Result

Andreas G Casual 5 Legion – the day after

So yesterday we attempted to break the record for the largest tournament in Planetary Annihilation history, which was held by the Commander of March tournament at 53 participants, with the second largest being Clash of the TITANS, with 44.

Unfortunately we didn’t quite manage it. While we had 89 participants signed-up we only had 35 of them show up to play, giving us a no-show rate of 60%. I bring this up because this, amongst other things, caused some logistical issues which disrupted the event. Thankfully the feedback from players has still been incredibly positive, but I want to cover what we’re doing to address these issues in the future.

Brackets

Brackets

We have taken a mix of approaches to brackets in the past. Generally eXodus tournaments have marked no-shows as no-shows and given their opponent a bye, while non-eXodus tournaments trim the brackets, deleting the no-shows and recreating them, then reseeding. The line has become blurred these days to the point where every tournament is to some degree an eXodus tournament, but the divide in approaches remains between ones we stream ourselves and ones we don’t.

Yesterday I took the decision that we would just issues byes. I anticipated a no-show rate of around 30% and felt that while this would lead to some disruption in the first round, it would make it easier to get things started on time. It would also mean that late arrivals had a possibility of making it back into the tournament if their opponent hadn’t showed. While we ask that players arrive thirty minutes ahead of the starting time, the more casual the tournament the worse players are at doing this and we try to avoid unnecessarily penalising them. In addition I’ve seen numerous instances in past tournaments of a player being accidentally missed during bracket recreation and getting shut out from the tournament through no fault of their own.

In hindsight though this was a mistake. 60% no-show led to instances of players sitting around for long periods of time waiting for an opponent. If we did the tournament again I would trim the brackets. In the future we will likely adopt trims – and the risks that come with them – as a matter of course as player attendance at tournaments has proven too unreliable for byes to be a good system. This will also mean that late arrivals (those that arrive less than 30 minutes before start) are less likely to be allowed to participate.

PA Chat

There has been an intermittent global rollout of PA Chat to the Planetary Annihilation community. This has been great for fostering a feeling of community, but has led to us hitting the 100 player limit in the main chat room, after which point no one else can join. A new backend is being developed by mikeyh but was unfortunately not in place in time for the tournament due to external factors.

Anticipating the difficulties this would bring we updated our PA Chat guide, as well as the e-mail communication that went out to players, to provide an alternate recommend method for connecting to the patournaments room using the friends list.

PA Chat being full may have been a significant factor in the no show rate (or it might have been irrelevant), but beyond providing guides via our rules and e-mail communications highlighting workarounds there is not much more we can do here. The new backend will ultimately solve this problem.

No-shows

No shows

60% no shows marks a record for eXodus eSports, and a personal disappointment for myself. The more no shows the greater the disruption and the later a tournament will start. While some players were kind enough to let us know they wouldn’t be attending through the withdrawal system, most did not. We will be reaching out to them to try and identify why they didn’t attend and see if we can do anything to improve attendance in the future.

We also have some players leave during the tournament. Sometimes life gets in the way, we understand. All we ask is that you try and ensure you’ve blocked out a window in accordance with the tournament’s estimated running time (we’re getting very good at these), and you let event staff know you have to leave before you go. It just makes our lives easier.

Rules

The clarity of the rules has also been tricky for us, trying to ensure they cover every situation while also being clear and concise. We think we’ve done a pretty good job, but we recognise that we need to do more. One area to be addressed is that we use a general set of rules across all 1v1 tournaments, but this is not necessarily suitable for our casual events which operate according to some slightly more relaxed rules in certain areas. We’ll be doing a pass over the rules to improve their alignment to the instructions given on the day.

In many instances though we find people have not read the rules at all, leading to questions like “What is Legion and how do I get it?”. We already highlight rules on the tournament page and in e-mail communications, but we’ll look to see if the sign-up page can highlight it too. At the end of the day if players don’t read the instructions we provide there’s not a lot we can do.

If you found any rules difficult to understand, confusing, or in conflict with the guidance provided during the tournament, we’d love to hear from you!

Double-Elimination

Double-elimination

One area we overlooked was not accounting for numerous players not understanding that a double-elimination means that a loss does not mean the end of their tournament. In the future we’ll include a summary of the tournament type on the tournament page.

Summary

Despite all this, and an initial delay in getting things running, player feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We appreciate you all being incredibly patient during the initial delays, and we certainly don’t intend this to be the last casual. We’ll crack that 53 player barrier yet!

