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MadCast League Season III Offseason Feedback


Mike
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Hey all!

Super congrats to the League of Losers, who managed to have a clean season, which was unprecedented up until now in the history of this event! Website badges are being designed and will be distributed to you guys soon.

With this brings the usual offseason feedback thread. What did you like about this season, and what do you think you want to see changed? I think the main thing I want to look at for season IV would be how the teams are decided. Although every team was registered as a premade, the competitive balance was a little off. Before I reveal some of the stuff I was thinking about, I want to see if anyone has any ideas about how we can remedy this.

Consider the floor open. The more direct and honest you guys are with me, the easier it is for me to fix it. Feel free to come in hot and heavy with feedback. 

Thank you all for your time.

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Ok so hot and heavy you want it hot and heavy you will get it. 

 

1) attendance. When you sign up for an event be there. If you are rarely available on the night an event is taking place DONT SIGN UP FOR IT. We shouldn’t be in game two fighting for subs to play Bc none of our regular players can make it. 

 

2) balance. I like that the teams are player picked Bc you can be on a team with your friends but with that being said that leads to very unbalanced teams. 

 

3) bickering. If you are in a team with someoneone that you don’t get along well with, get over it. Sorry to be blunt but seriously we are all adult (or soon to be adults for the young members) and if you are on a team with someone all bickering does is set the team back. 

 

4) constructive criticism. Don’t get pi**ed  off if some one tells you you can improve. That’s what we are all here for to learn and improve. 

 

Ok ok I think that’s all I have. I had fun playing with everyone! 

 

Oh! And as far as a suggestion on how to go about teams next season I say a captain led draft 

Edited by MadCast: tacobellah
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19 minutes ago, MadCast: tacobellah said:

1) attendance. When you sign up for an event be there. If you are rarely available on the night an event is taking place DONT SIGN UP FOR IT. We shouldn’t be in game two fighting for subs to play Bc none of our regular players can make it. 

While I agree that if you sign up for an event and you CAN make it you should, I think it should go the other direction. I know a lot of people missed out of this event because they thought they wouldn't be able to make it every single week. Maybe expanding rosters to something like 10-12 in order to accommodate people missing week to week or just having a dedicated sub pool of players who might be able to make it some weeks but not others would help. Just my two cents.

19 minutes ago, MadCast: tacobellah said:

2) balance. I like that the teams are player picked Bc you can be on a team with your friends but with that being said that leads to very unbalanced teams. 

I agree. Like you mentioned a captain led draft could definitely help with this. Have a sign up, make a list of players including primary and secondary roles, and then have a closed discord draft or something with all the captains and MadCast Mike (or whoever runs next season). With this, captains can still choose to pick their friends for their teams and spread the wealth of higher ranked players.

A suggestion that I have would be to do best of 1's during the regular season and maintain the bo3 or bo5 for post season. For example this season a week could have looked like Game 1: TBD vs LoL Game 2: Free Agents vs LoL Game 3: TBD vs Free Agents. This would guarantee 2 games for every team each week and not have 1 team sitting out each week. 

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I didn't participate in League of Learning, and that's mostly because it's at a bit of an awkward time for me on the west coast. 9 PM EST works OK on weekdays (I can make events at 9 PM EST if I make the effort), but 9 PM EST on Saturdays doesn't work for me, and I would have been available for only ~25% of the games or less, so I declined to sign up. An earlier time on weekends would work better for me, possibly something like 3 PM EST or even 12 PM EST would work much better for me. I don't know how other people feel about the timing, but I imagine most people don't work Saturdays, so events do not need to be at night.

That said, I watched a number of the games, and yeah, one team was quite stacked.

Back when I was in college (~3-4 years ago), we had a league of 8-12 teams of 5. You signed up by entering your highest rank achieved (rather than current), and top 3 roles. Everyone was assigned a point value based on rank, Bronze 5 = 1, Bronze 4  = 2... Silver V = 6... Diamond 1 = 25, and then teams were balanced based on everyone's ideal positions and to keep teams to a similar point value. Teams were only 5 people, but the only rules on getting a sub was that they had to be a member of the club, and lower rank/point value than the player they were replacing. They also could not be a member of another team. There was a max of 1 sub per game. Subs had to be approved by the admins before the match. This setup worked quite well, and matches were generally quite close.

