Over the weekend, the Dreamhack Summer Capcom Pro Tour event took place. All set to cover the event, we sat down to watch the vods as the event started in the early morning Saturday. Everything was going swimmingly – Stunfest Champion Luffy and Capcom Cup Qualifier Ryan Hart had both been knocked out before Top 8 started, while Infiltration continued his dominance displayed at E3.
Then something odd happened – the event swapped over to a best 3 out of 5 match system starting with Top 16. Sure, not unprecedented in the FGC, as EVO started doing so last year for top 8, but for a Capcom Pro Tour ranking event, we knew this was unusual.
The official ruling, from the Capcom Pro Tour website (relevant ruling in bold):
B. Premier Tournament / Ranking Tournament General Rules
1. Game version: Xbox 360 or PS3
2. Game Settings: Versus, 99 seconds, 2/3 Rounds, Default Handicap, Random Stage Select.
3. Tournament Format: Double Elimination Bracket, 2/3 Games. The exception to this is the Grand Finals of a Tournament, which is 3/5 Games instead.
4. Players may not use any glitch or bug that prevents the game from being played, including but not limited to bugs causing the game to freeze, reset, remove character from play zone or similar results.
As this was obviously different from the format that was stated in their official rules, we reached out to both Capcom and Dreamhack for comment on the situation.
“We did best of 5 format Top 16 at DreamHack Winter 2013 and it was very appreciated by players and we decided to go with it again,” Fredrik Nyström of Dreamhack said. “All players were informed at location and its perfectly okay to change the tournament rules by the organizer as stated in the rule: ‘Tournament Organizer reserves the right to change any of the tournament rules or remove any player at any time, for any reason, at their sole discretion.’”
This was true – there did appear to be a loophole in the rules in a completely different section, but this appeared to apply to situations where the tournament would’ve otherwise been unable to proceed as planned. Matt Dahlgren, Associate Director of eSports at Capcom also responded to our request for comment on the situation.
“Our original intent was to ensure that all the Premier events would be run with the exact same format. The broadcast for all Premier events are directly managed by Capcom, and these give a guaranteed placement into the Capcom Cup,” Dahlgren said.
The same cannot apparently be said for Ranking Tournaments, which have more independence from Capcom despite awarding the same type of CPT points, albeit much less and no guaranteed spot at Capcom Cup for placing 1st.
“Ranking events manage their own tournament and broadcast independently from Capcom,” Dahlgren continued. “We are always concerned about fairness in these tournaments, and will step in for major violations in terms cases of bracket rigging or collusion. For instance, we have removed East Coast Throwdown from our Ranking Events circuit next year, due to controversy over their brackets this year. At the same time, we also want these tournaments to retain their independence and be able to put on a tournament that they feel would be best suited for their audience.”
That’s not to say that Ranking Tournaments can do whatever they want, however.
“All tournaments in the Capcom Pro Tour should still follow the standard double elimination ruleset and general tournament rules,” Dahlgren said, continuing. “We would not support a round robin, or team format, and still award ranking points. However, the actual match count doesn't directly affect the tournament legitimacy, and should be left up to the tournament organizer.”
Capcom will be modifying their official rules to reflect this information in the coming weeks, meaning that organizers of Ranking Tournaments (not Premier, which are still run by Capcom) should take note that they can set whatever match count they want, as long as the tournament is still run in a double elimination fashion.
What do you think, eSportsMax reader? Does the match count matter before Grand Finals? Let us know in the comments.