So let's get to all the information!
This is third time this season we will hold Inter-Divisional matches. This was the original way to change divisions when the league first started. The old fashioned way......by earning it. This week's matches will pit the same ranked fighters from two different divisions to face off to determine which fighter remains or goes to the higher ranked division. For example, the #1 Contender in the Gold Division will battle the #1 Contender in the Silver Division. The winning fighter will take the #1 Contender ranking in the Gold Division while the losing fighter falls to the Silver Division. Half of the fighters in the league are defending their ranking in the higher division, while the other half of the league is trying to take that ranking for their fighter. It is one of the more popular matches the SFCCL has, and is repeated every 5 weeks. The schedule of which divisions battle does change each time however.
There are a couple of things I would like to address off the top. First, the results of the 2vs2 Tournament Prize Matches were very interesting during Week 14. Four of the six Prize Matches resulted in the challenging fighter winning the Prize Match, and in two cases, ended up giving the league a new Grand Champion and new European Red Champion! One match was forfeited by a challenger surprisingly, and another match never took place. Here is a review of the matches with the challenging fighter listed first (winner in highlighted):
Grand/Gold Champion Zabi- VIPER vs. Bronze Champion Cuby KEN
Gold #1 Contender Epedemicc GOUKEN vs. Gold #15 Zabi- DHALSIM (forfeit)
Gold #3 Zti890 CAMMY vs. Gold #11 Jay19000 VEGA
A Division #2 Jok3rfrmbk CAMMY never challenged
European Red Champion Wauhti ROSE vs. Red #3 SabishiiRyuu VEGA
European Green Champion KemoniWani BISON vs. Green #3 Wauhti MAKOTO
Congratulations to all the winning fighters, and especially the new Champions in the Americas and European Regions. There have been a lot of title changes over the past few weeks. The competition has definitely gotten better in both top divisions. It should prove to be a great 2nd Ryder Cup next week.
I want to begin to use this part of the weekly blog to address any issues that I come across from my daily interaction with new and old members. I expect the information discussed here should benefit all members since it will regard issues that all members encounter from week to week. A current member wrote me, following receiving a 'Decision' regarding his unplayed match last week, that his opponents never contacted him. I told him that was why he lost by 'Decision'. I've heard this from several members over the history of the league. Perhaps, it needs mentioning officially since I always considered it common sense. No member should sit back and wait for their opponents to contact them first. We are all here voluntarily. We all signed up for this league, and I expected all of us to understand how it functions. I tell all members in my weekly PSN messages to "contact your opponents and setup a time to play your matches." I am not writing that to half of the league. I send that message to ALL members in the league. If both members communicate with each other, more if not all matches would be completed. A dialogue would ensue that both members would participate in; ad would eventually lead to a match being played at a time convenient for both members. 14 days is enough time to play a 10 to 15 minute match. If it isn't, then perhaps this league isn't right for you, and you should stick with ranked matches when you feel like playing SSF4. This league is a commitment, and that commitment is not to me. It is to the other members in this league. Please keep that in mind when every week.
Next, I wanted to officially announce a rule change to the SFCCL before enacting it, as that would be unfair of me. I've always strived to be transparent with the rules of this league for everyone to understand and follow. With so many members leaving over the past 5 weeks (details below), there have been a flood of 'Auto Promotions' to fill their vacancies. These 'Auto Promotions' result in current members moving up the rankings & divisions to fill the spots left open by departing members. Win or lose, a fighter will move up as long as they played their last match. However, that has created havoc with the rankings in regards to their original purpose. The league was set up to create separate divisions based on skill level, not fighter number count. Meaning, the Gold Division was supposed to have the best fighters, which I believe it does. However, the following divisions are a real mash-up of skill levels as a result of all the vacancies created by departing members. The ultimate consequence is that members/fighters of lesser skill are getting swept up in the rankings without regard to their actual success. As a result, some members are possibly dropping out due to their frustration of constantly losing yet going up into the higher ranked divisions. We are all here to have fun and to challenge ourselves, but no one likes to lose every week. Therefore, I am making a change to the current rule format that allows any fighter to be 'Auto Promoted' as a result of a vacancy. From now on, to take advantage of these open spots in the rankings, a fighter must win their last match in order to climb the rankings due to 'Auto Promotions'. If a fighter does not play their last match, or now loses their last match, they will not move up the rankings. They will be jumped by other fighters in the rankings who did win their last match. This new rule change will allow the winning fighters to quickly rise up the rankings when there is a vacancy, and it will allow the lesser skilled fighters to remain among other lesser skilled fighters. Thus, everyone should have a match each week that is winnable, which was the original purpose for this ranking & division system. As a result of these changes, new members joining the SFCCL may begin in divisions higher than the standard entry C Division. Their success will determine if they rise to the top of the league or remain among the other lesser skilled fighters. I expect this rule change to elevate the level of quality fighters in the league while placing everyone's fighters in the best division for each fighter.
