Since the dawn of time, so to speak, the Quake2 season has been rather disorganized, and by disorganized I mean that there hasn’t been a collectively established idea on how to structure the entirety of the Q2 year. Neither has there been a set time frame for the duration of the season, which is essential when outlining such a build of an order.
The reason why it’s necessary to plan the season is our ambition to raise the activity, and to have the competitions run smoothly and with more successful outcomes (mainly meaning lowering the forfeit rate). Consistent orderly and deliberate structure will create a solid foundation on which these ambitions will be given better chances to produce results. The scene will get a more realistic opportunity to prosper, which will simultaneously aid and be aided by the interest and the commitment by the people of the community.
We need to spread out the events in a manner that will get as many players and clans as possible, to take part in as many events as possible. If tournaments and leagues are shuffled around, overlapping each other the way they are now, you end up with players having to choose which competitions to participate in, and which ones to drop, because very few people have time for everything at once – and that is not how we should go about trying to obtain a high and stable level of activity throughout the season.
Furthermore it’s desirable for the observers, the public, to have good entertainment evenly distributed over the year. It is now much too common to have the lion’s share of interesting matches bunched together from mid-February to early May, leaving not much to look forward to for the rest of the season. Being able to offer an all year program of exciting matches, will help to captivate an audience.
Audiences often include inactive and retired players, as well as a few people with no strings to the community at all. If we manage to enthrall them by having eventful seasons with good organization, respectful participants and stimulating circumstances, chances are they might turn to Q2 as players – once again or for the first time – and however slim or reasonable these chances are, bear in mind that any progress is to be considered a great success.
Not only is the problem this giant disproportionate peak during spring, but also that all the different events and their playoffs stages have a tendency to drag out and seem never-ending. Such inefficiency and amateurism only repel the enthusiasm of players, observers and admins alike. Therefore we must implement a time plan for all main competitions to follow, and this is where the need for international collaboration comes in.
a) Time Frame for the Season
The infamous summer inactivity strikes when schools are out and/or the sunny weather rolls in over Europe. Needless to say, no main events should take place during this time, because it mostly just ends up with a lot of postponements and walkovers anyway.
Most countries in Europe have their summer vacation (for students) starting anywhere between the beginning and the end of June, and lasting until mid-August to early September. Workers tend to have their vacation sometime within this period as well, and everybody seem to find other things to prioritize.
Christmas is another time when people ought to get a short break and some room to breathe and reflect, especially considering players are getting older and have ever-growing responsibilities to tend to. A lot of people spend Christmas away from home, visiting family and friends, or vice versa, and to expect of them to be active in Quake2 during the holidays, that is not a reasonable thing to do, and in no way would it be of any benefit to the scene.
The fundamental countries in the scene today are in one or another way Christian, and the time for Christmas and its accompanying vacation term in these nations, takes place between Dec 23rd and Jan 8th. This interval being quite mid-season, adds to the sense that it makes to have a break here. Full throttle from September through June would only blow out the engine.
So let’s keep the official season out of these boundaries.
b) Proposed Plan for the Main Events
• EuroQ2L: Two editions of EQ2L per season, so that new clans won’t need to wait too long before joining in on the fun. It also leaves space for PLQ2 and NDML to happen, without interfering with EQ2L, so that TDM players won’t have to skip one or two competitions due to lack of time.
Considering all changes proposed in this manifesto, it would not be unrealistic to expect around 25-30 clans signing up for EQ2L #16. Let’s say 27-28 clans, divided into 2-3 divisions. That makes an average of either 9 or 14 clans per division. With two divisions, there should be two groups in each, but with three, there should be only one. That means either 6 or 8 games per clan in the group stage. One round per week.
Single elimination is practice in the playoffs of TDM events, and whether it starts with quarter or semi-finals, should be decided by the number of divisions. Each clan will then play a maximum of either 2 or 3 games in the playoffs.
At this point there is very little reason to expect any big changes as far as number of clans wanting to participate in EQ2L #17.
