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MadCast League Season IV Feedback


Mike
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First off, huge congrats to @MadCast: majorhoward@mcjagger@MadCast: Simaniac @MadCast: Usefully Useless and @MadCast: 3footmonkey on a great playoff run. Also congrats to @MadCast: TheMaesen @MadCast: Pushover @MadCast: StargazerLilli @MadCast: doublestufforeo @MadCast: Lokenn on an incredibly fun series to watch!

I know this feels like clockwork, but we did try out some fairly new things this season, and I want to hear what everyone thought! The main addition was the draft as well as some increased roster control and autonomy for the captains.

For transparency: The philosophy behind the draft was to increase competitive parity among the teams, and the draft outcome was approved by the captains with parity in mind. Any roster changes after the draft were also approved by captains unless there was an urgent need for players on a team.

Here's a link to the registration rules as a refresher as well. If there's anything you feel is missing here, please let me know as well: 

 

Lastly, I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in, or was involved in MadCast League Season IV in any capacity. Without the tireless efforts of everyone involved, this event would be impossible to pull off. 

With that being said, let the discussion begin. I look forward to hearing from many of you.

Thank you for your time.

 

Edited by MadCast: Mike
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Getting these games started was like herding cats.

 

I feel like next season we need to play three teams of seven (two fillers per team.) It'd be much easier to get the games started if we had a bigger roster to have show up instead of just five. I think with three teams it will be a much quicker "season" as well.

I also feel the players need to be held more accountable for showing up and communicating with their teams, with that though we need to look at rescheduling/forfeiting rules as well. I don't want to sit in a lobby for fifteen minutes waiting on one person. If your team has prepared for a week to get together and can't seem to do so it's disrespectful to not only your team, but to the opponents.

I also feel that the games need to start earlier than 9PM EST. The games take too long to go on for that late at night, and that's coming from someone that it starts at 7MST.

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To put it bluntly, I don't think I would participate in next season's League under the current setup.

Part of it is the time, 6 PM PST is tough on a weekend if I want to do anything with friends (or a lot of things in general, I was late to the finals today because the L5R tournament I was in ran longer than expected by more than half an hour -- because people didn't show up to that on time).
Mostly it was the inconsistency of the schedule. Most of the time we were not sure whether we had a game on the day until roughly the Friday before, because all teams rescheduled games very often. This means I couldn't really plan things in advance with other friends for Saturday, since I had to keep my Saturday nights open for MCL. I'd also be happier if the games happened much earlier in the day (say 12 PM EST?) (or later than 9 PM EST, but I highly doubt people would be up for that...).

 

Going over the rules in the registration thread, just some comments:

  • Sundays as the backup day rarely work, since anything i schedule with RL friends will be for Sunday instead of Saturday. In practice, the match generally was pushed back to the following Saturday, which was good because the game actually got played, but bad because it meant the MCL season dragged on for a very long time.
  • I really doubt that the 'reschedule by Thursday' thing was religiously followed, I think there should have been a lot more forfeits from various teams needing to reschedule and finding out on Friday/Saturday that they did not have a full 5 players.
  • I would really make the 'be out of a game and available 15 minutes before' as a rule, and actually enforce forfeits if a team is not fully online say... 5 minutes after the start time. It could also be that you just give each team like 5 minutes of pause time for issues (that should be enough to cover a computer reboot/router reset), and time spent waiting for that player comes out of the pause time.
  • Opening up dynamic scheduling for rescheduling a match should work if both captains can agree to a time. This naturally takes good communication with all participants of both teams, which seemed to be lacking. Perhaps forum support could help with this, where all players from each team must post to confirm (or work out with an admin if they are completely unavailable) that they will be available/unavailable at the specified time by midnight Thursday. Failing to post could count as 'not attending' the event per the MC terms. Rescheduling should not happen every week like it felt like this season. Failing to have 5 posts from 1 team means that team will FF. It should be up to the captains to agree to work out a time. I think everyone in MadCast is reasonable enough to try and work out alternate times, provided enough notice. Many of the MCL participants are online for League of Learning on Thursdays anyways.

