"A Tale of Three Seasons" – Examining the 2017 World Championships US+CA Delegation, and Exploring the Path to Anaheim

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.


Excellent article and analysis.

I can only really speak about the juniors since I am a pokedad who is nowhere near worlds contention. For juniors, the (unintended?) consequence of the arbitrary kicker values and travel awards greatly limited the CP available at regionals.
Most of the JR regionals only paid CP to Top 8, with many of those slots taken by the same handful of (very good) players over and over, thus ‘crowding out’ others. Mr. Halliburton did an analysis on that recently.

I’ve been advocating for adjusting the ‘kicker’ values. In the poker world, tournaments payout a percentage of players based on attendance. Based on the existing ‘kicker’ values, it seems that the goal is to pay around 20-25% of the field. Implementing a percentage-of-attendance based CP payout at the major tournaments should allow for some additional spots to get CP, while still allowing for the top players to chase their top 16.

First off, thanks for the breakdown. That was very interesting and enlightening (and troubling I might add). If I read it correctly, this is going to be the smallest number of participants in each division since prior to 2013 (I don’t have the numbers prior to 2013, but this will be smaller than even that season).

Having done a fair amount of reading, it seems like the best players almost always want the smaller field. Some of that seems obvious…the smaller the field the better your odds of winning. Some of it is less obvious…the smaller the field, the more likely the skill level will be elite (for this tournament because it is earned). Some of it just seems elitist…only the pokemon elite deserve to go (which to some extent I agree with, but my definition of elite probably encompasses a few tiers similar to how you broke it down and also brings in a larger bubble population in the “great, but not cream of the crop” section of the talent pool).

I will just go ahead and say what I think…I think this year’s numbers are very low for every division and think an additional 50-100 participants per division would be ideal. It IS a tournament for the best of the best in the world. It IS a tournament where players should have to earn it to make it. I simply think more players should have been able to earn it. Now, to be clear, I do NOT think the points should be lowered. That said, I do think there should be more events available to be played that are similar to the Origins Special Event. Kind of the middle ground between a League Cup and a full blown Regional. I also think more league challenges and league cups would be ideal, but because these are run by individual organizers I also understand that there is going to be more volatility regarding their frequency.

So, I know you went to great lengths to try to avoid really diving into what you think of this year’s numbers, but I honestly want your opinion along with those of other writers for 6P.

I know this is a huge issue in Juniors especially. Jr/Sr and Ma are basically playing different games at this point: In masters, you can afford a 2nd loss. Seniors/Juniors demands X-1-1. I’d agree that some way of altering kickers would be good to see, though, I caution that my understanding is that there is more baggage to implanting that 25% idea than meets the eye. But, I am confident in the direction of Organized Play’s staff, so I similarly am confident that they’re working on whatever solutions they can.

This is correct. Numbers for 2012-back are not included in my file there, as there was truly an “era” shift in 2013, as it was the first year with the “pass-the-post” invite structure. In 2012 and prior, the invitation structure generally called for the Top X players (usually 40 in NA) to receive invitations. 2013 introduced the “meet a CP bar, go to Worlds.” But, included or not, the reality is that 2013 was the largest Worlds to date.

No issue discussing my thoughts here, I just don’t wish to taint opinions in the article itself before discussion happens. In my estimation, a solid number for Worlds is 256 Day 1 players, with 128 on Day 2 (~64 Day 2 invitees as part of that). That’d involve 7 Rounds of Swiss Day 1, and a 5-2 advancing about 64 players to get right around 128. Masters isn’t terribly far off this year, but Juniors and Seniors absolutely need to be higher.

Hi, I really appreciate your article and perspective. It’s clear that in order to be a top 16 master, TPCi placed a heavy emphasis on ICs, and travel awards to those ICs heavily influenced who attended those events. However, that really only affects a small percentage of the player base. What you rightly point out is that points from local tournaments make up a large percentage of the CP requirement for everyone else. To understand how available those points are, I compiled all of the league cup acttendance from the most recent quarter in NA (n=346). Here basic stats (mean, Stdev):

Juniors (2.7,2.5)
Seniors (4.0, 3.0)
Masters (18.2, 9.5)

There are a few ways to interpret this information. For Juniors and Seniors, CPs are easily attainable at the local level since attendance is so low. Also since local events can fill your CP requirement at a rate of 103% and 90% respectively, an invite for someone in these groups should still be relatively attainable. But why then the drop off in worlds invites? The only explanation is the timing of the “bump” in points structure. I think the majority of the people that benefitted from the bump were already traveling to regionals to obtain points under the old structure and where gifted in. Many others received the news too late and did not have the opportunity to go back and win league cups. In the data, about 64 league cups had 0 juniors! I am guessing that people felt there was nothing to play for. Looking to next year, I think if they keep the same structure and publicize it properly, you will see the attandance bounce back in the lower divisions.

Considering how close 2013 and 2014 were to those numbers, what changed in 2015 to so drastically increase the worlds participants? To be perfectly honest, I thought the 2013 and 2014 numbers (for masters at least) looked like they would provide a pretty solid representative sample without growing out of hand.

Great analysis! I know I was personally curious of the stats.

For several Juniors in our area, I think the issues of high CP at start of season priced families out of playing then the mid season adjustment was too late for most.

There were several in our area whose families children played heavily last year but simply couldn’t afford all the travel time and expense. By mid season it was too late to recover unless they were willing to pay $$$ for last minute regionals/SE travel plus the pressure to “top 4” (few regionals/SE had enough juniors for top 8 CP) in big events against very highly skilled “sponsored” juniors from all over the country/world.

I will be interested to see how Pokemon adjusts in 2018!

2013/2014 had a 500 CP invite with no day 2 invite because worlds was only 2 (I believe). 15/16 was 300 with day to invites.

I think you’re right on some level, and it’ll be interesting to see if attendance is better with a full season of real invite prospects.

Moved to the Day 2 system. 2013 and 2014 were too big, in my view, considering they were a one-day tournament (well, one stage tournament—technically still ran over two days, I guess).

I’ve heard this repeated by many. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how things adjust next season.


Curious as to what you mean by “sponsored.” I’m somewhat new to the Pokemon scene with a Junior in tow.