About 3 weeks ago, we launched the BFN Divisions.
Sign-up rates were encouraging, with 74 teams signing up more than 340 players to partake in the competition.
That said, we've received some push-back on a few aspects of the competition, and we're not ignoring it. While there's a structure and order in place that we're trying to maintain - we're ultimately arranging competitions for you - the players - and if you are unhappy we have to listen.
With this article, we will comment on each of the issues raised in the last few weeks and fully address your feedback.
Rescheduling of matches / fixed times
Division 1 teams have been held to a different standard than lower divisions. For Div 1, we have enforced a fixed time schedule for matches, where no-shows result in a forfeit. This has been somewhat controversial, and the biggest sticking point in your feedback.
While it's clear to us that we need to re-evaluate this, I want to take a second and explain the rationale here.
First off, there's no easy fix to the problem of no-shows. 'Flexible times' schedule (eg. giving teams a 1 week period to schedule the match) are no guarantee that a match is scheduled efficiently, and when it's not, participating teams generally point to each other as the root cause, making the dispute management process somewhat tricky.
Second, there's been an ambition (and there still is) to create a predictability and a ritual around the matches we host. We firmly believe that in order for competitive Battlefield to harness more attention we all need to step our game up and plan better. This includes reading rules, respecting match day etiquette, and showing up on time. This 'ritual building' also results in a lot of nice potential snowball effects, such as being able to properly plan and announce streams and - progressively - developing some content coverage around the competitive scene.
Now, none of these priorities really matter if the end-result is teams having to forfeit early. Ahead of our next competition we will revisit this, and we won't apply this unless we find some consensus among the teams. Many of us still feel this is a necessary step - at some point - but it's possible that we're pushing an ideal too hard here.
Lack of playoffs
The divisions essentially work as a round robin series. The idea here being that by the end of the season, we'll get the most accurate possible representation of each teams skill as evident by their accumulated points.
Again, this formula is amendable to feedback. Two of the core-values we want to preserve in the Divisions system is that it runs regularly, and that it's scalable (that more divisions can be added / removed based on team demand).
Adding to this, the BFN Divisions are one step in a bigger plan towards setting up a more organized Battlefield competitive structure, where competitions tie together, and where placements in one competition leads to progression in another. While we can't divulge all information on this yet; we do have a bigger picture in mind here.
For the teams that feel demotivated by the lack of a playoff; we understand. However, we would still suggest using this as a period to hone your skills and develop your game ahead of BFV. Battlefield 1 has soon reached the end of its life cycle, meaning that fewer and fewer are playing it competitively. If you turn this to your advantage, and take the matches that come your way, you will surely stand better prepared when the next game is out.
No X1 / PC seeding tournaments
Since the registration deadline was postponed for X1 and PC divisions, we made a judgement call to remove the seeding phase, as to not penalize the teams that had already registered. Soon thereafter, we got a large influx of teams for both platforms; many of whom were of higher tiers than the pre-registered Division 1 sides.
This was mostly a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives. We could either back down on promises made to teams that had already registered, or make things considerably tougher for future registrants. Due to the hectic timeline, there was no opportunity for us to fit in an additional seeding phase.
I sympathize completely with those of you who were frustrated by this. While point 1 and 2 were pre-planned - albeit controversial - aspects of the competition, this was simply a bug in the system. Future Divisions will always have a skill-seeding component attached at the start, regardless of platform.
We work hard to plan and support the competitions at BFNations, but ultimately what matters is how it's received by the community.
You've voiced your concerns, and it's well received. As this is our first year in operation and due to rapid growth, we've also had to play catch-up on the staffing end of things, and have just recently appointed new additions to the competition team. We believe this will improve the entire experience - including how your feedback is incorporated and helps shape our future plans.
Thanks for your support. If you have any further feedback or questions on any of the above, make sure to let us know on Discord!