Introducing the "Pro Rating"
posted by HolyMaster, 186 days agoProfessionalism and behaviour in the world of eSports, and particularly in the world of Dota, has always been an extensively discussed topic. It's been questioned numerous times to what extent unpunctuality, unreliability, or bad manners from players are tolerable, and how severely tournament organizers are supposed to punish these delicts. But one consequence is obvious to everyone: these things influence the viewing experience for all fans in a mostly negative way.
joinDOTA is trying to confront this issue with a new approach, starting now. The Professionalism and Propriety Rating (short: Pro Rating) will evaluate the general behaviour, professionalism, and attitude of teams and players. It will collect all tiny and large missteps teams or players may commit, and calculate a rating between 0 and 10, which will be visible to the public. We will test it at first in Season 3 of The Defense, and carry it over to other professional tournaments later. This behaviour rating has a lot in common with a classic penalty system, but there are a few subtle differences.
What infringements does the behaviour rating include?
- General flaming/bad manners
- Not showing up for a match
- Not being ready on time (this includes displaying correct names)
- Postponing of a match
- Usage of stand-ins
- Excessive all-chat spamming
- Insufficient communication with the administration
- Very high amount of and/or excessively long duration of pauses
- Unauthorized name changes during the game
This list will probably increase during the next few weeks. How hard each of these flaws should be punished is another question we have a rough idea about, but cannot be entirely certain about just yet. There might be some flaws we haven't thought about yet. This is why the system is only being tested in The Defense 3 for now, before we expand it to other competitions.
What are the consequences of the rating?
a. We punish a team with a prize money reduction, if its rating is below 5 at the end of the season. This reaches from 5% to a maximum of 25% (possibly more in the future), depending on how the rating actually is. Since prize money only affects the top 3 or 4 in most tournaments, this penalty is mainly meant for the very best teams who are designated to be a good example for the rest of the Dota scene.
b. The rating heavily influences the decision, whether or not we invite a team again for future competitions, be it the joinDOTA Masters, the next season of The Defense, or any other tournament joinDOTA is organizing. While the best of the best will still have good chances of being invited in spite of a low behaviour rating, this is especially relevant for the slightly weaker teams who get to participate.
c. This is not a real consequence by joinDOTA itself, but the fact that we show the ratings to the public on our website means a lot already. Current or potential sponsors are certainly interested in not seeing their line-up at the bottom of the page, and therefore might increase the pressure even more. Furthermore, the community itself can contribute to improvement by openly criticizing unprofessional teams based on our rating.
d. Other consequences might follow in the future, if the rating turns out to work well and provide adequate results. One possible addition is the power of breaking ties. Several other things are imaginable. This is also still very open to suggestions and feedback from the community.
How is the rating calculated exactly?
First of all, a team receives a rating between 0 and 10 for every individual match. The base value is 10 and then it gets negative points for every misdoing (e.g. -2 for a stand-in and -1 for being 2 minutes late results in a rating of 7, if nothing else occurs). Positive points can be given in exceptional cases.
The overall rating gets calculated out of all matches as something similar to an average. Not all matches are equally important though, a playoff match has more influence than a group match, because it is usually more important. Therefore each match has a weight (1 for group matches, 2 for normal playoffs, 3 for the grand final). The overall rating is: (Sum of all match ratings multiplied with the match's weight) / (sum of all weights). That way (unlike in a traditional pp system), nobody has an advantage or disadvantage by simply playing more matches than another participant.
Example: Team XYZ has the ratings 6 and 5 for group matches, and 9 for a playoff match.
The overall rating for these 3 matches is (6*1 + 5*1 + 2*9) / (1 + 1 + 2) = 29/4 = 7.25
What are the advantages compared to a traditional penalty system?
a. The amount of matches doesn't matter.
Common punishment systems are mostly about collecting penalty points (PPs). Once you've reached a certain amount of them you get some punishment, e.g. disqualification. Teams who play more matches are therefore more likely to reach that amount, since they have more possibilities to collect PPs. Since we use something average-like to calculate the rating, the amount of matches don't influence a team's chances to receive a high or low rating.
b. We don't reward a team for the misbehaviour of their current opponents.
When a team messes up in a specific match, it is pretty common to punish them in a way that gives their opponent a significant advantage - sometimes not only over the guilty team, but over other, innocent teams as well. This is especially important in a group stage: if someone receives a default win, because the enemy didn't show up, it gives them a possibly undeserved advantage over everyone else in the group, and might even cost an uninvolved participant the qualification for the playoffs. Even tiny punishments like the loss of bonus time, or the right for the opponent to choose side and picking order, can result in an equally unfair situation (even though it's less likely). Therefore we have been trying to find consequences that punish a misbehaving team in a way that does not affect one specific match, but instead their general future in the scene.
c. It can be expanded to a bunch of tournaments.
While we start out with only The Defense 3, the rating can easily be carried over to other invitational tournaments (e.g. the joinDOTA Masters), maybe even from organizers other than just us here at joinDOTA. That is the first time that we have a system with the potential to establish a fair and transparent rating for known teams - independent from how many tournaments they actually participate in. This is a chance for organizers to work together (although the requirements to be included have to be very high, and might not be met by most tournaments hosts) and create a more professional scene.
This idea is an experiment. It won't change things completely after a few days, but we are convinced that it might do so in the long run. The joinDOTA staff is aiming to improve things and we will try to be as objective as humanly possible while judging the teams and players. Making sure we make good decisions is the task of you, the community. Therefore a lot of feedback is kindly requested throughout the whole season.
- joinDOTA Staff