A fan of stats for paintball from Day 1 I haven't been quite as enthusiastic about some of the particulars (I find one or two of the stats to not only be not terribly useful but potentially misleading)--but that was before there was nearly two seasons of data collected. With the info currently available I wanted to do a rough analysis to see if (and how) player stats corresponded to team results. Yes, I realize it's not an apples to apples comparison but one still expects the teams with the (statistically?) best players to be among the best teams at least as a general sort of rule. So the question becomes do the stats bear that out? Not unequivocally as will be seen shortly.
In 2012 the top 7 pro teams were (in descending order); Heat, Damage, Infamous, Ironmen, Russian Legion, X-Factor & Dynasty.
So far in 2013 the top 7 pro teams are (in descending order); Dynasty, Damage, Impact, Heat, Ironmen, Infamous & X-Factor.
Six of the seven teams remain the same from one list to the other which is nearly ideal for this purpose. The obvious place to begin is with Dynasty. Seventh last season and first so far this season. And do the player stats inform that movement? They do.
In looking at the stats I divided the placements into separate tiers; top 10, top 25, top 40, top 50 & top 75 in order to see more precisely the relative placement of each team's players.
In 2012 Dynasty had 5 players in the top 40 but all were ranked between 11-40. In 2013 Dynasty has 7 ranked in the top 40 with 5 in the top 25 so it's plain to see that Dynasty's improved team results correspond to improved player stats too. Among the teams listed the Ironmen also seem to bear out the correlation though less convincingly as they had 5 top 40 players last season in finishing fourth but have only two top 40 players this season while holding fifth.
The other question that arises is do the player stats predict the results consistently? And the answer to that is no. Both seasons Damage held (holds) second place yet last season dominated the stats with 8 players in the top 40 while only having 4 this season. Russian Legion finished fifth last season with 6 top 40 players and still have 4 top 40 players even though they have been relegated once this season. Then there's Infamous. Finished third last season with three top 40 players and stand in sixth so far this season with three top 25 players.
At this point it's difficult to decide whether the Dynasty correspondence is an anomaly or if we need more information. When the numbers are extended out to the top 75 players (in 2013) 4 of the top 5 results make up the current top 4 in the rankings; Dynasty--9 players, Damage--7 players, Impact--9 players & Heat--9 players. The odd team out now is the Legion also with 7 top 75 players.
Running the numbers out to the top 75 gives us perhaps a better indication of potential roster depth but if it also provides superior corresponding accuracy in representing team results it opens up a whole new batch of questions about the relative meaning of the stats and the variations in placement.
More on that next time in--Stats & Status of Pro Rankings.