Given the size of the MadCast League, automatically generating teams may be worse than manually creating them. I would be against the idea of captains, since building a balanced team is quite hard, you must have captains of similar skill, since obviously if Kyroo was a captain, and Mike was another, Kyroo's team is likely to be stronger simply on basis of Kyroo being a better player than Mike, to put it bluntly. Next, the captains need to make sure they have players who can cover every role, and then they need to think about how often that player can attend the matches.

I also think there needs to be a minimum attendance policy. You should need to be available (IE be on Discord and at least checked in with the captain to determine if you are not needed) for at least XX% (50% or so?) of the matches, and enforce the standard attendance penalties as if you signed up and failed to show up to an event if you have not made enough matches by the end of the season. I think with easy subbing rules (max 2 subs, must be equal or lower in rank, can be any candidate/FM+) and a roster of 6, it would not be too hard to get the games in. People who cannot commit to 50% of the games can sign up as a potentially available sub (although anyone is suitable) if they still want to play. I don't think super serious subbing rules make a lot of sense. As long as people don't try to abuse the sub rules, having a game played is better than having a forfeit.

People also need to respond if they can make the game or not, about a day before to allow time to find a sub, but that's generally the job of the team captain. If real life happens, it happens, but getting a sub would help with this problem. I think most of the time there would be a suitable sub within the people watching the games.

With this community, this league will not be a super serious league, since the range of skills between members is just quite large, since we have people from Bronze to Diamond Masters. At the end of the day, I think the league is about having fun playing with a consistent team, getting better (especially at playing/communicating as 5), and getting bragging rights (obviously the most important), not about stomping the competition. I would view this league as a League of League of Learning, where you are learning how to play as a 5-man team, with a consistent 5-man team, and playing around your individual player's strengths and weaknesses. I wasn't on a team, so I can't say much about how people were taking losses, but if you can't keep your cool when playing with/against other MadCast members when you start losing for 2 games, this league is probably not for you.

If we want a focus on improving, it may help to review replays of some particularly close games in the League, point out where things could have gone better, which decisions could have been made differently, etc, but this requires everyone involved to be able to take constructive criticism well.

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I like Maesen's ideas.

 

It would be really cool to play have some week with 1 game, some weeks with 2 games. It would also allow some cheesy strats with Bo1s. Generally be a little more involved.

 

Balance would be nice. There was a major 1-2-3 this year as TFA never dropped a game against TBD/TDS, but LoL never dropped a game at all!! As much as our team of Silvers and Golds fought hard, it's ultimately not that awesome knowing you are going to get stomped by a Diamond, Plat, Plat, Platokenn, and Gold in the final game of the season. Captain drafting with people submitting their highest MMR account (if they play on an alt) would be cool. Then Bo3s for playoffs.

 

If all teams play in a night, you could maybe have an MVP for the night as well? Based on a single game instead of cumulative.

 

That all said, I super enjoyed myself. It was a lot of fun playing in the MadCast league! 

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As someone who has participated in things like Chair League for HotS I might make one suggestion. If timing is a concern, at least for the section of the season where the teams are just playing their round-robin type matches, let the teams set the time. Something that would happen in Chair League would be that the "home" team puts out 3 options for start times for the given match. The "away" team would then pick one of the 3 start times. The times would need to be no less than 30 minutes spread between them.

So, the setup would look something like this: 1) setup the initial set of games before the "play-off" type section. 2) At the start of the week home captain and away captain agree on time for the match as mentioned above. 3) Play the game at the agreed on time and have fun!

Just my two cents.

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20 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

I also think there needs to be a minimum attendance policy.

I echo this. If this wasn't enforced I strongly recommend it. Players, streamers, and spectators have dedicated time to the event and anyone who signed up should respect that commitment with proper communication and consequences when they fail to exhibit the common courtesies. 

 

20 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

At the end of the day, I think the league is about having fun playing with a consistent team, getting better (especially at playing/communicating as 5), and getting bragging rights (obviously the most important), not about stomping the competition

On the subject of balancing teams, I'd like to harken back to the series (I think 5-6) Yordle Conquest events I ran during Season 3 in 2013. ELO/MMR was not transparent at all back then so we had to get really creative with balancing. I should have the bracket spreadsheet calculations I can share in my google drive still. At the time we took the "public" ELO number and combined that with the player's tier, division and normal wins count. With the plethora of data, Riot makes available now, this could easily be translated to 2018 and made far better and automated. As Push mentioned, this is about having fun and bragging rights. Every player deserves a fair shake and chance.

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This was my first time ever doing anything like this and I really enjoyed it. I think the two issues with this league were 1) Attendance and 2) Balance.

