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Crimsonwarlock

Scouting in X wing???

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I was playing at a recent event and one of the players approached the streamer and told him he did not want to be on stream (in the event that his table was selected).  He claimed that he was worried about other players scouting him to gain an edge in future games.

 

I hadn't heard of this before.  Is this something common that happens at the bigger tournaments?

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When Miranda Nym was still the blaze, there was a  palp aces guy who murdered them in the final of a big tournament, because he knew how his opponent liked to play. Surprise by moving super agressive, which surprise surprise, ended up losing him the game in the end. 

It's not about the lists, as all the top dawgs know how to counter most of the top list, it's rather the playstyle there could be at stake. 

Edited by ModernPenguin

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Maybe not common but I've scouted players before. In preparing for my first ever Regional, I watched some of the players I knew would be attending. I wasn't watching to see how I could beat them but more to just learn how the high level players played. I watched how they reacted to ships and upgrades in my list.

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Paranoid for the most part. 

 

NHL and MLB will have scouting reports on goalies and pitchers to give to players as the game approaches. In X-Wing that’s pretty difficult to have a scouting report for every possible player you could play in a tournament like Worlds or a System Open. 

Even if players did do that they’re probably better off studying lists and archetypes. 

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His reasons might be flimsy, but we should all still respect the right that any player has to request that their games not be streamed. Many people are fine having their games streamed, but I can see how one could easily get freaked out knowing that their game is being watched and scrutinized by X-Wingers all over the globe. And if someone doesn’t want to play with that pressure, or (as @Koknokapointed out) if they’re simply shy, then that’s fair. 

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I had the immense pleasure of getting matched up with 'The Kid' Eide at last year's Krayt Cup. Having seen his play style on streams before it was a huge advantage to me. I'm not sure I win that game if he were an unknown player and hadn't had all those games streamed when he made his 2nd place worlds showing.

While its a rare thing to happen, it is possible to gain an advantage from copious amounts of stream watching. 

Edited by NervousSam

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1 hour ago, NervousSam said:

Having seen his play style on streams before it was a huge advantage to me. I'm not sure I win that game if he were an unknown player and hadn't had all those games streamed when he made is 2nd place worlds showing.

 

Yes, stuff like this.  Players can scout two sorts of things: (1) the list itself and (2) the player's on-table playstyle with that list.  Studying both things before a game against that player can yield an advantage.

The best example of (1) is Dengaroo.  A couple teammates ran it at the OH Regional, with three of them making Top 4 and one of the Berling Bros winning with it.  No one at that event really knew just what the list was capable of or how it functioned on table, since it was such an unusual list.  By the end of that Regional season, of course, Dengaroo was one of the top represented squads after net-decking, and the forums and podcasts spent a long time picking apart just what it was capable of and just what you should do against it.

@NervousSam provides an excellent example of (2) in his note above.  Knowing how a particular player likes to play their list, such as how do they deploy their opening, whether they approach fast/slow, if they typically feint and run, do they like to joust or do a 20-minute jockeying for position, etc. can be a big advantage going into a game.



Anyone who doesn't think "scouting" like this could provide an advantage really doesn't appreciate the full aspects of competitive X-Wing, I'd suspect.  I've played in 2-Day events where a player I beat in the Swiss knocks me out in the Top 8 and said "wow, okay, I'm so glad we played yesterday because I spent almost all night in the hotel thinking about how to beat your list if we happened to pair again."  At the last Regional I attended, Gold Squadron was streaming and they were explicitly asked by some players if the streamed games would be posted before the 2nd Day Cut, to which GSP replied that they were only live-streaming the Day 1 games and would wait to actually upload the games until after the event was over, precisely to avoid this sort of scouting.



So, if a player doesn't want to be streamed because it risks giving away free information that could disadvantage him or her in a future game, I think their concern is reasonable.  Calling them "paranoid" or "delusional" as some have done here is disgraceful and disrespectful, and also quite ignorant.


