Versus League Battle

Game Spot Versus Arcade in Japan is now running a new league system.

It uses 11 tiers (“Dans”) to denote each player’s ranking mastery by character. “10th Dan” is the highest rank.

Here’s how it works:
"Players enter the League with a character and by competing against players with the same or similar rank you either get one point or lose one. You start with the rank “shodan”, after 3 points you move up to the next rank (from 1st dan to 10th dan). If you lose 3 points, your rank moves down one level.

With 10th dan you only fight people with your level and after 5 points you get a special title “??” meaning ‘Strong’. Also, players can re-enter using different characters, for example you could be ranked 10th Dan with Ryu and 8th Dan with Blanka."
(source: [media=youtube]WSl6Vdl7miM]YouTube - SFIII: 3rd Strike - Game Spot Versus League Battle [8th & 9th Dan[/media])

Here are a couple videos of top ST players (Noguchi’s Fei Long, Kurahashi’s Ryu, YuuVega’s Dictator, Shiki’s Boxer, Muteki’s Guile) going at it in this system:
super nohoho fighter ii x: Versus Danisen Videos 090510

There are also a grip of vids here:
YouTube - supersf2turbo’s Channel

You’ll notice the “(+1)”, “(-2)”, etc. text on the vids by each character’s portrait. This is their ongoing match win/loss score which will determine if they are to go up or down on the Dan ranking system. It’s quarter room style rotation, with winner staying on and loser getting back in line.

What is everyone’s thoughts about this type of league? Would you be motivated to prove yourself to be a “10th Dan” with your character?

Heh, I love this system and enjoyed watching all the vids in the series.

I’d think the major problem with that system is that you can only legitimately face players of your own rank, which can be difficult to find at times, especially with 11 ranks. Otherwise, assuming an infinite number of players, it seems neat.

I think trying to run something like that in something like XBLA HDR could be a nightmare. You’d have to have very solid organizing, likely a corresponding website, and a dedicated participating player community. Probably run different Dan levels on different designated calendar days, etc.

It seems that a local, moderate traffic arcade with regulars would be much more suited to it.

But it does introduce a universal mastery designation that I think could motivate players and compel them to advance, while also providing great info on character, player, and player+character rankings. I think that’s neat. Kinda like the SF4 Championship Mode, but tweaked so that advancement is based on skill rather than just time (with that element of time sped up relative to skill).

There would be ways to game things results in the system: be absent during weeks where bad matchups were more frequent in your Dan, throw games to friends to “twink” them through the levels, loosing to level down and knocking out people you don’t like, etc.

There would also be random factors: # of good/bad character matchups that show up in your Dan, players who are playing below their Dan level (either cause they like to be sharks or because they are on their way up fresh), level of talent in the player pool over time, etc.

Right now the best ways to mark skill level are the HDR Rankings, tournament placement, and peer recognition on forums posts/online/etc. Something like this could add to that family of measures.