Schedule, EQ2L #16:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (with sign ups being open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Sep 26th – Nov 27th (9 weeks)
Playoffs, Nov 28th – Dec 18th (3 weeks)
Schedule, EQ2L #17:
Sign ups deadline, Mar 11th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Mar 12th – May 13th (9 weeks)
Playoffs, May 14th – Jun 3rd (3 weeks)
• EDL: One edition of EDL per season, as usual, because the extent and the anticipation that it helps to build up, takes part in accrediting the league as the main duelling event around.
As mentioned before, the goal is to not drown players with games, and considering all other competitions going on during the course of EDL, I have decided that each round will last for two weeks, meaning participants only have to play one EDL game every two weeks.
Around 75-90 players are expected to sign up for EDL #10. Divided into 3 divisions with 2 groups each, it makes roughly 11-14 games per player in the group stage. However, since the divisions are mostly based on skill level, they might hold different amounts of players.
Double-elimination will be in use during playoffs, which will start with either 1/8 or quarter-finals, depending on the number of players in each division. Players will play a maximum of either 7 or 8 games in the playoffs.
Schedule, EDL #10:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (with sign ups being open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Oct 3rd – Dec 22nd + Jan 9th – Apr 29th (~28 weeks)
Playoffs, Apr 30th – Jun 3rd (5 weeks)
• The Edge League: One edition of Edge per season, and having it held during spring only. Being a one-map competition, it is the sort of thing that should rather be a momentarily event, than a parallel entity to EDL. This way it will also leave room for other tournaments during fall, such as the regional ones (as will be mentioned further down). Naturally it does not mean that it should be of any smaller size or matter.
Another perk to pushing the Edge tournament to the spring, is that people who are just getting into the game during fall/winter, or returning veterans for that matter, don’t have to spend a vast amount of time and energy to start learning and/or practising all the additional maps, in order to take part in an upscale duel competition. Also, those who simply missed the sign ups phase for EDL, or didn’t want to commit to a full seasonal term, they get a shot at something prestigious as well.
65-80 players are expected to sign up. The traditional elimination rounds will drop 30-45 players within a few weeks, leaving about 35 players for the group stage. In round numbers, 6-8 groups make 4-6 players per group. 3-5 games per player during group stage, and one round per week.
Playoffs follow the double-elimination system, starting with 1/8 finals. 5-8 matches per player.
Schedule, Edge #3:
Sign ups deadline, Jan 29th (sign ups open for 3-4 weeks)
Elimination rounds, Jan 30th – Feb 19th (3 weeks)
Group stage, Feb 20th – Mar 25th (5 weeks)
Playoffs, Mar 26th – Apr 29th (5 weeks)
• NDML: Much like the Edge League, this too ought to be a shorter, and in a way, a therefore less frequent event, due to its nature. Something to look forward to the same way you look forward to any sport’s nations cup, and to follow it eagerly during an intense course, rather than having it be just another competition that stretches out until people lose interest.
NDML needs to take place in between the EQ2L terms, in order to keep the game load at a steady level mainly for those participating, but even for the audience.
7-9 teams are expected to sign up. Divided into 2 groups, each team will play 2-4 games in group stage and an additional maximum of 2-3 games in the single-elimination playoffs.
Schedule, NDML #10:
Sign ups deadline, Jan 8th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage + playoffs, Jan 9th – Feb 19th (6 weeks)
Addressing the Polish powerhouse the way I now intend to do, with my proposal for the future of PLQ2 and PLD, is either just bold, or bold and naive. Nevertheless, it is extremely necessary, and I don’t feel that it can wait any longer. The scene is deteriorating day by day, and if the Polish regime doesn’t join forces with the rest of Europe, they will eventually have no people to rule – pardon my French. Neither will anyone else.
I have the highest respect for the deeds that the Polish community has done in the past, with PLQ2, PLD and other events, and I’m sure they would continue to deliver solid work. However, we’re facing a mutual enemy that is far greater than what we are currently fighting, and if we want to be victorious – and revive the scene – we will have to collaborate.
• PLQ2: As the scene needs to be more united, so do the competitive side of it. PLQ2 is a great thing, and by no reason should it cease to exist (for example by merging it with EQ2L, as some people think). It’s a splendid contribution to the scene, and it especially helps keeping the Polish community on its toes… But in order for the scene to truly come together – which would be of enormous benefit for Polish players and clans as well – it might be necessary for PLQ2 to take a step back, and thereby help clans come out of the Polish bubble and embrace the concept of a united European scene – with its EuroQ2L and EDL.
