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Special: SOS Adepticon 2019

Special: SOS Adepticon 2019


This article is an examination of how the finals of Adepticon would have looked if they had cut to top 2 using a Strength of Schedule ("SOS" from now on) instead of GW's idiotic tiebreaker system ("GWITS").  It is not meant as a condemnation of any player.  It is not meant to imply that any player did not deserve their spot in the tournament.  It is only meant to point out the failures of GW's system.

The best solution to this would be to change the final cut to include all players with perfect match records.  There were five of these at Adepticon, so three players who never lost a match didn't even get a chance to play for 1st.  The two who did get to play were chosen by GWITS - a system that is deeply flawed in that it rewards players for playing against opponents who are much less successful than they are.  SOS, on the other hand, rewards players for playing against stronger opponents, and is widely used in most competitive game/sport formats.

Once again, big congratulations to all the undefeated players for kicking ass in a very large tournament, you should have all been included in the final cut!  However, with a top-2 cut, this isn't going to happen most of the time.  If GW won't fix their top-2 cut (due to time restrictions, a reasonable objection), they really should use SOS. 

(For a detailed discussion of why SOS is a better system than GWITS, please see the discussion here.)

The GWITS final round standings:

According to the GWITS, the players were ranked thusly after the final round (player names will not be used, in an attempt to reduce the perception that I am slamming on any given person).
  1. Thorns of the Briar Queen (Thorns A)
  2. Stormsire's Cursebreakers (Cursebreakers)
  3. Thorns of the Briar Queen (Thorns B)
  4. Magore's Fiends (Fiends)
  5. Spiteclaw's Swarm (Swarm)
Tiebreakers for each player - the factors that determined who among the 12 point players would be in 1st-5th place - are listed below, in this format: Warband - Game Losses - Total Glory Differential.

WarbandLossesGlory Diff
Thorns A089
Thorns B054
Fiends1not calculated
Swarm2not calculated

Thus, at the end of round four, Thorns A and Cursebreakers went to the final match. 

The SOS final round standings:

If the tournament had used SOS instead of GWITS, the tiebreakers would have been:
  1. Opponents' match record percentages
  2. Player's game record percentage
  3. Opponents' game record percentages
A full explanation of the DCI's SOS system - used by Magic the Gathering, can be found here.

In that case, the tiebreakers for each player would have looked more like this:

Thorns A52.00%100.00%52.00%
Cursebreakers58.25%not calculatednot calculated
Thorns B52.00%100.00%53.67%
Fiends64.50%not calculatednot calculated
Swarm62.50%not calculatednot calculated

When we use these tiebreakers, the rankings after the final round would have been:
  1. Fiends
  2. Swarm
  3. Cursebreakers
  4. Thorns B
  5. Thorns A
This means that the final would have been Fiends and Swarm, who played against the most successful (ie. hardest) opponents among those who had 12 points at the end of round 4.  It's worth noting that unlike LVO, the Adepticon tiebreakers did not result in a perfect reversal of SOS tiebreakers, but you can see that  players who faced generally weaker opponents ranked higher in GWITS and lower in SOS.  And that is problematic for a game that once billed itself as "The Ultimate Competitive Miniatures Game" (GW has since removed "competitive" from most of its descriptions of Shadespire).


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