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Kings of the Cups
May 25, 2020 - Brandon Marx

Kings of the Cups – Virtual Event

Kings of the Cups

Ponging Through a Pandemic

We are living in uncertain and unprecedented times. At the time of this announcement, many of our readers have been stuck at home and unable to work, socialize, or live their lives in the ways in which they are accustomed for two months. Others have had friends or loved ones succumb to illness in these times. We are a beer pong company. It is not our place to discuss the virus, the shetler-in-place order, politics, or healthcare. 

That said, we believe it is our place to provide you with competition and entertainment in a safe and legally allowable environment. Over the past two months we have worked incredibly hard to perfect a digital beer pong arena where our players can compete and socialize with each other using the help of technological advancements. 

A player-created group from long ago known as “Skype Kings” has made a massive resurgence with the use of Zoom, the Scoreholio App, and players starved for a hobby. At this point there is some kind of beer pong activity every day online that is hosted by one or more organizers nationally. Many local beer pong chapters have also run their own tournaments in a way to keep the local circle together with the absence of weeklies held at bars. 

Speaking of the absence of weekly tournaments, cancelled events have become the new normal these days. All major sporting leagues have put their seasons on hold, and beer pong is also feeling the wrath of the current lockdown. Thus, as of now there are zero in person large scale beer pong tournaments scheduled to be held for the months of May and June. 

The most recent large beer pong event was the highly successful Arizona Beer Pong Championships, which concluded on January 26, 2020. We thought an excellent way to celebrate the five month anniversary of that event would be to hold the first ever “Digital Major” beginning on June 26, 2020. This will be an entirely new and innovative type of event that has never been hosted before. 

History of Large Team Structure

Large team events have been around for over a decade and they are widely regarded as some of the most fun tournaments to participate in. While these events are usually hosted on a regional basis somewhat annually, not everyone has participated in such an event. Thus, I feel it necessary to explain what I am talking about so we are all on the same page. 

As we all know, generally, in its most simplistic form, beer pong is a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 game where the first to make 10 cups is the winner. While these events are extremely fun and competitive, they are reliant solely upon the performance of one to two people, and thus they are not great for team camaraderie. Large team events expand the teams to 6 or 10 people, thus creating a fellowship, a sense of a team, and a real rooting interest for players other than those involved in your own personal game. 

The way a traditional large team event works is that the team of 6 or 10 would be broken up into teams of two to play a series of games against a different team of 6 or 10. The team who wins the series advances to the next round. Generally there are preliminary games for seeding and some variations of 2v2 matchups, but essentially this is the basic format of a large team event. 

This structure has been fun, successful, and reliable for over a decade. 

Improvements to the Large Team Structure

At Pongstars we are not satisfied with resting on our laurels. Just because an event has been successful for many years, does not mean that it is perfect. Beer pong events should be tweaked towards the best interests of the players, and we feel that we have created an event that will pique the interest of our players. 

While traditional large team events are fantastic and certainly have their place, there are a few shortcomings of such events which we believe can be improved upon. Our goal with this new event is to build upon what the various “Best Of” tournaments of the past have done. Sir Isaac Newton once wrote “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” The King of the Cups tournament structure would not exist without the foresight and ingenuity of organizers around the country. 

Our critiques of the traditional large team format are as follows:

  1. Great players on bad teams have little to no chance of winning any prize money. 
  2. Bad players on great teams can hide without any personal responsibility
  3. Prelim games are largely inconsequential. 

All three of these concerns are addressed with the Kings of the Cups format. 

Kings of the Cups Format – In Person Event (DATE TBD)

  • Each team consists of 6 players. 
  • Players compete in a myriad of events over multiple days including 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 and 6v6. 
  • 50% of the events will be lean rules and the other 50% will be tape line rules. 
  • Team Captains handle registration for the team.
  • No player will play in all events. 
  • Each player’s performance in each event earns points towards their team’s overall tournament standing. 
  • Each tournament will have its own individual cash prize pool paid out to the players. 

King of the Cups Format – Virtual Event (June 26th – 28th, 2020)

  • Each team consists of 6 players
  • Players compete in a myriad of events over multiple days including 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 6v6.
  • 50% of the events will be Pongstars Rules and the other 50% will be World Series Rules.
  • Team Captains handle registration for the team.
  • No player will play in all events.
  • Each Player’s performance in each event earns points towards their team’s overall tournament standing.
  • Each tournament will have its own individual cash prize pool paid out to the players.

KOTC Tournament Breakdown

The original idea for the in person KOTC involves 8 events spread out amongst several different formats/pairings.  The virtual version is no different except for the fact that we are somewhat limited in what we can do.  Since Tape-Line play isn’t feasible in online play we’ve decided to swap out the split of Lean/Tape pong with Pongstars Rules/WS rules instead.  

The format of events(8) and their weighted value will look like this:

  • 1v1 – Pongstars Rules(2 Players)(10%)
  • 1v1 – WS Rules(2 Players)(10%)
  • 2v2 – Pongstars Rules(2 Players)(10%)
  • 2v2 – WS Rules(2 Players)(10%)
  • 3v3 – Pongstars Rules(3 Players)(10%)
  • 3v3 – WS Rules(3 Players)(10%)
  • Pongstars Gauntlet/Switcholio(4 Players)(15%)
  • 6v6 Squadholio(6 Players)(25%)

The weighted value mentioned above which is represented in the parentheses next to it is referencing the point system that will be used to eventually declare the winners of The Kings of the Cups.  We will dive into this a bit more in the rewards/payouts section.

