timp, Axeil, & Hurfydurfy, co-hosts of
Go Mode: A Link to the Past Randomizer Podcast
are pleased to announce the first ever
GO MODE PODCAST: MENTOR TOURNAMENT!
Summer 2019 (June – August)
Last Updated: June 3, 2019
What’s going on here?
We, the co-hosts of Go Mode, wanted to put on a tournament in which all of our listeners could participate if they chose, whether they be brand new to aLttPR or seasoned vets. And given that Go Mode is big on educating our listeners on the finer points of Rando, we liked the idea of our tournament being educational too. Thanks to some brainstorming in our community and a particularly great suggestion from a listener, the Go Mode Podcast Mentor Tournament was born!
How am I just now reading about this?
As a “podcast tournament”, we’ve been primarily unrolling and hammering out details on air throughout the course of our last 3-4 episodes, and then chatting in the Go Mode Podcast Discord with our community for feedback. What started as an off-handed idea in April lead to the publishing of a simple interest form in early May, and now here we are with a full-fledged tournament about to launch, with (most of!) the details solidified. Writing a document like this was inevitable, but it kind of snuck up on us!
The Basics: Two self-professed rookies (aka our racers) of A Link to the Past Randomizer speedruns will go head-to-head in a race of the same seed, starting at the same time and calling .done once finished. Fastest completion wins the race (duh.) HOWEVER! Instead of being on their own as in a typical race, each runner will be aided by one volunteer mentor, who will observe the progress of the racer on stream and act as their tutor, co-pilot, and cheerleader throughout the race via voice or text chat. This mentor will, for all intents and purposes, be on the runner’s team throughout the race, giving them advice and coaching them to the fastest finish time achievable.
Setting Up a Race: Racers will be given an opponent to race roughly once per week until they have been eliminated. Once a suitable time (or two) has been agreed upon by both racers in a matchup, they will submit the time(s) to a tourney admin, who will make it available to our pool of volunteer mentors (more details about racer/mentor pairing below). Mentors will then sign up to partner with a racer and be assigned by an admin. 30 minutes before the race, a seed will be generated. Each racer will join a voice or text chat with their mentor, line up for the race, and go! The outcome of each race will be reported by one or both of the racers to a tourney admin and the standings & bracket will be updated.
Time Commitment, Racers: Roughly one race per week starting 2nd week of June and (potentially) lasting until mid-August for finalists.
Time Commitment, Mentors: It will be each mentor’s responsibility to watch the updated list of upcoming matches and volunteer as they’re able. Racers may also request a mentor by name. We of course can’t force a mentor to be available during all of that racer’s matches but, y’know, make a reasonable effort. 🙂
The tournament will be divided into two phases: Group Rounds and Finals Bracket.
Group Round Format: Standard, Uncle Assured, Normal, No Glitches, Defeat Ganon Goal
Finals Bracket Format: Open, Randomized, Normal, No Glitches, Defeat Ganon Goal
Group Round: First, all 32 players will be grouped into 8 groups of 4 players. These groups will be structured to have players of roughly the same skill and experience to provide an equal footing between groups. These 4 players will be seeded into a first round with another member of their group. Next, the winners of the first two games will play one another, as will the two losers of the first matches. The winner of the winner’s game advances; the loser of the loser’s game is eliminated. Then, one final match between the loser of the winner’s match and the winner of the loser’s match is played: the winner of that match advances and the loser is eliminated.
- All participants are guaranteed at least two races.
- Two out of every four group members will advance to the Finals bracket.
Final’s Bracket: Remaining racers emerging from Group Rounds will compete in a standard 4 round bracket of 16. Racers will be seeded based on a mixture of racer performance in the group rounds and self-assessment survey data in an effort to seed racers from 1-16. Single elimination matches will continue at a rate of one per week until we arrive at Finals, which will be a Best of Three.
Racer & Mentor Pairing Details
For the Racers: Once registration is closed and the tournament is underway, racers will be provided with a series of resources intended to help with basic race stuff: registering on SRL, getting a stream set up, etc. In addition to these resources, they will also be asked to fill out a brief Mentor Preference Form. This data will be freely shared and made available to all mentors, and will help them to understand the best way to communicate with and help each racer.
OPTIONAL: Requesting a Mentor: Racers will have an opportunity to request a specific mentor by name if they choose, but please note that a mentor’s time is not guaranteed; Mentors will presumably do their best to accommodate specific mentoring requests but if they are unavailable, a mentor will be assigned to the racer using the standard mentor assignment process outlined below.
Mentor Training: Mentors will be provided with a primer sheet that essentially “coaches them on being coaches”, as well as each racer’s answers to the Mentor Preference Form, which will help them to effectively work with their racer.
Mentor Assignment Process: Mentors will be paired up to racers at the discretion of the admin team, who will be considering all of the following criteria:
- Racer preference (racer asks for mentor by name)
- Feedback submitted by the racer in their Mentor Preference Form
- An effort to make sure all mentors have had an opportunity to mentor a racer at least once
- Balancing overall mentor coverage/participation
- Sign-up order
Please note that this process will reset for each race. While racers and mentors will not be permanently paired together throughout the entire tournament, it would theoretically be possible for a racer to continually request the same mentor for every one of their races if they wanted to.
