2020 Updates and Announcements
Hello everybody, it's been a while since we've had an announcement thread - with the new year starting up recently, now may be a better time than ever to get everyone on track with our plans and what to expect.
First and foremost, we'd like to thank everyone for a fun 2019 and their continued support of our site - it was our first full year with the site and it was one that we learned a lot from. There were lots of up and downs, with some tournaments being bigger hits than others. We also had lots of surprises, such as the Game2Give FFA raising $1600 and MKU hitting record participation numbers, which are comparable to what the World Clan League generally had in the prime of the Mario Kart Wii era. This all being said, we have no reason to believe that we can't grow further this year as well. One goal to start the year for us is to have more activities to participate in, for all types of players. We got ourselves wrapped up in a lot of time-based events last year, which could often lead to moderate gaps between certain types of tournaments. So there's a few plans we don't plan to renew in 2020, as well as some things we'd like to introduce and potentially expand upon this year. It's understandable that not everyone is going to want to read every detail of this thread, so we'll try to keep things segmented so people can easily find information they're looking for.
Site Staff Additions
First of all, we'd like to welcome @Draco and @Toa to the site moderation team. Both of them have been actively involved in the community for a while now and have helped a lot with MKU and the Lounge updating, respectively, and felt the need to add more hard working members that are notably fluent in common languages among the community. If you'd like to have a conversation with a staff member in Spanish, you may always approach Draco, and Toa if you want to be able to speak with us in Japanese. We're looking forward to having them work with us, so please welcome both of them!
We've decided to promote both @Cynda and @mikkel to be Site Administrators. Both have been extremely active on the team since the launch and we felt that giving them more powers on the site will be a benefit for everyone. Cynda will mainly be focused on tournament hosting, so he's the best person to go to for questions regarding site events. Mikkel will be best person to go first if you have a quick task related to registry, forum threads, or for supporters, name changes. We wish both of them the best of luck!
Event Organizer Additions
We're going to be completely changing up this group on the site to begin with. But before we discuss the changes, we'd like to welcome on @Athaway, @Boshi, and @Jinnysoyun to the Event Organizer team. Additionally, there was no formal introduction, so welcome to @Brandon as well. The goal here is going to simply host more things on Saturdays, especially the MKU season where time will be opening up tremendously. Every EO has now been trained to our FFA sheet, so you can expect a decent amount of different types of those coming as soon as February, with more info on that below. The EO Team will also be working together on a new type of site event, and we'll talk about that now.
Grand Team Tournament
If this sounds familiar to you, you'd be correct! The Grand Team Tournament goes back all the way to the 2008 roots of the competitive Mario Kart community, and was a more laid-back event ran on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, for those who are just looking to play the game for some fun and not much else. The format is 3v3v3v3, or 3v3 mogi, as we call it now. The tournament is more of a casual event than anything else; if you have a few friends who would like to play together, you can sign up a squad together and choose which weeks you play. It's the kind of tournament that is easy to sign-up for, and something you can choose whether or not to play each week if you're in the mood. With it comes a ladder that will help create our weekly matchups. In a sense, the format is similar of that of the MK8DX Lounges; however, the main differences will be that you'll get to choose your teammates, and it'll be at a fixed time each week and a bit more regulated. For new players who may be trying to find an activity that's easy to enter, look no further. If you don't have a squad to signup with, we'll pair you with others in the same spot. The main time will be at 9:15 PM CET Wednesday evenings, and we'll also have an alternate weekly time at 9:15 EST Saturday evenings. The Wednesday slot is mainly for European players, while the Saturday slot will be more geared toward American, Australian, and Japanese timezones. Expect a thread and Discord announcement for GTT sooner rather than later.
