Battlecrank Comment Contest Winners for October 2017
Last month, Battlecrank started a comment contest to recognize and reward high-effort and thought-provoking contributors. Three of the best comments are picked every month and winners receive their choice of a Champion Chest or Legendary Chest.
This time, we celebrate Ronald, danl9rm, and wuzzle!
Ronald commented on Here’s Proof Why 3v3 Is Better for Competitive Battlerite, expressing his skepticism and offering a counterpoint to the article’s conclusion. The comment was well-constructed enough that it could’ve been its own blog post, and he argued his points without any negativity sarcasm:
I think this article has an interesting premise, though I’m not sure how compelling its conclusion really is. The premise is that by observing the win rates of the top players, you can deduce how consistently they can win and measure the competitiveness of the game. In a perfectly consistent game with perfectly consistent players, the most skilled player of the game would have a 100% win rate by definition. Since “competitiveness” is a measure of how much skill affects the outcome of the match, I agree that observing win consistency of the top players can serve to measure the competitiveness of the game.
However, Battlerite is hardly a perfectly consistent game played by perfectly consistent players. In fact, no game is, since people are terribly inconsistent things. Certainly, this doesn’t mean that all analysis is useless, but there are a number of factors that should be controlled before trying to draw any conclusions. For example, you did not take into consideration casual matches when observing win rates. This makes sense, as players will play casual matches for a variety of reasons beyond simply trying to win (trying experimental strategies, new heroes, playing with less competitive friends, playing while drunk, etc.) which will reduce the consistency. Unless I’ve misunderstood, you only look at the win rates of the top players in solo queue where that player only accounts for 33-50% of the total players on the team. A team where at least half of its members are chosen randomly is hardly consistent. I’m not sure to what extent this skews the overall results, but it seems to me that observing the top teams would lead to more reliable results than only observing the top players.
Similarly, you point out that “any serious esports event increases the number of maps/matches played to determine a winner.” Clearly larger sample sizes will yield results that are more reliable. Considering this, it seems a bit dubious to be drawing conclusions from a comparison of 2v2 and 3v3 win rates when the sample size for 2v2 matches of every player you’ve included in the article is considerably larger than the sample size of their 3v3 matches. In fact, all of the players you’ve included have played at least 4x the amount of 2v2 matches as 3v3 matches, with one playing as many as 20x more 2v2 matches. Again, perhaps even with the disparity in sample sizes the analysis is “good enough,” but it serves to undermine the overall conclusion.
Moreover, this says nothing about the particular methodology that was used to determine the “top 100” players. Perhaps whichever ranking algorithm battlerite-stats.ru is using to select the top 100 players happens to reward players that perform better in 3v3 than 2v2. Perhaps the players in the “top 100” are simply better at 3v3 than 2v2. Maybe 2v2 has a higher skill ceiling than 3v3, such that the top players are not skilled enough at it to play consistently. Personally, these things seem unlikely to me, but they serve to illustrate some more things that the article doesn’t acknowledge or account for before drawing its conclusion.
Furthermore, the article doesn’t only attempt to establish that 3v3 is more competitive, but also that 3v3 is more fun and also that 3v3 is the best “primary mode” because it is both more fun and competitive. I do not believe that you say anything to suggest that modes that are more competitive are inherently more fun, nor anything to suggest that 3v3 is somehow more fun for other reasons. Additionally, I don’t think that it’s a given that more competitive games are even better for the competitive scene, as contradictory as that may sound. Consistency and competitiveness go hand in hand, but on the other side of the coin is uncertainty and uncertainty brings excitement. Excitement brings viewers and viewers bring cash, which serves as an incentive for players and the cycle continues. I could go on from here, but I think that’s beyond the scope of this response.
Overall, I do think this was an interesting article. Similar to “Will F2P Save Battlerite? Maybe We’re Asking the Wrong Question,” I’m always glad to see articles that attempt to use actual factual data to support a point. I obviously have a few issues with it, but to be fair, you can only do so much to tackle such a large and involved topic in a single ~1000 word article. Hope to see more.
danl9rm’s winning comment was posted on the same article, also showing skepticism of the article’s points and presenting a counter-argument that could explain the same data while arriving at a different conclusion:
I think you’re missing a huge correlation that essentially explains away every conclusion you’ve made: # of games played in each queue.
Every one of your examples has more games played in 2v2 than 3v3. If you do some more digging through the numbers, you’ll see it’s very common, almost universal even, for a player’s winrate to go down with # of games played.
This makes sense because even if you can climb to GC with 100% winrate, you must then face many more other GC players than you did while climbing. The more you play after your climb, the less those initial “free wins” count in the statistics. Most, no, almost all, GC level 3v3 teams only climb to GC, if they ever make it past Champion due to queue times, and then stop playing for the season.
Moreover, many higher level 3v3 teams tend not to play as much until later in the season. This is harder to prove, but I’ve noticed the creme de la creme are busy climbing solo or even 2’s at the very start of the season, when there is 0 rank inflation and climbing is the most difficult.
Also of interest here is how many high level players have “mains” whose winrates are lower than that other multiple other champions, even with 100s of games played on these off-champs. I would be loathe to debate, however, that their skill level was higher with these other champions.
Lastly, it’s also possible that when high level players gather two of their buddies vs just one, that their aggregate skill level is much higher compared to other teams that also have to come up with three players. In short, high level players may have better winrates on their 3’s teams compared to their 2’s because everyone else’s 3’s team is worse. This doesn’t even take into account the tournament level experience high level 3v3 teams have over and above the general population.
As for wuzzle, his helpful comment was posted to 5 Tips for Making Solo Queue More Enjoyable, where he provides additional thoughts and tips for dealing with the frustrations of solo queue:
I can stomach the solo Q with one mindset: I am the sole reason we win or lose. Even if my teammates play bad, my enemies all ride lions. I can make the difference. If I can’t I don’t deserve the win.
It’s a bit drastic as sometimes you really lose games because one of your mates trolls and spins into the enemies without doing a thing. To compensate for that is quite unmanageable and you can’t fully compensate assholery. Then again, take the big picture. Your enemies you just lost to most likely had the same experiences as you did. If happenstance is not too far off you won’t suffer any more “Queue luck” than all others.
Lastly it also helps to sometimes take a break from Solo Q to breathe some fresh air. Yesterday I was quite a bit frustrated as I could not hold up my mindset as I felt I played my part of the matches, regularly outperforming both of my mates by factors of 4:1 and still losing. I started just short of Dia 1 and ended up bottom Dia 4 and was in a downward spiral. Then I queued up with two people from my friendlist and we won quite a few games in the 3v3 team queue. A few of those against triple lion riding overlords.
Obviously that greatly improved my mood.
And if everything goes to hell: Eat a Pizza. Read a good Book (Suggestion for Fantasy: Malazan Book of the Fallen) and do something else entirely. A walk through the woods or the park can do wonders, too. After that you may be ready to carry again 8)
Thanks all for your high-quality contributions! The contest continues into November.