Monday, October 25, 2010

World Cup Sunday

Given the clarity about how the tie-breaking system works I thought I'd go thru the Sunday seeding as well. ('Cus it's kinda unusual.) With six teams moving on to Sunday the top 2 seeds get a bye directly to the semi-finals. This time it was Legion (1) and 'Shock (2); one from each bracket. The rest of the seeds are determined across brackets with the 3 seed facing the 6 seed and 4 versus 5. So far so good. The league puts the 4/5 game under the one seed and the 3/6 game under the two seed. The real question becomes why are the quarterfinal elimination games attached to a one or two seed prior to the games being played? 'Cus they are--which sorta defeats the purpose of seeding the match-ups if the end result doesn't (necessarily) favor the top seed(s). The result is the quarterfinal elimination winner faces the higher seed in their Sunday bracket even if the match-up isn't the one that favors the top seed. This, btw, is nothing new. It's just another league curiosity that demonstrates when it comes to being a sport there remains room for improvement.

As it turned out the Sunday brackets reflected the prelim brackets as there was no cross bracket match-ups until the final. The first game up was Dynasty versus Damage, a rematch of a prelim game that saw Dynasty win 7-1 on Saturday. On Sunday in a series of drawn out long points Dynasty led 4-2 with less than 3 minutes remaining. Both teams conscious of the stakes played some atypical paintball perhaps too concerned about making a crucial error than in taking control of the match. (I hesitate to offer any explanation of how the two games were different given that some of VFTD's readers apparently don't understand the difference between facts and details and excuses but since I'm bold and fearless I'll give it a go anyway.) In the Saturday match there was only one point where both teams were 5-on-5 due to a trifecta of majors called on Damage beginning with the first point. Sunday's match included penalties as well including a late penalty against Dynasty that carried over into the overtime point. In the end Damage was able to close the gap and with the advantage of a 5-on-4 overtime breakout completed the comeback to take the quarterfinal elimination match and earn a second shot at the Russians.
In the second quarterfinal elimination game X-Factor took on Infamous and made a game of it. And despite the failure to make the semis it had to encourage Alex and the X-Factor guys who have been on the cusp of Sundays all season. Both semis ended in identical scores with Shock and the Russians duplicating their prelim results and moving on to the finals.
The pro field also saw a number of other matches played on it during the day including some xball divisional finals and the CXBL Old Skool xball format final. Over the course of the weekend there was a decent crowd both prelim days to watch the pro games and Sunday saw full stands catching all the finals action. On a side topic it seems some of our Eurotrash paintball kin are making a fairly big deal over their (somehow collective?) WC successes and while I don't begrudge anybody a reason to party I am unconvinced there's much there there. If you know what I mean. The issue is the competition. Big ups to DOW Warberg, a D2 Millennium team competing in, wait for it, D2. Now I haven't investigated the rosters involved to try and see who and how many players (or teams) of a Euro persuasion were playing down so let's just focus on TonTons. (And for those teams playing where they belonged--or ballpark--thumbs up to y'all as well.) Is there a U.S. pro team that would make a big deal over winning a D1 title? Seriously? Is it just me or isn't that an acknowledgment of inferiority prima fascia or at least a collective feeling of inferiority? And it's not like the mercs on Millennium rosters are pros from Fiji or South America.
The perhaps least well known title up for grabs on Sunday was the PSP Pro series championship that saw Impact, Damage & the Russians (in that order) vying for a first time distinction. Early NXL seasons played for WC seeding and the Cup was the be all and end all of pro success. When the NXL became PSP Pro that tradition was carried over and despite moves to event titles, etc. the season champ remained the Cup winner. This year the league began treating the pro division as the other divisions in that they kept a point total from event to event that thru the Cup results would also crown a series champion. When Impact got knocked out of Sunday play that left the series title up to the race between the Red Legion & Damage. Given the point spreads going into Cup and the number of teams competing Damage needed to finish third if the Russians won to take the series. Damage beat Infamous in the 3 versus 4 match-up. And it was perhaps the least exciting championship anyone has ever won. As time goes by I hope the players will take some pride in the accomplishment of winning both pro series championships in the same season but right now they don't care. The object of the competition is to win and despite what the trophy says the Russians are the best xball team in the world. (Well earned.) So we'll take the 7-man title and hope to defend it and we'll hopefully continue to grind with the goal of winning xball next year.


Dan said...

If world cup is the be-all-end-all, then why play any other event? (I know there's more to it than that, but its just for conversation)
Perhaps there should be some reason for those points. I almost feel like the pros should be seeded into a true playoff at cup using the seed points earned in previous events.

Reiner Schafer said...

Dan, would that mean that the teams that aren't seeded or aren't in the running, would not show up then? That would be bad business.

raehl said...

Winning World Cup is a great achievement. Winning the season is a great achievement. Winning both is a greater achievement.

The possibility of winning the Triple Crown doesn't diminish the prestege of winning the Kentucky Derby.

I don't understand the comment about "league peculiarity" with regards to seeding. PSP runs a single-elimination bracket, the same way as any number of other sports leagues do, including the NBA and NCAA tournaments.

dr chimm said...

then maybe the league should do their seeding in the same fashion the ncaa tourney does. You would never see the 1 and 2 seeds play eachother in the sweet sixteen or elite 8, yet in the infinite brilliance of the psp format we have that exact thing happening in the prelims, cudos psp for making paintball almost a proper sport.

be smart said...


