The Horrible Experience of Auto Chess Tournaments
Auto Chess Tournaments
Having played Auto Chess on and off for a while now, I decided to enter a mobile tournament they were holding, just to experience the future of the game as an esport. To my surprise, the whole experience is just not good, poorly thought out and has so many improvement that should be made before they even consider venturing into the creation of tournaments for their community.
As you would think, once players has a bad experience, they are less likely to actually attend the next one. The whole thing was chaos, there was no place people could find solid and accurate information, and if this is the case, where do people head? Yes, the discord server.
Closing in at 5 minutes before the tournament was supposed to start, people rushed into the support chat, asking how they can join the lobby they are supposed to start in. GLL, provided information on where to put the ID to join the lobby, however not where to find the ID, and even 30 minutes after the tournament had started, lobbies are still not up for people to join. Very surprising as there are 128 groups that are supposed to play 3 games each. In the end, probably only 10 lobbies actually were able to start the matches, as the requirement for starting a match was for these lobbies to have more than 4 people.
First of all, the change that HAS to happen is for the team to just be better in presenting information, and do a proper test to see what the average user would question. In this scenario it just looked like the admin has gone through it and knows it by heart at this point, so they are probably not aware what the average player and consumer will ask about.
In the idea of Game Lobby ID’s, all of this could have been prevented easily if they had displayed this in simple fashion on their description in the tournament page.
Another idea that should come into play, is probably having the creation of these groups after check-in. Usually tournament organisers starts the check-in 30 minutes before the tournament starts, and by then create the lobbies, so they know who will show up and who will not.
In this case as everything was pre-generated before check-in, you never know who will show up or not, and thus 60% of lobbies are just invalid and everyone who signed up gets forwarded to next stage automatically.
Settling of Matches
They should really start thinking about developing an API that can actually forward info about the players, lobbies and games, so everything can be done automatically. The instruction given, if the lobby was not more than 4 people or didn’t start, was to take a screenshot and upload it to a discord channel.
This information was also not displayed on the tournament website, that the players had to be in the discord. It would make everyone’s lives easier to just have all of this information available through an API they can trigger events and settle the matches / lobbies from, instead of forcing players to send screenshots.
On the website you can somehow see the active players if a game has been played, but have no idea how they cannot settle the matches based on that information.
Once everyone stormed the support channel to find out what they actually had to do, there wasn’t much information from admins. Who seems to be just a volunteer in this case, so can probably not blame them. But they should take some control, block every message, create a new channel with a short Q&A, and refer all of those people there.
For Auto Chess to be “esports compatible”, a lot of changes has to happen quite fast, as the tournament mentioned above features a prize pool of $100,000. This is not the biggest amount in the world for an esports tournament, however the amount is not small, and can definitely change someones life, for just playing a mobile game. It seems like the creators of the game, and the 3rd party they hired to run these tournaments needs to put a higher standard for themselves, and really master the way to run it.
The admins has for now said, they are going through screenshots sent by players, and settling the matches manually to see how will go through or not. But with a tournament that holds 1024 max players, they should really figure out a way to automate it as a solution.
We’re actually still in the progress of waiting, so we will update this article as soon as we know more.
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