The League of Legends client advertised over the weekend for an upcoming ladder season for the Alienware Arena. Our brief foray into the NESL event bombed out for a few reasons but it seems like this event fixes most of those problems. It introduces another one, to be fair, but I thought it was worth bringing up to gauge interest.
The main problems I had with the NESL event were a lack of consistent game times (sometimes we'd get a bye, if we'd ever won games we'd have had to keep playing so we had to set aside the whole day), the lack of matchmaking, and the shoddy admin support. I'd report someone for violating the rules right when a match ended and then get a response back the next day that it was too late to do anything about it. No kidding... Maybe you should have responded right away? Bah!
The Alienware Arena is different in that the event takes place over 2 months instead of trying to be done in a single day. It's set up so you get a single match pairing each week and can play it whenever is good for the two teams with a default time of Thursday at 9pm. You can also meet up with any other teams during the week to play a match. These matches are worth points and the top 32 teams get to play in a final tournament at the end. The points earned in each match are based on the relative records of the teams... So there's no real advantage to the best teams coming to beat up on us. We'll be worth such a small amount that it won't be worth their time scheduling a pick up match with us. And we can just decline anyway once we see that they're 15-0 and we're 0-8 or whatever!
It really sounds like a better fit for us. Assuming there are other mediocre teams signing up we're bound to run into them eventually during the scheduled matches that take record into account. And presumably we can search out other people on the bottom of the ladder to have fun with. It probably also helps that there's only a $1750 prize pool at the end of 2 months plus a tournament. So awesome teams actually have no financial incentive to play either.
I mentioned a new problem... Well, I work for a marketing company that works at Dell Canada. Dell owns Alienware. Employees of event sponsors aren't allowed to participate. It's a little unclear if a contractor working in Canada has a conflict with an event put on by a US subsidiary. If we were likely to win any money at all I'd look into it more and I suspect the answer would be that I couldn't play. But since I can't imagine we'll be winning and (other than this post) I can't imagine anyone figuring it out anyway... I'm willing to give it a go. What's the worst that happens?
So... Are people interested in giving this a try? If so, do you think I should sit out? I created a team with the obvious bacon password just in case...