Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 1: NPPL Vegas Championships

The Vegas weather is deceptively lovely. Today was intermittently overcast but mostly crystalline blue skies with temperatures close to 90 degrees that for this Florida boy felt great. At the same time the intensity of the desert sun and the lack of moisture in the air are a recipe for unexpected sunburn, chapped, cracked lips and the headaches that are common precursors to mild dehydration. And speaking of deceptively lovely there's the new NPPL turf. It looks great, especially side-by-side with some of the old stuff but mix some water and paint on it and it's as slippery as black ice on an asphalt overpass in the dead of winter. (That's not news to any of you who watched any extended bit of webcast coverage.)
Speaking of the webcast I managed to get back to the hotel--not the Riviera--where the beds are as comfy as a hobo's straw pallet in the back of an empty railroad car clickety-clacking across rugged country--in time to catch most of the last Pro matches of the day. (I also received a less positive review from a friend who had watched considerably more of the action than I did.) I thought the webcast was okay. I thought the commentary was okay. But I have the advantage of knowing exactly what's going on because I know the field and I know how it was playing all day. Somebody viewing it cold--like my friend--found it lacking. (I'm not convinced, to a degree, that the same concerns don't apply to any webcast but I'll reserve judgment until Cup.)
The layout is an odd one. It can play fast but that's largely a property of early eliminations and/or a failure to secure the critical lanes. Most matches went to time with only a handful of teams reaching 5 points even when they were dominating play. (When does the league finally get rid of the carwash?) This event sees two new teams participating; Houston Heat & Phoenix Contact, and they received a fairly rude welcome dropping all three of their combined matches today. Heat went 0-2 and Contact was 0-1. The scheduling for 15 teams has seen a few anomalies over past events with 4 teams playing three times today (Dynasty, Legend, Uprising & Vendetta) with XSV & Contact to play 3 matches each tomorrow. Besides Heat's 0-2 start Dynasty has regained its form and some momentum with a solid 2-1 record today including a strong win over Infamous (but also including a loss to Vendetta.) Vendetta also went 2-1 today with wins over Dynasty & Heat while losing to Infamous. Legend was also 2-1. The other 2 win teams were Damage and Impact who only played two matches today. While nothing is settled yet all the two win teams have a leg up on making Sunday but as with today's play there will certainly be some surprises tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Please tell us your thoughts on how absolutely pathetic Contact looked and how it changed the even.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

They were making their primaries and had solid break outs. But that was about the only good I saw. They got destroyed in their bunkers the whole event.

Baca Loco said...

I don't know that it changed the event. It certainly didn't elevate the quality of competition. What I'm curious about is how the two new teams were ranked. It appears it was done by city as opposed to team name. Normally one would assume that "C"ontact would rank above "H"eat alphabetically but apparently the league used "H"ouston and "P"hoenix instead which put Contact into the bracket with XSV & Impact instead of Heat--as one would normally have expected.
Of course they screwed up the Sunday brackets too by having the top 2 seeds in the same halves. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

The playoff seeded is actually the result of NPPL's "special" playoffs. They don't have halves to seed teams into because they don't have playoff brackets at all. After each round, they "reseed" so the highest remaining seed gets to play the lowest remaining seed.

In the case of Sunday, 1) XSV, 7) Legend, 6) Dynasty and 4) Impact advanced from quarters, so semis becomes 1) XSV vs 7) Arsenal and 4) Impact vs 6) Dynasty.

Baca Loco said...

You missed a step--the important one.
In the Quarters--the first round Sunday morning--the first bracket was 1 v. 8 & 2 v. 7 while the other quarters bracket was 3 v. 6 and 4 v. 5. The result was that the top 2 seeds going into Sunday were scheduled to meet in a semi instead of the final. And the way the NPPL Sunday brackets work is your semifinal match-up is the other half of your Quarterfinal bracket.
If you're going to be an apologist for stupid at least get it right.

Anonymous said...

"The result was that the top 2 seeds going into Sunday were scheduled to meet in a semi instead of the final."

That's an invention of your mind. NPPL does not schedule the winners of two games to play each other in the semifinals. Who plays who in semis is unknown; the winner of the first pairing could end up playing the winner of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th pairings, it all depends on the results of the quarters.

XSV played Legend not because the winner of the 1v8 game played the winner of the 2v7 game, but because the lowest seed was the 7th seed, so XSV played Legend because the 1st seed plays the 7th seed in those circumstances.

After checking the NPPL rule book, I see that I am indeed right with regards to the reseeding. I also see that NPPL made a much larger error: According to the rule book only 6 teams should have advanced and Legend never should have made it out of the prelims.

See rule 26.04, which, surprise, contradicts itself.

The first paragraph says that the quarterfinals should have been two groups of 4 teams played round-robin three matches per team. Obviously NPPL ignored that part.

Second paragraph says teams are put into matchups 1v8, 2v7, etc, and also that after the quarters, teams are RESEEDED, so as far as the rule book is concerned Baca, you're mistaken: You don't know who advances to play who from the Quarterfinals before the quarterfinals are done playing. So no, NPPL did NOT "seed" any team into the wrong half because no such halves exist.

But, the 2nd paragraph also says it is for events with 4 prelim brackets. This event had 3 prelim brackets, so the 3rd paragraph applies.

And the 3rd paragraph says that in events with 3 prelim brackets, only 6 teams advance.

So, Infamous and Legend never should have played on Sunday, and Arsenal should have gotten a BYE and finished at least 4th.

Arsenal gets screwed at Vegas again.

Anonymous said...

I should add one caveat: This is what the NPPL rule book says. If you are saying that NPPL said on-site that they were tossing the rule book and playing a straight 8-team single-elim bracket, and they also said that the winner of the first 2 pairings would play each other no matter what, then yes, they screwed that up. But only if they actually said semifinals was winner of first two pairs vs. winner of 2nd two pairs BEFORE quarterfinals were played - if they said so afterwards, that was just the usual NPPL reseeding at work. NPPL has been doing their seeds that way for years.

dan. said...

i don't really follow NPPL that closely, but if i'm not mistaken isn't this part from BEFORE they went to the race to format?

"See rule 26.04, which, surprise, contradicts itself.

The first paragraph says that the quarterfinals should have been two groups of 4 teams played round-robin three matches per team. Obviously NPPL ignored that part."

but again, not sure, i was just thinking it would be to cumbersome to play a 3 match round robin in the quarterfinals in the race to format?

Anonymous said...

That's a reasonable explanation as to how the rulebook got screwed up, but doesn't change that it IS screwed up.

And not, apparently, followed.

Anonymous said...

Poormans out? Where's Mr. C?

Anonymous said...

Poorman is just the latest name in a long list of names NPPL has used in their neverending "We have heard your complaints, and we are going to make things better, and we have now brought on (insert name here) who will fix everything!"

Unlike Chuck and Pev, Ed probably actually tried to fix something instead of just making empty promises and collecting a check, and there's just no room in NPPL for that.

Props to Ed for cutting ties once he realized NPPL was just trying to trade on his good name.

NewPro said...

Coach, we're waiting, NPPL "World Championships", leggooo

Anonymous said...