I've made this point elsewhere for other reasons, but it seems to me like no one should agree to be streamed:
(1) You risk getting "scouted" and disadvantaging yourself
(2) You generate "content" for the streamer(s), who can use that content to gain profit or visibility without any sort of input or recompense to the player filmed
(3) You risk the community crucifying you over an accidental mistake, like an innocent and inadvertent bump of a ship model
(4) You get to endure the community's Monday-Morning-Quarterbacks pointing out all the stupid/wrong decisions you made that cost you the game and what they would have done differently
(5) You risk some witch-hunters lighting the torches over accusations of cheating.  Like, dice-swing happens, and someone could just happen to have one of those rare, stars-aligned swings in luck with their dice during a streamed game.  You can bet some witch-hunters would start gathering.  When I play on stream I worry more about my RNG being too good, whereas in any non-streamed game I'm worried my dice will be too cold. 
(6) Even if you win a big event, instead of any glory or recognition you just get the community complaining about how OP/NPE/Nerfable the list you flew was

These are all stresses/pressures/risks that the players off-stream are not being subjected to in their games.


So, like, convince me.  Why SHOULD SOMEONE EVER AGREE TO BE STREAMED AT AN X-WING EVENT?*

*and, of course, I say this a bit hypocritically as someone who has played on stream about a half dozen times and has never declined the streamed game, but I can totally see why someone would prefer to not be on stream. 

Edited by AllWingsStandyingBy

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7 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

Why SHOULD SOMEONE EVER AGREE TO BE STREAMED AT AN X-WING EVENT?*

One reason, which holds for me with my 5 runs, I look back at my own game for mistakes I make. I learn more from watching my own game than I do from watching somebody else play the same list.

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@AllWingsStandyingBy pretty much covered all the legitimate reasons why a player might ask not to be streamed. I'll add the stream jinx as a less legitimate reason since I've never won a game on steam :( (in spite of better than even win records with every list I've been streamed with)

As far as scouting goes though, it can be done manually. Whenever I go to a big event with my friends we always chat between rounds about how this or that player flew their list. We're not serious enough to pass literal notes, but it is Intel nonetheless. 

I can also recall a post game interview from a while back where a triple jump player mentioned that a friend of his had told him the opening maneuvers of a quad HWK player, and the triple jump adjusted his opening to counter. It won him the game where he would have probably lost had he used his usual opening. I was a bit upset with the result since I was looking forward to seeing the HWKs first game on steam to see what he was doing after hearing about him going undefeated (maybe 1 loss?) the day before. It was of course very dependant on engagement ranges and just that little tip turned the tide, resulting in an unremarkable slaughter.

TLDR: Some form of scouting will occur regardless of whether there's streaming or not. 

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20 hours ago, nitrobenz said:

TLDR: Some form of scouting will occur regardless of whether there's streaming or not. 


This is true, of course, but being streamed and uploaded makes it far easier for your list/playstyle to be "scouted," so declining a stream isn't done on the grounds of protecting you entirely from scouting, but it would make it much harder for interested future-possible-opponents to scout you, especially to the level of round-by-round detail an uploaded game provides.  It's kind of like locking your car and leaving the valuables within out of sight: it won't guarantee that no one steals stuff from your car, but it sure makes it less likely and makes the would-be thief work a bit harder.


Of course, there is scouting in other forms of competition, like pretty much any sport where couches/players study film before their upcoming game.  That said, in X-Wing it's not equal opportunity / equal disadvantage, since at a typical 2-Day event only 12 Players (6 Games) will be filmed, meaning that even if all 12 of those players made the T16 cut (unlikely), there would still be four players who had the advantage of not being on film to review before Day 2.  If all games were filmed it would be a very different situation than we have now, where only a handful of players are asked to take on all the burdens that come with being streamed, which breaks consistency at the event and seems a bit unfair.

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