In this season, it seemed like the draft was subverted because there were a good number of fairly influential players that were added to teams in the middle of the season. I believe every single player who was plat+ who joined after the draft was placed on Luna's team. It needed the help, but you can argue that it got 'too much' help, since it ended up that 60% of the team was not drafted and that team took first place. Not saying there was a better solution, but I would say that it is unfortunate that the draft, in my opinion, did not end up fulfilling its stated purpose. I think that the better alternative is to have some admins work over the teams to balance them. It feels sort of bad that a decent number of players joined midway through the season (or later), and generally got assigned to whichever team looked worst.

I think going off of the initial draft, I would still have put the teams in order of rank of captains, with Kyro having the strongest team (if by a very small margin), followed by Maesen, then Icarus, then Luna. From a strategy perspective, first pick doesn't matter too much if all roles have the same range of skills. One team can pick the best mid laner, the next can pick the best jungler, then the next picks best top, etc. Naturally, the downside of building the teams is it requires the players to trust in the ability of the organizers to build balanced teams.

One thing I would like to point out is that bigger rosters will not make for balanced teams. If one team has 2 people who can play mid, one Diamond player and one Bronze player, the 'power' of the team will vary wildly with who is playing in that role. Sure, the games will occur more often, but the quality of the games will be generally worse under the stated goal to get parity between teams.

 

Overall, I think I would be much happier with just a single day tournament (just have a full day of League, for example, run a groupstage-like double round robin BO1 into top 2 play in a BO3 finals if there are 4 teams). Attendance becomes very easy to track, you either were there for the start of the event or you weren't. Someone who has been playing League with MadCast for a very long time like Epic probably can recall how the old MadCast tournaments used to work back in like S1-3, where you signed up and showed up at the start time, then there was a draft of the players from the various captains (or the admins could generate the teams). an hour later everyone was off playing game 1 of the tournament, and games would start on the hour going forward. This avoids the cat herding problem that captaining a weekly league has (this was also an issue with the League club when I was in college).

 

 

Edited by MadCast: Pushover
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I do not think this was a successful season of MCL for many reasons:

 

1) The draft was subverted by the addition of players halfway through the season. 

2) The "regular season" didn't matter. Every team made playoffs so why not just start there?

 

Comments:

The draft didn't balance the teams (it made for some interesting power imbalances- which I liked so net even there). Honestly I do not think it is possible to do long seasons of MCL modeled after the LCS anymore. A best of n tournament with brackets would be the solution to all the problems listed. The tournament can be held over multiple weekends, like once stage per weekend, but nothing too major like 3 months. A shorter event also means that if a player is on a failing team, they will not be stuck there for very long. 

 

Random idea:

Going forward, I believe that shorter tournaments could also be used as a recruiting tool. There is potential to give outside teams a chance to participate and potentially stay around. Let's post it on the forums, reddit, etc. I think it would be better if we allow teams instead of individuals so that MadCast teammates aren't negatively impacted by a random player not showing up, but I feel that is a topic that should be discussed outside of this thread. 

Edited by MadCast: Icarus
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Thanks to Mike and the other admins who helped put this on. It’s always a good time playing competitive inhouses. Naturally, there are good and bad things about this tournament and I think the bad outweighed the good.

One thing I have to say is maybe don’t let candidates play in these events. A member of my team was banned and that left my team in an unfavorable position. To put any team in a situation like that without any kind of probationary status/warning to the team is simply unfair to anyone playing. I almost feel like the captain of the team could act a second mentor in terms of keeping their members in shape if any problems arise… but that’s just me. Props to Mike for being on top of things and actively trying and succeeding to fill the position of the banned member from my team. I understand that anyone can be banned, but at least full members might get an extra chance than a candidate would given a tournament setting.

