Life as a DuelCircle Referee
Ever since 2015, Christmas Clash has become an annual event for the community and a place for wizards to show off their pvp skills in unique rule sets each round for prizes. Each year one wizard will be crowned Clash champion and leaves with crowns, bundles, and more prizes. This year will be the fourth Clash to take place.
Why I do Clash
My name is Dese SparkleHeart, or better known as ManderCat. I’m the mascot for DC and I like getting stuck in Christmas trees during Clash. I’m an original member, since the beginning before DuelCircle was formed. Christmas Clash has a special place in my heart over the years. Right now I’m currently on the elite tournament team and writing for the content team. So far I’ve been a part of every Clash, Luau, and the Fansite Fest Staff Showdown.
Having seen how much has changed how the event is run and how much we’ve improved compared to 2015 makes me proud to be a part of the team that made it happen. What started from a project created by a group friends to try to reinvent how pvp worked turned into something we couldn’t have imagined over the years. If you asked me in 2015 how far I thought Clash could go; I wouldn’t have been able to this future. It’s become an event I look forward to each year as December nears and the days count down.
What is it Like?
My main role in Clash is one of the referees who oversees the fights and reports the winner of the matches. Every referee is either a prospective or on the tournament team. So what is it like being a referee for Clash? Being a referee is an important task because it keeps matches running smoothly and continuing through the rounds. Without the referees who are volunteers for the most part, this event wouldn’t be possible. Thank you to all the past and present referees for all the time and work you put in to make Clash happen.
What Happens Before Game Day?
First there are a lot of meetings leading up to the event. They start in November and end just before the week of the event. The general rules need to be adjusted each year to keep up with how the game changes with each game update. This means spell bans and limits are discussed and decided upon as a group. The game modes are also tested by us to see if they need to be changed or replaced. That’s just some of the work done during these meetings.
Every game mode needs to be tested and changed so it works when game day arrives. We play test each mode while messing with the rules to see what would happen if a rule was different. This is a long process can take a while depending on the modes to finalize them all. Sometimes they’re scrapped entirely and replaced while others are changed. This is one of the most important parts of preparation in my opinion because of how much time we need to put in to make sure these game modes work.
One example of a scrapped game mode was Odds and Ends I think from Luau 18. You were only able to wear odd level gear and since I didn’t farm cabal gear, I relied on the bazaar and that didn’t go well stats wise. The best gear I could find was Celestia gear I recall for a level 125. It just ended up being scrapped entirely because of how hard it was to rework and nearly impossible and replaced with Welcome to Cyclops Lane after a suggestion was made to only be able to use only 1 to 3 pip spells.
As the competitors are picked from the pool of wizards that entered, the brackets are filled with the names. Then matches are picked ahead of time by the referees to reduce the amount of chaos that is bound to happen game day. Matches are picked in an order of streamers, organizers, seniority, tournament team, and prospective. This is the easier method over everyone picking matches last minute when the rounds began like back in the first Clash. Over the years the chaos has been reduced by work done before game day. After all the behind the scenes stuff is over and game day comes, that’s when everything comes into play.
What Happens Game Day?
So now it’s game day. All matches last 30 minutes, and if the match goes past the timer you decide the winner. It’s your job to determine who won the match with the help of the other refs and your call is final. You report the winner of your match and wait until the next round. You’ll watch the match to make sure all rules, general and game mode rules are followed. If a rule is broken you have to disqualify the participant who broke the rule.
Christmas Clash is a two day tournament with 32 and up to 64 competitors all playing for the grand prize of 60K crowns along with many other prizes available each year. They will play through 3 of the 5 game modes designed and selected by the team on day one. On day two, the last two rounds happen. For this breakdown we have 32 people participating.
On the first day, rounds 1 through 3 are single elimination. Starting round one is 32 participants with 16 matches. In round two there is 16 participants battling it out in 8 matches. After each round, the participants get a period for time to get refill their tcs and other things they need to do to prepare for next round. Round three is the last round of day one with 4 matches bringing it down from 32 to 4 wizards left of the 32. The last four wizards left move to semi finals on day two.
Day two matches include round 4 and 5, which are the semi finals and finals. These matches are done in a best of 3 style. First person to take 2 wins in each bo3 match in round 4 get to proceed to round 5 to determine who wins. In the finals match, all the shoutcasters and referees for the match go to the one house and everyone is together.
If you make it through day two of Clash congrats! That’s about it for what it’s like to referee for the event. Interested maybe? Volunteers are always welcome as when participant sign ups open, as afterward the referee sign ups also open. For how much work it takes behind the scenes, it’s worth when it reaches game day and everyone is excited and the events unfold.