At the end of the first Cup, we asked your for feedback on the tournament and got a lot of responses. Thanks for all the praise, we are glad that most participants had a great time and were able to profit from the experience! Of course, not all was sunshine - there were a lot of valid complaints which we are trying to address in this second edition.
One of the biggest criticisms we received was that for the NA side, most group stage matches did not matter - if you lost one game, you were effectively out of the tournament, it was single elimination in disguise. Due to time constraints, we weren’t able to implement any other system sadly. This time, all group stage games matter - you will be placed in groups of four teams and play each other once. The best two teams in each group advance. This makes every game relevant and in most cases, rankings won’t be determined until the last match is played, so things will be exciting till the very end!
Another big criticism was tournament duration. Playing a total of three Best Of Three games in a row can be very exhausting, and some teams had to play even longer since semifinals and finals were Best Of Five. At that point, it was more of a stamina than a skill content. Because of that, we’ve decided to lengthen tournament duration and split group stages and knockout stages a bit more. Under the new system, the three group stage matches will be played over a duration of two weeks. For the Americas, this means from the 13th of May until the 26th of May, while for Europa, group stages will be held from the 6th of May until the 19th of May. Teams can freely schedule matches with their opponents during that time to accomodate all players, though we recommend the weekend.
Knockout matches begin Friday 19th, Friday 26th respectively (May be skipped, depending on number of signups). There will be only one game Friday night. Saturday, two Best Of Three games are planned, while on Sunday semifinals (Bo3) and Finals (Bo5) take place. This should cut down on exhaustion and hopefully accomodates more players.
The quality and engagement of coaches varied wildly in the first edition. With the resources at our disposal there is a limit to what we can do to verify each coach, but we will continue to do our best. Instead of assigning coaches centrally, coaches and teams will instead post resumes in dedicated channels, essentially applying to teams/coaches. That allows teams to better find a coach that suits their needs and allows coaches to take on as much responsibility as they feel comfortable with. We will also provide updated, better guidelines for coaches and teams, incorporating feedback from the first edition.
Due to the more decentralized nature of the group stages, casters and teams will have to coordinate to stream group stage matches. We will set designated game days and times where matches will be streamed on our main channel, if a team wants to be featured playing on the big stage they can notify the admins and schedule group stage matches for those times. For our main channel, we will implement more stringent requirements (two casters at least, stable 720p, previous casting experience) to keep quality high. We do want to give everybody a chance to learn and improve however - you can still cast any match on your private channel, as long as you use our Overlay and a delay of at least 120 seconds. We will feature all streams, both casted and PoV, in a dedicated location.
As before, a level of at least 50 and SR below 2500 is the requirement for participating in the Scrub Cup. For the second edition, 2500 SR will be a hard cap on signup, if you barely miss the level 50 requirement you can request a check in #verification. Since there were some questions about players climbing after signup, we have clarified our stance on this - it is natural that players will improve when playing competitive with a regular group and actively trying to improve positioning etc., especially with the help of a coach. That means it is entirely natural for players to climb while participating in the Scrub Cup and we don’t want to keep anyone from playing competitive. However, we want to keep things fair - from our experience, climbing around 200 SR is entirely possible, which is why we are setting a total participation limit at 2700 SR. To clarify: You **must **be no higher than 2500 on signup and climb up to 2700 while still being able to participate. Any player that reaches a rank higher than 2700 is considered too strong for this competition.
We deliberately do not offer prize money in the Scrub Cup to discourage smurfing. However, some people can’t help themselves… We’ve clarified our stance on smurfing and how we are going to handle it. We highly encourage all players and coaches to be vigilant and to notify the admins if a player is suspected of smurfing. This can happen anonymously and we will look into it. To judge a player’s skill, we will need video footage, so please provide footage if at all possible. As for consequences of smurfing: If a player is reported by teammates or their own coach, he will be removed from the team and can be replaced by a sub for the remaining games. Previous matches will be replayed with a one map penalty applied. This is only valid for the group stages, in the knockout stages any team found smurfing will automatically be disqualified and replaced with the last team they beat/third-placed team from their group. If a player is found smurfing by an admin or by notification from any other team, all previously played games will be ruled 0:2 against the offending team and all future games will be played with a one map penalty. For rematches, a reasonable effort must be made by both teams to schedule a new match. If no time or date for a rematch can be found an admin will decide on the outcome, consulting with the teams involved. Admins will randomly spectate games to check for smurfs, this does not indicate that any player in a spectated match is suspected.
The reasoning behind the small map pool of the first edition was to use the available practice time in the most efficient manner and to allow teams to come up with interesting strategies, as well as working on team cohesion. We still think that having a map pool makes for more focused practice when players have to focus on the basics, but we also want to allow teams to play to their strengths more. That’s why we will be implementing a limited draft, with a map pool of 8 maps. More details can be found here!
This covers the biggest changes we have implemented for the second edition of the Scrub Cup. We’ve been working on this for a while and hope that this event will be even better than the first edition and lead to many exciting and memorable games!