Official Flesh and Blood tournaments must be run using GEM (Game Event Manager) software. GEM outputs pairings and standings using the formulas and logic in this document.
Standings and Tiebreakers
Tournaments are separated into rounds. Every round, each player plays a match against another player, unless they have been awarded a bye. The result of each match (win, loss, or draw), is reported to the Tournament Organizer who enters it into GEM (Game Event Manager) software. During the tournament, players improve their standing by gaining match points as follows:
- Win a match (W) = 1 match point
- Lose a match (L) = 0 match points
- Draw a match (D) = 0 match points (but is significant for tiebreakers)
- Bye (B) = 1 match point (A bye is when a player is not assigned an opponent, usually because there is an uneven number of players in the tournament)
Information that is tracked throughout the tournament for each player includes:
- Total match points = sum of all Wins and Byes
- Cumulative tiebreaker (CTB) = tiebreaker last round / 4 + total match-win points
- Player match loss % (PML) = Player total losses / total matches played
- Player’s average opponent match loss % (OML%) = sum (PML of each opponent played so far) / number of opponents played
- Player’s average opponent CTB (OCTB) = sum (CTB for each opponent played so far) / number of opponents played
Throughout the tournament, player standings (or rank) are determined by the following logic, in this order;
- A player with higher total match-win points has a higher standing.
> If multiple players have the same number of match-win points, they tie for that standing, then;
- A player with a higher CTB within a tie has the higher standing.
> If multiple players within a tie have the same CTB, then;
- A player with a lower PML within a tie has the higher standing.
> If multiple players within a tie have the same PML, then;
- A player with a lower OML% within a tie has the higher standing.
> If multiple players within a tie have the same OML%, then;
- A player with a higher OCTB within a tie has the higher standing.
> If multiple players within a tie have the same OCTB, then;
- Player standing is randomized within the tie.
Tiebreakers are used to break a tie in the event that two or more players have the same number of match wins in a tournament. Cumulative tiebreakers check for who most recently had more points after a round. The player who’s total match wins was higher at the most recent point in the tournament, will have the higher tiebreaker.
The formula for calculating cumulative tiebreakers is based on a weighted average of a player’s match wins at the end of each round. This means that;
- A player who wins every round will have a cumulative tiebreaker score of 1.
- A player who loses every round will have a cumulative tiebreaker score of 0.
- If two players have the same number of wins, the player who took their losses later in the tournament will have a higher cumulative tiebreaker score.
The formula used to calculate cumulative tiebreakers is;
The way players are paired, depends on the tournament format and therefore the mode that GEM is being used in, and whether the tournament is in swiss rounds or top cut playoff.
A standard mode round uses the swiss pairing system. Players are evaluated by their total match points. Players with the same total match points are paired together randomly. If there is an uneven number of players with the same total match points, a player is randomly paired down to the next highest total match point tier. No player is paired with a player they have already played against, unless the number of rounds exceeds the “recommended number of rounds.
Draft mode is only used for an event that:
- Includes booster draft and another format, or
- Has multiple draft pods running simultaneously, or
- Has players compete across multiple draft pods during the tournament.
In draft mode players are separated into 8-player pods based on their current standing. The pods persist for the duration of GEM being in draft mode. For each round in draft mode, standard swiss pairings are used, with the exception being that players can only be paired with players in their own pod.
At the conclusion of the draft mode rounds (usually 3 rounds), GEM can switch to standard mode, or a new draft mode can be selected, which will separate players into new 8-player pods based on their current standing.
Cut to top X players
At some point during the tournament, the TO can cut to the top X players. This ends the current round and discards non-saved information. If draft mode is active, this breaks up existing pods (ending draft mode). Current player standing are used to determine the top X players, then all players that don't make the top X cut become inactive. The TO can then pair a new round that includes only the players who made the top X cut.
Final cut to top X players
At some point during the tournament, the TO can action a “final cut” to the top X players. This stops the current round and discards non-saved information. If draft mode is active, this breaks up existing pods (ending draft mode). Current player standing are used to determine the top X players, then all players except the top X players become inactive and a final single elimination round begins.
Single elimination rounds are seeded pairings based on player standings at the end of swiss rounds, as illustrated below.
End of tournament
At some point during the tournament, the TO can end the tournament. This marks the tournament as complete and the data for the tournament can no longer be changed. At this point, player XP and ELO are finalized and modified on GEM player ID accounts.