So you want to understand how the National Cyber League (NCL) rankings work. Let’s break it down into chunks by each Game.
The Gym is exactly what its name implies, no you won’t gain a body builders physique with it, but you will gain that brain power! This is just our warm-up area that is intended to get you comfortable with the platform and get your brain in motion for the upcoming games. In this space, your ranking really does not matter, it is your practice area. Free walk-throughs when you’re lost with no penalty and you can phone a friend (that’s also playing of course). This opens first and remains open until after the Team Game so that you are able to continue building your brain. Your points here don’t count, aside from a self aware view to see your own progress and how much you remember from prior seasons.
During Preseason, you’ll have a week to solve all the challenges that you can and here is where rankings start to play a part and actually begin to matter. In Preseason, the rankings will determine which bracket you will be placed into for the upcoming Individual Game. That is the entire purpose of the rankings in this phase. This allows you to compete in the Individual Game with your peers who are at the same skill level as you. Here, all players are ranked on the same leaderboard, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t at the top as there are players who have been competing for a few years in those rankings too!
This is where it gets interesting! In the Individual Game, the rankings are broken down into Overall, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Pewter. They can also be broken down to show you how you are ranking against others in your school that have the same coach.
During the Team Game, the same concept applies with the rankings being broken down into Overall, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Pewter. An important thing to note here is that the bracket your team is placed into will be based on the highest scoring individual on your team during the Individual Game. If the people on your team had a person that ranked into Gold, your team will be in the Gold bracket.
To break this down even further, let’s talk about the accuracy. I know a lot of players, myself included, get anxiety over tanking accuracy. The most important thing to consider is that it is used as a tie breaker in all games except the Gym. So, it goes by points, followed by accuracy, followed by time submitted, if there is a tie. This is important because of the bracket cutoffs during Preseason. Anywhere else it’s just about where you place on the rankings if someone happens to have the same amount of points as you do.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there were 2 teams that had the same score. The team with the higher accuracy was ranked higher. An interesting change that has been implemented that needs to be mentioned here is there is now a leaderboard blackout. In the last hour of the Games, the leaderboard cannot be seen. This was implemented to keep schools from announcing their rankings before the leaderboard was finalized because ranks often change within the first few days after the Games close as cheating audits and appeals processes are completed.
The last thing that I’d like to cover with y’all is the cut-offs. Beginning in the Preseason Game, the rankings will also determine bracket cut-offs. The top 15% of players go into Gold, the 35% after that first bunch goes to Silver, and the last 50% goes to Bronze. It takes time for Cyber Skyline to go through and finalize this as they have to weed out all of the coaches, us Player Ambassadors, and cheaters. We all get to go into the Pewter bracket. Another thing to note here is that you cannot go by the little area that says you are 308 out of 5802 as there are some people that don’t participate in the Preseason game.
Check out my teammate’s article that covers rankings as well as a few other key points about the Games here:
See you in the Game and forever stalking Slack ~ Hush1e