To try and prevent this issue, instead of not allowing candidates to play at all, there might need to be some stricter requirements for them. Example, if a candidate is in their second candidacy, there is probably a solid reason from their first candidacy (since they didn’t join MadCast) that should not allow them to commit to a tournament that lasts many months. Or maybe if a candidate is in their first candidacy they should have been a candidate for at least 15 days before being able to play in the tournament, just so we can try and gauge if they will be active and ready to commit to a long-term tournament. These are not perfect ideas, but I am just spitballing since my team had someone banned from MadCast.

I’m not trying to come off as being bitchy about it either, but my team had a pretty solid strategy set up on how we wanted to approach games. After the member was banned, we had to quickly adapt to an unknown player that was about to become our fifth (which I think we did a good job of).

A second point I want to make is how open people are to accepting forfeits. I am specifically referring to when a player had an extreme family emergency and was not able to make a game. I get that there needs to be some standard in place where a team must forfeit, but it just doesn’t make sense to me how often people were crying for a forfeit win. We are here to play in a competitive tournament where there is no prize pool or anything… why be so adamant on forfeit wins? We are trying to play and have fun. Again, I know there needs to be a standard or something because people might be moving their schedules around for these games, but it was just surprising to me.

I think attitudes in general might have been an issue here as well, but not too bad. One player I was talking to said that his team had a disadvantage because they were playing against my team. I’m not going to beat around the bush… I understand that I am a higher elo, but if you think you are at an inherent disadvantage before a game even starts because of knowledge you had before this tournament started, why are you signing up to play a tournament? By the way, my team lost that match.

Another player was talking about how we have “Masters playing against Bronze”. This was a drafted season… every team is going to have a variety of elos. If this is going to be a problem for people, they need to stop signing up because these comments get old. We are all signing up to have fun and play with each other. Something to also understand is that one way to seriously improve at the game is to play against people that might be better than you. But just because I might be better than you does not make my team unbeatable gods, as you can see from the result of the tournament.

Another obvious problem was already mentioned in other posts as well. The draft was pretty much nullified completely because of the result of the tournament. I believe my team had two additions throughout the entire tournament, because one of my players was banned, while the team that ended up winning had like five(?) additions. I do agree with Pushover that the team needed the help, but it perhaps got too much help. It was a completely new team than the one earlier in the season and the whole concept of balance was skewed. I also believe I recall Mike saying somewhere that all captains approved of roster additions. I hate to call you out Mike, but I feel certain I didn’t approve every addition (correct me if I am wrong, please). Due to all of this happening, I can’t see long-term tournaments sustaining with the number of teams we had unless the member base were to increase. The captains and Mike discussed before the tournament the pros and cons of three teams versus four. It’s an awkward situation because too many teams can lead to heavy roster changes, like we saw this season, while too few teams will leave too many people sitting on the bench. Mike and I had been discussing the feasibility of just doing a bracket tournament, like what Pushover had mentioned. I personally like this idea because banned players wouldn’t be a problem for a team. I’m not going to keep talking about the roster problems, I think Pushover said it nicely.

I hope this feedback helps… I am not trying to sound salty or mean or anything like that.

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Wow this got a lot of hits quickly. First, I'm sorry that you all didn't consider this a successful season. I appreciate you all taking the time to post. As far as the format for next season, I haven't really decided, I'm pondering a lot of different options, and will for sure post ideas in this thread as I get them more complete. I'm going to try and respond to everyone so bear with me. If I already address something from a previous post, I'll try to exclude it to keep my thoughts somewhat organized.

21 hours ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

I feel like next season we need to play three teams of seven (two fillers per team.) It'd be much easier to get the games started if we had a bigger roster to have show up instead of just five. I think with three teams it will be a much quicker "season" as well.

We did this for Season III, and it worked out okay, but we still had the attendance issues, which I will expand on in your second point. The season length can have nothing to do with the amount of teams playing, I believe I was a little over-ambitious with every team playing each other twice, but I wanted everyone to get a good amount of games in and to really bond with their teams. The long season was certainly a grind, and I felt it just as bad as everyone playing for sure. 

