Table of Contents
General Season Changes
General Season Changes
Best-Of Match Formatting
All esport titles, except League of Legends, will switch to best-of formats for their Spring ‘22 season matches. This means that once a team achieves 2 game wins in a “Best-Of-3” title, they win the match and game 3 will not be played.
During the Fall season, we made a rulebook clarification that all matches were “Set-Of” styled with teams having to play all games regardless of the score. This meant that in a Set-Of-3, teams were playing the 3rd game even if one of them had already won the match by winning the first 2 games.
This caused a lot of confusion amongst teams. We regularly worked to fix disputes or errors where teams were not playing all games in their sets and therefore affecting their total game win/loss score in the leaderboards. While we felt getting more statistics around game wins/losses helped us with tie-breakers in the past, we have improved our tie-breaker system to allow for us to focus on the best possible match setup for our leagues without the need for all games to be played.
New Swiss System Change
All leagues will now follow a new swiss pairing and scheduling system for the Spring ‘22 season. We will be instituting regular swiss scheduling with a 1 week delay. The season will begin by scheduling Week 1 and 2 of matches. At the end of Week 1, once all matches have been completed, the schedule will generate your Week 3 match. At the end of Week 2, the schedule will generate your Week 4 match. This cycle will continue all season.
Season Start, week 1 + 2 scheduled
Week 1 complete, week 3 match scheduled
Week 2 complete, week 4 match scheduled
Week 3 complete, week 5 match scheduled
Week 4 complete, week 6 match scheduled
Week 5 complete, week 7 match scheduled
Week 6 complete
Week 7 complete, Playoffs scheduled
Our goal has always been to create the fairest and most competitive matches for all teams across our leagues. This means we are constantly looking at the way we schedule matches in our leagues as well as the format we use for pairing teams. In the past we used a “Hybrid Swiss” system which scheduled matches between teams in blocks throughout the season.
Previously, we would split the season up into 3 blocks. Each of these blocks gave coaches a variable amount of time to know who their opponents were. The beginning of a block only allowed a couple of days of knowledge, while the later end of a block gave you several weeks of knowledge. We’re hoping to provide more consistency by allowing coaches to always know their upcoming opponents one week ahead of time. You’ll always have your next match scheduled before your previous match is played. Aside from this, we hope our new swiss system will help to level up on key areas.
A Reduction In No-Show Forfeits: As the season begins and develops, teams may unenroll for any number of reasons. With the old hybrid-swiss set up, it was extremely difficult to adjust for teams dropping out once the schedule was generated. This would often result in a large number of matches turning into forfeit wins for teams since their opponents had unenrolled. In the new system we generate matches on a weekly basis. This allows us to proactively look at team activity and reduce the number of forfeits that occur for matches against an opponent who may have dropped out of the competition.
Create Fairer Pairings: In a swiss style format, the system attempts to create the fairest matchup by looking at the current standings of the league at the time of match creation. This means that the teams that have a high number of wins will be paired up against similar opponents while teams with high losses will also be paired up against similar opponents. While our old hybrid swiss format worked to create matches within these parameters, we wanted to continue to improve our matchmaking for all of our leagues. The new swiss format in Spring 22’ will continue to more actively look at current team standings when creating matches to ensure the most competitive match ups possible.
Reducing Schedule Crowding: We noticed across multiple leagues that coaches would attempt to schedule as many matches from the schedule block as possible within the first week of that block. In some situations, we were even seeing teams schedule all 3 weeks worth of matches into 2-3 days of the first week within that block. While we understand that sometimes rescheduling is needed in order to avoid team time conflicts, we want to give all the players the best possible competitive experience throughout the season.
The situation was further compounded by the fact that it affected the opponent as well who was moving their schedule up to meet the other team’s request. While we continue to be player focused, we want to ensure that all players have a fair chance and time to compete, reflect, practice, and improve before each of their matches.
In order to integrate our new swiss system for all leagues, the scheduler for each league will now generate your next set of upcoming matches one week ahead of time. Two days before each match day, you will receive your pairings for the following week’s match day.
Example: If your league’s match day is Wednesday, on Monday of Week 2 you will receive your pairing for your Wednesday match of Week 3.
Normally, we have our scheduler run at the end of the week after all leagues have had their matches completed. If we were to keep the swiss system, we would create situations where Tuesday titles would have less time to complete matches and less reschedule options than matches initially scheduled for Thursdays. Therefore, it made more sense to have the scheduler determine which day that league had their regular matches scheduled for. This maximizes the amount of time possible for reschedules and for contacting your opponents before each match.
