Friday, February 24, 2017

WORLD TOURNAMENT - A March Madness-style Simulated Competition with a Fandom Twist

Over my other blog, I've always wanted to create my own March Madness-styled tournament, involving characters from television series and movies, and some other stuffs. I pitched a couple of ideas along the way, triggering my necessity to make March Madness brackets on Excel just to waste time, to the point that I even made one for last year's SpoilerTV's Favorite TV Series competition (and will be used for future competitions on the site) like this one. Eventually, I stumbled into this World Cup simulation on Excel that uses VBA Macro functions and an idea flowed to my mind: How about making a March Madness competition with characters from TV, movie, and all other stuffs, but with a twist of World Cup-esque qualifiers? There will be eight categories in my tournament, and these will act as "confederations" just as World Cup Qualifiers do (and by the way, we're in the middle of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers too!).

So many TV series and movie titles exist, with a handful of them win awards for quality, another handful for its loyal fandom, but sometimes it's hard to determine which one is the best of all. Because of this a tournament was conceived to determine the best of the best: the "World Tournament." It's not a good name to boot actually, but I believe this is the best name chosen in order to clear up the confusion whenever I either name this "insert a word here March Madness" or "insert a word here World Cup," which are oft-used I believe.


World Tournament is about fictional characters and real-life stars fight in front of millions of eyes watching. No, this isn't Pro Wrestling. (Image: JoinDOTA)
World Tournament is a fighting tournament which might draw similarities to Dragon Ball's Tenkaichi Budokai, adapting the 64-seed elimination bracket format used in the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament, also known as NCAA March Madness, with qualifiers for different categories to determine the 64 contestants competing in the tournament. The tournament gathers TV and movie characters from comedies, teen dramas, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, dramas, and animated titles, as well as web stars, non-acting celebrities, and fashion models. This is a "what would it be" scenario to my fighting game project I showed in the last post.

Despite the concept, this simulated (yes, this is a simulated competition!) competition will make use of Excel's RANDBETWEEN formula, where two sides will draw a random number between 1 to 5. There are two ways to win: Draw a higher number than your opponent, or beat the opponent's 5 with your 1 (read: 1 beats 5). While using the VBA macro function as with the World Cup simulation is fun, it will take a very long time to create parameters for hundreds of qualifying competitors as I am currently working on my final paper. This will be viewable for public consumption online using the Google Spreadsheet platform, uploading the Excel file to the site.

All qualifier matches will be contained in a schedule sheet within the workbook, which simulates the progression of the qualifiers on a weekly basis. Each week will have multiple matches from different "confederations," and all dates for all matchdays are adjusted accordingly so that they won't coincide with award shows and fashion events (i.e., Paris Haute Couture season), with an assumption that all matches are done at prime time hours.

The qualifier matches come in either of the following two formats:
  • Knockout format - two competitors are playing against each-other, with the winner advancing to the next round.
  • League format - more than two competitors are contained in one group, playing against each other in a round-robin format. Based on a match's result, a competitor will earn either 3 points for win, 1 point for draw, or nothing for lose.
In addition, some might adopt a home-and-away setup for either format, where one match will be played twice: first in one's home, then the other's home. This results in a double match count for the league format with a better chance of collecting points through matches, and an enforcement of the "away wins rule," where a competitor who scores better "away from home" will win should both competitors tied on aggregate results with one of them already won the other's home game. However, if the tie happens and either both won their home match or their away match, an extra round will be added.

Last but not least, there will be fictitious news articles and reports covering all the matches, down to the highlights, and the match results may impact the narratives as well. There would be less emphasis on reports in the early stages of qualifiers to save word count, but it would be more story-driven once the main event starts. All this will be available on my other blog.


"Of course, we need seeding to determine which competitors play which round." (Image: Clive Mason/Getty Images via CBC Sports)
Here comes the main part: the qualifiers itself. World Tournament will have eight "confederations" dedicated to genres and beyond. Comedy, Teen, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama, and Animated confederations are for TV and movie titles whose genre complies with any of the mentioned genres, while the other three includes Digital, dedicated to web stars (usually those from YouTube), Celebrity, dedicated to non-acting celebrities, and Fashion, dedicated to fashion models in the industry. These confederations are governed under the World Fandom Association, and each category holds a number of slots for the World Tournament: 10 for the first four mentioned TV/movie genres, 6 for Animated and Fashion, and 4 for Digital and Celebrity, with four additional spots up for grabs in the inter-confederation playoffs, pitting runners up from each qualifier.