21 hours ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

I also feel the players need to be held more accountable for showing up and communicating with their teams, with that though we need to look at rescheduling/forfeiting rules as well. I don't want to sit in a lobby for fifteen minutes waiting on one person. If your team has prepared for a week to get together and can't seem to do so it's disrespectful to not only your team, but to the opponents.

This has been a recurring problem since Season I. With the expansion of rosters in S3, it still presented itself as an issue. Sitting in a lobby waiting for fifteen minutes on a person does stink, and I'm sure we can work something in the rules to address this, but I have always operated under trying to get the games in under any circumstances, even if it shifts the times back a little. With the feedback already posted, I can tell that it's something that needs to be addressed, and it will be. How would you propose we write the rule? 

21 hours ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

I also feel that the games need to start earlier than 9PM EST. The games take too long to go on for that late at night, and that's coming from someone that it starts at 7MST.

To be candid, time is always sticky. In my experience with this event, including directly scheduling almost every match in Seasons 1 and 2, it's damn near impossible to get everyone to agree upon a time. I've stuck with 9 P.M. since it's the time of our other events, and tried to give captains some autonomy in rescheduling based on both teams' availability. The other concerns is time zones, it's different for everyone.

20 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

Sundays as the backup day rarely work, since anything i schedule with RL friends will be for Sunday instead of Saturday. In practice, the match generally was pushed back to the following Saturday, which was good because the game actually got played, but bad because it meant the MCL season dragged on for a very long time.

This is true, however the season was scheduled in advance by me, it was meant to be a biweekly thing, so the length is definitely my fault. I think my eyes got really wide with four teams when I wrote the schedule and wasn't really considering the length of the season. In hindsight, I should've had everyone only play each other once and a half times (randomly playing one other team), which would've shortened the season by a couple weeks. You're absolutely right about the backup day, that can be something that is changed depending on what the season looks like after registration.

20 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

I really doubt that the 'reschedule by Thursday' thing was religiously followed, I think there should have been a lot more forfeits from various teams needing to reschedule and finding out on Friday/Saturday that they did not have a full 5 players.

This was a midseason addition to the rule, so it only really officially applied to the last couple of weeks. It's something that needs to be, and will be, enforced more strictly if the current format is kept. 

21 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

I would really make the 'be out of a game and available 15 minutes before' as a rule, and actually enforce forfeits if a team is not fully online say... 5 minutes after the start time. It could also be that you just give each team like 5 minutes of pause time for issues (that should be enough to cover a computer reboot/router reset), and time spent waiting for that player comes out of the pause time.

I would consider the technical timeout part of the rules to address the latter half of this. We can definitely better enforce the 'be out of game and available 15 minutes before' better, including forfeiture of one game and not the whole match. This will definitely be done better in future iterations if the current format holds. 

21 hours ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

Opening up dynamic scheduling for rescheduling a match should work if both captains can agree to a time. This naturally takes good communication with all participants of both teams, which seemed to be lacking. Perhaps forum support could help with this, where all players from each team must post to confirm (or work out with an admin if they are completely unavailable) that they will be available/unavailable at the specified time by midnight Thursday. Failing to post could count as 'not attending' the event per the MC terms. Rescheduling should not happen every week like it felt like this season. Failing to have 5 posts from 1 team means that team will FF. It should be up to the captains to agree to work out a time. I think everyone in MadCast is reasonable enough to try and work out alternate times, provided enough notice. Many of the MCL participants are online for League of Learning on Thursdays anyways.

This is actually how we ran Season 1, and to be blunt, I ended up personally scheduling almost every match for each team but one. It was a real hassle, but I was on summer break so it played okay, but with school and baseball starting back for me my schedule was a lot less open for scheduling MCL matches, which is why I switched things to a default day/backup day format and gave captains the autonomy that I did.

