[BladeCast - Interview] Watly - Tournament Admin

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French Toast

With the recent announcement of Bannerlord Early Access set to March 2020, excitement has been growing inside the community for what could possibly be one of the very last tournaments on Mount & Blade Warband. Obviously, with Bannerlord itself having been announced a while back, the rumours of tournaments being hosted for the very last time go back far in time, so much so that it ended up becoming a well-established joke within the competitive community. For that reason, erring on the side of caution remains the safest approach as it still is to be seen how the game will be received once its access is spread to a larger public.

Nevertheless, there is no arguing that March of next year will be a month awaited by many players of the community, competitive or not, and for that reason, the upcoming tournaments set for the end of this year ( Nations Cup 2019 ) and the beginning of the next one ( Warband Native League 8 ) might be looked back at some of the very last competitions ever played on the game. In the case of the 10th edition of the Nations Cup, applications just closed the Saturday 28th of September, and we are now in the very first week of the competition.

To accompany you in this competition, BladeCast_TV will be publishing a series of contents which we hope will help you to enjoy this tournament to its full extent. Below, you can find a list of some of our upcoming articles, as well as those already published.

In this article, we asked some questions to Watly, one of the head admin of the competition, to understand a bit more the process of organizing a Nations Cup on Mount & Blade Warband.


French Toast
BladeCast Interview - Watly | Head Admin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Basically, I'm just curious about how the whole process of getting this 10th edition of the Nations Cup started happened. How and why did you feel like this tournament would be a good idea, how did you recruit your admin team, etc ..?

I am unsure what happened to previous attempts at getting an NC admin team together. Gibby claimed he made an attempt, saw a few negative reactions in the thread about future tournaments and decided to drop it. After a week, I personally realized there was no one organizing it and since I was looking forward to it, decided to pick it up myself. I checked with Charlini, who seemed involved, and the admin team came together smoothly afterwards. We took a few of the WIS admins, as they proved very efficient and filled the rest with representatives from various parts of the community, so there would be no language barriers in communication. And that's about it.

I also wanna touch about the whole process of preparing the NC, especially teams wise. It's a widely known fact that it's not easy to get in touch with all the nations, there is a lot of 'if' and 'maybe' when it comes to some countries. As a head-admin of such a prestigious competition, how do you make sure to make the best of the current interest and have the more people involved possible?

Having a diverse and sizable admin team that is well-connected made it fairly simple to reach all corners of the community to find captains. Everyone knows someone who knows someone and so on. Including the decision to allow for multiple teams per nation and liberal alliances to allow more people to participate, we ended up with quite a sizable number of teams despite this being the final Nation's Cup. So it was a team effort brought about by many people who want to make this Nation's Cup a success (primarily by winning it of course).

Talking about liberal alliances, BeNe (among other alliances) has been subject to heavy criticisms during the last years of the NC, this edition making no exception. Knowing you are not only an admin in this competition but also a long-time member of BeNe and one of its former captain, what's your take on this issue?

Hmm that's a difficult one to answer haha. Personally, I do not have such a problem with alliances. Obviously, my opinion is largely influenced by me always being part of an alliance, as well as being the captain that managed to gather the players to make BeNe such a controversial alliance. I find alliances undesirable from an idealist perspective, but in the Warband competitive scene, there simply aren't enough good players still remaining and interested to have an interesting Nation's League otherwise. On another side, alliances are key to allowing large parts of the community, who would otherwise be excluded, to participate in a satisfactory manner. In a sense, the decision to add alliances is pragmatic and the balance between a healthy boost of competition and participation and a reduction in credibility is delicate and personal. By allowing for liberal alliances, we hope to increase the amount of players and thus increase the competitiveness. However, we try to avoid non-sensical alliances that reduce the credibility of the tourney as much as possible.

Watly said:
"The decision to add alliances is pragmatic and the balance between a healthy boost of competition and participation"[...]

So it's also a matter of dealing with it at a case per case basis?

Exactly, there is no way to make alliances 'fair', nor is such an attempt realistic with the current player base. As such, we simply try to maximize the amount of participation and competitiveness we can squeeze out of alliances, without getting too ridiculous.

Prior to the announcement of this NC19, a few people seemed hostile to the idea but now that things are taking form and the competion started, it seems the community has mostly been coming together, with 22 teams signed-up for this edition. From an administrator standpoint, what are the goals you set for such an event?

Primarily, we wish to rekindle the competitive spirit that the Nation's Cup used to have for this one last NC. The Nation's Cup in 2017 initially broke this down by dragging on for a considerable amount of time. One of our primary goals is to be finished before the Christmas weekend to avoid this effect. We will use the WIS format to help achieve this goal, which is similar to the traditional format but has a more interesting group stage by putting more closely seeded teams together in the same group. This format has a clearly defined structure depending on the number of teams that signed up and thus should allow us to reach our goals. So primarily, we are interested in finding the strongest Nation. As such, there won't be any NC-B or similar.



French Toast
Same as the storylines, the interviews 'should' witness a visual improvement, starting from next week. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy these we are posting this week.

These interviews are a good way to get the different actors of the tournament to present us with their involvement, at different levels. When it comes to teams, it's always a good occasion to interview the captains or important players as they possess knowledge that the match preview's writers don't always know. More generally speaking, for this edition of the Nations Cup, we will try to get as many different people interviewed and not only the players, as we believe each people involved in such tournaments contribute to making them as thrilling as possible. 

Big thanks to Watly for taking the time to answer our questions.


Sergeant Knight at Arms
Well done, mate :smile:

Tardet said:
[...]I'm just curious about how the whole process of getting this 9th edition of the Nations Cup started happened.[...]

*10th :wink:
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