Clarity League — Going Forward
As we prepare for season 4 of Clarity League, I’d like to take a minute and talk about some of the changes that we’ll be making.
Most of these changes are being made with one primary goal in mind — simplifying things. Partly to curb potential burnout, partly to make things easier, more straightforward, and more consistent to run from a staff perspective.
Most of them are not extremely relevant to experience you have as a player in Clarity League. In fact, you’ve likely already read all the changes that are important for you to know in the announcement this post is linked from. If, however, you’re interested in how things work behind the scenes and want to read the rationale behind the changes, you should read on.
In any case, back to the changes for now. To start with, I’ll talk about changes that impact the community and the playerbase the most.
Clarity Linear and Clarity Side Events Will Be Cut
Likely the most significant change for the community at large, Clarity League will be played exclusively in the Divisions format going forward. Similarly, we will no longer be running Clarity Side Events for the foreseeable future.
Put simply, these events don’t garner enough attention for running them to be worth it. The Linear format essentially doubles the workload in a season, and while Side Events don’t require the same week-to-week maintenance, they effectively require much of the usual main event prep.
Instead, the focus will be placed entirely on the Divisions event and inhouse league, and iteratively improving on them.
Clarity was always quietly a fairly ambitious project; the idea of workshopping and running multiple different formats, potentially in multiple regions, while likely also using it as a platform for other things (like learning Dota and coaching and whatnot) was the overarching end goal.
While this idea is still appealing, this is still a volunteer-run amateur league, and the hours these volunteers are motivated and willing to sacrifice from their personal free time is finite. Every new idea requires development and work to implement, and there’s a limit to how many you can look towards without asking too much of people or without sacrificing quality in other aspects.
This isn’t what I want for Clarity. I’d much prefer to revisit these ideas for when we’re extremely happy with our core focus, which is the Divisions event.
The Clarity Staff System Will (Over Time) Be Restructured
The current three-team structure of admins, moderators and councilors will slowly be dropped in favor of a system where individuals handle specific parts of staff duties.
The staff structure we started with was largely just one that was comfortable to fall back on. It’s free-flowing and understood by people.
One thing it’s not suited to, however, is handling the day-to-day of a league. The duties of council members are generally vague and largely expanded on when and as situations call for them (which is just a diplomatic way of saying “when an admin specifically asks council for something”). This isn’t a failure of the staff members themselves, but of the admin failing to establish more specific obligations, and to some extent, the nature of the system.
In place of this, most that needs doing in Clarity will be divvied up, and individuals will be assigned to handling those tasks specifically. This will include a lot of different things: pre-season activities like validating signup MMRs and accounts; matchday tasks like entering results and posting caster corner matchups; maintaining the various documents we use to track things like community members, teams, casts and the like, and so on.
The Clarity Ruleset Will Be Refreshed
The ruleset has been refreshed, largely aiming to make it more straightforward, but also reevaluating certain rulings. For the most part, the rule changes revolve around removing unnecessary/repeated statements, removing vague or arbitrary rulings that should instead be centered around staff discretion, addressing issues in a way that relates to how players actually interact with Dota and Dota leagues, and generally downsizing and simplifying the ruleset. The major changes will be outlined in the announcement this post comes with.
Clarity All Stars
The All Star and Team of the Season events were skipped this past season, and will likely also not be featured in season 4.
We’ll be potentially looking towards bringing it back in the future, but as is, it’s an event that requires a very significant amount of work for something that doesn’t necessarily get a lot of traction. My impression was that the community largely enjoyed the process of voting, but the actual games themselves didn’t garner much attention, so there’s a consideration to just do the voting as a for-fun event, and simply not host the games themselves.
The rest of this post was initially going to be used to talk about certain issues and struggles in amateur Dota leagues that are anywhere from very difficult to effectively impossible to really “fix” as such, with the hopes of creating a dialogue around these issues and getting fresh perspectives. This isn’t the time or the place to start that discussion though; instead I’ll be looking in the future to start these conversations one by one.
Enjoy the season everyone!