All Big Brother VODs available

In mid-may the Big Brother tournament was held, courtesy of River. This followed in the footsteps of the Clopsey Pro-Am where a high-skilled player of the platinum/uber rank was paired up with a player of lower skill. Over six rounds of Swiss the battles were fought and River captured six action packed matches.

These matches are now all available on the videos page, along with some POV videos from one of the teams that partook.

Big Brother Tournament Videos

So you may be aware that on Saturday the Big Brother tournament was hosted, courtesy of River. This event was a 2v2 swiss, with the twist that each team could only have one platinum or higher ranked player. You might remember this twist from the Clopsey Pro-Am event.

Big Brother Poster

Thanks to this unique setup we saw a lot of very evenly matched teams fighting in incredibly close matches. These matches were covered by River himself who cast the entire tournament, as well as a few players who captured their own point-of-view.

The first two videos have already gone up and more will follow over the course of the week, so check in or grab the eXodus eSports in-game mod to keep track of the video feed.

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Mystery Mayhem VODs are here

It’s about time, right? Quite so.

Planned prior to the launch of Titans, no one knew what the mystery was, only that it was… mysterious. Participants had little time to prepare, but everyone signed up prior to release got a free copy of this surprise requirement courtesy of Uber Entertainment. It led to some fun games where everyone was clearly trying to figure out what the heck they were doing.

If you want to see someone really struggling, check out my games on the videos page from the Titans launch livestream. Painful, painful memories.

Still, if you missed out on Mystery Mayhem then all is well because every VOD is now online. Give the page a moment to load (154 matches!) then look for the YouTube symbol, or browse the video page. As ever, it’s all spoiler free, so enjoy! If you only have time for one, then make it Match BV from round 3, which is our match of the tournament. A real nail-biter.

Of course, you know what’s better than watching the video after the fact? Watching it live! So be sure to tune in to Clash Of The TITANS this coming Saturday on the eXodus Twitch channel.

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Big Bang Finals VODs online

64 players entered, and after 213 matches, some short, some long, some grueling back-and-forths, we have ourselves a winner. Our congratulations go out to them, as well as the individuals who claimed the second and third place prizes. Also our thanks to all those who took part in the event and helped make it the success that it was.

If you weren’t able to join us yesterday then you missed a real nail biter, but we’ve been working hard in the editing suite and the VODs are now online. Head on over to the matches page and check them out. The ones with a YouTube symbol have VODs, while the PA Stats symbol will allow you to access replays of the game in question.

Match of the finals has to go to Final G3, close right up until the end. Make sure to watch it, though beware spoilers if you watch it before other matches.

Stay tuned for more tournament action from us in August, but until then check out SuperCommander Weekly 4 which is scheduled for this coming Saturday, with SuperCommander Monthly 1 to follow.

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Big Bang Qualifier VODs online

Our thanks go out to all of those who participated in the qualifiers, you made it a hell of an event. 64 signed up, 42 partook and 8 made it through to the Big Bang Finals and claimed their Armalisk Commander code.

We streamed a lot of the action live on our hitbox channel, but WPMarshall was also providing backup and casting other matches separately. All the VODs are now online and available for your enjoyment, that’s 17 cast matches in all! Give the page a moment to load, there’s a lot of games on there. Just look for the YouTube symbol. But if there’s any game you want to watch yourself then click on the PA Stats symbol and load the replay for yourself!

Don’t have time to watch them all? Then I’d recommend the following as highlights of the tournament:

  • Round 2 Group D Match H
  • Round 3 Group F Match L
  • Round 7 Group H Match Y (this wasn’t shown live)

I hope you enjoy watching these as much as we did casting them. Be sure to join us on Saturday for the finals. We’ve got some pretty exciting maps lined up.

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Binary Stars concludes and VODs arrive

Planetary Annihilation Binary Stars

Sixteen teams arrived for the fight but only one could walk away with the $200 first place prize. It was a long one, running for almost six hours, but by the end of it we had a winner.

We want to thank all the players who took part for turning up (our first full turnout tournament ever!), and for being (mostly) on time. It made things much easier on us and we appreciate it. Also thanks to those of you who joined us on hitbox to watch the event live.

Congratulations to PA Gods who took first place and also to Techno Trousers who defied everyone’s expectations and made it all the way to the finals, really giving PA Gods a run for their money in the third game.

While these events are always best experienced live we realise that some people can’t make it, and for others bed calls when it’s 2am in Europe and games are still running. But not to worry, after a minor panic due to a corrupt recording we have recovered the video footage and uploaded the VODs. Check out the videos or matches pages.

There was a lot of deliberating internally but we finally decided on semi-final match N2 as our match of the tournament. If you watch only one match it should be that one.