Week 14 is officially closed, and we finished strong. Midway through last week, we only had about half the matches completed. In the end, 79% of the matches were completed. That is good enough for 4th best this season. Still, I'd much prefer that number eclipse 90% every week. There were 5 additional matches last week due to the Prize Matches.
The SFCCL is 72 members (144 fighters) strong going into Week 14 with 10 new members (8 Americas and 2 European).
WEEK 14 RECAP
A total of sixteen (16) matches were "Decided" to close Week 14. Thirteen (13) of those sixteen matches were forfeits, which occurs when one member did not play their 2 matches. This included the one Prize Match not exercised. Three (3) matches ended in a "Draw" as a result of two members unable to play one of their matches, but remain at the same rankings this week in a rematch. On a positive note, for the first time this season we did not have any double-forfeits. Below are the final statistics:
Completed matches: 62 out 78 (79%)
Forfeited matches: 13 out of 78 (17%)
Draw matches: 3 out of 78 (4%)
Double Forfeit matches: 0 out of 78 (0%)
OLD, NEW, & CHANGING MEMBERS
We have had a lot of turnover the past couple of weeks. And, when I write 'a lot', I mean A LOT. Since Week 10, we've had a total of 35 members total leave the league for various reasons. This number includes both the Americas and European Regions. Whether they dropped out voluntarily, dropped for inactivity, or kicked out of the league, we've lost a lot of members over a short time. Fortunately, that has resulted in a lot of openings for players on the Waiting List. As a consequence, the league has experienced a lot of 'Auto Promotions' as a result of all the vacancies left by the departing members, thus the necessary rule change mentioned above. I hope this is just a coincidence, but I am a little worried about going thru the Waiting List too fast. Back in Week 10, we had nearly 40 players on the two Waiting Lists combined. That number is now down to a total of 12 players total. Of course, new players have signed up during that time, but all but 4 players on the Americas Region have gotten into the league since then. All the European players on the List at that time have had their chance in the league. If we continue to lose members at that rate (7 per week), we may have to close the lower divisions since we won't have enough members/fighters to occupy them with.
As for this week, there were a total of eight (8) openings in the America Region, and two (2) openings in the European Region following Week 14. The two (2) European members voluntarily quit the league due to time constraints or lack of interest playing SSFIV, while five (5) members from the Americas Region left the league for the same reasons. Three (3) members were dropped from the Americas Region due to inactivity.
The departing members are:
BankerD (California) - one of the original 16 members of the SFCCL
Cooi_Breeze (South Carolina)
Flashfan7 (New York)
Zti890 (Louisiana) - former Grand Champion
I thank everyone for their interest in the league and wish them the best. Some member mentioned they may return later this season. As a result of the departing members, we have a total of ten (10) new members this week:
DJPLACE (New York)
KOMBOKAZE (North Carolina)
ROBOTSINTHESKY (New York)
All members were invited to join the active roster from the Waiting List. Welcome to the SFCCL!
The following 'Auto-Promotions' occurred as a result of the former members and change of fighter (note - depending on where the vacant spot is in the division, not all fighters take advantage of the auto-promotions):
GOLD Division: 2 spots
SILVER Division: 5 spots
BRONZE Division: 10 spots
A Division: 11 spots
B Division: 12 spots
C Division: 16 new spots
RED Division: none
BLUE Division: 3 spots
GREEN Division: 4 new spots
As a result of these vacancies look for our fighter to be in a very different place (most likely higher ranked) than last week, even if you lost your match. Any fighters that did not play their matches do not benefit and could see other fighters jump them in the rankings. It pays to play, and more importantly beginning next week, wins.
Members changing fighters and Division change:
Rteruyas CHUN LI to SAKURA (A to B Division)
Anakiny2k BISON to CODY (Blue to Green Division)
Any member in the league can change their fighter, but it will result in a penalty of the new fighter dropping one division and starting at the #15 ranking.
THE WAITING LISTS
As mentioned above, the Waiting Lists going into Week 15 are as low as they have been all season long. Even in Week 1, we had 44 total players on the Waiting List. The Americas Region list is 11 players long, while the European Region list only has 1 player. With all the recent openings, hopefully those who are invited to the league are still interested in playing. If not, a new member will be invited next week to take their place.
