A few outcomes were worth noting. Players reported that the scheduling for the group stage batch was easier than other batches historically, which was to be expected because of the initial group arrangements by time zone. We also found that by the end of seven rounds, there was a much wider spread of OMW% than one would see in a typical Swiss tournament structure. For example, of the six players with 15 points (5-2 record), the OMW% ranged from 55.1% to 41.5%. Players generally saw more variance in their different paths through the event than they would with a Swiss pairing structure, in which players who continue to win are guaranteed to be paired against successively stronger opponents. In a straight Swiss tournament, after seven rounds, an event with 41 players would have a maximum of one player remaining at x-0, whereas we ended up with two players entering the Top 8 with unbeaten records.
While there is no “perfect” way of structuring an event like this, I’m excited to continue iterating and improving the design of our webcam tournaments in the future, and seeing what other knobs and levers I can use to find the sweet spot of making things as equitable and competitive as possible while also keeping the logistical friction as low as possible for all involved. But enough of that, then… let’s turn our attention to what you most likely came here to see:
THE DECKS! (40 OUT OF 41 PLAYERS)
We had quite the range of archetypes and approaches in the Winter Derby, reflecting the variety of communities and countries represented in the event. We had different flavors of Mono Black, a few assorted takes on RUG Zoo, UW Skies, UWR in aggressive, midrange, and control variants, format pillars UR Counterburn and The Deck, Tax Edge, Eureka, Power Monolith, Esper midrange lists, some Disco, Mono Green, and some pretty spicy and offbeat lists like Robot Reanimator, Jund Machine Head, and a control deck involving Control Magic, Diamond Valley, and Skull of Orm that’s been getting a lot of buzz. I received deck photos to share from almost all of the players, so here they are! Take a look, and enjoy:
(Click to enlarge and browse between the decks.)