Last season, the Pokkén Arena: North America Rankings got a lot of questions and feedback during the season. This whole post will be dedicated to answering feedback and addressing concerns that weren’t answered in the PA: NA Season 2 Overview. As a disclaimer, a part of these answers are from my personal point of view so take that as you will.
Transparency & Communication:
This was brought up in the feedback thread for good reason: Communication was very dry over the season and there were few public posts addressing questions. Feedback does get shared in the backroom but we’d never publicly say anything often, and that is our fault. However, we are watching and looking at feedback.
I’ll skip the “people are busy” reasonings as I’m sure everyone understands personal life/financial stability takes priority. Honestly, there is no excuse for the lack of communication. Fumu did by far the best job answering questions on social media and directing messages. Raikel would answer feedback in direct messages but was much less active on social media. Then specifically for myself, I only answered whoever either directly messages me or specifically mentions me on social media. I could have made more of an effort to make posts about feedback I answered since some people may have the same question(s).
This season we’ll be stepping up our communication with the community. We’ve already taken some steps like with talking about feedback on the Ferrum Heights podcast, the season overview, and now this post once it does get published. We’re overall just trying to provide more clarity. The backroom team will still answer feedback sent to us in messages and/or posted publicly, and we’ll be posting more information like we did with the tournament averages. I can’t promise that everything will be answered immediately but we will get to it as soon as possible.
Renaming Pokkén Arena Rankings to Pokkén Arena: North American Rankings:
There were a lot of mixed feelings about the rankings being called “Pokkén Arena Rankings” as people weren’t sure if it was a North American or Global ranking. Confusion was added when community members and myself called them the North America rankings while others just refer to them as Pokkén Arena Rankings. For me, referring to PA rankings as global doesn’t make sense because the PA rankings only considered tournaments from North American tournaments. In order to clear up any confusion we are adding North America to “Pokkén Arena Rankings” to help make it clear that this a North America Power Ranking. This means only Tournaments from the United States and Canada are in consideration for these rankings.
Will there be a global power rankings for Pokkén Arena?:
As of right now, no. There are a multitude of reasons for this:
- 1. We use entrants to help rank tournaments. Looking specifically at NA, EU, JP these regions have very different entrant counts.
- 2. There are also different standards for what counts as a regional, major, and super major between all the regions so it becomes this mess of a balancing act.
- 3. Some regions have significantly more tournaments than another region. For example, North America had 21 major tournaments while Europe had 5 major tournaments. It then becomes how do we weigh NA’s 21 tournaments fairly in comparison to EU’s 5 tournaments.
- 4. There aren’t a lot of tournaments where players from different countries overlap so there is drastic lack of reference points for these three regions and other scenes as well. A global power ranking would end up being hypothetical guessing with a lack of evidence to make any strong arguments. There just isn’t a strong and reliable way to rank all the regions so major regions have made their own separate power rankings.
The Hit List (Step 3 of the PA Rankings):
I have been very outspoken about how much I dislike the hit list. It was supposed to be a catch up tool for players who couldn’t travel as much but found big wins. However, it was made so that anyone could get hit list bonus points. It became less of catch up tool and much more of a farming tool. For example Twixxie could farm extra points off of top 10 players as a top player himself and it gave him this unsurpassable safety net with how much he travelled. Someone like ThankSwalot had no chance of passing him even though he never placed outside of Top 8 the entire season and still had a high amount of attendance. The hit list was bad and I’m glad it was removed. The fact it was even made and included drives me insane.
Did Season 1 put too much value on travelling?:
I would say yes because of the hit list and how much value it gave for just going to tournaments and just upsetting or beating top players repeatedly. Like you could go to a bunch of tournaments and get upsets without placing well and the hit list would carry you because you travelled and kept finding upset wins so bonus points would just stack up.
Last Season Ranking Tournaments, What happened?:
This was before my time and there isn’t a simple answer. The system that was being used before I came in had multiple issues: Over-reliance on Top 20 to the point that if a tournament didn’t have any top 20 the chances of it ranking were very poor; an outdated power ranking list for back half of the season; the weight which international players were valued, which was questionable. The jump in requirements between each tournament tier got questionable for B and A ranks. All these issues played into each other.
Making C rank valuable:
While reviewing Season One, I felt C rank wasn’t in a healthy tournament spot. I surveyed players on their opinion on C rank tournaments, and the feedback spoke for itself. To quote one of the players on C rank tournaments,
Not at all/very little. C rank are mostly low stakes. There are people who don’t take them seriously for good reason and it's mostly just a learning place instead of real competition.
This was a repeat feeling among many. We don’t want players to have this negative stigma towards lower ranked tournaments. This is why you saw the shift of points to awarding only Top 4 in C rank, because we wanted to make C rank valuable without just turning them into B rank. C rank have very few ranked players and getting good head to head against unranked players won't help much. However, moving points to top 4 still allowed us to award players for doing well and being consistent.
Were S ranks worth too much in PA:NA DX Season 1?:
Yes. I gave out the numbers in Ferrum Heights: In placings alone you’d need 8 C rank tournament 1st places to compete with 1 S rank tournament 1st Place. There were 5 C rank tournaments in season one and 4 S rank tournaments. So the amount of C ranks needed became 32 and this is before head to head came into account. Obviously, that is a ridiculous amount of C rank tournaments needed. To give you the idea of the scale for season one, 8 C rank = 4 B rank = 2 A rank = 1 S rank. The tournament spread of season one was
- 5 C rank
- 9 B rank
- 3 A rank
- 4 S rank
One good S rank performance would sky rocket you to the top of the standing and it wouldn’t matter if you busted at a C rank or even a B rank tournament. It ended up promoting doing well at S rank tournaments over doing consistently well.
Presenting Top25 vs Top50:
This is a tough one because this wasn’t a issue as much as the faults within the ranking system. It was more collateral damage. At this point in time we’ll be sticking with Top 25 unless we see more player growth and activity to warrant a Top 50. Basically, It’s still subject to change given the right conditions and there is no clear cut answer currently.
We were asked about the possible inclusion of a x factor. For those who don't know what a x factor is, it is basically a variable saying a player is considered potentially better or worse compared to where they currently rank, This is usually handled by a group of panelists who are analysts that look at how all players did throughout the season. The chances of adding a x factor to the rankings is low for a few reasons. Right now I am the only person who goes through vods and compiles data for North America and for Europe. If we did a X factor for last season it would have been solely my opinion.
Edited by IcySoapy