Highlander Match Point System

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  • Vibe pretty much hit the nail on the head, so I won’t continue that discussion, and just return to the topic at hand. Although for the record, I know what Ranked-Choice voting is, it is the system I used for my post-season favorite map polls that I made on the forums a while back.

    Lets discuss and compare the current HL system to Sixes. Sixes uses a Win/Loss system, with MP only serving as a tie breaker at the end of the season. This system has no issues with Sixes because they play two matches a week and their season is also an extra week longer. This means while HL only has 7 matches for their regular season, Sixes has 16. Lets look at the rankings from last season of Sixes vs HL to show it visually.

    alt text

    I am a proponent of a Round-MP system like you want. I believe that it is a better way to rank teams when teams are evenly matched and gives more weight to how well a team actually plays during the regular season, leading to less overall skilled teams making it to playoffs and creating terribly unbalanced playoffs brackets. It also means that because each round is counted, it puts more emphasis on preforming the best at all times, and rewards teams for being able to take rounds against teams that were going to lose against anyways. I.E. it rewards consistency throughout the season. This would ideally also move us away from having to rely on RR styled match ups since swiss with Rounds won/lost would be a more accurate way of setting up matches and allow us more flexability instead of being div locked into the number of matches+1.

    However, the reality is that Win/Loss is what mostly everyone uses from professional sports, other E-sports, etc. And while Round-MP IMO is better for accurately judging the skill level of teams, It is harder to people to quantify compared to something as simple as Win/Loss. Not only that, but as you play more games throughout the season, how much Rounds matter vs Win/Loss decreases exponentially.

    If we should do anything, we should be trying to make all our league formats use the same systems to better align what we want as a comp tf2 community as a whole, and unless we are going to get sixes to use our system or even round-MP, the best option is for us to switch to Win/Loss instead.

  • Front-loading this essay with a statement of opinion so no one can claim I have a bias: I don’t think it matters at all which system is used, whichever one we play under is the one we have to try to win under and that is the simple tautological truth.

    That said, I am completely in agreement with Inq that it cannot possibly be that hard to understand what he’s actually trying to say. Here it is in simple, logical argument format:

    • Premise A: We currently use a match point system that favors Rounds Won, while still including a slight systematic bias towards Win/Loss. This is plainly obvious in that teams will always win a minimum of 6MP - 66.6% of match points available - even when winning <66.6% of rounds (which is currently only possible in KOTH).
    • Premise B: Polls conducted on the topic of awarding match points based on Win/Loss vs. Rounds Won thus far have consistently resulted in Rounds Won being chosen as the deciding factor. vibe conveniently screenshot the polls in question in his post here.

    As we are obviously not ranking teams entirely by Rounds Won, these two premises are clearly in conflict, and the entirety of this thread so far has been attempting to resolve this conflict in various ways.

    • Inq’s view is that we should resolve this conflict by removing the slight systematic bias towards Win/Loss entirely, and award points perfectly proportionally to Rounds Won. This results in no changes to how Payload points are awarded, and requires adjustments to KOTH points.
    • Status quo view is that since the statistical bias is minimal, and that the polls seem to show general satisfaction with the way the system currently works, there’s no reason to upend the system.

    This misunderstanding stems from the imprecise wording of the previously referenced polls in question. Here’s that link again so you can take a closer look.

    • Season 3’s poll provides a dichotomy between:
      the current point system (…) based on consistency”, and
      based on W/L (and then matchpoints as a tiebreaker)”.
      The second option is a hardline option, while the first is not explicitly one way or the other. It’s implied to be a dichotomy between Win/Loss and Rounds Won, but it’s not really.
    • Season 4’s poll includes those two options, but also adds three more that further confuse the issue:
      Keep the points system with adjustments” says nothing about which way the system will be biased,
      Use win/loss (…) with something else as a tiebreaker” includes an unknown variable, and
      No preference” is a waste of a poll option. That’s just my opinion.
    • Season 7’s poll is even more egregious than Season 3’s with just three terse choices:
      Match Points”,
      No opinion”.
      Once again, Win/Loss is a hardline option, while Match Points is an essentially meaningless option on a literal level, as Match Points can be awarded in any algorithmic or arbitrary fashion the admin team determines (including Win/Loss). The only way the poll makes empirical sense is if Match Points is being used as shorthand for the current method of awarding MP.

    At no point in any of these polls has hardline Rounds Won been presented as an option, while Win/Loss has always had that privilege. The competing option to Win/Loss has always been “the existing system”, which of course means that these poll results will always show that the existing system (and not purely Rounds Won) is the winner.

    I’d like to repeat that: In all polls conducted over how to rank teams, purely Rounds Won has never been an option.

    Inq chooses to interpret poll votes in favor of the current system as votes in favor of Rounds Won, as that makes sense to him as the direct opponent of Win/Loss, in spite of the polls never saying so. Following through with this, he wants to commit fully to Rounds Won by eliminating that slight systematic bias towards Win/Loss.

    His opponents interpret votes in favor of the current system as votes in favor of the hybrid implementation, as that is a literally true reading of the polls. But this ignores the fact that pure Rounds Won is just never provided as a potential answer, and so there’s an egregious error in these polls’ methodology that renders literal interpretations incomplete.

    I hope this makes the root of the issue crystal clear.

  • @Flare said in Highlander Match Point System:

    His opponents interpret votes in favor of the current system as votes in favor of the hybrid implementation, as that is a literally true reading of the polls. But this ignores the fact that pure Rounds Won is just never provided as a potential answer, and so there’s an egregious error in these polls’ methodology that renders literal interpretations incomplete.

    Of course. But the system has worked fine for nine seasons at least now. The fact that there was a methodological error in the polls does not stand against the fact that

    1. the polls, read literally (reasonably imo) from the perspective of someone responding to the surveys, contrast a win-loss system with the system that was, at the time, in place, and as you say, fail to consider the option of rounds-won, but also

    2. the system has not posed issues that anyone, including Inquisition, has brought up, notwithstanding a poll that as I stated above does not say what Inq wants it to say, and

    3. the system, judging by the sheer slant responses to this thread, enjoys more support than not, even when contrasted to rounds-won rather than win-loss like the previous polls (yes it’s not scientific at all, but surely at least one person would have given more than a half-hearted endorsement or have upvoted the OP if it enjoyed significant support?), and

    4. polls are problematic here for reasons @TheS4rr outlined, and

    5. therefore, it’s not worth polling, despite the problems with past polls.

  • Addendum to my above essay on the actual arguments being made and the underlying issue with polling methodology that resulted in the fracas. This should help clarify some of the more confusing, technical shit.

    The current Match Point system can be thought of as fundamentally Rounds Won, with a slight systematic bias towards Win/Loss. We can visualize this as being a sliding scale:

    W/L ----------------------------------------- RW
                   you are here

    In Stopwatch, both 2-0 and 2-1 game results in perfectly proportional 9-0 and 6-3 MP awards to the teams, while KOTH results vary widely from a perfectly proportional 4-0 = 9-0 award to a 4-3 = 6-3 award, which is an approximately 15% mathematical bias towards the W/L from the mathematically precise 5.14-3.86. KOTH 4-2 also skews the “correct” 6-3 MP by about 19% into 7-2 MP, and 4-1 from 7.2-1.8 into 8-1 with a fairly large error of about 25%.