Event/Player Restrictions

Probably the most important and sought after information related to this tournament is the restriction list as a whole.  Unfortunately we’re still compiling the player restrictions list that will be used to form all of the teams that compete.  Because of how important this is we have to make sure that we have everything covered before it’s all released.  At the same time we’re also trying to create a method never before used in beer pong that will enhance the experience like never before.

Instead what we’re going to discuss in this portion is how we plan to regulate the limitations of what events each player can participate in.  The idea behind winning KOTC is not about putting together a team with all the best players.  It’s all about being strategic much like the final days pairings for any Best of 10v10.  Below we will demonstrate what’s required when formulating your KOTC team based on who can play what event.

  • 1v1 Restriction: A total of four players must compete between the two events(2 each)

***At this point four team members have competed once***

  • 2v2 Restriction: The two players who don’t compete in the 1v1 MUST participate in either 2v2

***At this point four team members have competed once and two have competed twice***

  • 3v3 Restriction: All players compete on two separate teams

***At this point four team members have competed twice and two have competed three times***

  • Pongstars Gauntlet/Switcholio Restriction: The four players who have only competed in TWO EVENTS at this point will collectively make up the Gauntlet team and two spots in Switcholio.

***At this point all team members have competed three times***

  • 6v6 Restriction: All players compete | Squadholio Format

***At this point all six team members have competed four times each among all eight events***

***All team members have also competed in an equal amount of events with separate prize pools***

Prize Pools – Individual Events and Overall Team

The beauty of KOTC is that every player has the opportunity to win money for themselves while also benefiting the team as a whole with points from their performances.  The better the individual performs in an event the more money they can win and the more points they can earn for the team.  The more weighted the event the more points they’ll earn.  Ideally the team who’s more consistent will prevail as KOTC Champions.

The scoring system will be addressed in the coming weeks but it will be pretty straight forward and nothing special.

When discussing the prize pools the goal is to pay out as deep as possible in each individual event while maintaining the integrity of the event as a 6v6 competition with more aggressive and less payouts for the team.

Unfortunately we don’t know what the prize pools will be so it’s difficult to show what to expect.  This event is like nothing no one has ever attempted before so the payouts will be based solely on the total team registration.  Based on current interest and the amount of traction we’ve created on our weekly virtual events. I can make an educated guess that you can expect us to payout a conservative $15k – $20k total.

Virtual Rule Modifications

There’s a very different dynamic of playing online versus in person.  What wouldn’t work in normal event as a distraction is a very unfair and unsportsmanlike attempt in virtual.  There’s also a significant need to stay in the moment paying close attention to what’s going on.  It’s you, the player and teams responsibility to know where the game is at all times.  If you fault at this even once in the simplest of ways it could be catastrophic to not only you but your entire team as well.

Some of the rule modifications you can expect are below:

  • A player can NOT practice shoot at anytime when the game has officially started | Results in LOSS OF NEXT SHOT(Player at fault)
  • A player can NOT “distract” with the common “Wait….wait!  It’s not your turn” whether it’s true or not | Results in LOSS OF NEXT SHOT(Player at fault)
    • It is their responsibility to pay attention to what’s going on around them.  If they can’t handle this then you let them screw up and learn the hard way.
  • A player can NOT shoot out of turn/at the same time as their partner | Results in LOSS OF CURRENT SHOT(Player at fault)
    • If two players shoot at the same time whatever shot makes contact first is the one that’s taken and the other is automatically forfeited
  • A player can NOT shoot at a different rack formation than their partner | Results in LOSS OF SHOT(Player at fault)
  • When shooting the player’s entire body, edge of table, rack and cups must be visible at all times
    • No exceptions!  Buy a $25 tripod or get creative.
  • At the beginning of every game each player must display the position of their racks on the table.  They must remain CENTERED and flush to the back AT ALL TIMES.
    • If an opponent believes your positioning is wrong you must prove otherwise and fix if necessary.  If this becomes an constant issue with a specific individuals they will be found as cheating and removed from the event.
  • A player shooting MUST pull their own cups after every single shot.
    • You may not have a third party or your partner if in the same household pull cups or rack for you at anytime regardless of event format.

There could be other changes as we get closer but these are the most important rules that needed to be addressed immediately.  If you feel there needs to be a specific one please drop it in the comments below for discussion.  One thing we don’t want to do is reward the other team with cups but instead discipline the offending team by reducing their amount of shots.  This way the other team is still required to earn their win by making the cups.

Scheduling and Timing of Events

Kings of the Cups in person event will be a grueling gauntlet of tournaments over a stretch of 4-5 days.  The beauty of the scheduling is that not everyone plays every day so you can create your teams around your players availability.  However, the virtual version is designed for significantly less teams therefore the actual tournaments will be smaller and run quicker.  This will allow us to reduce the amount of days down to three and then break each day down further into specific sessions.  This method will still allow teams to choose their players based on availability.

The timeframe of events will also be released in the coming weeks but you can expect something very similar to what everyone has grown accustomed to thus far in our virtual beer pong tournaments.

What To Expect Going Forward

We have a plethora of important tasks to still complete.  The schedule, prize pools, open registration and most importantly releasing the restrictions list.  The prize pools won’t be released until the days leading up to the event for obvious reasons.  The schedule will be released well before that at probably the same time the restrictions list is complete which will also officially open registrations.  The goal is to have that completed in the next 7 to 10 days which would give everyone two to three weeks to put together their teams and get signed up.  

We’re all used to having months to properly prepare before for an event of this size.  Being virtual no one has to necessarily worry about booking travel, a hotel or requesting time off work.  So we don’t need to provide a significant window of opportunity to register.  But our motivation is still to provide the best possible experience as far as a beer pong tournament goes, virtual or not!

I hope you all are as excited as we are to be a part of something as unique as this event.  And hopefully we can continue on this path of “Making Beer Pong Great Again!”

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