Improvements to Evolution 2011 Tournament Structure

By on July 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Thanks to all of you, Evo has attained record success, attracting literally thousands of tournament players year after year.  A down side to all this growth has been the time that players have to wait between playing their tournament matches.  But good news!  In 2011 we’re instituting a new three-tiered tournament format that will allow us to run massively large tournaments while greatly reducing all players’ waiting time between matches.  Find out how after the jump.

Smaller Pools

At Evolution 2011, all Pools will contain a maximum of 16 players.  All your games in your initial pool will be played in a 2 hour session.  The top 2 players from each Pool will move on to the Quarter Final round in the tournament schedule for later in the day.  The top 2 players in the Quarter Final round will move onto the Semi Finals scheduled to start immediately after the Quarter Finals finish.  Keep an eye on the Evolution 2011 Website after registration closes for a complete touranment schedule.

Why this is Awesome

For players that don’t make it out of their initial pool, this means you can sit down, play your games, and be out of there in under 2 hours. You can spend the rest of your time checking out the EVO panels, visiting our sponsor booths (where we have all sorts of un-announced surprises for you), getting your game on in the BYOC, or just checking out the sites in Vegas.  If you’re in the top 15% and actually do make it out of your pool, the rest of the day is free: just be back at night to play the rest of your matches in the Quarter and Semi Finals.

Don’t be Late!

In the new system, it’s more important than ever for players to show up on time for their pool.  In a 16-man pool, just 1 or 2 people being late can drag the entire tournament to a stand-still by blocking matches which need to be played to make progress in running the bracket.

In order to keep the tournament running smoothly and on-time, all players please remember to report to your pool promptly.  Being just a few minutes late could result in disqualification from the tournament. We recommend planning on arriving to the tournament hall 10-15 minutes before your pool is scheduled to start to make sure you have time to find your tournament station and check in with the judge.

If you have questions about the new system, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll see you all at EVO!


  • nothingxs

    Can’t wait to put this in action; I’m very happy this plan worked out!

  • Private Eyeball

    Sounds awesome. More of a reason why I wish I had the money to make it to Evo.


    • DiscoCokkroach

      We all want to go 🙁

  • Mr. X

    Will there be implementation of Keit’s genius payout system?

  • zerojay

    Ponder, small correction: “In the new system, it’s more important than ever for players to show up on *time* for their pool.”

  • Killa Sasa

    This literally sounds a thousand times better than last year. Hype-away Train, never coming back

  • PSPness

    This will definitely be better than last year.
    I wish everyone good luck!

  • Maximilian Masters

    Smaller pools!? I f**king love you guys right now. The exact reason I hate going to tournaments.

  • starmine92

    just wondering, would the payout style used in ufgt7 (developed by keits) be good for evo?

  • Josh-TheFunkDOC

    every major should do 16-man pools

    *went to ECT*

  • Sledge

    Sounds efficient

  • Windsagio

    Special emphasis on ‘don’t be late!’

    Especially in the morning pools, people tend to be partied out/hung over, and judges don’t really feel like they have the power to DQ people without a LOT of warning.

    Helped judge a pool last year and it was brutal for that. Nothing like the rage of a guy that was an hour and a half late, but still felt he was wrongly DQ’d.

    • Windsagio

      should add, sounds like a WAY better way to do it just in general.

  • MetalMusicMan

    This sounds awesome!

  • Akka

    Sweet. So I’ll be out of AE in 2 hours. I’m down 🙁 lol!

  • eltwopee

    imam qualify for fREEE

  • Kelter Skelter

    This is one of the things that made UFGT7 such a fun tounament to attend. Great decision!

  • boogityboy

    How will this effect people in multiple game tournaments though. I have a feeling a lot of it will still be backed up and waiting for players in other games at a tourney this size.

    • Kelter Skelter

      because the pools take so much less time to run and you have so many more pools, it’s actually easier to place people into pools that don’t overlap

    • Streye

      It will still be an issue, but it alleviate a lot of the horrendous wait times in between matches for the pools. Once they get into top 64 and 32, it shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience.

