Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO

  • Sorry for my assholery and for personally attacking Matt, Sorry Matt, It was uncalled for. I come from a very competitive background and I hate how the current system works and how it can be somewhat "gamed". In other competitive games i've played in the past, tournaments were ran with 2 sets a brackets, a winners and a losers bracket. There was never any way to game the system in those competitions. The only thing people would do is throw matches for money provided there was enough people betting on the match.

    I could go in depth why i think mtg should be treated similar to esports, however, I don't think it would serve a purpose as people are entitled to play how they wish.

    Good luck and have fun.

  • @ChubbyRain said in Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO:

    @spook Did you read the original post? The pairings on MTGO are done randomly in the last round. My opponent's were not even close to the worst X-1s and I was not close to the highest ranked X-2s. It's a stupid system and one that needs to be fixed in my opinion.

    Only the bit about being the lowest of the record, but misremembered that was you at X-2, and not your opponent.

    In a live event, it is very likely that the person paired down had the worst of the X-1 records.

  • @spook I agree. The 5th seed should be playing against another high seed, where both players have a shot at making top 8 and every reason to play. Regardless of the ethical ramifications, the tournament system for MTGO is poorly executed. If only that was the only thing flawed on MTGO...

  • I don't think a concession should be acceptable in this case (and most others where it affects other persons in such a way).

    Speaking from a more rules-oriented position, I do not think that concessions exist to match fix and screw players like this. However, you cannot be forced to play a match, and no one could truly enforce such a rule anyway. This has always lead me to believe that using concessions for any reasons such as this example, or IDs, is simply an abuse of a system that can never truly enforce what i would consider 'fair play'.

    Whether it is allowed in the rules or not, this does not change the fact that someone lost a top 8 spot they would have otherwise earned. After reading this whole thread, i still cannot see how someone can justify that outside of "the rules allow it".

    The short of it is that the rules do not exist for people to scoop when they have nothing to lose, just to give their friend (or a stranger) a favor into the top 8. They cannot be 'fixed' to do so, but it is not my belief that WOTC structures their rules under any belief that "you should be able to ID/concede and propel someone into top8 who has technically done a little worse than someone else who had to play for their match". So i would consider someone in this position to be abusing rules, unethical, and not playing honestly.

  • @Sovarius You can consider that, but its objectively misleading and false. The rules explicitly DO allow me to concede to someone to propel them into the top 8, or ID with someone to put us both in (at the expense of another player). The black-and-white rules-oriented approach leaves no question: Matt was 100% within his rights, full stop.

    Saying that the rules do not work the way you'd like is fair. That's an opinion you can have. Most of your arguments are more along the lines of what you consider ethical within an event, not about how the rules work.

  • If you were a world-famous ethicist and WotC was willing to pay you to advise them on how to make tournament structures more ethical (preferably by changing as little as possible), what would you advise?

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    @ChubbyRain said in Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO:

    @spook I agree. The 5th seed should be playing against another high seed, where both players have a shot at making top 8 and every reason to play. Regardless of the ethical ramifications, the tournament system for MTGO is poorly executed. If only that was the only thing flawed on MTGO...

    This is so confusing to me. Paper magic DCI reporter usually tries to pair people with similar opponent match win percentage, no? The idea that someone in like 29th place could be paired against a 5th seed makes no sense to me.

    Is MTGO programming really that different from the DCI reporter? Crazy.

    Also, I am glad Bobby apologized. There may be legitimate ethical concerns here, but it undermines the legitimacy of any points made when people insult other people or call other people names. That doesn't help.

  • @Smmenen The DCI reporter tries to pair by standings as much as possible. 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4, ... In effect, this means that OMW% is the determining factor for most pairings since it is the primary tiebreaker. It also means that the lowest X-1 should play the highest ranked X-2, both players should be live for top 8, and that there is no real incentive for either player to scoop (though draws in paper magic muddy this).

    Randomized pairings make sense in Daily events without top 8's. Tiebreakers are irrelevant as standings don't matter and records dictate prizes. This method really doesn't make sense in events with top 8's. You want each match to clearly matter for each participant. Creating potential prize disparities creates this type of ethical dilemma. If I played against either opponent, while similarly ranked, I would not have conceded. Out of what has been at times a contentious thread, I think the key point of agreement at the end is that steps should be taken to minimize situations such as this. For the same reason that trolleys don't use a guy with a lever as their primary safety mechanism - you really don't want such a situation to occur.

  • @lhc Can you quote me which part is objectively misleading and false? My post was about my opinion so i'm not sure what you are specifically referring to.

    I feel most of your post is addressing me in a manner inconsistent with what i'm trying to put out here. Like, obviously we all know what the black and white rules are. Restating is not helping any case (or even building one).

    I can read the MTR just like anyone else, and while it is written in black and white what the rules are, it is not written why they are the way they are. I stated an opinion on their origin, which is "concessions (do not) exist to match fix and screw players". Do you disagree with my opinion? Do you believe concessions and IDs are written with the intention to screw players? Do you believe they worded concessions and IDs specifically so that every single tournament it isn't technically the 8 best performing players in the top 8?

    @lhc said in Ethical Dilemma: Scooping on MTGO:

    Most of your arguments are more along the lines of what you consider ethical within an event, not about how the rules work.

    This is because this actual post is about ethics, not about rules clarification.

    My argument is that the rules may allow for something, but that is it not the specific design or intent to allow players to meta-game the standings. Assuming i am correct about the spirit of the rule (i think i am, but not claiming with certainty), it is notable that the rules could not be rewritten to 'function better'. You can't make a fair and reasonable rule that forbids IDs to affect standings even if they wanted to try. There will be corner cases in either case.

    Simply stating "well there's the rules black and white, you see, so obviously obviously obviously etc" is not the end of line for ethical inquiry. Being 'within your rights' is not in and of itself an answer or the end-all be-all.

    What's really interesting to me is that "it's within the rules" is a good enough reason for people to accept that players who are otherwise performing in the top 8 do not make the cut to top 8. Yes, and some crappy things you can do to people are not illegal, but it doesn't make it okay on the grounds of "well it's not illegal to be this awful of a person" (not implying Matt is an awful person, only an example).

  • Of course it's highly unethical. Imagine a soccer team losing on purpose to another team that they are friends with at the World Cup.

  • @Griselbrother what is this thing called soccer? It is not known to us Americans. 😜

  • @KingLeovold It's not known as soccer to us, only Americans use that term : ) Football is the correct term.

  • @kistrand I'm pretty sure football is the game where people almost exclusively use their hands to throw the ball.

  • @KingLeovold yup, because that's logical ;)

  • @Griselbrother

    I'm sorry for necro-ing an old thread but your statement just made me remember something. Long story short in the World Cup back in '82 a similar thing happened; if Germany beat Austria by 1-2 goals both teams would advance to the next round of the WC, whereas any other result would cause one of the two teams to be eliminated.

    Germany scored a goal about 10 minutes in, and then both teams just piddled around since "playing to win" would be stupid in a Game Theory sense, neither team gaining any advantage by eliminating the other but gaining much by cooperatively refusing to compete. This caused UEFA to decide that in future World Cup events both of the last games in the Group Stage for each group would be played at the same time. I've linked the relevant Wikipedia article below.ón

  • And let's not forget Denmark and Sweden drawing 2-2 at Euro 2004 to knock Italy out!

  • @Log Yeah, that was precisely the one score that got both teams through as well. A 1-1 draw would have left them with to few goals scored and Italy would have advanced. Good thing they "happened" to play a 2-2 draw then.... The Italian press was furious about it if I remember correctly.

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