My proposition for the future of PLQ2, would be for it to run in between EQ2L editions (at the same time as NDML). That would make it easier for the Polish clans’ members to make time for participating in as many events as possible – which is a necessity for the scene.
14-16 clans are expected to sign up. Divided into 2 groups, each team would play 6-7 games during group stage. 8 clans advance to a single-elimination playoffs that starts with quarter-finals, which means a maximum of 3 games per team.
Proposed schedule, PLQ2 #13:
Sign ups deadline, Dec 29th (sign ups open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Jan 2nd – Feb 19th (7 weeks)
Playoffs, Feb 20th – Mar 11th (3 weeks)
• PLD: Most of the things I wrote for PLQ2, is just as suitable for PLD. PLD is an important institution – if I may call it that – and the entire scene is in great need of it. It’s the main Q2 nation’s domestic league for individual players, and it offers not only a huge deal of good entertainment, but it could also play an important part as the main dueling attraction before the Christmas break. It would then also function as a sort of teaser for what the Polish players might come to achieve in the second half of the EDL season.
It is very relevant that it doesn’t run for too long, since that may force players to choose between PLD and EDL (or other tournaments). Remember, we must try to get as many players as possible, to participate in as many events as possible – that is one of the ways for the scene to get an upswing now.
Around 40 players are expected to sign up. Divided into 8 groups, with 5 players in each, the players would have 4 games each to play in the group stage. A double elimination playoffs follows, starting at 1/8 finals (meaning the top 2 players of each group advance). 5-8 matches per player.
Proposed schedule, PLD #5:
Sign ups deadline, Oct 2nd (open for 2-3 weeks)
Group stage, Oct 3rd – Oct 30th (4 weeks)
Playoffs, Oct 31st – Dec 4th (5 weeks)
• RDL: A good league to keep going, as Russia is always a force to count on in Q2. However, it should be made domestic and live up to its name. Possibly include Ukraine as well, considering the relations between them two and the insignificant size of the Ukrainian community.
The Baltic countries must be able to make a small duel tournament of their own, since they have both a decent amount of people, and a great deal of high level competition.
Around 24 players are expected to sign up. Divided into 4 groups, with 6 players each, would give every player 5 games to complete during group phase. If 8 players advance to a double elimination playoffs, meaning 2 players per group, each will play 4-7 matches.
Proposed schedule, RDL #7:
Sign ups deadline, Sep 25th (open for 2 weeks)
Group stage, Sep 26th – Oct 30th (5 weeks)
Playoffs, Oct 31st – Nov 27th (4 weeks)
In addition to the main events, smaller cups and tournaments are essential for the scene to thrive. For example, all the clans that don’t reach the EQ2L playoffs, and whose players do not participate in either PLQ2 or NDML, they are facing a 15 week involuntary break. The spring situation for duelers ain’t great either, since those who are eliminated in the early stages of The Edge League, they are at best stuck with one game every second week in EDL for at least 2½ months, unless they turn to TESLA of course. And let’s not forget those who fail to make the sign up deadlines…
When the activity – or the number of games – is on a steady level throughout the season, the risk of failure (postponements, walkovers, etc) decreases. Players are given a fair chance to plan ahead, and foresee the activities and happenings of the commitments they make for the season. I’m not saying this will solve all our problems, but it will make it easier for the problems to diminish.
The making of the official season is important in our efforts to make Quake2 a more well-organized e-sport, and it will benefit us in our work to keep players motivated within the scene. A structured season will also help us when trying to bring retired and inactive players back into the game, much thanks to the fact that everybody will be given options when deciding on the degree of activity they wish to uphold.
Q2 becoming a more legitimate e-sport in general, will have us receive more coverage and ultimately a growing audience – if only moderately so. More people interested also aids the potential to attract new players.
Structuring the season is a pillar in the attempts for regeneration, and denying it acknowledgement and implementation, will have this entire temple to continue crumbling down.