In order to any of the competitor from the concerning confederation qualify for World Tournament, the competitor must comply the following criteria to the following rules:
  1. A new, current, and finished fictional TV series and movie title (non-franchised or franchised) currently airing or finished its last episode within one year prior to the start of the qualifiers, with applications eligible until the appointed deadline prior to the start of the qualifiers.
  2. A digital artist whose last appearance in a web series (including but not limited to: YouTube), either scripted or unscripted, is one year prior to the start of the qualifiers.
  3. A non-acting celebrity invited by the World Fandom Association based on the celebrity's performance from the end of last year's World Tournament to before the qualifiers assessed by WFA's celebrity board.
  4. A fashion model whose last runway show appearance is within three seasons prior to the qualifier (counting Ready-To-Wear shows in four big cities and Haute Couture seasons).
An additional set of rules also exist. These are oriented to TV/movie competitors and Digital competitors. Among them are:

For TV/Movie categories:
  • Each eligible TV/movie is represented by one character, whose status is still alive prior to the tournament's first qualifier date. How can you qualify The 100's Lexa for this reason?
  • A character for a TV series/movie cannot qualify if the actor who portrays another character in another TV series/movie is already represented, either in the same confederation or the other. For example American Horror Story: Roanoke character Audrey Tindall can't qualify for this season because the actress is already qualifying as The People v. O.J. Simpson's Marcia Clark.
For Digital category:
  • A digital artist may either compete as himself/herself or as a character as their online persona. An example would include Colleen Ballinger who competes as Miranda Sings.
With the competitor finally eligible to qualify for World Tournament after fulfilling all the criteria, the competitor in question will play in his/her respective confederation based on category. Each confederation's qualifier possess different qualifier formats, with Preliminary Drawing taking place between specific rounds shown in the workbook. Without giving away much (read: saving them for later), the qualifier structures for each confederation are:
  • Comedy - Three rounds: single knockout format in a neutral ground in the first round, two-legged home-and-away knockout in the second round, and a single round-robin group stage with four groups of five for the third round.
  • Teen - Two rounds: single round-robin group stage with four groups of four to five in the first round, and a two-legged round-robin group stage with two groups of four in the second round.
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy - Two single round-robin group stage rounds: six group of six for the first round and two groups of five for the second round.
  • Drama - Two rounds: Single round-robin group stage with nine groups of six in the first round, and a tournament-styled knockout series in the second round.
  • Animated - Two rounds: Two-legged round-robin group stage with three groups of four in the first round, and a two-legged home-and-away knockout play-off between group runners up in the second round.
  • Digital - Three rounds: Two rounds of two-legged home-and-away knockout matches and a two-legged round-robin group stage in the third round.
  • Celebrity - A single round-robin group stage with ten competitors in a single group.
  • Fashion - Five rounds: Three single knockout matches, a single round-robin group stage with three groups of four, and a final single round-robin group stage with twelve competitors in one group.
Later on in the first Preliminary Draw, qualifier matches for each confederation will be determined via, you guessed it, drawing. Competitor seeding will be loosely based on my other project on my other blog World Fandom Championship, a simulated championship for TV shows and movie titles featuring award shows and polling competitions as the rounds. The 2016 classification will be used as a reference, with an extra emphasis to top-level award shows (such as Primetime Emmys and Golden Globes) over poll-based awards and online polling competitions. Different treatments apply to the rest of the confederations: the Digital confederation seeding replaces mentioned award shows for Streamys and Shorty Awards for relevancy, the Celebrity confederation picks Top 10 non-acting celebrities that generated the most awards buzz and popularity, and the Fashion confederation relies on my another set of projects involving Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer fashion weeks,'s Model of the Year Awards, and the Fashion Spot's Top 50 List, as well as top newcomers and breakouts from RTW Fashion Week seasons, and models originated from modeling-themed competition series. This will determine the placement for their qualifier campaigns in their respective confederations.

And that's how to craft a biggest March Madness that blurs the barrier between fictional characters and real-life stars. I'm looking forward to simulate this to you all! All reports and news of the simulation will be on my other blog so please do pay a visit! I might create a single master post for this simulation, which will be updated when the phase goes.


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