’t reach multiple seasons for data points, while people with multiple would have a higher pool of likeliness, just because the event has had more chances to occur
I can think a few reasons for this phenomenon:
1: They are simply tired of highlander and/or the team
Although not a good reason to bait your team during playoffs, oftentimes players don’t want to play highlander anymore. At the start of playoffs, unestablished teams are just starting to create bonds with their teammates (for better or for worse) and this can create tension between players. Sadly, many players might not want to play with players that yell at them. For example, a medic that is new might not be perfect (shocking) and during something stressful like playoffs, players act more toxic.
2: They are tired of losing
Because of how many of rgl playoffs brackets work, (where bottom seed fights top seed) many players might feel hopeless and therefore unmotivated to play at all. This is especially true if they’ve already lost to the team their facing during the regular season.
3: Playoff games are stressful and people aren’t confident
The last one I can think of is players that don’t feel like they’re the best player on their team and might feel as if a ringer or sub would work better than they can under the pressure of a playoff match. This happened to me one of my first seasons in open (amateur). I didn’t feel like I was pulling my weight and didn’t want to let my team down. I didn’t bait the match but I was very stressed and wanted to preform well.
4: Poor planning and season timing
Many comp tf2 players are young and therefore often don’t look ahead very much. This leads to families going to vacation and taking your players with them. Because of when the season is set, this also tends to happen during playoffs.
Those are all the reasons I can think of why people might purposefully bait playoff matches more than regular matches.
@Pain-Seer You are quite right! Though I feel that making people do math may have unintended results as well