TL;DR: Make a Table with all teams in there = everyone plays everyone - until a certain due date. Optionally: Make the first 4 teams have playoffs to determine the "real champion."
Now for the complete edition.
Now I'm sure we've all seen a decline in Interest in Quake Live. A lot of players playing CS:GO at the moment, others Overwatch or any other game. Yet we have quite a number of teams in here, playing in iFT and iCTF - mostly not on a public level, but in the Cup. Now why would they play in a dying game's tournament, where there isn't even money or prizes involved, if you can also participate in CS:GO or OW tournaments?
For me the answer is quite obvious: it's just the passion about Quake Live, which never really dies. The passion, do play a fast paced FPS that requires so much skill, effort and talent. A game, in which most players are super good. A game, where the players want competition.
Putting this together, I assume a lot of teams participate in the Overfrag tournament out of passion for the game, not because they want to win crazy prizemoney. Sure, it always feels good to have beaten this one opponent, or to win in a very close match against a stronger team. But I'm certain most people would agree, that "Playing the Game" is the main focus for them. And with playing I don't mean 8v8 iFT carnage, but honest competition with their team against another team.
In my opinion the current system does't focus on the playing aspect, but on the winning aspect. Thats why I suggest a change to a model that is commonly used in football.
The general Idea would be to have ONE table, ONE group so to say, in which all the teams are in. After the beginning of the tournament, each team plays against each other until a certain final date. After the date, all teams should have a certain position in the table, together with statistics. OPTIONAL: Do additional Playoffs for the first 4 teams.
The ruleset would also be quite the same as in Football. My idea would be, that each team is allowed to play up to two/three opponents each week, but can also take weeks off if none of their players can play. Scheduling in the Forum would stay the same. The last week should then be used to force games that havent been played. If one team doesn't show up, the other gets default win - which wouldnt be a huge deal in this trounament structure in my opinion.
Games would be like this. I suggest, that each team can ban one map prior to the game. After a cointoss, each team picks one map to play. The team that didn't get the first ban also decides on the third map (in FT I might even suggest 4 maps). Each map is beeing played max. 20 min or until 8 caps (or 20 points) have been reached.
- in CTF: there will be no overtime. After 20 min the score will be written into the teams statistics. If out of those 3 maps Team A won 2 or 3, they get 3 points. If they loose 2 or 3 maps, they get 0 Points. If the overall result is a draw, both teams get 1 point.
- in FT: same here. though because FT is quicker than CTF I suggest 4 maps to make the Draw Situation possible.
These rules would allow for exciting Matches, lasting about an hour each. In the end each team gets 3,1 or 0 points plus their statistics like Caps/Countercaps or Counterrounds in FT. So in the end every team has played every other team there is in the cup, getting a certain position in the table based on their points and Cap/Countercap/Counterrounds statistics.
Why would this help?
I think it would allow for way more interesting and even matchups. Lets say in the current system, each group has 2 Good, 2 Medium and 2 Low teams, while a medium team has low chances to win against good, a Low against medium etc. Each group then would only have ONE match that is kinda even. Putting both groups together in one wouldnt change the overall outcome that much, but would allow for each team to play more opponents, which could be very interesting for newer/low-tier teams because they would have more opportunities to play and improve since they wont get discualified for not winning. And since each team plays each other, the overall count of games will go up for each team, which then works positivly towards the "Playing" aspect of the tournament, which should be the main focus in my opinion.
Additionally, a table structure would allow for teams to see improvements over the years. Lets say Team A got a midfield position in the first tournament After practising a lot, they could rank up to top 4 in the next season. I think thats more motivating than loosing in quaterfinals compared to loosing in semi finals. Because this tournament structure wouldnt be so harsh with losses, but focuses more on the overall performance of the team. Cause right now, if youre unlucky to get a bad seeding, and maybe have a few bad weeks, youre basicly done for. Although adding the Looser Bracket took out some of that pressure, I think there could be done much more.
So in the end I think a "Tournament" which is totally focussed on playing as many games as possible, should be the way to go since its a nieche gamemode in a dying game that has no money involved at all and just lives from passion. The Tournament would allow for more exciting matches and wouldnt be so punishing towards newer/low-tier teams, yet would allow for some high-tier matches. It's gonna be less of a "Lets see at which part of the tournament we're dropping out this time...", but more of a "We're definitly gonna go top 6 this time!".
Surely, all numbers and rules are just beeing made up by me at this point to illustrate the general idea. But I think it wouldnt be a bad idea... or its at least worth a try. What do you think?