    As this shows the bias towards W/L in KOTH grows as the match results tend towards higher disparity, it’s interesting to speculate how this affects different teams who may perform worse on Stopwatch but are stronger on KOTH, or vice versa - to say nothing of the points brought up over Stopwatch already being a winner-takes-all gamemode just by itself and how that means MP doesn’t accurately reflect in-game performance.

    Assuming maximum errors in MP throughout a season, we’re looking at an error ceiling of roughly 11% for a single regular season, since Stopwatch is nominally always perfectly proportional and there are 4 Stopwatch maps to 3 KOTH maps. This is a WORST case scenario, mathematically speaking.

    My math was really rough and not terribly precise, but I’m of the opinion that a maximum potential error of 11% is unacceptable in principle, but very scarcely applicable given that playoffs have rarely ever been determined by that kind of margin. (that, and going through all past seasons and retroactively applying Rounds Won to see what’s changed is far more research than I’m willing to put in)

    This is a very interesting, thought-provoking academic exercise that just tells me no one really knows or cares why we do things the way we do. As far as I can tell every argument proposed so far isn’t really principled, it’s basically just “hey no one’s really had a problem with it, so let’s just keep going.”

    Which, to be clear, I’m not knocking.

    This is a video game from 2007 with no money in it, a very slightly possible 11% error margin just isn’t that important.

    Just please be honest with yourselves that you’re rationalizing not thinking that hard about it.

  • Math and some logic has been whipped out; how will team rgl respond??? Will their (imo all-too-common) vague wording finally bring about their end???

  • Woops hang on, made some fairly serious mistakes in my math, error is actually significantly higher than I previously calculated.

    Check my work:

    All MP results are compared against “pure” W/L control of 9-0.

    4-3 game = 5.14-3.86 MP in theory
    Actual MP awarded is 6-3
    6-5.14=0.86 (difference between perfect RW and actual MP is the same for either side)
    0.86/3.86=22.28% error in favor of W/L (difference between the two systems divided by difference between perfect W/L & perfect RW)
    (this error is probably 22.22% if rounding errors in MP are eliminated)

    4-2 game = 6-3 MP in theory
    Actual MP awarded is 7-2
    1/3=33.33% error in favor of W/L

    4-1 game = 7.2-1.8 MP in theory
    Actual MP awarded is 8-1
    0.8/1.8=44.44% error in favor of W/L

    44.44% highest possible error, 4 games of Stopwatch, 3 games of Koth

    (0.4444*3)/7=19% maximum possible error in season

    Match points potentially being misrepresented by as much as 19% in a season is a much more serious concern to me, but YMMV. Take this figure as you will.

    What I do find much more compelling is the idea that KOTH round wins being up to 44% more meaningless is absolutely appalling in principle, even if you take into account that the absolute difference is just 0.8 MP. It’s fascinating to me that the greatest absolute difference is in the middling 4-2 result rather than at either extreme, where an entire extra match point is up for grabs rather than just a fraction of one. In a worst case scenario, this also means that as much as 3 match points can be missed out on over a season with the current MP implementation. Since this maximizes in 4-2 losses, in my opinion this absolutely has a significant probability of affecting seeding for playoffs in any given division.

    Changing my mind on this one, this isn’t a non-issue and should definitely be more directly addressed.

  • @Flare There is always the option to ditch rounds in favor of halfs for koth. First to 2 wins the half., best of 3 halfs.

  • Looks like much has been said since I was last here, so I’ll respond to as much as I can. It’ll be very tedious to read through this whole thing, so I’ll section it off for people who are only interested in certain parts.


    Section 1 - Response to Flare. TL;DR, Thanks to Flare for an eloquent summary of what I’ve been saying, and for giving analysis to support my point system.

    Section 2 - Response to vibe and rants about polls. TL;DR, all evidence shows that it would be worthwhile to poll on my match point system.

    Section 3 - Complaints about RGL admin methodology. TL;DR, the admins think they know better than us all, but this is ridiculous. The community is able to handle most of the decision making without them, they just need to run the polls

    Section 4 - Response to Mothership. TL;DR, counting halves instead of rounds on KOTH makes no sense. We have the ability to count rounds, so we should.

    Section 1

    Thanks to @Flare for adding more details to what I have been saying this whole time, and thanks to @vibeisveryo for once again not reading what I have said, and “disagreeing with me” while still claiming things that are in line with what I am saying.

    Flare has correctly identified why I am in favor of purely win/loss, and the problems I have pointed out with the polls. Once again, my main priority here is to get a fair poll to happen. I don’t care if I lose the poll, just that my view is given a fair chance, which as Flare explained, it has not yet gotten.

    Section 2

    As you stated vibe,

    Polls consistently favour the match point system that exists, not some mythical one where all rounds in a match are weighed equally, to win-loss. There is absolutely nothing, in this conversation, to be derived from poll results, since they are silent on the topic of discussion: the match point system as you suggest.

    This is the heart of the problem. You cannot possibly know what popular opinion is on my pure rounds match point system because you have failed to poll it. That is why I want it polled. Results clearly show that win/loss isn’t preferred, so you have absolutely no reason to believe that a system that doesn’t count wins at all wouldn’t be preferred to the current system. As you stated, I similarly have no compelling reason to think that my system would be preferred either, but until you poll it, you can’t know. There is not “ample justification” for the current system. Only a small group of admins (probably not even admins anymore) who think they know better then everyone else (they don’t) and inconclusive polls from years ago that all agree suck at showing anything.

    I’m not “hiding behind polls,” I’ve very clearly stated why my system is better, you’ve seen several people agree with me. I don’t claim to know what the results of the fair poll will be, but my match point system clearly deserves a shot in the polls.

    It’s also completely alien for anyone to suggest that this isn’t worth polling, as it is an issue that has been historically decided by polls. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if there weren’t existing polls that I’ve been referencing this entire time. It’s very obviously worth polling because it has been polled before several times, and all those polls did a poor job extracting information.

    The real fallacy here is thinking that my opinion doesn’t have support, when it absolutely does. I don’t just think about random things and decide to post them on the forums, I hear complaints from actual RGL players that it doesn’t make sense that the ratios of match points aren’t the same in KOTH and in stopwatch. Just because you don’t have hordes of people ranting on the forums doesn’t mean they won’t agree with me. The 10 people on the forums that have discussed this issue cannot decide the results of the poll that should be taken. None of us know the results until we run the poll. I even wrote it for you, its so simple.

    As for actual criticisms of my system, I have addressed every single one as they have come. Most comments replying to me have been unrelated to my system, and are either personal attacks or just plain incorrect claims about what I am stating. If you want to question the match point system I proposed, feel free to do so. Just don’t be surprised when I respond by quoting myself, as I have already explained everything about it. The bigger problem is that you don’t understand what your job is as a league admin. Yes, I do know what your job is. If I was slightly more tolerant of the stupidity of others, I would probably still be an admin at this point, and I would have accomplished significantly more than most admins do, all for the betterment of the league.

