This is a discussion about the tournament structure generally, and how desirable certain seeds are specifically. Our current tournament structure does not strictly incentivize high seeding. What I mean by “strictly incentivize high seeding” is that I can fairly easily construct hypothetical scenarios in which a team would rather seed second than first, sixteenth over eighth, etc… I can dive more into that if anyone wants, but I’m more interested in the real-world effects of the tournament structure than the hypotheticals.
Have you ever, at the end of quals, wished your team was a lower seed than you actually were? What seed were you and what seed would you have preferred? Which event? Why did you feel this way?
Note that I’m most concerned with these kind of thoughts between the last qual match and before alliance selection. Plenty of us have at some point been envious of the 7 captain that snagged two great picks, but that’s not what I’m interested in as that kind of desire has no impact on match play. I’m more interested in learning how common it is that teams feel like they would have been better off with a lower seed and the potential for match-throwing in quals as a result of these incentives. I’m not trying to shame anyone or “expose” teams, so please don’t use this thread to bash other teams that you think have thrown matches, just talk about your own experiences. There’s nothing at all inherently wrong with wanting a lower seed, and I would argue it’s better to have this discussion openly so that we can shed light on how common it is.
I’ll start with one from my experience:
In 2017 at Minnesota 10K Lakes. There were in my mind 2 very apparent top teams, 5172 and (my team) 4536. 5172 was the only team at the event with reasonable fuel scoring capability, in addition to being one of the best gear scorers. My team was probably the best gear scorer at the event, getting 4 rotors thrice while no one else got it more than once. We both had mutually agreed to pick each other if either of us became the first seed. Unfortunately for the 2 of us, 2500 ended up seeding first and scorched us out of working together. This meant that we had to play 5172 in the semis instead of the finals (we seeded third, 5172 seeded second), which meant at least one of us would not be advancing to champs.
Given the choice, we would have absolutely swapped our 3rd seed for the 4th or 5th seed so that we wouldn’t end up on the same side of the playoff bracket as 5172. We even recognized this before our final quals match, and had to choose to play for the win that match even though we were pretty sure it would be hurting our chances of going to champs. I don’t regret our choice, but I hate that we were put in that position. I don’t speak for 5172, but I think there’s a good chance they felt similarly to us.
Your turn, please share! but keep it civil.