6 hours ago, MadCast: kyro said:

I hate to call you out Mike, but I feel certain I didn’t approve every addition (correct me if I am wrong, please).

The very last addition I believe I made on my own with notification to everyone because the team was coming off of forfeits for not enough players, and then lost their captain. So yes, that wasn't technically accurate of me to say that every change was approved. I apologize. And I thought you made some very good points kyro, your philosophy towards a lot of aspects matches a lot of the same thoughts I had in the decision making process.

 

To address the draft and addition of players issue:

I understand that the draft felt like it was circumvented. I thought we had great parity through the first two weeks. The team that ended up winning was 1-1 with a loss in 3 games to kyro's team, Icarus's team was 0-2, Maesen's team was 1-1, and kyro's team was 2-0. I think everyone is only remembering the disarray of the middle of the season for the team that got the most additions, and not the beginning when they were aggressively very solid and competitive with the higher seeds of the League.

Back to the point at hand, I didn't want to cut into anyone's game time by merging a team and forcing extra players onto another captain, nor did I want to screw up the overall schedule, so I thought that the best way to pull both of those things off was to remedy things through the free agent process. I don't think the event would have been able to hold up without the additions process, however. I believe almost every team ended up utilizing the process to make sure they could field a team for a variety of reasons.

 

I'm completely open to the idea of this turning into a short-burst or a one day event if that's the common sentiment. I still want there to be discussion moving forward though. Thanks a ton again for the posts so far, and please keep them coming.

 

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Comments as an outsider on this event/season.  I heard bits and pieces about it on the discord chat (don't always follow the forums).  I remember wanting to watch a stream one night it was live, but no one was streaming.  I was happy to see someone streamed the last night of the event and had good commentary.  That was fun.  I really liked dommers presentation and taking the time to do the commentary.  

I've hated doing stuff like this in the past as its either dramatic or a PITA to get together.  I guessing/hoping you all were able to solve the main pain of balancing and hopefully had a bunch of competitive games.  Back when I was running the demigod community forums, I got a few tourneys together and got them sponsored by the developer for a cash prize.  I THINK with a small amount of effort you can get a Riot sponsorship where you can at least gift some RP or a skin or 2 to winners.  Something to check out it you want.  Tourneys I ran on DG had significantly better turnout when sponsored.  

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12 hours ago, MadCast: pacov said:

Comments as an outsider on this event/season.  I heard bits and pieces about it on the discord chat (don't always follow the forums).  I remember wanting to watch a stream one night it was live, but no one was streaming.  I was happy to see someone streamed the last night of the event and had good commentary.  That was fun.  I really liked dommers presentation and taking the time to do the commentary.  

I've hated doing stuff like this in the past as its either dramatic or a PITA to get together.  I guessing/hoping you all were able to solve the main pain of balancing and hopefully had a bunch of competitive games.  Back when I was running the demigod community forums, I got a few tourneys together and got them sponsored by the developer for a cash prize.  I THINK with a small amount of effort you can get a Riot sponsorship where you can at least gift some RP or a skin or 2 to winners.  Something to check out it you want.  Tourneys I ran on DG had significantly better turnout when sponsored.  

This is incredibly interesting the more I look into this pacov. I didn't know that Riot still sponsored events. Incredible suggestion, and I'm looking forward to checking on this more and more as we decide what direction we want to take this event!!! Again, thank you a ton for commenting and giving the perspective of someone who wasn't in the player pool, it's incredibly helpful. 

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The big difficulty is getting 8 teams for Riot to offer prize support. That said, I think MadCast has run at least one of these in the past (I don't recall if the MadCast event where I first met @MadCast: Epic also had prize support... But the following year did.)

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A couple of things:

#1 - Yes, I was on the winning team. No, it didn't feel as gratifying as it should have.  a) The team drastically changed and was a bit too strong from the original team , however.... b ) the original squad was ok but still a bit weak, attendance was atrocious. 