    Section 3

    Like I mentioned before, I don’t blame you for not making noticing what I have pointed out in this thread. People who are not me do not usually take the time to discover hidden abominations introduced years ago by clueless people that happened to be in charge at the time. For what it’s worth, the current match point system served it’s purpose, and the person who made it was certainly very creative. It’s not their fault that we are using it, it’s probably just something they came up with on the spot. If you take any logical look at it though, you’ll realize that the only reason you’re defending it is tradition. If you put 100 people in a room and ask them to come up with a fair system for match points, probably 80 or more will reproduce my system. It’s not complicated, and is objectively the most fair way to divide points. I don’t blame anyone for not thinking of it originally, but I will place blame on you for not realizing that I am completely correct to say that you have no idea whether or not people like it.

    If the admin team didn’t want to get criticized so much by the community, it would do them good to ask us what we want more often. Secondly, if you run a poll and implement what the majority wanted, then you can default respond to any complaints with “it seems a majority of people prefer this, and I suggest you try convincing your fellow players if you want a change”. The it puts accountability on the rest of the community to make sure issues are resolved correctly, and if there is reason to believe that there has been a change of opinion, you poll again. There is no reason not to put that responsibility on our shoulders, because TF2 players in RGL are a very dedicated group of people. If we didn’t care about it, we wouldn’t be playing this really old game. This is a niche you don’t see in most league throughout gaming and sports, but for once you actually can count on the people to always solve things themselves. After all, you are just a volunteer, and you have no reason to believe you can do anything better than anyone else.

    The most upsetting an admin can ever say is what you said here.

    The people are not always right, and even when they are, getting the people’s pulse is often more trouble than it’s worth.

    The people are always right, sorry. The success of the league is defined by player satisfaction. If you satisfy more players, you’re doing better. S4rr claims that it’s unfair to let losing teams decide because they may be a majority, but this is also wrong. If the majority of teams are losing teams, then that’s how it is, and it only makes sense to count their rounds fairly…

    If you poll, you do what the majority votes for. If you don’t poll, you don’t have a clue what the majority wants. You don’t need to run polls for every single detail, but you should try to run them as much as possible, especially for issues like this that actually effect a large number of people in the league. If you don’t like the results of a poll, firstly, too bad, and secondly, then you need to try harder to convince people to change their minds. If they don’t change their minds, then you have to accept you are in the minority. Polls are not that hard to run, I was there to help run them and it was always worth it.

    vibe, I don’t have anything personal against you, I know it’s not your fault that all the admins are like this. They’ve taught you to be like this, I just hope that one of you sees the flaw in this thinking eventually.

    Section 4

    Moving on…
    @Mothership This is still problematic as I discussed before, because we can easily quantify every single round taken, so there is no reason not to. We can always know exactly how many rounds a team wins, so its absurd to just plain ignore some round wins. Of course though… if we really want to know what people think of this, then include it in the poll (!! Remember not to have multiple options without rank choice though !!)

  • @Mothership In response to your other comment about 6s, I agree that using win/loss first also makes sense. This is logical option, but also just an unpopular one, as per the season 3 and season 7 polls. As you say, round based points (my system) is always going to be the more fair, but additionally, there is no reason to think that HL and 6s need to have the same system. As you mentioned, the 6s season has significantly more matches. They have much longer to determine seeding, whereas round robin HL gives exactly one match between every team to do the same job.

    In 6s, essentially any system will get the job done, because more matches gives less variance, resulting in the right teams making playoffs no matter what. Win/loss makes sense here because it’s the simplest option that accomplishes this.

    In HL, win/loss also makes sense, but the reason why most people have voted against it is because it makes them feel like taking rounds on a loss is not important at all. Because each team only gets one chance against other teams, you’re more likely to get unexpected matches that skew results. If, for example, a good team loses 3-4 KOTH, reporting it as simply a loss doesn’t show their merits. You have to know how much better teams are compared to each other when you get this small number of matches.

  • I haven’t changed at all because I am still correct, and hoping that the new admins are more reasonable than you were. You admitted that you were too stubborn to do anything that exa didn’t tell you to do, and you literally never made a decision as head admin that changed anything about the league. I, on the other hand, was 100% successful in implementing actual changes that we know for a fact were correct, because every change I made was voted for by a poll.

  • Okay, after taking some time to read over this discussion from the start I believe there are several key disconnects here that are going to prevent us from ever seeing eye to eye unless we address the underlying reasons we disagree with each other. I attempt to do that in this reply, in addition to replying to other miscellaneous things others have said.

    About past polls and their relevance to this discussion

    @Inquisition said in Highlander Match Point System:

    You cannot possibly know what popular opinion is on my pure rounds match point system because you have failed to poll it.

    I’m not “hiding behind polls,”

    Then why the hell have you, time and time again in this thread, been using polls to support your opinion? You know as well as I do that the polls say absolutely nothing.

    I’ll paste again for convenience all the times you said this.

    but we polled for it and you are in the minority
    the thing that won a majority of player votes
    We voted not to prioritize wins
    we didn’t want to have wins be the determining factor
    the fact we don’t care about match wins
    This is exactly the opposite of what we agreed to do in the poll that I have been referencing. We voted NOT to prioritize match wins, so its absurd that they are built into the system at all. Match wins should not be considered in the world where we decided that they weren’t important.
    given that we are trying not to prioritize match wins.

    I think you and I are, regardless of what either of us may have said earlier in this thread, in agreement that past polls are silent on this issue. So I don’t want to talk about them anymore. I’m not going to bring them up, and I’d like you to refrain from doing so as well. Let’s focus on the present and future.

    Response to Flare’s facts and logic

    @Flare, you bring up an interesting point with the mathematical demonstration.

    My math was really rough and not terribly precise, but I’m of the opinion that a maximum potential error of 11% is unacceptable in principle,

    But I can’t agree with you for the simple reason that I’m not looking at this as you are. You are looking at this from the viewpoint of measuring its deviation (error) from pure proportionality, which you believe is an ideal to strive towards. I don’t, with absolutely no offense or personal insult intended, give a shit about pure proportionality. I value, on a personal level, teams being rewarded for winning matches, not just rounds. The current system does that reasonably, in my opinion, rewarding 2/3 of the match points to the match winner and rewarding the remaining 1/3 based on rounds won by the loser.

    Unless we can address our disagreements at the root of the issue (why you believe points being rewarded in exact proportion to rounds won is ideal, and why I don’t) I will never agree with your framing of this as an error minimization problem, because I don’t believe there is error to begin with. Accordingly, I don’t find either an 11% or 19% error appalling; I find it correct, a good solution to match wins not really mattering; I’ll get more into this just below.

    Preface to responding to Inquisition’s argumentation

    Everything regarding polls aside:

    Having taken a look at the rest of the thread, I do agree that your idea was talked about and seriously criticized less than I thought. I believe I discussed this in a private discord with some others, and thought the arguments I made there I had posted here, when in fact I hadn’t. That’s on me for not doing my due diligence - sorry about that. I’ll try to make up for it here.

    In specific, I think my earlier posts on this thread focused far too much on the inconsistency of you using past polls to defend your opinion and far too little on the substance of the discussion. That’s also on me. I’ll come back to this later, but I believe in a consensus building model for decision making, and combativeness helps nobody. I’ll try to set that aside from now.

    Responding to the original idea, except for calls for a poll to be done

    I value, as I said above responding to Flare, winning matches. I think winning matches is the point of having a league - I think several rounds are just a means to make sure matches aren’t decided by flukes.