Feel free to recommend the league to any of your friends, or perhaps online rivals. The biggest compliment you can pay me or the league is to recommend it to other people. That says a lot in terms of your appreciation and thoughts for the league.
MATCH OF THE WEEK:
With inter-division matches going on this week between the Gold vs. Silver and Red vs. Blue Divisions, I thought it this section would be a perfect time to spotlight the matches that will determine the four (4) Captains for each region for the upcoming 2nd Ryder Cup during Week 16 (January 31 - February 13th). More info about the 2nd Ryder Cup below in the Special Announcements section.
Remember that the winning fighter advances to the Gold or Red Division, respectively. And as a result, automatically becomes a Captain for the Ryder Cup beginning in Week 16.
Gold Division vs. Silver Division
Gold Champion Cuby KEN vs. Silver Champion Rteruyas BALROG
Gold #1 Contender ElGeneral GUILE vs. Silver #1 Contender Epedemicc CODY
Gold #2 Skrface13 BLANKA vs. Silver #2 Skrface13 RYU (mirror match)
Gold #3 Fran_Gil BALROG vs. Silver #3 Crusader884 SAGAT
Red Division vs. Blue Division
Red Champion SabishiiRyuu VEGA vs. Blue Champion Shindubhe CAMMY
Red #1 Contender Shooryukenn BLANKA vs. Blue #1 Contender Rudeboy_2Deep ADON
Red #2 Cravin456 RYU vs. Blue #2 HerkulesHulk HONDA
Red #3 Rudeboy_2Deep ABEL vs. Blue #3 To1v11v1y DEE JAY
As mentioned above, the 2nd Ryder Cup tournament will begin next week. The Ryder Cup tournament is the international tournament between 8 fighters from the Americas Region and 8 fighters from the European Region. It is the second only time when fighters from each side of the 'pond' face off in official SFCCL matches (the only other time is during the Super Brawl tournament). The Ryder Cup tournament is fought in order to determine who takes the title of "Grand Champion" back to their highest division Champion, currently the Americas' Gold Champion. Basically, it’s for bragging rights as to who has the better competition in the SFCCL, the Americas or European region. The first-ever Ryder Cup was played earlier this year during Weeks 9 and 10. The Americas team won the tournament 8 wins to 2.
The four Captains for the Americas Team and the European Team will be determined in the above matches. The top four (4) rankings in the Gold and Red Divisions automatically become Captains for their respective teams. Each of the Captains will not have a regular weekly match during Week 16 to allow them to concentrate on playing their Ryder Cup tournament matches as soon as possible. Each Captain from both regions will then select another fighter (not member) to join their team. The 8 fighters will then be matched up (from highest ranked to lowest) for the Ryder Cup tournament. All matches are best 2 out of 3 five-round matches. The winning fighter scores a point for their region's team, and eliminates the losing fighter from the tournament. When all members have been eliminated from a region's team (or 8 points have been accumulated), the tournament is over and the title of "Grand Champion of the SFCCL" is awarded to the winning region's highest ranked champion.
Look for instant Ryder Cup updates via the SFCCL Facebook page. The link can be found on the right side of this blog. All results and details will be posted on the Ryder Cup page on this site as well.
For example, let's say 8 members show up. All 8 members will then be invited to the same Endless Battle lobby. The first fighter to win 7 matches in a row claims 1st Place. The next fighter to win 6 matches in a row claims 2nd Place. The final fighter to win 5 matches in a row claims 3rd Place. in the event that no member can win the required number of matches consecutively, total number of wins will be taken into consideration after a determine amount of time. Nonetheless, as with our previous events, expect the event to take a while to complete. That is part of the fun of these live events is that they last a looooooonnnnnggggggg time! Rules, number of matches and lobbies may change based on the number of members that participate. Remember, for these live events, a member must be online at the time of the event to participate. An official announcement listing the day and time will be coming within the next two weeks.
The posted logos for the Ryder Cup and War Games above will be changing soon as our resident artist, SHINNAGAKURE, is working up new, professional-looking logos for the events. His logos have been seen before for events like Fall Brawl, the 2vs2 Tournament, and the spiffy new header to the website.
I hope I covered everything I wanted to in this blog, but there was a lot of things on my mind so I may have forgotten something. If I did, I'll just post a new blog for that entry versus editing this one.
DEADLINE FOR WEEK 15
Deadline for Week 15 matches is Sunday, January 30th, 2011.
Good luck to all members this week!