Voice Chat vs. Text Chat: We will officially recommend that each racer and mentor engage in a 2-way voice chat in order to most effectively communicate through a seed. However, racers are allowed to request any of the following for any reason:
- 2-way voice chat (recommended)
- Mentor on voice, racer w/ no mic
- Mentor in Discord or Twitch chat
The reason for this rule is to provide racers with no mic or racers who are anxious about participating in a voice chat an opportunity to still participate in the tournament.
Partial Mentoring: If agreed upon by both the racer and the mentor, a racer may “dismiss” their mentor before a seed has finished with no penalty. Furthermore, if a mentor is running late and joins a seed already in progress, that is also allowed, provided that the mentor has not been “spoiled” on the seed in any way (See cheating definitions below). However, once a mentor leaves a racer’s voice or text chat, they may not join again for the rest of the race and are effectively finished in their mentoring duties for that race.
The Default: Given that this is a relatively small community tournament run solely by volunteers, restreaming every race is not feasible. The default and recommended viewing method for all races will be via the following:
- A multitwitch link containing both racer’s Twitch streams
- Chat in a “#live-races” channel in the Go Mode Podcast Discord
- Admission to a Commentary voice chat in the Go Mode Podcast Discord (non-commentators will be muted)
When Restreams are Possible: In the event that a restream is possible, admins will coordinate with all of the necessary volunteers ahead of time to ensure that an acceptable quality stream can be produced. The racers will be notified and consent will be gained to broadcast the race. More than likely a ping will be sent out to all tournament participants, or in the case of Finals, promoted on the podcast itself. We’re gonna hype it up!
The Winning Racer: will receive an opportunity to be interviewed by timp, Axeil, and/or Hurfydurfy on an episode of Go Mode Podcast, and will receive much praise by all of us and the community at large
The Winning Mentor: We will keep a tally of all successful mentoring victories throughout the tournament. The mentor with the most victories to their name will also be invited to appear on an episode of Go Mode Podcast, and will receive much praise by all of us and the community at large.
Hate to do this, but we have to define cheating! Cheating will result in immediate expulsion from the tournament and we’ll probably make fun of you on the podcast or something for cheating in a tournament where the goal is to learn to play Rando better. Do everything in your power to avoid accusations of cheating. The following will be defined as Cheating:
- Stream Sniping: Stream sniping is defined as watching your opponent’s stream while you play. It’s also really, really easy to tell when someone does it.
- Co-op Play: Co-op play is defined as having someone else play the seed at the same time as you and relay information to you about item locations, routing, etc.
- Listening in: either the racer or mentor listening to/reading the communication between the other racer/mentor team
- Intentional Use of Major Glitches: Intentionally using a major glitch (Exploration Glitch, Door Glitches, Wrong Warps, Out-of-Bounds, Fake Flute, YBA, etc) will result in immediate disqualification. In the event of accidental activation of a major glitch, the racer is to immediately save and quit, or if not possible trigger a console/emulator reset, and the mentor needs to notify a tournament admin about the accidental glitch activation
- Use of Save States, Fast Forward/Rewind, turbo buttons or any other emulator-specific hacks: Simply put, if you can’t perform that action on a SNES console, you can’t do it.
- Anything else that creates an unfair advantage or otherwise violates the spirit of the tournament as determined by the tournament admins
- Asymmetric Knowledge Exploitation (the “Insider Coaching Rule”): Due to mentors being privy to information about ALL participating racers, using knowledge of another racer’s Rando knowledge (or lack thereof) to gain an unfair advantage for your own racer will not be allowed. If a mentor uses information in an opponent’s bio to guide their own racer in a way that provides them an advantage, that mentor will be disqualified
- This rule has been removed after consideration due to being too convoluted and complicated. While it will not be enforced as full-blown cheating, it still will not be a good look for you, as a mentor, to admit to using your racer’s opponent’s shortcomings that you only knew because you read their Mentor Prep Form in order to give your own runner an advantage.
What if two mentors don’t volunteer for a race? In the event that two mentors have not volunteered for a race at least one hour before the match is scheduled, admins may ping mentors in a last-ditch effort to find one. If they are still unavailable, an admin (timp, Axeil, or Hurfydurfy) may step in as a mentor. If that is not possible, the racers will have an opportunity to reschedule OR choose to race without a mentor (if only one mentor can be lined up, they will be released of their duties, as we can’t have one racer/mentor team racing a solo racer.)
What if two racers can’t find a time to race in a week? In certain situations, extensions can be granted to allow for more time for two racers to sync up for their match. If a race still can’t be scheduled, speak with an admin to explore alternate options on a case-by-case basis.
What if a racer drops out/goes silent/stops responding? If it has been determined by admins that all reasonable methods have been exhausted by one racer to communicate with their opponent to schedule a race and their opponent has not responded, the unresponsive racer will be considered to have forfeited their match, and their opponent will be granted the win.
We Can’t Wait to Get Started!
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet at us @GoModePodcast, or ping us on the Go Mode Podcast Discord with any questions or concerns. Thanks and we’ll see you in Go Mode!