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US Masters 2015 - NW Qualifiers

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After our first Masters qualifier season which got started a little late, I'm proud to announce the new system for qualifying for 2015.


  • Any tournament in the region counts towards rankings
  • Rankings points = 2 best results + 3rd result / 2 + 4th / 4 and so on
  • 2015 season ends November 30th, 2016 qualifiers start Dec 1st
  • 1 day tournaments count for 60% of 2 day (same as 2014)
  • Exponential rankings points

There were a few problems with the qualifiers that we wanted to make sure were addressed with a new system:

Attendance: Having a high number of attendees at a single event could potentially incentivize the winners of that tournament to avoid attending tournaments later in the season. Also, the disparity between a 50 person and a 40 person tournament was quite large, which made it harder for people to qualify later. This has been addressed by making the formula treat anything of approximately 32 attendees and greater be much closer in points, with a steep drop off once the attendance drops below about 20.

Traveling in the region: In 2014, BC had more GTs than the rest of the region put together. When we first put the circuit together, we weren't sure if Canadians were allowed to play in the Masters, and we wanted to try to balance the chances to attend across multiple regions. Fortunately, interest in the Masters combined with a general rise in interest in the hobby across the region have led to a rise in tournaments in each state/province. As of time of writing, there will be between 12 and 14 GTs spread reasonably evenly across the region, not counting any of the 1-day tournaments that may be organized. Traveling is encouraged, because getting a better result can always improve your ranking, but it is not 100% necessary. This allows the dedicated tournament players to maximize their chances of qualifying, while not prohibiting those with young families, tight budgets etc. from having their shot at glory.

Single tournament FTW!: It's pretty clear that winning a single tournament is a combination of skill and luck on the day. We wanted to ensure we were sending the players who had consistently demonstrated a consistent ability to place highly in multiple tournaments. However, we didn't want to force a system whereby you had to attend ALL of the tournaments in order to be in with a chance. This system rewards players who attend a lot of tournaments and place highly (because we want our region to win, right?) but also allows for players who can only attend a smaller number of tournaments to potentially qualify, assuming they place well in at least two of those.

Elitism: We didn't want to have to choose to have some tournaments be qualifiers and some not. However, last year there was only one GT in Oregon and we didn't want to stack things unfairly in favor of BC (who had five!). Thankfully, through the work of the community we should have at least four GTs in every state, which should be enough to allow the best players in the region to rise to the top.

King of Cascadia: While it sounded great on paper to have a final qualifier that decided the last two spots in the Masters roster, people have real lives and not everyone can commit to coming for a certain two days in a given year just to play toy soldiers. As a result, all the Masters spots will instead be decided based on rankings, with the top 10 players as of November 30th getting the spots, and then working down the rankings should any player not be able to make it to the Masters. Why November 30th? This helps people book travel and test lists, knowing that they will be attending roughly 3 months in advance. December is also not usually a time for tournaments, but if anyone ends up organizing one, it will still count (just for the 2016 season).

So this is all fine and good, but does it work? Well, I went back in time and took all the tournament results I could find for 2014, including those that were not part of the Masters circuit, and created a spreadsheet showing what the rankings would have been like if we had been using this system.

Theoretical 2014 NW Masters Rankings
Actual Rankings (for comparison)

As you can see, the top of the pack looks pretty similar to this year. However, the folks who attended mostly 1-day tournaments (e.g. Riley Nadeau) drop off in the rankings, whereas those who attended and placed well at both 2-day and 1-day tournaments (e.g. Anthony Greenman) went up. You can also see that the rankings would be dominated by Canadians due to their much higher proportion of GTs - so this year's ranking system was probably a good stop-gap measure while we worked on drumming up more tournaments across the region.

Thanks again to Tom Weber for helping with the math for everything. Please feel free to leave questions or comments if you've got 'em.

Aidan & Dale


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i like it.  seems super reasonable and fair to me.  i know this may be a pain, but would be cool if someone could also put together a list of known GTs with their locations/dates(if known)/links to scenerio and rules format so people can try and schedule their GTs for the year ahead of time.  i know this 'tournament' forum on ordo is a great place, but it also includes all types of tournaments so it would be great to have a concise whfb list to plan for it.  once again great job guys and good luck to the 10 reps.  

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