Online League Restarts on February 1

Published 18 Jan 2022 by antti (last edited 18 Jan 2022)
tags: announcement

Happy New Year, folks!

As many of you will be happy to hear – we have had a good number of inquiries – the ngd Online League will restart on February 1 with a number of changes. Initially our plan was to restart already on January, so we’re sorry for the wait! (You can register here!)

First off, here are the . . .

Changes in a nutshell (the ‘tl;dr’ version):

  1. From now on there is only one subscription option, priced at €70 for two months, which includes a minimum of four reviewed games in two months.
  2. The earlier five-person league system is abolished and replaced with a ranking ladder (which we however still call a ‘league’).
  3. Pairing is free (i.e., students challenge others near their rank), and there is no limit to the number of games played.
  4. There is a new, third monthly lecture where some of the extra played games get reviewed live.
  5. League rankings are updated monthly, based on a GoR-esque rating point system (which does not affect anything besides suggesting who you should play with).
  6. You can join the league at any time and start playing games immediately (rather than wait until the start of the following month, as before).

The longer version

Towards the end of 2021, the online league started facing several problems. The league system had already been a bit difficult for new people to grasp with its two subscription options and arcane league progression rules. There was also an annoying wait in joining the league, as the pairings were made at the start of each month, and this no doubt culled some of the interest of new would-be participants. More towards the end of the year, there was also an increasing number of people suddenly fading out of the league (for example due to work-related reasons), causing re-pairings, which turned out to be a whole lot of additional trouble because of how inflexible the five-person league system was.

Our vision with ngd has always been to create an online school that motivates its students to play and study more. Yet, somehow, the 2021 league system was not accomplishing this. The five-person leagues were generating unnecessary pressure for keeping or improving one’s ranking; the automated pairings were sometimes off the mark and many similarly-ranked players never got to play each other due to bad pairing luck; and, when you think about it, just two or four played games a month is still not all that much. Certainly, the old system was not wholly making use of the large group of study-minded people we had taken pains in gathering.

The new league system aims to fix most or all of the above problems. There is now only one league participation option with a minimum of four reviewed games in two months. In principle this is the same as our original half option (with two reviewed games a month), but our most active participants can opt to play more than this number, and this is rewarded by somewhat increasing their chances of getting additional text (and live) reviews. Even the participants who only play the minimum can choose their opponents freely, therefore ensuring good matchups, and the timing of the games is completely flexible (as long as the games are played during one’s subscription). Perhaps most importantly, if a league game ends abruptly in the opening, previously it would have to get reviewed anyway for little benefit for the students. Now we can still have the game count for league standing, but omit it from the review list, instead focusing the reviews on games that will be the most beneficial for our students.

Registration for the online league is now open and found here. You can view currently registered participants here.

This post has no comments so far. Please log in to comment!