Not Planned for 2020: MK8DX World Cup
After a rather successful run 6-year run, we believe it is time to put the World Cup on hiatus. We understand this may be disappointing news for some, but we must be realistic about what we believe is in our best interest moving forward. Truthfully, this was a bit of a discussion last year as well, but many national teams were made before we even had mentioned it or hinted an announcement. The reality is, we have a growing community that wants to find opportunities to play the game. The World Cup is an incredibly difficult event to schedule, because we must find ways to quickly determine times for teams all over the world to match up with each other in a short window of time. It can make running other tournaments during it a hassle, and it's something that can additionally be overwhelming or draining to many players who may have to play it and MKU on the same weekend, and even more so now that MKU runs two matches a day instead of one. Despite record numbers in team entrance last year, the overall popularity has been on a steady decline the last few years, and we think a break is appropriate after a nice sendoff. In its place, we'll surely have more events than we would have otherwise, and perhaps a World-themed one at one point too. Additionally, we would not rule out its return in the future. It'd be hard to envision it not happening if a new game were to come out sooner than later, but for now, the focus is on 2020 and the short term future. We hope this news is understandable at the very least. For anyone curious about the history or stats also, you can check out the success rankings here for the MK8 era of the World Cup.
Not Planned for 2020: Solo Circuit
Again, the Solo Circuit is something we wanted to bring back for a spin on our first full year on the site, and we were happy to get the opportunity to do so. That being said, we're going to give the Solo Circuit at least one year of a break, simply to see if we'd prefer to do this kind of circuit in future years, or if we want to schedule our events more loosely. We figured it wouldn't be a giant deal to host more one-off events this year in its place and to try to develop the EO team into a more consistent tournament organizer, because realistically, there's nothing stopping us from hosting solo FFAs for 150cc/200cc. This will also give us more time to take a good look at the tournament suggestions, instead of feeling obligated to space out specific types of FFAs for at least this year. It will also give us some more freedom in December to run events for everyone, rather than dedicating full days to a qualifier tournament. It's something that we're interested in having again, but just would like to try something different out for at least this next year.
That being said, we plan to host more stuff in general, notably on Saturdays. The last year we have been taking a look at our Tournament Suggestions channel on our Discord, and have kept in mind a decent amount of suggestions that we may choose to try out some time. We'll be hosting a mix of serious tournaments, different modes, and perhaps some more innovative types of events. Not everything will be limited to VS mode on MK8DX, so please keep the Tournaments tab on watch, or keep your eye on the announcements channel in our Discord server. For now, we'll offer a quick look ahead for the next 2 months:
For those looking for something to do on February 8th as well, expect a thread coming soon in Site Tournaments from New Leaf eSports.
MKC Team Power Rankings V4
We won't be doing a stream for the rankings this time, but instead have a write-up that you can read about here. We aren't certain if this is the path we'll continue to do moving forward, but hope you guys enjoy the read this time at least!
Team Tournament Schedule (H1 2020 / V5 Evaluation Period)
To start, those who have been around for a while now probably know we like to organize our team tournaments into "evaluation periods", and we bring out Power Rankings at the end of each like in the link from the section above. Though it's not talked about a lot, the behind the scenes work for the scheduling of these events is more complicated than one would expect. Anyways, we've made some decisions moving forward that will have some slight changes to our team tournament schedules. We'll now be extending evaluation periods to 6 months rather than 4. As a result, we'll have a first half ranking (H1) and 2nd half (H2) for 2020. There should be many more events per season now, which will give us more data for each. The schedule for H1 2020 will be as follows, not yet including potential 2nd AC / EL seasons:
- Amplify V
- Mario Kart Universal Season 9
- Americas Cup Season 6
- Euro League Season 3
- Agility IV
- Mario Kart Universal Season 10
Mario Kart Universal Season 9
If you have not yet seen, the initial seedings for MKU Season 9 have been posted here for viewing, so please check this out if you haven't already. Additionally, as a reminder we'll be hosting MKU Match of the Week this season, at 4:00pm EST. For teams placed in the top 2 divisions, we'll be asking you all to fill out a quick form regarding the matter shortly after seedings finalize.
Site Updates to Expect This Year
To wrap up, we'll give you a quick idea of what we'd like to have on the site before the end of the year. While it's not set in the stone that we'll finish this all before 2021, here's the current list of things we'd like to have done soon.
- Additional Team History (Pre-MKC) / Additional Team Flexibility
- Team / Player Profile Updates
- An Interesting Home Page
Once again, thank you for your continued support for MKCentral into the new year, as we plan to host more exciting tournaments and add new site features in 2020 to continue growing the community. We hope you enjoy what we have in store for this new year and decade - see you around!