    But also, because of the way Highlander is set up, with relatively small Swiss-style divisions and only 7 matches that count for seeding, I believe that introducing a system that prioritizes win-loss first creates some major problems I’d rather avoid; namely, teams with a far easier schedule making it into playoffs over teams that are better than them, because 7 matches isn’t enough to calibrate Swiss properly. (Note that @Mothership brought this up earlier.) I highly value the teams in playoffs truly being the best teams in the div - I think this is more important than whatever system we use to get there, and I don’t think pure win-loss would do a good job. So I support match points, BUT: I still value winning matches, and so I support the current match point system where 2/3 of the points are given to the match winner, but the loser still has a shot at some value out of the match beyond for tiebreaks.

    Why don’t I believe that match points being rewarded in proportion to rounds won is a good thing? Because I think it also has several other pernicious effects on the league that I’d rather avoid.

    1. It incentivizes teams, in order to maximize their final seeding, to prioritize consistent round winning over winning matches. This includes by gaming the Swiss system through soft-throwing deciding rounds earlier in the season to get matched against easier opponents later in the season, so they can guarantee 4-0s / 2-0s.

    2. It makes the regular season inconsistent with playoffs, where regular season wins don’t matter at all but in playoffs wins are all that matter.

    3. It reduces satisfaction from clutching a game.

    The reason I don’t personally believe a poll is necessary (one of several criteria I use in my head to justify a poll - more on that later) is because I’m not convinced the system you propose is a good enough alternative to the current system to be pitted against it. I don’t blame this on you - I haven’t given you a chance to defend it against these criticisms of mine. Here’s said chance.

    Regarding a future poll

    The people are always right, sorry. The success of the league is defined by player satisfaction. If you satisfy more players, you’re doing better.

    I think this is another fundamental disconnect that’s going to fundamentally make us not see eye to eye unless either you or I is convinced otherwise at the root. And in all fairness to you, for several reasons I’m far more stubborn about this than I am about the other disconnect re: match points, so I think it’s fairly unlikely you’re going to convince me otherwise. If that means we won’t see eye to eye on this point ever, so be it.

    I don’t believe the people are always right. I don’t believe in democracy as inherently correct or an inherently optimal way to do things, whether within RGL, elsewhere on the internet, or in real life.

    I do agree with you that the league’s fundamental goal is to maximize player satisfaction. But I don’t think that democracy, or polling, is the best way to do it. People are liable to make bad choices, including ones that reduce their own satisfaction. Let’s see how.

    The idea behind democracy is the idea of social utility maximization - an economic problem. Individuals are well-behaved, rational actors who have preferences that are complete (they have an opinion on everything and understand everything perfectly), monotonic (they believe more of something that they think is good is better), and transitive (there is a strict order to their preferences - if A is better than B and B is better than C, then A must be better than C to them). So in democracy, if everyone that has preferences expresses them, we, by design, maximize everyone’s collective utilities.

    The problem with this idea is that one of the premises, the assumption that preferences are complete, is simply not true. Specifically, the idea that people (the respondents to a survey) have an opinion on everything and understand it perfectly. People’s brains work in weird ways, primed by the latest experiences they had, and so they make irrational choices. @TheS4rr also mentioned this earlier:

    But polls can’t decide every little minute detail of how the league runs because most players may not understand an issue well enough or they may gain an advantage from a rule change that is actually bad.

    (“that is actually bad” in the sense that it reduces overall player satisfaction, despite being voted for.)

    A clear example of this, in the context of RGL, is that before the rotation in HL was established, it seemed that every season, people voted for either Cascade or Lakeside, and then at the end of that season poll, hit the “fuck go back” button.

    To be clear: I don’t believe that this means every decision should be closed-door, ivory tower up to the admins. I think every person has a valuable perspective to provide, if they choose to or care to - I just don’t think the people, as a collective, can be assumed to be right. I also understand that the admins, including myself, are just players at heart. We are not some super technocratic group that knows better than everyone else. We have our biases too. There is one advantage admins have in decision-making, that I’ll get to later.

    I admire the Wikipedia model for making decisions through building consensus. If there is a dispute, people discuss it and try their best to reach a consensus that everyone can accept, whether grudgingly/with reservations or happily.

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Consensus (bolding/emphasis is mine):

    Decisions on Wikipedia are primarily made by consensus, which is accepted as the best method to achieve Wikipedia’s goals, i.e., the five pillars. Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which is ideal but not always achievable), nor is it the result of a vote.
    Wikipedia consensus usually occurs implicitly. An edit has presumed consensus until it is disputed or reverted. Should another editor revise that edit then the new edit will have presumed consensus until it meets with disagreement. In this way, the encyclopedia gradually improves over time.
    When agreement cannot be reached through editing alone, the consensus-forming process becomes more explicit: editors open a section on the associated talk page and try to work out the dispute through discussion, using reasons based in policy, sources, and common sense; they can also suggest alternative solutions or compromises that may satisfy all concerns. The result might be an agreement that does not satisfy anyone completely, but that all recognize as a reasonable solution. Consensus is an ongoing process on Wikipedia; it is often better to accept a less-than-perfect compromise—with the understanding that the page is gradually improving—than to try to fight to implement a particular preferred version immediately.

    I think consensus-based decision making is the best model for a community like this, where there is fairly little cross-sectional diversity that meaningfully impacts people’s preferences (unlike in real life, where, for example, people’s political opinions are very much shaped by whether they were born into a rich or poor family). I will note that it’s probably more ideal to have argument in short bites, more chatroom style, than through these long essays; very few people in this community, unlike Wikipedia, are nerds enough or have enough energy to read an essay like this one, let alone write them. But I think resolving people’s disagreements, whether through convincing them or compromise, is better than just ramming through a system with a bit more than half the people supporting it and a bit less than half the people opposing it.

    I personally believe that the role of admins is to facilitate said consensus building. That’s why I am active on these forums, where some other admins may not want to be, and why I’m responding at all to this thread despite my disagreement with a lot of what has been said by everyone, not just you. Of course, by only engaging with one of your points, I’m kind of doing a lousy job at that - but that can always be rectified.

    Then, I think the point of a poll is to officiate a consensus that has already been reached. With disagreement and people that don’t look at an issue the same way, a poll is just a way to push through a half-popular change - one that not everyone may have fully considered. With consensus, on the other hand, we can be sure that enough people are aware of the consequences of a change that they’re voting rationally, and the consensus ensures that enough people will be happy with it that it won’t be a “fuck go back” kind of situation.

    Without consensus, we have several options:

    1. If the status quo is not horribly broken, keep it
    2. If the status quo is horribly broken, unilateral admin action to fix it - which may result in a suboptimal (or optimal) outcome that is still better than the status quo
    3. Try to create consensus

    This is a fairly mundane, though important, topic. Anyone who is in this thread is either a nerd or is just clowning on someone or the other for whatever reason. So #3 may not be possible. I will always strive for it, but it’s not necessarily easy. That’s where #1 and #2 comes in as a backup.

    The system as it is is not horribly broken. It may be flawed, but it’s not broken. Otherwise you’d have people (a LOT of them, not just a few) complaining about it very publicly since when it was implemented in Season 3. So our options are #3 and #1. We can iron out flaws through consensus, but not through a poll.

