The ”HEART” tournament format


So, my son storms in to me with a paper plane in each hand and ask which plane I though won the match they just ended. My prediction was wrong, but the one I choose still had more lives (or hearts) left then the victor. Interesting, I thought to myself and started to ask him about the tournament format for these paper plane battles. I soon realized that my son has stumbled upon a really great tournament format that is, at least for me, totally new and unique.


Me and my son loves StarCraft 2. We sometimes play it together but most times we just watch the pros go at it. We follow every GSL tournament and have our different favorite players in every stage and bracket. It’s a great feeling when I realize that he understands what plays are to be considered truly beautiful even if he’s still just seven years old. Now, I think he really found something here that could make for a great StarCraft 2 tournament format in the future. I would love to get some feedback from more established SC2 profiles.


So, apparently, there was some kind of group stage heats where all the planes were thrown and the ones who flew the longest got the most amounts of hearts. Then came the one on one stage where every plane loose one heart for every loss. So it’s some kind of last man standing format where the group stage is very important – maybe way to important in this case.


But what if, when interpreting this format into SC2, we use the seasonal MMR to decide how many hearts a player has when arriving in the tournament? There is no group stage, but all the players’ trouble online pays of with a healthy amount of hearts when it’s time to go. The two with the most amounts of hearts meet in the first match. So the most anticipated game starts of the show, and then the tournament creates its own story from that point. The victor always stays on and gets to meet the next player in line for match two. There cannot be the same match up twice in a row until - possibly - the very end. So even if the next player still got fewer hearts then the one who just lost one heart in the match prior, it’s now his turn. When that game is concluded, the one with most hearts left will stand first in line for the next game.


This means that some of the players with fewer hearts will stand idle in line for a couple of rounds in the beginning. When the players who lost a few hearts in the beginning comes down to the same amount of hearts as the lower rated players in the tournament, the player to go to the next game set will be the one who played the fewest games of the day. So, lets say someone only have one heart and wins his/her first game. That player still has to prove his/her skill against all other players at least ones in the tournament – and without loosing a single set. Then that player is truly a worthy champion.

This way of playing also means that the same player can get to play ALL of the games in the whole tournament – and win with the most (or 2nd to most if qualified as 2nd) amounts of hearts possible. If that would be the case, then there will be no discussion about that player earning his/her victory or not. It will be a display of domination and a display of epic stamina and determination. But most likely everyone will loose a set of matches or two. The beauty is that players who are strong online get to have several tries to come back in the tournament – even if that is a hard thing to do mentally. I think it’s a great way to boost apply seasonal MMR ratings into a live tournament. If there are several tournaments like this in a year, perhaps the biggest goal would be to end the year with the most amounts of hearts?


This format also allow us to give more hearts to players with extreme achievements or perhaps boost a player for being the only one still in the tournament of a certain race. It makes for an open discussion of how to distribute the hearts before the event takes place. Maybe even the fans can vote and give one heart each for the two biggest fan favorites?!


Let’s make an example with current MMR (date 2020-05-31):


MMR                                  PLAYER                             HEARTS

7438                                    Serral                                   6

7151                                    Showtime                             5

7093                                    HeroMarine                           4

6922                                    Soul                                     3

6705                                    PtitDrogo                              2

6686                                    Lambo                                  1


Now, that’s two from each race. So no one gets any extra hearts for race benefit.

It’s the first tournament of its kind. So no one gets to carry over any hearts –even though that may be a bad feature all together!?

There was no fan vote function beforehand. So no extra hearts was awarded.


Let’s just imagine:


Serral – Showtime 2-1

Serral – HeroMarine 2-0

Serral – Showtime 1-2


Now the heart system would be like this:


PLAYER                             HEARTS

Serral                                   5

Showtime                             4

HeroMarine                           3

Soul                                     3

PtitDrogo                              2

Lambo                                  1


So, it’s now Souls turn in line since Serral just played and lost.


Showtime – Soul 1-2

Soul – Serral 0-2

Serral – HeroMarine 2-1


Current heart rate J


PLAYER                             HEARTS

Serral                                   5

Showtime                             3

HeroMarine                           2

Soul                                     2

PtitDrogo                              2

Lambo                                  1


It’s clear that Serral seem dominant today, but maybe Drogo or Lambo got his cryptonite?


Serral – Showtime 1-2

Showtime – PtitDrogo 0-2

PtitDrogo – Serral 1-2


PLAYER                             HEARTS

Serral                                   4

Showtime                             2 (5 games played)

HeroMarine                           2 (2 games played)

Soul                                     2 (2 games played)

 – tied with HeroMarine but entered tournament later

PtitDrogo                             1 (2 games played)

Lambo                                 1 (0 games played)


Serral – Showtime 2-0

Serral – HeroMarine 2-1

Serral – Soul 1-2

Soul – Lambo 1- 2

Lambo – Serral 0 – 2


PLAYER                             HEARTS

Serral                                   3

Showtime                             1 (6 games played)

HeroMarine                           1 (3 games played)

Soul                                     1 (4 games played)

PtitDrogo                              1 (2 games played)

Lambo                                  0


Serral – PtitDrogo 2-1

Serral – HeroMarine 1-2

HeroMarine – Soul 2-1

HeroMarine – Serral 0-2

Serral – Showtime 1-2

Showtime – Serral 0-2


Serral wins with one one heart remaining. Almost guys! Better luck next time J


So, what do you think? Did my seven year old son make a legit new tournament format?