We’ll have another tournament for you soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that I won our internal predictions game. Click below to reveal how we did, but be warned it will spoil you on the results of the tournament.

Planetary Annihilation Binary Stars predictions

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Clan Wars Showdown VOD online

And it’s over.

For those of you who have been living in a megabase, we’ve just finished our Clan Wars Showdown tournament. Hosted on a custom server, 32 player slots were to be distributed equally among all the clans which signed up. There would be no minimum turnout required, but the bigger your roster the better your chance of filling those slots. Wheeling and dealing between the smaller clans was expected, and with The Realm having taken the title in Clan Wars season one they were favourites to win.

The limit was three games or three hours, whichever came first, with whatever game was running at the three hour being allowed to finish before we called it. What we hadn’t expected was that we would get a single, epic three hour game. It broke out almost every toy PA has to offer, featuring land wars, air wars, units flying through space and many canny orbital assaults. It was a spectacle to behold, even as the server sometimes groaned under the load. Certainly the clans were pushed to employ new strategies for a scale of endgame they rarely see.

Clan Wars Showdown Match VOD

It was all run live on our hitbox channel and we were happy to see that our frontpage presence resulted in some new viewers coming to see what Planetary Annihilation was all about. Thank you for being so warm in your welcome and hopefully some of them will stick around to join our community.

But if you weren’t able to make it don’t worry we’ve got your backs. The VOD of this epic game is already online and available on the Clan Wars Showdown matches page. Just click here to check it out. Safe to say this likely isn’t the last time you’ll be seeing us run an epic scale game.

Be sure to stay tuned for our next tournament which we’ll be announcing shortly.

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King of the Planet 12 is over and VODs are up

It was our first time running a stream on hitbox rather than Twitch, so thanks to everyone who turned up and helped bring in new people. For a short while we had pride of place on the hitbox frontpage.

Planetary Annihilation King of the Planet hitbox frontpage

New viewers joined us for a King of the Planet which showed just some of the wide range of different ways Planetary Annihilation can be played:

  • Game 1 saw mass Dox and lots of static defence. It was a slower game with the players feeling out one another and a call back to late gamma.
  • Game 2 showed us rushing versus build up as bots took on vehicles.
  • Game 3 was just a wild ride with an unexpected start leading to an even more unexpected plan.
  • Game 4 was a custom map we hadn’t seen before styled after Starcraft 2 with some very defensible chokes and heavily clustered metal.
  • Game 5 was all about economy management and when it’s appropriate to move to tier 2.

All-in-all it was a series that had a little of everything. And with commentary from me, WPMarshall, PAG_Matiz and PAG_Clopse, along with interviews with both yaegz and elodea, you get all the insight into Planetary Annihilation you could ever want. Until next time.

And if you want to know the winner, well then just click the spoiler below. You really should watch the videos though.

Congratulations to PAG_elodea who took this King of the Planet in a clean 5-0 sweep. The first game was a close one, but soon elodea found his stride and was showing us just why he’s the King of the Planet. Every game saw a new strategy from him and yaegz just never had an answer.

During the event yaegz announced that he will be stepping back from Planetary Annihilation. We’re sad to lose a player of his calibre and hope he will find time to rejoin us in the future. Until then, all the best yaegz.

If you want to pick up some of the custom maps used then head over to this topic to download them. The others are available on System Sharing.

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Evil Twins, from qualifiers to Finals. Also King of the Planet and Rainbow Racers.

30 players fought 36 matches over the course of 5.5 hours. It was long, it was bloody, but at the end a single victor emerged in the Evil Twins Qualifiers.

Our thanks go out to our casters, the players, and of course to all of you who joined us for this marathon event. We witnessed a lot of very close, hard fought games which really went down to the wire. We saw cautious play, we saw bot spam, we saw tech rushes and we saw orbital. There was never a dull moment, and even though Twitch’s chat decided to randomly not send messages (while giving the appearance that it had) you persevered and stuck with us. Thank you.

It’s not over yet though, the victor of the qualifiers joins seven others in the Evil Twins Finals. This will be a true clash of the best, with both the quarter-finals and semi-finals being best-of-three, ending in a best-of-five final. We can’t wait and we hope you’ll join us again.

And a little further down the schedule is our newly announced King of the Planet 12. This is a confrontation we know a lot of you have wanted to see, so check out the fantastic trailer and make the 28th March 15:00 UTC is in your diary.

Finally, following on straight after King of the Planet 12 finishes is the Rainbow Racers Grand Prix, a tournament open to teams of three for the Rainbow Racers mod. It’s PA, but driving cars around wacky race tracks!

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