 

#2-  There's no possible way to equally balance teams 100% -- but next split the team captains should all be similar MMR / rank / capability.  Or have no captains and try to do a straight "fantasy" draft by putting players in roles and assigning rank / worth to those positions . Automatic draft maybe?  It's really hard to designate a player's skill because I feel like we have a plethora of players who don't actually push ranking and are far much better than their rank indicates... So who knows what the right solution is.

#3- Scheduling - Not a fan of Saturday night stuff. Sometimes I play games all night , sometimes I do stuffs like an actual human being. Either way, I like having a choice.

 

I would be intrigued if we could get 8 teams involved somehow to do the riot prize tournament.

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57 minutes ago, MadCast: Pushover said:

The big difficulty is getting 8 teams for Riot to offer prize support. That said, I think MadCast has run at least one of these in the past (I don't recall if the MadCast event where I first met @MadCast: Epic also had prize support... But the following year did.)

Don't @ me, I am behind the scenes here. Gosh.

There was prize support to various tournaments in MadCast's past. The support previously given by Riot has changed in form of what is given and what is required. We will be giving prize support due consideration.

 

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I just tried setting up a fake event on Riot's website.  You have go as small as 4-7 total teams - BUT they don't offer a prize for that.  If you have 8 teams, you can get a prize.  Using their GUI to host an event might be beneficial even if you aren't getting sponsored.  FAQ is here:  https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/210047886-Events-and-Tournaments-FAQ-NA-Only-#h2q1.  Site to create an event is here:  https://events.na.leagueoflegends.com/

And then I read this... idk... might not be doable at all...

A mixed tournament has matches that take place online and in real life locations. Some events will have qualifying matches online, and hold the finals in a real world location. Please note that your final match must take place in a real world location and all its participants MUST be in attendance to qualify for "Mixed Tournament" prizing. Prizing may be reduced or withheld entirely if this requirement is not met.

Edited by MadCast: pacov
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9 hours ago, MadCast: pacov said:

A mixed tournament has matches that take place online and in real life locations.  Please note that your final match must take place in a real world location and all its participants MUST be in attendance to qualify for "Mixed Tournament" prizing.

But does it need to qualify as a Mixed Tournament to garner their sponsorship? If this is just one clearly defined option, are there any alternatives?

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I enjoyed the season. I especially liked casting the finals with Dommer, was a blast.

 

I think tournament style would be nice, especially with set days. I was on a team that had really good out of game communication and with all the rescheduling, missed a match early on in the season. (Luckily, we still played it!) I really enjoyed the theorycrafting that went into games and spending time practicing with the team.

 

Maybe each team could have like 4 "sub points" or something assigned to them and players that come in mid season get put into a pool of available subs. If you need a sub, you can spend a point for them if you are doing it a day before the match. If it's day of the match, it costs 2 points.

If you play a match on the day it's supposed to happen and have all 5 ready 10 minutes before the match, your team gains 1 sub point (or something like that.)

 

I think ultimately, you'd have to not allow those points to be used in playoffs and maybe and extra little prize could go to all the players of the team with the most sub points at the end of the season?

 

Anything to encourage people to be on time and ready to go is huge. Especially if we are streaming these, to build up excitement, they really need to happen at a set time.

 

---

 

Last suggestion is don't allow people to ban Shyvana ;)

 

Thanks again for the great season @MadCast: Mike and shout out to my boys/girls on TRIKED. Coach Kitty and Icarus for the win!

Edited by MadCast: Dez
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  • 2 weeks later...

On the note of prizes from Dez, I think people should know that the outpouring of support for the stream awarded the winners prizes (which I just got around to giving since I had a baby).  But as long as the stream can support it I intend to continue the prize streak, so next season, the more support there is the more/better the prizes will be.  Should be good incentive for people to not only try their hardest and work on teamplay since prizes are on the line, but also incentive for people to  support whoever is streaming the events!

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