    Back to the advantage admins have - it is admins’ jobs to consider the implications for the divs they admin, which they, by design, do not have a conflict of interest in. This lets them weigh the proposals more, but not totally, impartially. Also, admins - whether current or future ones - are the people that ultimately have to implement a system, and so if a system would make it significantly more difficult/less feasible for admins to do a good job, then admin veto may be necessary against it. But admin actions SHOULD be open to public scrutiny, and transparency is an absolute must (on gameplay/league matters - I am not talking about, say, bans). Then, admins should guide consensus making where possible, make decisions where it is not possible, and put things to a vote when there is good reason to put them to a vote (fairly simple options, truly matters of preference, etc. etc.), and not just because there is a dispute.

    So @Inquisition @Teli @Flare if I or any other RGL admin could do better to take logic into account, and to avoid vague wording without posing an unbearable burden on us*, please let me know, I’m happy to hear. I/we may not agree with you or implement your proposal, because it may not necessarily be good, but it is always my goal, and hopefully that of other admins as well, to be open minded. In particular, I obviously and clearly disagree with you on the necessity of a poll or the usefulness of one, but I’m willing to discuss it.

    * Yes, I know admins should take on work necessary to make the league better, but at the end of the day admins are volunteers. If the workload is unbearable, admins will quit, and the league will not have as many people willing to do the work for it, making it even harder to get the work done.

    I respect the hell out of you if you’ve read every word in this post.

  • @vibeisveryo I appreciate that you’ve taken a step back to make sure you understand what I’m saying. You’ve given me much more to discuss here, instead of forcing me to repeat myself and be frustrated.

    Regarding polls and their purpose

    I reject your proposal to move away from polls. I am not “hiding behind polls” in the same way that Thor does not hide behind his hammer. Polls are my primary weapon in this discussion, so to take them away from me is to defeat my entire purpose here. Literally the only reason I started this thread to convince you guys to run a poll. The exact point I have been making is that past polls on the issue have failed in their entirety, so you should run an updated poll on this very poll-able question.

    While I agree that coming to a consensus is the best option, polling with majority rule is necessarily a part of the process of coming to consensus. Most people aren’t going to read a word from this thread, but many of them will still have their opinions and vote in polls. If you give them what they asked for, and they decide that they don’t like it, then that’s okay. The idea of a ‘back button’ is an important part of this. If people realize their idea was wrong, then they will change their minds and vote differently on the poll the next time it comes around.

    Secondly, the primary reason that pure democracy fails in most real-life situations is that it’s very difficult to poll the general populous in a reasonable manner. Not everyone has easy access to polls, and for those who do, the trouble of doing so might not be worth the value they gain by voting. This is closely connected to the idea that many people think their votes don’t matter, because it’s never the case that a singular vote will be the deciding factor in polls. In our case, however, none of this applies for the following reasons:

    1. It is not difficult to poll people in RGL. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t take much effort on the part of the admins to put up polls. You could have already put it up in the time we have been discussing this.

    2. It is not difficult for us to respond to polls. You know that every single RGL player has access to the internet, and can easily find your polls. You can put them on the front page of the RGL website and advertise them in the discord. It takes only a few minutes of effort to vote in RGL polls. Excepting special circumstances, anyone who wants to can easily vote in your polls. The only (again, excepting special circumstances) reason that someone would not vote in the polls is that they simply don’t care about the contents of the poll, which means we wouldn’t need them voting anyway.

    3. Individual votes actually do matter. When the total voting base is barely a few hundred people, it’s completely reasonable that having a small group change their mind could alter the majority on the poll. Also, the people voting in polls are almost always directly effected by the results of the poll, so it will be easy for them to form opinions and decide what to vote for. At the end of the day, as long you include an “I don’t care” option in the poll, you can be sure that anyone who votes one way on a two way issue is actually speaking their mind.

    Regarding the point system and its goals

    For this section, keep in mind that I am advocating for potentially different point systems for swiss and round robin. I will be discussing exclusively my thoughts for round robin divisions, because the reasoning is different for each.

    I’ll start here. @vibeisveryo, you said this.

    I highly value the teams in playoffs truly being the best teams in the div

    It would help if I knew what you meant by “best in the div,” because the way I see it, this will be best accomplished using my system. The ultimate goal of the regular season is to produce the most competitive playoff bracket, and so it should be the case that we consider the “best” teams to be the teams with the greatest chance at winning the entire playoff bracket.

    Looking at it in this way, a team with 4 perfect wins (no rounds lost) against the bottom 4 teams and 3 perfect losses (no rounds won) against the top 3 teams is significantly less valuable in a playoff bracket than a team with imperfect wins and losses. If you know this team is getting rolled by every playoff team, it doesn’t matter that they’re better than the non-playoff teams. There’s almost no point in letting them into playoffs in the first place. On the other hand, a team that has maximum rounds won on loss against other top teams is much more likely to take that one last round and turn the tide. Even though they might be dropping rounds to worse teams, they’re still more likely to be the entire division winner than the team with only perfect wins and losses. Hence, I see the regular season as the perfect time to look at rounds won, rather than win/loss.

    Secondly, to address your desire to reward winning teams no matter what, I will say that winning a match still has its merits, even if you purely care about rounds won. At the end of the day, the prize pools are abysmal, so the only thing anyone gains from winning invite is just glory. If you win the division, everyone knows. If you win a tough match, people will notice and word will get out. “Oh, team so and so beat the top team? Amazing. Maybe they’ll be able to beat them in playoffs when it actually counts, otherwise it was just a fluke

    Glory for a win is rewarding, but if its not in playoffs then its not really worth much. Winning a regular season match doesn’t mean you’d beat the team later in playoffs, which is why a system that encourages consistency is preferred. Consistency is the only factor in the pure rounds system, which makes it the best.

    I’ll be happy to share my thoughts about the Swiss system as well, (they’re very similar to my thoughts about RR), but frankly I don’t care about results in any division below invite. I suppose winning advanced has some impact also, as it feeds a team into invite as well, but at the moment advanced is also round robin. As far as I’m concerned, we should let the players in Swiss divisions decide how to score their own match points. That’s why the division filter on the poll will be important.

    Final remarks about polls

    I find it funny that you mention the issue between Cascade and Lakeside before rotation was introduced. If you didn’t already know this, the reason that rotation was introduced was because I (me, Inquisition, not someone else) identified the problem with preexisting map polls, then wrote a poll (yes, I wrote it. I’ll give some credit also to exa who modified it before it was published). The results of the poll showed exactly what I said they would show, that rotation is highly favored to anything else. Because I wrote it, there was no room for confusion, and because I was on the admin team, it was very easy for me to get the poll through.

    Here I am, again, explaining an issue that should be polled. The only problem for me now is that I am no longer an admin, so I have to post on threads to convince you to run polls. I also am unsure what the results of the poll will be, which is why I have been saying this whole time that if majority votes against me I will accept my loss.

    If you want a problem fixed in RGL, all you need to do is run a poll (written by me), then the correct answer will be served to you on a platter.

    I have read every word of every post on this thread, and will continue to do so to in order to respond properly and convince admins to run the damn poll.