    • Ponder

      The scheduling software has been upgraded to avoid conflicts. So if you’re playing in SSF4 from 8:00 – 10:00, you will definitely not be playing BB or TK6 from 8:00-10:00. None of your tournaments will overlap, so there’s no going back and forth between different pools.

  • D.R.E.

    “get the scrubs in and out quickly so the big boys can run the shit that matters that night”

  • Kapwan13

    This sounds great. Hopefully we can use this format for all the majors going forward.

  • SheldonCooper

    Strict enforcement on lateness DQ’s losses is an absolute must. Glad to hear the other changes too!

    • Windsagio

      also no, “DQ’d but mysteriously appeared in another pool”

  • Syxx573

    If I wanted to get top 8 in TVC this year is there a way you can set up the bracket so I don’t have to play anyone good so I can get an evo top 8 under my belt?

    • Syxx573

      I’ll do anything u ask man… setup the brackets, advertise the event on my twitter (subscribe to me for a chance at a t-shirt), or even commentate the entire weekend. Whatever it takes!

  • GalzPanic

    who remembers when evo ran 5 man mini pools!?

  • Sleepy Zero

    Pools for tournaments no matter how small are not the ideal way to run a tournament. Also why the hell is EVO running Tekken 2/3 when every Tekken major and local runs 3/5. It basically makes EVO the least legit Tekken major of the year.

    • Ponder

      What would you recommend besides pools, Sleepy Zero.

      • Windsagio

        gotta admit, I wondered that too, what else is there? A round robin? People would be there for a month :p

      • Sleepy Zero

        The biggest problem with pools is that winners and losers is sustained in the one pool meaning 3 great players worthy of top 8 end up in 1 pool and no matter what only one gets out in winners and one gets out on losers and the third is left out in the cold. Shit like this happened last year in Tekken where you had 7 great players in 1 pool and only 2 got out while another pool was filled with no great players and 2 scrubs advanced. This doesn”t matter if the tournament is WTA but it’s not it’s top 8 payout for most games and being denied the chance to work your way out of losers to top 8 legit like almost every other tournament is not provided.

        Also pools especially small pools increase the chances of double jeapordy occuring which is something tournament organizers should be doing everything possible to avoid. With this 16 person pool format how many people are gonna end up going to EVO and just lose to one person and go home. That sucks, nobody wants that.

        Is it really so hard to divide up a bracket into sections and have a losers day and a winners day or set times? With proper seeding by skill and reigon? You are telling me it’s not possible to run sections of winners like a pool and then if you lost the judge just tells you what time your section of losers starts and what area? I’ve run decently sized tournaments with this kind of format with success so why can’t EVO.

        Ponder man I went to EVO last year and was very dissapointed at how it was run which is one of the reasons why I didn’t come back for Tekken this year. I understand the scale of EVO presents certain limitations but EVO itself becomes the exception to the standard when it in fact should be THE standard.

        Besides the point havin Tekken 2/3 is unacceptable which is one of the main reasons you will see a lack of players for Tekken. Even last year it kept people from the East from attending and even less will show this year. Why EVO chooses not to evolve with the Tekken scene and support 3/5 when all other majors do makes no sense to me.

        I wish you success with EVO this year but I hope in the future you Inkblot and Wizard can make some changes to make me want to spend the money to come back. Till theb tournaments like Final Round and NEC will be my tournaments of choice.

        • TrollThisSRK

          if three people that are favored to make top 8 end up in the same 16 man pool then I think everyone would agree the system has failed miserably.

          Of course thats what the whole point system is for and this definitely won’t happen.

          • Bad Lt.

            Funny how people start to want to speak up and change things the moment they think they’re worth recognizing. Quit rocking the boat, and continue with the way things have always been while you were coming up. If you want longer sets, save it for the MMs, not pools (just how it’s always been in Tekken).
            With that said, I’d like to thank EVO staff for sifting through all the trolling and b.s. and responding to genuine questions/suggestions/concerns like this one. One of the reasons why EVO is the best event in the U.S. is that it will always and forever fit what works best for the majority and will be prepared for when the opinions of the majority change over time.