I don't know what we can do about attendance other than have some sort of way to punish people who sign up then don't show and/or give people a way to leave the season if life happens. Team Captains should have a way to recruit a replacement if someone on their team quits. Free Agents started the season with 8 players. One of the subs had to quit the league before it started, no fault there but it happened, and I had no real way of replacing them because the rosters were "locked". I didn't really like the trades that we were forced to do (because of attendance problems) and I don't think they should be allowed unless there is no other way for the teams to play. As far as expanding the roster goes, I don't think having 10/12-man rosters is a good idea because it will mean that there are less teams in the league. I would rather have a system where people who quit the league can be replaced. 

As far as balance goes...

I think a secret Captain's Draft is the way to go (that way people's feelings aren't hurt if they are picked last). However, the potential problem I see is that some people won't have play time. I think there should be some sort of way to guarantee that everyone who wants play time gets it. 

 

I would like to go to a Bo1 with all three teams playing on a weekend and a Bo3 playoff.

 

Edited by MadCast: Icarus
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4 minutes ago, MadCast: Icarus said:

However, the potential problem I see is that some people won't have play time. I think there should be some sort of way to guarantee that everyone who wants play time gets it. 

 

While I agree that an issue with play time could arise, especially with an expanded roster, I believe it is the better alternative than having too few players such that we needed to bring outside subs into the game. And to address the comment of expanded rosters leading to fewer teams in the league, we only had 3 teams this time. There isn't much further down you can go, but I do see your point. I believe what I mentioned earlier about people who sat this one out due to not being able to make the week to week commitment would give more players, leading to more than 3 teams even with expanded rosters.

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Hey guys, sorry for taking a day or two on this, I was working camp all day yesterday and we had a small medical emergency afterwards, so I was tied up a little longer than I expected to be (everything turned out fine). I really appreciate all of the feedback and effort so far, and I want to respond in a complete way. I'm gonna start with the common themes across the posts so far, then move into some of the more specific things. I'm going to tag you all so it alerts you, because I don't want to post a full page of quotes from everyone: @MadCast: tacobellah  @MadCast: TheMaesen @MadCast: Pushover @MadCast: HyndeSyte2020 @MadCast: Lurama  @MadCast: Icarus

The first pertaining to attendance:

We do apply the attendance policy when registering. One of the registration rules that is included in the registration OP is that:

  • By registering, you are inherently agreeing to the MadCast event Attendance Policy, and you are expected to adhere to it. Failure to abide by the Attendance Policy can result in administrative action against your participation from future season(s).

To me, this means that you must be available at least some of the time. I hesitate to add a "minimum attendance" clause just because of how unpredictable real life is. I don't want to handcuff myself to a written figure or policy where I might have to make an exception. I will disclose that there will be consequences for those who were not available for at least one match this season. Attendance has been a problem we've been dealing with with increasing success for the first three seasons, and I'm happy to report that we had exclusively original roster players for each team for every match at the default time except for two, where real life circumstances forced us to use an outside sub. There were no reschedules to the secondary match time on Sunday either, which is the first instance of this in this event's short history. I also expanded the roster already to 8 or 9 players each team. Expanding any more could result in less teams, unless we are able to expand the player base of the event.

 

Competitive balance: 

This is always difficult, especially when we allow teams to sign up fully pre-made. Other than dispersing some of the free agents who did sign up as substitutes, people tended to pick their squads. I will admit this the first time we dealt with this particular variance of imbalancing. I do love this idea: 

On 6/23/2018 at 11:52 PM, MadCast: TheMaesen said:

I agree. Like you mentioned a captain led draft could definitely help with this. Have a sign up, make a list of players including primary and secondary roles, and then have a closed discord draft or something with all the captains and MadCast Mike (or whoever runs next season). With this, captains can still choose to pick their friends for their teams and spread the wealth of higher ranked players.

A captains' draft is honestly something that never really crossed my mind as an option, so I'm glad it was brought up. I also understand this facet of the issue with drafting (even though I disagree that kyro is better than me lol): 

On 6/25/2018 at 12:16 AM, MadCast: Pushover said:

Given the size of the MadCast League, automatically generating teams may be worse than manually creating them. I would be against the idea of captains, since building a balanced team is quite hard, you must have captains of similar skill, since obviously if Kyroo was a captain, and Mike was another, Kyroo's team is likely to be stronger simply on basis of Kyroo being a better player than Mike, to put it bluntly. Next, the captains need to make sure they have players who can cover every role, and then they need to think about how often that player can attend the matches.

