In the previous article, two new methods of pairing players were introduced: Random and Monrad. In this post, we'll go over some new additions to the event pairing system and explain how and why an event organizer might want to use them.
Most competitive events continue until only one undefeated player remains. That player is declare the winner and the other players are ranked according to how many games they won, lost, or tied. Sometimes a tie-breaker is used to sort players with the same win/loss record.
In most events, players keep playing until the whole event has finished even once they are no longer candidates to win the event. This is done for a variety of reasons, but the big one is that it's just fun to keep playing games.
In some events, however, it is desired that players be eliminated after they are no longer in the running to win the event. This might be done to reduce table space required in later rounds or to reduce the number of players needed for a second day of competition. This practice is more common at high-level competitive events and events that are part of a larger gaming convention where players might have other things attracting their attention.
In a single elimination event, a player is eliminated after a single loss.
In a double elimination event, a player is eliminated after losing two games.
Double elimination events generally take one additional round beyond what a non-elimination event of the same size due to the need for each player other than the winner to lose twice. They also can result in the final two players facing each other in two back-to-back games.
For players, the system will pair players as expected with no change in user experience. Fair warning: If you don't host events, the rest of this article may not be of interest to you.
Now that you're up to speed on pairing and player elimination methods, it's time to explore how Longshanks supports them.
When creating a new round of games for an event, there is a set of options for the player pairings. If you've hosted an event on Longshanks before, you may recognize some of these options.
Until recently, the system would generate a first set of pairings using the standard Swiss method and then allow the organizer to refresh the pairings with different options if desired.
Starting today, the options are displayed before any pairings are generated. This new process is designed to make the pairing options more visible and give event organizers more confidence that their rounds will be set up as intended.
Pairing system options
To run an event with player elimination, select the appropriate option before generating each round of games. Players will be assigned opponents according to whichever pairing system you select, but only players who have not lost any games (single elimination) or have lost only one game (double elimination) are included.
Player elimination options
The automated pairing system can attempt to avoid pairing players who have marked each other as "friends." This option is there to ensure that players who live together or play each other often at home don't meet up at a bigger event. No one likes driving hours to a convention and then facing off against your roommate from back home.
As mentioned previously, this is now available throughout an event. This isn't recommended beyond the first round in competitive events, but can be useful for more casual events or events using the Random pairing method.
Remember to advise your players that they must select their friends using the tools on their Control Panel. Two players must recognize each other as friends in order for this feature to avoid pairing them.
Option to avoid pairing friends
A common practice at tournaments in a game convention is to play a normal Swiss event on one day, then cut down to a smaller group of players for day two. To do this in a Longshanks event, play the rounds on the first day using normal pairing, then use a player elimination method for all rounds on day two.
To include only undefeated players in the cut, use single elimination. To also include players who have lost one game, use double elimination. You can also mix and match double- and single-elimination rounds to customize how players move forward in your event.
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