        • Ponder

          Double jeopardy is a sticky issue. There is no way to completely avoid it in the double elimination format. One good property of our new format is that we can practically eliminate double jeopardy in the quarter finals and semi finals. The downside, as you mention is that it’s more likely to happen in pool play. On the upside, we’re seeding the pools by region and by ranking based on EVO TS points, so FightingGM, Emphy, DMG Kor, Insanelee, etc will all be in different pools this year, guaranteed. That greatly reduces th chance of a top player being matched against 2 other top players in pools.

          The only way to completely eliminate double jeopardy is to float the bracket, and that opens up all kinds of doors we’d rather remain shut (e.g. allegations of bias). On the whole, IMO, the benefit of letting people play all their matches at once but being slightly more susceptible to double jeopardy outweighs the alternatives, which would put at least a few hours between people’s matches to do a “loser’s day” as you suggest. This is a judgement call, so I guess we’re just going to have to disagree.

  • booda

    That’s awesome. You can actually keep track of that many matches and have an idea when to listen for your name.

    • Windsagio

      you have a point, the other thing still to overcome is the dread ‘yelling somebody’s name over a crowd!’

      The smaller pools will help with that too tho’

  • deadfrog

    Simple idea but so smart. No other event organizers in the fighting game world have so much experience running tournaments this large for this long, and (with all of my appreciation/respect/support to all of the other organizers out there!!!) I think that it shows.

  • SweetJohnnyV

    This sounds much better than last year! Good job!

    Also if you can, please get megaphones for the people who run the pools. Yelling kills the voices of everyone doing it and people often don’t hear their name being called, even when they’re close by.

  • Eileithyia

    this only work if they DQ people asap. like when your name is call to play and you are not here, you lose the set and send to loser. then if you are not there for the loser, you are done. If wait everybody for 10mins+, it will fail.

    • Windsagio

      DQ’s should be within 5 mins of a locked pool, no quetsions.

      • Ponder

        The rule is at the time the tournament cannot progress without your match, you have 5 minutes to show up, after which you are DQ’ed. This gives people as much leeway as possible without holding up the tournament for people who are on-time.

        • Windsagio

          That was the rule last year too, it just needs to be emphasized so it’s actually enforced

  • redrapper

    EVO… why you so brilliant all the time?

  • IjojoI

    I do have a question. I noticed that SSF4AE begins on Friday, 8:00AM. Now I booked my flight on Friday, scheduled to arrive in Vegas at 8:31AM. This concerns me because I had no way of knowing what the schedule would be like for this year. I booked according to the schedule last year. Once the pool listings are released, is there any way for me to change the pool that I am in the event that I’m at a 8:00am pool?


    • Eileithyia

      just email them and tell them to put you on the late pool. They will do it. they did it for alot of people last year.
      if there is problem because you have evo point, forfeit all your points.

  • clim

    If you are an unknown player you’ll get DQ’d if you’re late.

    If you’re Daigo they’ll wait 2 hours for you to come late.

    • Windsagio

      Hell, or if you’re Vangief

  • McNasty

    Are the people who do mods for sticks usually up and running before pools start? if not id prefer to be in a later one as ill need to get a dual mod done.

  • blueNINE

    Very smart stuff. This should lead to an even more enjoyable event! Cheers to whoever thought of it.

  • ohthecommotion

    “In the new system, it’s more important than ever for players to show up on time for their pool (unless you’re famous, then we’ll wait around).”


    • Break Fu

      Welcome to the real world! You may find it be slightly less ‘fair’ then your highschool.

  • Batman77

    😆 Don’t know how you do it but it keeps getting better and better 😎

  • cl04k3d

    Do you really think they are going to disqualify daigo who came all the way out from japan to play because he was 5 minutes late?