As we draw closer to the end of season 6 of Clarity League, we felt it prudent to provide an update on the plans for the next season, as well as provide additional context for the recent change in our approach to temporary bans.
The Offseason Break
The end of season 6 will mark the start of an extended offseason ahead of the next event. While plans are not yet set in stone, this means that there will be no events during January at the very least.
The purpose of this break is to implement a number of changes and generally improve the league. These will be announced in time as progress on them is made.
Some of the things that we are planning to spend time on are workshopping changes to the league format — reviewing the pros and cons of the formats we’ve tried thus far and looking to develop one that minimizes the number (and impact) of common issues inherent to some formats — as well as working to refresh the staff team, particularly by updating the structure of the staff team, adding new roles dedicated to handling different parts of the usual logistics.
To this end, during the break, we’ll be reaching out to community members who we feel would be a good fit for the Clarity team. If you’re interested, do drop me a DM on Discord and we’ll keep you in mind — though we’ll also make posts during the break to call on community members who might be keen.
We’ll also be working on some other things, but we’ll leave those as a surprise.
This break may be unwelcome, and it’s not optimal by any means (particularly in terms of retaining the league’s recent momentum), but it will ultimately serve to improve the Clarity League experience — be it directly, via things like format improvements, or indirectly, by making Clarity run smoother.
A Different Approach to Temporary Bans
Every instance of a player leaving an active team — or being removed from one — has thus far resulted in them receiving the default three-season ban (the remainder of the ongoing season, as well as the next two). The reasons why someone left had no bearing on the duration of the ban. We would then review the bans between seasons, and where we felt it appropriate, shortened the duration of these bans.
The looming threat of a lengthy ban serves to disincentivize players from joining knowing they’d be guaranteed to miss matches. A missing player means the team has to arrange replacements week in and week out — further complicating the already notoriously undesirable role of captain — and leaves staff scrambling to find permanent replacements who are both willing and able to play every remaining match of a season they didn’t sign up for. Oftentimes by the time we’re able to do so, the team’s experience will be irreparably soured, to the point of commonly creating a distaste in these players for the league as a whole.
Being consistent with penalizing this makes it abundantly clear that this is something that the league can’t really tolerate, and allows no room for attempts at skirting this penalty. If we — as is often the case — have no cause to doubt the validity of someone’s reason for leaving a team, we can then shorten the ban afterward. This was done in place of simply having shorter or longer bans because that approach is prone to creating the suggestion that coming to us with a sob story can lead to avoiding a longer ban — while one message between seasons stating that a couple of bans have been shortened is bound to attract less attention.
All of that being said, at the end of the day, Clarity is still a fairly small community, one that doesn’t function without a consistent core player base — and through almost two years of running it, a good chunk of the temporary ban list came to be populated by veterans who accepted bans dealt for issues out of their control, and stuck around long enough to see the ban lifted so they could again play.
Keeping that in mind, we’re opting to review cases on an individual basis going forward, and are now open to short-term penalties in certain scenarios.