"Loser picks character" rule. How often is it used?

We’re having an argument over at a Swedish forum about the ruleset for the fighters at a LAN.

One side (me) argues for the counterpick rule that only the loser gets to switch characters should he choose to. The other side (two people) are arguing against it. One of them just wants to be able to switch around for variation and sandbagging should he realize his opponent sucks whilst the other simply stated “You only need this stupid rule if the game you are playing have truly unbalanced character matchups”.

My argument is that the counterpick rule is there to give the loser an advantage. If you put two people who play multiple characters up against each other, A might predict right and using Double Blind Pick hit the character that B’s character is the weakest against. One win later, using the opposing side’s “No counterpick rule”-rule, A is able to switch to a more well-rounded character with few bad matchups (and even those aren’t even bad). B’s advantage for counterpicking is practically gone, etc. (Their counter argument is “But people probably won’t abuse it”)

Another party argues that you could implement a special rule where the winner is allowed to switch, but that he’ll have to switch first and let the loser switch last, giving the loser somewhat of an advantage.

So my question is: How often do American tournament use my version of the counterpick rule (Loser picks character)? Both larger and minor ones (one of the opposing parties is arguing that the LAN tournament won’t really be that big, why even bother, which I find to be a preposterous argument).

American (and worldwide) game tournaments allow the loser to switch characters if they lose, the winner keeps their character.

A better question is why have this argument when a standard set of rules exist already. Time could be better spent elsewhere, and anyone who wants to be good at fighters knows this is the way it’s played. Maybe the tourney will be 1% better if you implement some other rule, but it’ll just be negated when people come there and expect standard rules and you have to re-explain to them your lan center rule every 10 minutes.

Thank you, that was what I wanted to hear. The opposing party is arguing that this ruleset isn’t standard and that the only reason why EVO and other large tournaments use it is to prevent whining. Could some more people reply to either confirm or object to FMJaguar’s answer so that the opposing party won’t be able to claim “But that’s only the opinion of one person!”.


It’s been that way forever. Even back in the day, the loser lost out and had to pump in another quarter and had the chance to pick again, the winners character stayed locked.

your friends are idiots. Do they think that Communism will work too?

If you play any Capcom fighting game in arcade mode (not event/vs mode), the winner always has to keep the same character, while the loser can change characters.

I know some anime conventions dont allow you to change characters once you are beaten (yeah, some people are that stupid).

This rule is used everywhere, the only reason you dont see it much in action anywhere is because everyone has a main, and when it comes to a big tournament they trust only there main.

Success. Yeah, I knew it was like this. They didn’t. I think one them argued it’s not used that often even.


In Japan you can’t change characters mid-tournament, which is a substantial enough reason to say it’s not standard, I think, given the importance of the Japanese community. I don’t really care either way, but I don’t think you can argue in favor of it simply because “it’s standard” when the hottest fighting game scene in the world does it differently.

It’s about time somebody said it.

Their standard is not really compatible, as the actual standard is 1/1 single elim where obviously neither player can switch characters. It’s not like they run the entire tournament the same as the US with the exception of character switching.

When some tournaments run 2/3, they just use the 1/1 rules that people are used to and make it 2/3 as an afterthought, if they actually used 2/3 tournaments in serious play I wouldn’t be suprised if they pick up the character switching rule as well.

If the choice was between using a 100% US or a 100% japan setup sure they can go either way. The choice appears to be between some sort of standard setup, and a rule that some random people are going to make up themselves. The standard is going to go over much better in the long run , be easier to enforce , and easier for the players to understand than having a big forum argument every tourney.

The Japanese play with different rules in pretty much everything. Like in Super Smash Bros. Melee. While the rest of the world believes in stage diversity on random (standard 5-6) and counterpicking (loser switches character or chooses the stage), the Japanese only have 2 stages on random and there is no counterpicking.

They play for honor. We play for honor and money.

And while we do love the Japanese, Europe has always taken after the Americans in terms of rulesets.

Loser picks a new character if he chooses to and the winner must pick the same character he won with unless it is a new set. This has been the rule I’ve been use to for the past 14 years back when SF2 was around.


Do the Americans use this rule for all of their fighters? Including, but not limited to:
Soul Calibur III
Tekken 5
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Guilty Gear XX#Whatever

The newest argument is “But this rule should probably only be used for a small amount of games”.

I’ve never heard of it any other way. Why should the winner be able to pick a counter to the person that LOST’s counter character/team? If they won, it should be only fair. it’s better than that stupid “seconds” rule that people used to do… (purposely lose the second round so you can have a full match)

I thought the JPN played to win.

I believe that in marvel, the ability to pick a different team is very important to the game. More than any other game the idea of counter-teaming is important to the success. True you could just get good enough to beat the specific counter team, but some teams just clearly beat other teams making it important to know the team specific match ups.

Other games I don’t think it matters as much, especially in games where you are using one character, it is my belief that in that style game (ST, 3s, Alpha) you are better off learning to play your character to their best possible level that switching characters.

Obviously though America has ran tournaments that way forever and their is nothing Unfair about the system so Meh.

Also for team based tournaments like 3v3 guilty gear requiring each player to only play the character they signed up for and having them all play different characters adds alot more diversity to the tournament and makes it more enjoyable to watch for the audience.


seriously. Last thing you want is to be an MSP player, running ONLY MSP in a pool of santhrax and matrix players. the ability to use team row in that situation is an absolute necessity.

and before people start bitching about marvel

Marvel is a TEAM FIGHTER. rather than trying to think that it’s broken cuz many teams use the top four, UNDERSTAND that TINY shit makes a HUGE difference.


MSS-a and MSS-y are VERY different
ROW and MSS are VERY different

that’s a 1 assist change, and a 1 character change…