It's a challenge, but if we can hit it right with who is captains, it may be our best shot. Obviously after this season we need to make some sort of change, and drafting is an early favorite in my eyes. 

 

As for scheduling/time slots:

When we started this event about a year back (wow it's been that long), we did allow for the teams to schedule their games as they saw fit. Needless to say, it was a struggle trying to get everyone together on one night. I believe @MadCast: Baal referred to it as "gathering cats" or something along those lines. We ended up playing LESS games that season, and as a result, we moved things to a default, once a week match time with a secondary option. This has been more of a success. Unfortunately, I know that finding a time where everyone can attend is difficult, and I do feel for people who cannot make the default match times. Maybe we can meet in the middle somewhere, and provide a couple of default days? 

 

The Bo1/Bo3 Idea:

I like this. As long as people are open to possibly playing more than one game a week, I think moving to a Bo1 is worth talking about and exploring. Again, you start to tread the difficulty of finding weeknights to get 10 people together, but I feel for one game it would be easier than a Bo3. 

 

I hope some of this insight helps, please continue to post feedback and feel free to respond and disagree/come at something from a different angle, I love discussion and improvement for an event that's close to my heart :)

Edited by MadCast: Mike
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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 8:11 PM, MadCast: Icarus said:

Team Captains should have a way to recruit a replacement if someone on their team quits.

Mike, what is your opinion on this? It wasn't covered in your comment above.

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On 6/26/2018 at 6:38 PM, MadCast: Mike said:

We do apply the attendance policy when registering. One of the registration rules that is included in the registration OP is that:

  • By registering, you are inherently agreeing to the MadCast event Attendance Policy, and you are expected to adhere to it. Failure to abide by the Attendance Policy can result in administrative action against your participation from future season(s).

To me, this means that you must be available at least some of the time. I hesitate to add a "minimum attendance" clause just because of how unpredictable real life is. I don't want to handcuff myself to a written figure or policy where I might have to make an exception. I will disclose that there will be consequences for those who were not available for at least one match this season. Attendance has been a problem we've been dealing with with increasing success for the first three seasons, and I'm happy to report that we had exclusively original roster players for each team for every match at the default time except for two, where real life circumstances forced us to use an outside sub. There were no reschedules to the secondary match time on Sunday either, which is the first instance of this in this event's short history. I also expanded the roster already to 8 or 9 players each team. Expanding any more could result in less teams, unless we are able to expand the player base of the event.

 

I feel like that's covered pretty well by the attendance policy. My opinion is that at the end of the day, you are signing up for a league, where you know what time an event is each week. If your life is so unpredictable to the point where you don't expect to be available for even ~50% of the games, you should not sign up on a team. It just does not seem fair to your teammates who have to deal with you continually dropping in/out. With more lenient sub rules, you could instead offer to be a sub when you are available. If you had to drop from the league due to being unable to attend future matches, and you know it, I think talking with the admins/team captain and finding a replacement can work out fine. The communication just needs to happen. People can work around someone communicating when they are unavailable, dropping off the face of the planet is much more difficult. On the other hand, if you keep team rosters large, you can lower the attendance requirement.

 

I guess I lean towards smaller team rosters with a pool of subs available. The big problem is communication, teams need to be able to work out who will attend a match at least a day before the match, so that there are as few last minute surprises on attendance as possible.

Regarding Bo1 vs Bo3, I think that 2 matches/week of Bo1 can also work just as well as 1 match of Bo3. It's not hard to just reserve the 2-3 hour block of time on Saturday for both of the games, similar to how the Bo3 is already played on Saturday. Just because they are 2 matches does not mean they need to be on separate days.

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17 hours ago, MadCast: Icarus said:

Mike, what is your opinion on this? It wasn't covered in your comment above.

This I can add as a function to next season. If the ranking is similar, and the player on roster hasn't been available, then why not find someone. My only thought though is it probably couldn't be like "I lost a bronze so here's the platinum we're replacing him with". But I like this idea.

11 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

I guess I lean towards smaller team rosters with a pool of subs available. The big problem is communication, teams need to be able to work out who will attend a match at least a day before the match, so that there are as few last minute surprises on attendance as possible.

This is an option, but I think it gets tough on the subs if things start to get hectic. With smaller teams, I'd hate to see the subs having to be present for every single match day. Plus certain subs on certain teams could be absolute game changers. If we keep a semi-locked roster there will be consistency with who is playing, and allow for the other team to adequately be able to gameplan. 

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