CranKy Ducklings has been approached by various tournament bracket developers to provide input on how to improve upon currently existing services. The goal of this report is to conduct a deep dive into tournament bracket websites in an attempt to find ways in which to improve upon them.
Challonge offers a feature to create Organisations which can be managed by multiple users. They act as a hub with a main page with a custom URL which includes a short description, links, members and upcoming tournaments.
Members have access to set up and edit tournaments. Giving them Admin status allows them to add new members to the organisation.
Changes we would make to Members and their status’ include adding 3 levels of privileges:
- Managers with full access to everything, no additional rights for the owner (in case they go inactive, the organisation can function normally),
- Organisers - can create, manage and admin tournaments,
- Admins - can admin tournaments (manage check in and brackets, add scores, DQ players etc.).
Overview Tab Layout
The overview page should display only upcoming tournaments with the one with the closest starting date at the top.
The sidebar of the overview page should have an option to include text links to tournament series. Those links would take the user to separate page with tournaments filtered only by that series and possibly a logo and short description of the series at the top/sidebar.
The members of the organisation should be displayed separately according to their access level.
The description on Overview and other pages should have at least basic formatting options such as bold, cursive or adding hyperlinks. (tournament descriptions have these formatting options) It would be possible to skip the hyperlinks if there was an option to add custom URL as social link icons, adding a Liquipedia icon for example.
The tournaments tab should display all tournaments created by the organisation (including those that are part of a tournament series) with the ability to filter by closed, check in, open registration, tournament series and the option to order ascending/descending by starting date, creation date (by default, they should be ordered descending by starting date).
Current Challonge leaderboards are using ELO type of rating which doesn’t provide useful information. There is no reason for challonge users not to be tracked and have all their tournament wins/placements displayed and ranked accordingly. The page should list all tournament winners ordered by the number of championships earned. There could also be a point based ranking e.g. Ro16 finish earns 1 point, Ro8 finish 2 points and so on.
This leaderboard should also have the option to filter by tournament series
The followers of the organisation should be notified about newly created tournament brackets. The platform for notifications should be selected in preferences (e.g. email / website / none) and followers should have the ability to customise their notifications for each organisation separately. In addition, it would be convenient to have an option to not receive notifications about particular tournament series or game.
The tournament creation page allows the user to choose what organisation they are making the tournament as well as tournament name, custom URL, fully formatted description, game, tournament format, type of sign ups (open, invite only, free/paid etc.), check in and bracket options. It is also possible to add an admin who is not part of the hosting organisation.
Hosting a Tournament
There should be an option to choose admins for the particular event from the list of the organisation’s members with the possibility to manually add users from outside the organisation. Those admins would be displayed on the main overview page of the bracket.
Currently, the user who created the bracket is listed as an organizer of the tournament (separate from host). It would make more sense to have an option to display them as organiser instead of doing so by default.
Currently Challonge supports Single and Double Elimination, Round Robin, Swiss and Free For All. They also support 2 stage tournaments, the Group Stage can have players ordered by match wins, game/set wins, game/set win %, points scored, points difference and custom point systems.
An easy way to implement qualifier formats, would be to add an option to close a match by marking it as “qualified”. That means that no score needs to be submitted for that match for the tournament results to be finalised. Qualified players would be at the top of the standings with either 1st place or Q(ualified) next to their name.
The tournament brackets include all the necessary information for participating players. The top bar displays the tournament format, game, start time (can be displayed in your selected timezone) and check in time, as well as the host of the tournament. Below is the full description of the event, a registration (and later check in) button and the preview of tournament bracket. Each round of the tournament has a separate label that can be edited (e.g. that’s how the starting maps are added).
A useful feature to add would be an option to select/submit contact link(s) such as a Discord invite that would be displayed together with other information at the top.
To improve the visual aspect of the tournament page, the host should be able to add a custom banner for the header. A bonus option would be the ability to also select from images previously used by the organisation.
It would be useful to display the number of signed up players as well as checked in players.
As mentioned in previous section, the main bracket page should list the admins for the tournament.
Challonge has the functionality to add streams as stations. With that system, the matches can be assigned to streams for casting. The stream links are displayed on the bracket when the match is in progress.
Admining the Tournament
If the website is StarCraft focused, some features of the Liquipedia brackets could be implemented such as player races, flags, team logos. For race icons in particular, by default the selected race would apply for the whole tournament, however an option would need to be included for players who switch races inbetween series.
Currently, Challonge allows the admins to mark a match as “in progress” highlighting it on the brackets. The admins are also able to add scores during the match by inserting current result without selecting the winner.
Something that would greatly improve the workflow for the admins would be adding an option to mark walkovers in the match score menu (accessible by clicking on an icon next to the match on the brackets), similarly to the “qualified” option mentioned earlier. It’s important to note that marking that option would give a walkover only for that particular series. It’s especially convenient for group stage tournaments running over a long period of time when walkover in a single match isn’t necessarily disqualifying the player from further competition. This feature should work in addition to the option of disqualifying the player from the rest of the tournament.
Both the qualified and the walkover marks should be easy to find in an API.
It could be useful to add an option for players to upload replays for particular match. Those replays would be only accessible by the tournament admins (and organisation managers).
Currently letsplay.live (previously cybergamer) have the functionality for players to submit vetoes and select map order for their current open matches (ABAB ABC). Players are given 15 minutes to enter their first veto and 5 minutes for every following veto/map pick. Failure to submit a veto could trigger an alert so admins can look into the situation and verify a potential walkover.
Adding this feature would require tournament organisers to allocate a specified map pool to each tournament/tournament series. lets play.live just use the current map pool as they host their own league.
Challonge’s team feature is very lacking. A better example would be the Russian Federation Cyber Sport website where each team has their own page including description, player roster, team results, tournament statistics etc. The team is listed on the profile page of each member and is added to their name on tournament brackets. Obviously, the visual aspects can be improved upon but the idea behind the feature is solid.
Challonge user profiles are very basic, listing all tournaments the user ever hosted or signed up for.
The user profile should display a list (separated or filtered) of tournaments organised and tournaments they participated in. It should also include (possibly on a sidebar) their selected country, team and organisation(s) they are part of.
In addition, it would be convenient to allow players to select more than 1 country in case of dual citizenship. They would also have to select which flag will be displayed on the bracket of particular tournament.