For those that don't follow the Overload Teams League
, here are some examples of somewhat common scores: a close 96-93 game
, a double-your-score 125-62 blowout
, a comfortable 84-52 win
, and a please PuDLeZ don't
ever put 10 people into Indika again 283-252 throwdown
And then there's this
That's two-time OTL champion Invidia taking out winless Rogue Pilots by the score of 110 to 5. Ouch.
Here are the all time records that this game produced:
- Highest Team KDA: 26.4
- Fewest Team Deaths: 5
- Highest Team Damage per Death: 2600.8
- Highest Individual KDA: 84.0
- Fewest Individual Deaths in 2v2: 1
- Highest Individual Damage per Death: 8196.6
You may not understand these numbers, but rest assured, they are impossible numbers to get, especially given RP decided they're not playing anymore with their current roster until they can get some more pilots on their team.
Immediately, questions across the league were asked about why such a game should be counted. The answers are many, as are the arguments against. I sat on this for a couple days, thinking of a way to resolve this.
The obvious first solution is to divide the league into 2 tiers. Only count games when upper tier teams play upper tier teams and when lower tier teams play lower tier teams. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea until you realize there are only 11 teams, plus Rogue Pilots, which means that if we did this, we would essentially be dividing the league into two tiny tiers. Then you'd have to worry about league promotion/demotion tournaments and all kinds of other unpleasantries that an 11 team league simply does not have the patience for. This also has the drawback of disallowing play between lower tier teams and upper tier teams, at least from the formalized perspective. Sure, we could count "practice" games, but I am not made of enough time to track those practice games in this small of a league. I feel like the point at which I do something like this would be at 16 teams.
The second solution is to mark a team on a case-by-case basis as a practice squad. This would mean that the OTL is exclusive, and requires teams to prove themselves before they can start playing games that mean something. It would require manual intervention to get teams into the main league before they started playing games that count. That is not what the OTL is about. I am fine with teams that don't have skilled players trying to learn by playing against teams with skilled players. However, something has to be done about the current situation.
Putting everything together, I thought about what could work and what couldn't work. I don't want to exclude anyone, but I don't want to have the "NBA champions vs. bad high school basketball team" count for records. So, I came up with a system that allows those games to happen, but for the stats not to fully count.
The answer is an two tiered, untiered league.
It is untiered because a championship team can play a winless team, and have the game be meaningful on a league-wide level (provided the winless team decides to remain active). The standings page simply doesn't change. All teams are listed and rated accordingly.
What is two-tiered, however, shows up in individual stats. Going forward, individual stats are only displayed for games played vs. the upper league. That means when Rogue Pilots plays Invidia, Invidia is not playing for personal stats, only a team win. Rogue Pilots, however, do get to play for individual stats. That way, everyone's stats - from the top team to the bottom team - show their performance against only the upper league teams, and they can be reasonably compared. You can still see a pilot's stats against the entire league by going to their pilot page
and selecting the appropriate option. However, everywhere else only shows stats vs. upper league teams.
This, of course, leads to the question of who is in the upper league and who is in the lower league. I thought about this, and again did not want to be exclusionary by saying only RP should be in the lower league. So, I have retroactively
applied the following formula to determine who is upper and lower league:
- The first eight teams in the league are automatically assigned upper league.
- All new teams thereafter are assigned lower league.
- At the conclusion of the season ending tournaments, the league is re-divided, with the six teams that make the knockout stage plus two other teams assigned to the upper league.
- In seasons that have it, the two finalists of the season-ending Best of the Rest II tournament are the other two teams that make the upper league. In seasons that don't have it, the top two teams by the previous season's rating that did not make the knockout bracket make the upper league.
There are obvious caveats with this. First, one of the newest teams in the league, The Boys, are made of pilots that came from other upper league teams. They're pretty good, too, The Boys hold 3rd in the current season standings. Should they be lower league? The answer is yes. This is still a new team with a new dynamic that other teams need to become familiar with, so for a single season TB is considered lower league. Once they finish the Championships in the top 8 - and I have no doubt they will as half of their team was a large part of OMG's recent run of top 4 OTL finishes - they can be assigned to the upper league.
Second, if a team leaves the league mid-season, what should happen? One, that team loses the right to be upper tier, even if they return later that season. Two, there needs to be a way to fill the spot, and that will fall to 3rd place from the most recent Best of the Rest II tournament.
Third, if a team chooses to sit out of the Season Championships, what should happen? There are teams that aren't quite so competitive that they need to rank themselves in a season ending tournament. However, they may clearly be an upper tier team that just chooses not to play. So, if a team that sits out a tournament was upper tier in a previous season, I think the fairest solution is to play a separate series against the lowest upper tier team after the end of season tournaments are over, and the winner gets that spot.
There are probably other things that I'm not thinking of. It's probably not a perfect system, but to make sure that we're not excluding other teams and at the same time making sure we don't get ridiculous records (Yinut's 0 death game
is also out of the record books after this update) that can't be beat under normal circumstances, this will do in a pinch.
There are two other minor changes that result from this update:
- New teams are automatically set as not qualified to affect ratings (ie: ratings for games played against that team do not count) until they have played everyone 3 times. This is to ensure that teams that show up for half a season and then disband don't hit the ratings at all. Side note: I really need to come up with a term other than "not qualified".
- Because it's a little more important now, the group stage will be returning to the Best of the Rest II tournament. The specific format of that will depend on how many teams play in it. A 3rd place match will only be played if it is necessary, ie: multiple upper tier teams disband at the end of the Championships.
There is also the ethical angle of the team that carried out that 110 to 5 victory. As of the beginning of the year, there is nothing to be gained for your team by getting 22 times the score of your opponent. It's no different than winning 110 to 109. Did the league's focus on stats make Invidia feel like creating a blowout like this was justified? I would like to think better of our pilots, but I can't discount that possibility either. I've also played in a game against RP
where I got an outsized KDA, and all it made me want to do was never play them again, because it simply wasn't a challenge. If stats are a motivator for this kind of thing, I hope that by eliminating the source of motivation, games like these won't happen again, unless the lower team really wants the upper team to go hard.
This is a large update to the league structure. It seems like a lot is changing. But honestly it's a small update overall. I feel I owe it to the league to make sure that incidents such as the 110 to 5 game are just looked at as a footnote, rather than a lightning rod for drastic change. Ultimately, this isn't a drastic change, and it doesn't change the way the league operates on a day to day basis. Only individual stats are affected. The biggest controversy will probably be which team is in what tier, and if that's all that comes of this, this update will be a success.