  • @Inquisition said in Highlander Match Point System:

    I reject your proposal to move away from polls. I am not “hiding behind polls” in the same way that Thor does not hide behind his hammer. Polls are my primary weapon in this discussion, so to take them away from me is to defeat my entire purpose here.

    Just a minor note: I wanted to move past discussing about past polls, not future ones, since we seem to be in agreement that their findings are not useful to us in one way or the other.

  • @vibeisveryo Ah, okay. I’m more okay with this.

  • @Inquisition said in Highlander Match Point System:


    Final remarks about polls

    I find it funny that you mention the issue between Cascade and Lakeside before rotation was introduced. If you didn’t already know this, the reason that rotation was introduced was because I (me, Inquisition, not someone else) identified the problem with preexisting map polls, then wrote a poll (yes, I wrote it. I’ll give some credit also to exa who modified it before it was published). The results of the poll showed exactly what I said they would show, that rotation is highly favored to anything else. Because I wrote it, there was no room for confusion, and because I was on the admin team, it was very easy for me to get the poll through.

    Here I am, again, explaining an issue that should be polled. The only problem for me now is that I am no longer an admin, so I have to post on threads to convince you to run polls. I also am unsure what the results of the poll will be, which is why I have been saying this whole time that if majority votes against me I will accept my loss.

    Fun Fact, did you know that if RGL listened to every result and followed every poll they’d have ever put out, product would of been rotated out again like it was in season 5 and we wouldnt of needed your poll for cascade and lakeside. Newsflash. Polls don’t run rgl and they never will. Since you seemed to love polls so much, you’d think you would listen to rgl’s past polls, cause that’s the answer to all of our problems!

    You talk about all this shit you did that was glorious in your eyes but was struck down by the other rgl admins. Even if you were right about anything you said (which you aren’t just to be clear, you aren’t and you never will be). Nobody would listen to you because of your arrogance, ignorance, and general absolute negligence for anyone else’s opinions or respect for their thoughts.

    You talk about all the work you did or tried to do as an admin, but did you care to share why you were removed? How what you said to me that left me so appalled I tried to kick you off staff at the end of season 7. How you called everyone else on staff morons because they didn’t agree with your ranking systems. How the rest of the staff despised how you acted in discussions. How the only reason you even stayed on staff was because exa bailed you out and gave you a second chance. Just for you to blow it by telling some random bloke in the rgl discord he was a waste of oxygen within a season.

    Even if you were right about any of this, nobody will listen to you and nobody will ever listen to you because of how you act.

  • I had a lot typed out here, but I realize this isn’t the place, so I’ve chosen to say this instead.

    All you’re doing is slandering me, so if you want to argue with me about things unrelated to the match point system, get off this thread and lets have a discussion. I’ll be happy to have it anywhere other than right here, because I am trying to accomplish something here. If anyone wants the text file containing my original response to Micah, I’ll gladly provide it. In much more pleasant words than I used originally, the situation he refers to can be summed up as a misunderstanding between me and Micah. I can be brash, so I see why he thought I meant something other than what I intended.

    If you don’t like me, that’s fine, but please recognize that this thread is genuinely making progress so you shouldn’t come here to trample me unless you want to actually dispute the match point system that I’m pushing. I already responded to your first criticism before, feel free to add to it if you want.

  • Okay this thread should never have been brought to my attention, because it has resulted in me spending far more time than is worthwhile thinking about what this whole mess actually entails and has directly resulted in what I would like to call:

    The Ultimate Highlander Match Points Essay

    I’d like to start by asking readers to hold onto a thought for me: None of what I’m about to discuss are obviously correct solutions. Whatever we settle on will require compromises. So I’d like to lead with a suggested course of action first, then work my way around to it by establishing all the logical and mathematical groundwork before we start discussing concerns of convenience or practicality. Here’s what I think we should do:

    We should hold a poll asking players to rate the importance they place on wins/losses versus rounds won, then use this as a basis to adjust our ranking system accordingly.

    Alright, now hold onto that thought.

    I had an epiphany that Match Points as a system has only one genuinely unique use, and that use is explicitly to strike a compromise between Win/Loss and Rounds Won. Here’s what I mean: when used to represent either pure Win/Loss or Rounds Won, Match Points is just a messier version of both. Why would you multiply a 5W-2L record by a potential 9 match points and display the team as having 45MP, when you could just use the 5 wins and 2 losses which is far more immediately parsable?

    Simple. Clean. Based. vs. Weird. Awful. Cringe.

    Or why would you allot those 9 match points proportionally to rounds won, whether using decimals or fractions, when simply displaying the percentage of rounds won gets the point across much more directly?

    Understandable. Unpretentious. Your best friend. vs. Self-aggrandizing. Overindulgent. Your worst enemy.

    Match Points in both these instances mainly just obfuscates the information it’s trying to convey underneath. But as the second pair of images hints at, there is merit to using Match Points to convey rounds won as base information in a league format, but let’s get to that point later. I want to discuss each system on its own first, then draw small conclusions that we can use to reach better solutions. If you have no interest in esoteric mathematical speculation, skip ahead to Match Points to see a direct proposal that I think looks quite nice, or skip to Practical Considerations and take it for granted that I’ve proven all the things I assume.


    Win/Loss is super straightforward. We’re not gonna spend too much time on it because it’s basically impossible to misunderstand it (though some people in this community might manage anyway). In discussing why 6s uses W/L as its ranking system, Mothership said:

    …as you play more games throughout the season, how much Rounds matter vs Win/Loss decreases exponentially.

    A more statistically precise way of phrasing this is that Win/Loss is an unreliable measure of skill in smaller sample sizes, but overtakes Rounds Won in accuracy as the sample size increases. With 6s playing twice as many matches as Highlander in a regular season, its data set is twice as large, and W/L handily establishes itself as the preferred ranking system. This seems to be a point of general agreement among the Highlander community as well, given that W/L is consistently voted against in polls, with players often stating they feel inadequately represented by it when the number of matches is so low.

    Let’s draw a couple conclusions then:

    1. Win/Loss is insufficient given the low sample size of Highlander matches in regular season.
    2. Since each match in Highlander is twice as statistically valuable as a 6s counterpart, HL players want the rewards from each match to be more accurate and representative of their performance relative to their opponent.

    A quick detour before we move onto Rounds Won: this sample size problem is well understood and modeled in the statistical world. One solution offered to counteract the unreliability of low sample sizes is Bayesian averaging, which calculates a weighted average based on a predetermined set average and a confidence rating for the current data set. It essentially compares the data set against the history of data sets for the topic, and guesses what the “real” average would roughly be. But tools like Bayesian averages shouldn’t be the first thing we reach for when we already have a second available set of data to use to reach a more accurate result:…

    Rounds Won

    So let’s jump straight to the direct opposition to Win/Loss and explore what the limitations of this system are. On its face it seems like the most unbiased possible system to use. What could possibly be wrong with rewarding teams in perfect proportion to their in-game performance? It’s easy enough to demonstrate potential problems with a simple scenario.

