DX Season Two is now under way for the North American Power Rankings. With this new season comes multiple changes to our ranking system in order to focus more on player consistency. We want to reward players for doing well at multiple tournaments and staying at a high level of performance. These changes affect how much value is put on head-to-heads and tournament placings, as well as how tournaments are ranked and valued.
The first big change that comes to the ranking system is the new ratios. Head-to-head is now 65% value (up from 45% last season) and placings remain at a 35% value. The hit list is also no longer part of the ratios. The original purpose of the hit list was to be a catch-up mechanic for players who didn’t travel as often as others. However, the hit list was available to all players no matter how much they traveled, so players who traveled often could find big wins in either upsets or by consistently doing well, getting excessive amounts of points thanks to the hit list. This created unsurpassable leads because excessive tournament activity compensated for potential gaps of skill. With this glaring issue, we removed the hit list in favor of emphasizing head-to-head and placings.
This new ratio is biased towards head-to-head because two players who get the same placings in tournament can get there with wildly different opponents. To use Summer Jam as an example, two players named Geordi and ReyDelEmpire met in bracket, but we should take a look at their runs.
Geordi's run was:
- JuCan (2-0)
- Euclase (DQ)
- TheAssassin (2-1)
- Son_Dula (0-2)
- ReyDelEmpire (0-2)
Euclase being disqualified is a huge deal as it allowed Geordi to get one step further without playing an actual match.
Then, you compare that to ReyDelEmpire’s run:
- RedNovah (2-0)
- Kamon (0-2)
- Bacon (2-0)
- Nuzzlemaster (2-0)
- WhiteChocolate (2-0)
- SuperTiso (2-0)
- Geordi (2-0)
Rey’s bracket run was much more extensive and competitive, facing well-known opponents such as Kamon and White Chocolate. These instances are why head-to-head is weighed more; it is a better indicator of skill overall.
The old system for ranking tournaments used three categories for giving points. These categories were Top 50, Top 20, and International. For each Top 20 player that attended a tournament, that tournament got a point in both the Top 50 and Top 20 categories. For example, if a player was ranked 19, they would qualify for Top 50 and Top 20 points, whereas if another player were ranked 21, they would only qualify for Top 50 points, equivalent of being ranked 50. This put a reliance on tournaments having to pull Top 20 players or risk not ranking high. NEC18 received a B rank last season even though it had many players with a high level of skill. It had 14 top players with four in Top 50, seven in Top 25, and three in Top 10. This is similar to Winter Brawl which had the same amount of top players but ranked A, having five in Top 50, four in Top 25, and five in Top 10. The International category was also an issue because a player travelling from out of country was automatically equivalent to a Top 20 player in rankings, regardless of whether or not the international player had a Top 20 player’s skill. This created an artificial amount of skill and could inflate a tournament value without the skill being there. For example, at Canada Cup there was a player from South Korea who - to our knowledge - didn’t play the game regularly. Under the old system they would have been valued as a Top 20 player.
In the new system for ranking tournaments, the Top 50 are now split into three categories: Top 50 to 26, Top 25 to 11, and Top 10. Also, there is no more qualifying for multiple tiers. For example if you rank at number 9 you only get points for being in the Top 10 category; you will no longer get the points from the lower tiers as well. This puts significantly less reliance on tournaments getting Top 20 players just to have a chance to be ranked.
We also have added a category for regionally ranked players. Each region receives a player spot in this category until the number of spots and number of Top 50 players they have total three. Regions with no Top 50 players will have three players in this category while regions with three or more Top 50 players will have no players in this category. This tier is to help smaller regions qualify for the tournament rankings. Players in this regional category will count as two regular entrants. Since they do not give points like top players do, top player presence is still required to achieve C rank but it’s much less of a reliance.
International players are now handled case by case by the DX Season 2 ranking team. Because international players are all at different skill levels, giving them a single flat value does not make sense.
Before, as you went up each ranking tier, the requirements to make the next tier increased. This put even more reliance on Top 20 players entering a tournament, and it made it much harder to rank above B. In the new system, the gap to get to each tier is the same value, so from C to B to A to S will all be the same difference. This also reduces the reliance on Top 10 players for all but the highest tier.
Tournament placings have also received changes to be more evened out this season. Last season, the placing system was a pyramid system. 1st place at a S rank tournament was equal to two 1st places at A rank tournaments, four 1st places at B rank tournaments, and eight 1st places at C rank tournaments. Pokkén only had 21 tournaments this season, including the World Championships. There were five C rank tournaments, nine B rank tournaments, three A rank tournaments, and four S rank tournaments. With four S rank tournaments you’d need thirty two C rank tournaments to equal out. With the lack of C rank tournaments, it removed the value of going to C rank tournaments in favor of going to a S rank since they heavily out-weighed tournament categories. All of this is happening before head-to-head is taken into account as well. Someone attending a S rank tournament in general plays more sets than playing in a C rank tournament. This ended up taking away a lot of value from the smaller tournaments and incentivising people to not go to lower rank tournaments and instead focus on going to a S rank tournament and doing well in that single tournament. It created an issue where a single breakout run at a S rank would make you extremely hard to surpass in the rankings. Azazel won Final Boss last season and stayed in the Top 10 for nearly the entire season with only that one tournament.
This season we are using a new, more triangular system. It’s much more narrow compared to last season as to help put more value on placing well and consistently at all tournaments. It takes roughly three to four C rank tournaments to match a S rank tournament this time around. This puts more emphasis on playing consistently at all level of tournament play rather than only at large tournaments. Since it is easier to catch up, it means inactive players will now fall out of the top half for not participating in tournaments. Now, if you want to rank high, you need to be both active and consistent.
There is also a change in how points are awarded to players by cutting down on which placings are rewarded and moving more points to Top 4 placings. Starting with C rank, which now rewards points for placing 4th through 1st, B rank rewards points for 7th through 1st, A rank rewards points for 9th through 1st , and S rank rewards points for 25th through 1st.
When making these changes, we looked at where the skill level of players started to drop off. In C rank tournaments, the player skill drop off was around 5th place since it has the least amount of ranked/top player presence, averaging about 5 ranked players. Summer Jam this year had 5 ranked players, with two in the Top 50 to 26 range and three in the Top 25 to 11 range. It didn’t make sense to reward placing lower than fourth place as a result.
We followed the same principle with C rank to B and A rank; B ranked tournaments award points to 7th and up while A rank will award points to 9th and higher.
S rank now awards points to 25th and higher. However, placing values for 25th and 17th are extremely low and only used for seeding purposes in the future. A small amount of points are still awarded because ranked players can fight each other extremely early on and sometimes even knock each other out in pools, showing that players were at least able to trade wins against high level players.
The last thing to note is how points are given out this season. Top 4 holds the most points this season. The Top 4 placings are not shared, but 5th place is a shared placing between two players. As a result, those players would have to split points. For example, let's say 3rd place is worth 30 points and 5th place is worth 10 points. A player that got 3rd place would get all 30 points for that placing. For two players who get 5th place, they would have to split points so each player would get 5 points.
There is much more focus on that Top 4 placing now, so players who want to make it to the top of the rankings will have to place in that Top 4 consistently. There is also focus on staying active as players are able to catch up with each other now.
We hope these changes will lead to rankings that reflect the players’ true skill and performance. Good luck to all the players this season!