The Arena Tournament – And the Ladder Game

BY Andrew Miesner / April 17, 2009

The Arena Tournament – And the Ladder Game

Written by Jordan “HappyMinti” Mance

For those of you who do not know, online play and competition is generally ranked by a ladder system that you can check out at This system, though it has its imperfections, is likely the best way to rank players and teams based up on their overall team success. Being at the top of the ladder doesn’t really mean much because ratings constantly fluctuate. The top team could have caught a lucky streak, they could have simply played a TON of games, or they could have “win traded” to the #1 ladder spot. Ultimately because of the ease at which one can manipulate the system to his or her advantage the “top team” doesn’t mean quite as much as say the #1 ranked team in Cal-i.

Ideally however on the Arena Tournament Realm this is supposed to change. The realm consists of pretty much every single good team from North America competing for a top spot on a ladder system. After qualifying in the top 1000, the top 8 teams will then be chosen after one more week of tournament play. The last tournament realm consisted of teams dodging one another repeatedly at the end of the tournament. I remember that was when our team had first started playing together and had perhaps a few weeks of practice together when the realm opened. We were sure we qualified but the Sk-gaming team had been hiding their rating for days and at the end of it all beat us by 8 rating to take the 4th spot. Needless to say we won’t let this happen again. Due to this stiff competition players consistently dodged other teams to avoid losing points and hid their rating from everyone one else. Last year only the top 4 teams were taken and no one knew exactly what rating they had to achieve to pass them. The last night of the realm was people queueing, fake queueing to fool other teams into queueing, and hiding from one another to other teams finding out what rating they had.

The result is a complex meta-game in which the top teams are not necessarily the best 4 or 8 teams, instead it is the 4 or 8 teams who can best manipulate the queue system to their advantage. The teams who can make sure every time they queue they have a good idea of who they are going to fight, and that they are likely going to win. If a team is queueing that will beat them then they will likely avoid queueing entirely and instead will wait patiently for the right opportunity.

Fortunately we here at Team CompLeixty have found the ultimate solution – beat everyone, which is what we intend to doThis of course all beckons the question, should the top 8 really be chosen when rating fluctuation is easy and cheating by feeding other teams points is likewise just as easy. The current system brings out the worst in players because once a team recognizes that they aren’t going to make it, they’ll likely try to cheat to break the top 8, or simply help another team in the top 20 by feeding them points. Perhaps a team should only need to break the top 40, then a double elimination bracket could be used to sort out the rest. This would of course require quite a bit of work out of Blizzard and it is not a likely solution.

Fortunately we here at Team CompLexity have found the ultimate solution – beat everyone, which is what we intend to do. We currently have two teams in the top 10 and fully intend to qualify.