Very well said. I think your recounting of the results of a long season's grind and winning two Pro championships is very humble.

I take my hat my off to the whole organization. The effort that goes into playing at this level and having success is basically rewared by taking pride in winning.

I hope all your guys know that at least within the circle of Pro players, owners, coaches, staff, the significance of winning BOTH the NPPL and PSP Pro leagues did not go unnoticed.

Mike said...

First off congrats Baca - also very humble at the end of that post.

Secondly - I'm still not clear on the tiebreaker. When my team (Impact) didn't make Sunday I was pretty confused. They're average point spread +/- was better than X-Factor's, however they did lose the head to head match. In previous events however wasn't +/- the first tiebreaker, and head to head second?

Just trying to clear the air... Not that it really matters anymore :(

raehl said...


The NCAA tournament is single-elimination bracket. PSP prelims is round robin. Still, as long as there is more than one bracket, #1 and #2 seeds don't play in the same bracket. Thus why Impact and Damage were in separate brackets in the prelims.


Head-to-head has been used before margin of victory for as long as there has been XBall. It doesn't always work (three teams that each beat one of the other teams but lost to the other one is the usual example) but when it does it is applied first.

Head-to-head is also almost always the 1st tiebreaker in pretty much any sport.

Baca Loco said...

It all begins with the original vision of the NXL. The NXL was conceived as a football-like event in that a proper season would be x number of matches over x period of time. With a "regular" season determining who would gain a playoff spot.
Since the reality was that the NXL operated alongside the PSP each event was a portion of the "season" until WC--which would encompass the complete playoffs.
That of course only made the NXL less interesting to players and spectators alike so eventually a format was put in place to restore a winner for the individual events but nothing welse was changed regarding how Cup was perceived. Until this year.

They did sort of dally with that idea but never cut out of Cup more than a couple teams who had competed all season long.

For the Sunday seeds to be fully functional the option of reseeding prior to the semifinals must be reconsidered; ie, the one seed should always play the lowest remaining seed in each round. Currently that may or may not happen.
If it were a big deal however I would have pushing for it harder all along. :-)

be--thanks. Don't be a stranger.

Baca Loco said...

Expanding a bit on raehl's reply when the Commish (Tony Mineo) looks at prelim results he is looking at wins/losses first. In the Impact bracket at Cup both Shock and Infamous finished with 3 wins and 1 loss. Nobody else had more than 2 wins so he figures out how the Shock/Infamous situation works out. First he goes head-to-head which seeds Shock (1) above Infamous (2). Now he returns to wins and losses and finds 2 teams with 2 wins each. Only one can go thru so he again applies head-to-head to see if it applies and since it does the final determination is set. In this case with X-Factor in and Impact out. Pretty straightforward actually.

Dan said...

Of course not. Its merely a seeding. in a playoff, you would just be seeded lower. For instance The Dogs, who had no prior PSP events, would have been seeded last, against whoever had the most points up to that point. The biggest problem you would have would be attracting the teams who feel they have no shot at getting through the field, as playoffs are single or double elimination. The cost-risk would be very high for some teams who had performed sub-par in prior events.

dr chimm said...


I understand that impact and damage were in seperate groups, however damage and the russsians were not. They were the two top seeds in their respective bracket yet being the 2 seed (as damage was) gets them a prelim match against the russians and not the dogs? How does one justify the top seed in a prelim bracket NOT playing the bottom seed? Just curious as to what the logic(or lack thereof) behind the pairings is

Anonymous said...

I have followed this blog and actually Damage the whole season. (I have not paid any attention to Damage before)

I congratulate your organization for unbelievable achievement! Double Pro Champion, cannot be a bad thing. Naturally "losing" in WC is a huge anti-climax, but still. Not very many has done anything close you have and many of us would give their limbs and a kidney to be there :)

But hopefully all possible disappointment washes over while sipping champagne from series trophy’s.

I have been a head of running national tournament series in Finland for 6 years now. We have 42 teams in four divisions and play race-to 4, 3 and 2 depending on division. I go through these seeding procedures all the time.
This seeding mess in World Cup is really above/under my understanding, how they can make such mistake in the top championship tournament of our sport?

The real final match was Damage - Russians and I would gladly have paid few dollars to see that in webcast...
You were robbed in seeding but luckily that mistake did not rob your championship.

All the best for off-season!

team Urho

raehl said...


So you would have had #1 Impact play seeds 4, 5, 8 and 9 and #2 TBD and #3 Boston play seeds 6, 7, 10 and 11? That's giving your #2 and #3 seeds a much, much easier schedule than your #1 seed.

The way it is done, everyone in the 6-team bracket has an even strength of schedule. The #1 seed in the 5-team bracket has a bit easier of a schedule than most teams, and the last teams in the 5-team bracket have a bit harder strength of schedule, but fewer teams in the bracket to beat to get a top-3 spot so that somewhat balances out. Not perfect, but about as good as you can get with 11 teams and two brackets.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks. One of the things that makes VFTD worthwhile--besides the opportunity to marvel daily at how clever I am on the internet--is the opportunity it affords to reach people all over the world who share my passion for this silly game.

dr chimm said...


I would have done the seeding 1,4,6,8,11 and 2,3,5,7,9,10 with the 2 and 3 playing 5,7,9 and 10 respectivly. Just a thought.

Hasse said...

A side note about Dow Warberg. We had more or less the same players when playing the Millennium as at the Worldcup. No hired guns...