    Team Alice has a 6W-1L record, but they only have a 53.33% RW record over regular season. Meanwhile, Team Bob has a 2W-5L record while sitting at 55.55% RW. This result is possible with this spread of matches:

    A     | B
    4-3 w | 4-0 w
    4-3 w | 4-0 w
    0-4 l | 3-4 l
    2-1 w | 1-2 l
    2-1 w | 1-2 l
    2-1 w | 1-2 l
    2-1 w | 1-2 l

    Intuition tells us that Team Bob being better than Team Alice is a ridiculous idea, and that it looks like Bob is prone to choking hard and only seem to perform well on KOTH occasionally, while Alice have very consistent wins across multiple gamemodes and only had a single poor showing. Meanwhile, Team Charlie is somehow leading over both of them with 3W-4L and 59.26% RW (trust that I plugged the numbers in right). For good measure, let’s throw in Team Dave with 4W-3L and 72.73% RW. Life is terribly unfair.

    I’m obviously deliberately crafting these teams to be as objectionable as possible, and this isn’t representative of what the majority experience of Rounds Won would be like. Actually, I think if you took a peek at the current Invite 6s standings, looking only at the % Won column would give you a pretty accurate idea of their skill relative to each other, though this is obviously a statement of opinion. For the most part, I think Rounds Won would be a quite alright way of measuring performance. But it doesn’t account for the fact that in our hypothetical case, we know full well that Alice beats out almost all of their division in head-to-head matches. What I’m trying to say here is - most of the time, Rounds Won is pretty good, until it’s very, very wrong.

    Rounds Won’s main failings actually lie precisely where high degrees of confidence in the rankings are most desired: when teams and matches are close. We almost universally agree that the better teams are the ones that win more, but Rounds Won has the potential to directly undermine that view.

    There’s also some subtle mathematical issues underneath this whole assumption, and it has to do with the fact that we’re counting rounds at all. Stopwatch maps have a possible play range of 2-3 rounds, while KOTH maps have a range from 4-7. This creates problems in both relative and absolute terms. In relative terms, you can only win a maximum of 33% of the rounds in a Stopwatch loss while you can win up to 42.86% of the rounds while losing KOTH, which turns KOTH into a much more important battleground for precious ranking. In absolute terms, trying to come up with a salient mathematical comparison for the impact of winning 2/3 Stopwatch rounds versus 4/7 KOTH rounds evolved into a headache so massive that even I wasn’t willing to push through and figure it out. All that matters is that you understand that KOTH and Stopwatch aren’t the same, not even if we assign them equal values. KOTH should be understood as the difference maker in ranking, due to having greater fidelity in demonstrating relative skill levels of teams.

    Some conclusions I draw from all this:

    1. Rounds Won tends to be a stable measurement of relative skill in a division, but breaks down in nuanced situations and can sometimes dramatically disregard the intuitive preference we have for win/loss.
    2. Once we start factoring individual rounds, KOTH emerges as a critical source of round wins for closer match-ups, potentially granting a greater proportion of %RW or match points. Opinion: this slight imbalance of importance towards KOTH should be noted and preserved as best as possible, due to there only being 3 KOTH maps to 4 Stopwatch ones.

    It’s also worth observing that there’s already an element of win/loss in rounds won: the winning team gets more rounds, after all. If pure Win/Loss is too chaotic for Highlander’s small sample size of matches, and Rounds Won can result in questionable seeding surrounding close divisions, how then do we strike a balance between the two?

    Match Points

    The answer may be to quite straightforwardly balance between the two. Awarding from a pool of match points per match means we can distribute them however we see fit, in any arbitrary fashion we please.

    I’ll start by demonstrating a simple 80/20 RW/WL bias. We’ll use the current 9MP per match. All it takes is to calculate the exact MP given by Rounds Won, multiply it by 80%, then add 1.8 to the winning team (20% of 9MP). This gives us the following table of potential MP results:

    Stopwatch       KOTH
    2-0 = 9-0     | 4-0 = 9-0
    2-1 = 6.6-2.4 | 4-1 = 7.56-1.44
                  | 4-2 = 6.6-2.4
                  | 4-3 = 5.91-3.09

    Honestly, I quite like this already, and all I would change is to round everything to the nearest .5MP for both practical and aesthetic reasons, which conveniently results in deviations of <=.1 in absolute terms and <=1.5% in relative terms. The advantage of this is that at its core, it’s mostly proportional, and it mathematically operates on both gamemodes identically. Including a built-in W/L bias also avoids potential issues with MP rounding errors like the one addressed this season.

    Small detour to clarify my earlier math on this topic where I framed this bias as “errors”: while calling them errors certainly makes it seem like I’m implying rounds won to be the One True System, it instead has everything to do with the fact that under the current system, Stopwatch and KOTH do not bias towards W/L in equal measures. Stopwatch is currently identical to RW, while KOTH scales from pure RW to a 44.44% W/L bias. As I alluded to in the last paragraph of that post, the consequences of this are much greater than first seems, as losing KOTH maps, and only losing KOTH maps, results in a team receiving less than a proportional share of points, while losing Stopwatch awards you full points for your performance. This directly devalues the importance of KOTH in the regular season, and is the sole reason why I changed my mind against the currently implemented system. It single-handedly reverses the capacity for KOTH to be the gamemode where you recoup much needed points against a team you’re closely matched with and turns it into a mode where every hard-fought round you win is valued less.

    There is, of course, no reason why such a bias can’t be formulated differently. It could be graded on a curve such that the closer the match score, the further we skew MP away from a W/L bias and approach a purer RW result. As far as Match Points is concerned, the sky’s the limit on how you could choose to award points.

    1. Match Points allows for the possibility of accounting for both Win/Loss and Rounds Won to any degree so desired. But this leaves a great question unanswered: to what degree should we account for W/L or RW?

    Practical Considerations

    Decimals and Fractions
    When it comes to implementing these systems in RGL, we avoid repeating decimal numbers like the plague because they inevitably result in rounding errors when stored as values inside a computer. This is the reason a fraction like 1/3 caused such an issue with playoffs in prior seasons, as rounding it to 0.33 allowed for a 0.01 error that cost some teams in their final seeding. This is also the reason we’re having trouble figuring out how to divide KOTH points, because 1/7 converts into an obscene decimal to have to work with. One easy solution I can think of is to store numbers to four decimal places, but round and display them to two. 1/3 would be stored and operated on as 0.3333, but displayed as 0.33. This alone would have solved the issue with the rounding error, as subsequently multiplying 0.3333 by 3 results in 0.9999, which we would round to 1 after the two decimal place rounding operation. Whole number achieved, panic averted. This also works with divisions by 7: 1/7 would be stored as 0.1429, which multiplies by 7 into 1.0003, which again rounds very neatly to 1. So would 3/7 and 4/7: 0.4286 + 0.5714 = 1.

    This is a cheap and effective solution to rounding errors which would enable any kind of fractional/decimal calculation we could desire for our match points without impacting seeding, but alas, mathematical accuracy isn’t the only consideration.

    I am deadly serious when I say the aesthetic experience of reading and interpreting the numbers used for team rankings is important as well. Even I don’t want to check out the division standings and try to figure out what the hell having 32.74 MP actually means. I especially don’t want to use 210 MP for each match and need to deal with match points in the hundreds for every single team. Both Win/Loss and % Rounds Won have the advantage of always being immediately comprehensible, which enables interpretation and discussion of results and encourages healthy league dialogue. Likewise, I can’t abide by a system that creates MP rankings that, while you can still tell at a glance who’s above who, make it difficult for you to determine what’s actually happening underneath, and what’s being valued.