Coaches will now be able to reschedule their matches up to 9 days ahead of their match time or up to 5 days after their original scheduled match day. There will be slight exemptions to the total number of reschedule days possible for the first and last week of the season.
In order for us to create the most competitive and fair schedule possible for all teams, it is integral for our system to have the data of each completed match for that scheduled week before the scheduler runs (5 days after the match). We will continue to keep an eye on this system and make adjustments where possible to give teams the best experiences possible.
We found that matches were most likely to be rescheduled within a 5 day period of the original match day. Matches rescheduled within that time frame had a high completion rate, while all matches rescheduled outside of the 5 day timeframe of the original match date/time had a low completion rate. Using this data helps us to understand that at least a week period is helpful to allow for rescheduling, while anything more than that could actually be detrimental to both the teams as well as the league’s health overall.
Scrimmage Feature for All Titles
We are now offering the PlayVS platform’s scrimmage feature for all esport titles on our platform! This was a highly requested feature amongst coaches and we are happy to be able to provide new avenues for teams to be able to practice against one another on all titles.
Spring Break Week Designation
Upon team enrollment for Spring ‘22, you will be asked to select a Spring Break week for your school. This is a new system we are implementing in order to accommodate as many schools as possible with different Spring Break schedules. Whichever week you pick, all of your school’s teams will be exempt from playing a match on that week.
This is why our schedule appears to have 8 weeks of seasonal play. There are actually only 7 matches scheduled across those 8 weeks in order to accommodate the flex week for Spring Break.
Please make sure you choose your Spring Break week before the season’s start date or the default week of “March 13th to March 18th” will be chosen for you. We hope that this new feature will help teams across the board enjoy their time off without worrying about competing schedules!
League of Legends
Removal of Role Requirements
Role designations on the PlayVS platform have been removed from League of Legends. Players will now be encouraged to join up into ordered lobbies to designate their intended positions. There will be no hard requirement for them to state their positions of play before the game begins but this encourages team strategy before game time.
League of Legends is a game that heavily relies on strategizing the best composition possible with a metagame that is defined by the common actions/roles taken by the majority of its players. This means however that there are no hard limitations built into the game which stop a player from deviating from the standard meta. Aside from this, the meta is always evolving in ways that can be very unpredictable. In order to allow for the largest amount of flexibility and strategical play possible we think it’s best to not limit teams/players on the roles and actions they are able to take.
We have discussed the elimination of role requirements quite a lot both internally between our competitive operations team and externally with our partners at Riot Games. Throughout all of the conversations we came to the conclusion that role requirements cause more confusion and limits competition more than it helps to create clarity. Alongside this, the rule change to remove role requirements also aligns with the rules found within the LCS and Collegiate League of Legends competitions. While players are expected to join the game lobby in the position order they are most likely to play: Top, Jungle, Mid, Bot, Support, players are free to swap roles during Champion Select for any reason.
Removal of Minimum Level 10 Summoner Requirement
There is no minimum account level requirement that will be enforced. However, it is strongly recommended that summoner accounts reach level 10, which is the minimum level required to access all summoner spells in game.
Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate
Set Player Lineups Are No Longer Random
Coaches will now be able to designate their player lineup for Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate matches. The player in your Player 1 slot will play the first set, Player 2 the second set, and if necessary, Player 3 the third set.
With the change to Best-Of, we want to ensure that coaches are able to decide who goes in what order since there is the possibility that a third set will not be needed. We heard a lot of feedback during the Playoffs (which were Best-of-3) to avoid random pairings since the momentum of a player winning an early set can carry high value. Therefore, no more random pairings! Just remember to set up your players in the correct slots beforehand since you’ll be unable to sub any players or swap which order they are playing in.
Switching from Madden 2021 to Madden 2022
With the release of Madden 22, we will be moving all Madden leagues to that version of the game. Please keep in mind that you will not be able to participate in a Madden league without owning the Playstation 4 version of Madden 22.
As we set out to find ways to better the player experience , we are excited to introduce these new changes. With a new Swiss system, preparing for spring break schedules, and updated match pairing techniques, we plan to find major improvements in the competitive experience . We will continue to keep a close eye out during the Spring ‘22 season in order to continue to make enhancements for the upcoming scholastic year. We truly value you and your feedback along the way!
Thanks for helping us make PlayVS the best place to game together!