    This is the reason for the .5 rounding in my hypothetical 80/20 RW/W-L system. Let’s revisit Teams Alice, Bob, and Charlie, and recalculate where they would end up with this new system, including .5 rounding.

    Applying my Match Points idea

    • Alice = 38MP (6W-1L, 53.33%RW)
    • Charlie = 34MP (3W-4L, 59.26%RW)
    • Bob = 31MP (2W-5L, 55.55%RW)

    I don’t know about you, but that looks like quite a respectable measure of consistency to me. Lemme calculate it for the current Invite HL standings too.

    Current: Current Invite standings
    Adjusted: Adjusted Invite standings

    Most of it’s pretty similar, but the biggest difference is that the gap between the fog and somebody help has closed by a total of 2.5, which is just enough to make that playoffs spot that much more competitive. The only inference I’m willing to draw from this is that it looks to me like the impact of win/loss is slightly inflated in the current rankings, with the adjusted division rankings tightening it up by just that little bit. This is more or less what I predicted for the current system in my analysis of it, and even after building in the 20% W/L bias, it still compensates nicely for the undervaluing of KOTH.

    Conclusion and Replies

    I didn’t directly state as much in any of the above sections, but it seems quite clear to me that given the difference in which Stopwatch and KOTH games are valued, the system needs to be adjusted to account for this. It’s also clear from surrounding discussion that while the community largely wants to base match points on rounds won, the precise degree to which to do that has never been discussed - and indeed, that there was a degree to consider at all has never even been put forward until recently! This is a simple enough question to get an answer to.

    Put out a poll that includes a question asking respondents to rate the importance of rounds won vs. win/loss on a scale from 0-10, 0 meaning pure RW and 10 meaning pure W/L.

    It won’t be perfect, but it’ll get us a pretty good idea of how the community views the relative importance of these two.

    I threw it together in a hurry, but I quite like my proposed 80RW/20WL system. It outputs similar results to the current system while eliminating inconsistencies and clearing edge cases well.

    Here’s some responses to some posts made in the time that I’ve been planning and writing this essay.


    There is always the option to ditch rounds in favor of halfs for koth. First to 2 wins the half., best of 3 halfs.

    This strikes me as quite an arbitrary solution to the issue in question. Considering that a won round can already include a variety of performances from a clean 3:00-0:00 sweep to a close 0:00-0:00 double overtime, a single round is already a winner-takes-all game, and to further group these rounds into individual halves is to make the winner-take-all the winner-takes-alls. It can turn a 4-2 round result into a false 2-0 sweep. It “solves” the mathematical problem, sure, but compounds on the problem of trying to accurately represent performance and consistency.


    You are looking at this from the viewpoint of measuring its deviation (error) from pure proportionality, which you believe is an ideal to strive towards.

    Already addressed this somewhat with my clarification on that math post, but the point isn’t whether or not I think pure proportionality is the ideal to strive towards, but rather the inconsistency in how rounds are measured and valued between gamemodes, which creates a serious imbalance, and is especially strange when taking into consideration that we’re not even sure how exactly we’re valuing win/loss vs. rounds won.

    I highly value the teams in playoffs truly being the best teams in the div - I think this is more important than whatever system we use to get there, and I don’t think pure win-loss would do a good job. So I support match points, BUT: I still value winning matches, and so I support the current match point system where 2/3 of the points are given to the match winner, but the
    loser still has a shot at some value out of the match beyond for tiebreaks.

    I believe the methods I’ve proposed provides adequate support for precisely this principle while also mitigating inconsistencies.

    The reason I don’t personally believe a poll is necessary is because I’m not convinced the system you propose is a good enough alternative to the current system to be pitted against it.

    As I’ve stated before, I think the fact that the current system inconsistently values Stopwatch and KOTH games to the extent that it does (44%!!) should have been immediately disqualifying on principle, and polling was just the most obvious way to clarify exactly how we should be performing the valuation.

    A clear example of this, in the context of RGL, is that before the rotation in HL was established, it seemed that every season, people voted for either Cascade or Lakeside, and then at the end of that season poll, hit the “fuck go back” button.

    RE: this and the general notion of polls not being great ways to decide things, honestly, I can do nothing but to point the finger at RGL for this problem. We’ve managed to agree that the previous polls on this topic have not been sufficiently well worded to achieve insightful results, but I also distinctly recall a former admin (who I will not name) bragging about having rigged the methodology of a poll to achieve the specific result he desired for the season. Call it hearsay if you want, but it still speaks to the obvious truth that it’s child’s play to lie or manipulate people using statistics. Knowing that RGL can make mistakes, and knowing that admins inside RGL could even be actively subverting the process, RGL ought to respect the difficulty and seriousness of asking the right questions. Knowing what the right questions even are is not a small task. Please take it seriously and don’t make light of it.

    As Inq later alluded to, the notion that simply because people voted for Cascade or Lakeside one season, then subsequently voted to swap them out again, this doesn’t mean that the community just suddenly realized they made a horrible mistake and tried to undo it the following season. Interpreting survey results is just as much of a difficult task as planning a fair survey, and things are rarely as obvious as they seem (think the old adage correlation ≠ causation). When directly asked later, the community indicated that they’re in favor of rotating maps out even if they don’t necessarily strongly prefer the maps rotated to, just for the sake of variety and novelty. Knowing this now, would you rule out the possibility that the previous polls that resulted in switching out Cascade and Lakeside were just the community using the only mechanism they could find for this exact idea?

    RGL asks the questions, and RGL controls what the possible answers are. So it seems to me that RGL needs to step up their statistical game if they intend to do things this way.

    Someone suggest a publisher for this novel.
    shoutout to Xenagos upvoting this post one minute after it went up, when he couldn’t possibly have managed to read a single paragraph of it

  • I sit on my W/L soap box every day, I don’t hide that fact. Flare does bring up quite a valid point, I’m very curious as to how much the community is to W/L vs RW. If it does get polled, of which I am in favor of. I would really not want a “do not care”. While not bothering to make a post that takes half an hour to read (see above) I suspect there’s a a tendency to truly just not care about it. A totally valid opinion and honestly one that more people should take, but it doesn’t aid in either side’s argument

    edit: also @Flare unless i’m blind and couldn’t find it in your post, you mention that W/L becomes a more accurate way to judge teams at a larger sample size compared to RW, but at one point does it take over? From your statement its somewhere between 7 and 18

  • More human labor hours have gone into this thread than most doctorate theses. Who gives a shit about the merits of W/L or MP, just ask the community with a poll and adjust accordingly. “But polls aren’t the end-all-be-all of the league and the players can be wrong”. Shut the fuck up. You are not a Professor of Team Fortress Two. You are not an expert. If the players want W/L, give them W/L. If they want MP, give them MP. Who gives a shit if one is mathematically less likely to cause the shitter team to actually make it to playoffs off of a technicality. Your job as a league admin is to understand how your player base wants to play the game and to conform to that, not to create a rigid structure of how you think the game should be played and force the player base to conform to your system.

  • @GeneralNick If you think any of that is what I think or what I said, you should re-read my post. If you don’t care to re-read my post, that’s totally fair - just don’t make a strawman out of what I’m saying.

    Thanks in advance!

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