News Shop
Events Chat


This article brings to mind some of my recent musings about Yomi. If you don’t click the link, here is a brief synopsis. It is about professional tennis. In the past, the best players dominated the tournament bracket. Now, the bracket is full of players with a close to equal skill distribution. Top players are frequently knocked out in the first round.

Just yesterday, I was listening to a podcast lamenting the waning popularity of tennis. The thinking is that there aren’t any star players to carry the sport. Then, I read this article. Is it possible that they have too many star players?

My question to you is…Would Yomi be fun if most of the tournmanent field reached or were very close to the skill cap? Would it become random and boring? Does character select become the main game? Let me know what you think.


Having not read the article and going solely on the information presented in your post:

I feel like this may come down to a bit of a schism between what’s good and exciting for spectators vs what’s good and exciting for players. One would hope that players of a sport, especially a game like Yomi that’s played for fun/bragging rights rather than material gain, would be happy that the tournament scene has a healthy population of excellent players. After all, that should theoretically improve the overall quality of tournament games for players (if we assume that people enjoy playing both at a high skill level and against evenly-skilled opponents).

For spectators, though, unless you have clear top dogs and under dogs, it’s very difficult to create interesting, or even coherent, narratives about a tournament season. People want to be able to trace a neat story, and you can only get a neat story to sell if the players are lop-sided enough in skill to produce that.

There’s also the problem of perceptual biases. For example, even if Player A had an 7-3 advantage over Player B, it’s not that unlikely that Player A might lose twice in a row to B. But casual spectators might feel like that can’t possibly be correct because Player A is the “better” player and therefore ought to win. Even losing 3 times in a row has a healthy 2.7% chance of happening.

Lastly, I think it’s important to make a distinction between two different kinds of random. True randomness would be complete luck (e.g.: we flip a coin, and whoever guesses right, wins). True randomness means that the outcome is impossible to know ahead of time /and/ we have no ability to modify the outcome. However, Yomi is not /truly/ random because players are making decisions that affect the outcome. Thus, if every match is 5-5, the outcome is “random” only in the sense that we cannot definitively predict which outcome will occur. The outcome is mostly determined by the players’ choices. To call that “random” removes the human component of playing games and regards the players as mere machines executing the expected probability range.


to be fair, some players have attempted to turn themselves into

in the past.

results were mixed


I definitely think Yomi would still be fun if everyone was even better than they currently are. Given that the spectators of Yomi are basically the same as the people who play the game, I would expect that the spectator perspective would be the same. There are players I like to watch for their character choices, players I like to watch because of their approach to the game, players I like to watch because I’ve gotten to know them a bit on a personal level, players I like to watch because I feel like they’re close to leveling up their game and I want to see when that happens, etc. Unlike tennis, I don’t think that Yomi has a really significant non-participating audience. So more than tennis, a lot of Yomi spectators are watching games to improve their own play, as well as to be entertained.

I think so long as the tournament formats stay varied, and therefor the match-ups that get played are relatively diverse, and so long as new players show up and develop themselves, then Yomi will keep being fun to watch and to play. Character selection is always an important factor in any format, but so long as the optimal character choices for tournament players is varied enough, we should continue to get a good mix of match-ups. Lum’s Lucky Lottery guarantees that we’ll always have Vendetta/BBB and Jaina/Persephone matches to look forward to.


I don’t play Yomi, but I suspect part of the reason Wimbledon spectators would want narratives, or the better player to always win, is that most of them are casual spectators who only watch Wimbledon, and no other games or tournaments. If you’re a player, you’re naturally going to see more tournaments/games in the same amount of time, so you don’t necessarily need the one tournament to be so “representative” of the players’ skill levels.


Totally. I mean, look no further than MR’s run to the IYL grand finals this season for the exact kind of thing that the tennis article calls out as a problem(?). For me that’s hype as hell (even if he eliminated me), to see a newer player go deep in a tournament like that! That’s a great storyline!

I can kind of see the tennis perspective when I think about the FGC tournament content I watch. I’ll see names I recognize, and maybe I’m disappointed if Daigo or Snake Eyes gets eliminated by someone I’ve never heard of before. On the other hand, that can also be really hype! One of the advantages of streamed content is that the commentators do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of establishing who the players are. So even if I haven’t heard of TruckWizard before, the commentators might have, and they’ll fill me in. It makes a big difference when that stuff is done well.

I assume that you’d get some of that if you watch tennis on TV? I dunno.


I agree. I actually was thinking about MR when I made this post. The reason is that I am trying to differentiate between the players or the characters being the star in Yomi.

I play Zane. Zane is better than average. He has won 56% of his matches. I have won 61% of my matches with Zane. Zane probably adds just as much to my win rate as my skill.

I also play Setsuki. Setsuki is slightly above average. She has won 51% of her matches. I have won 58% of my matches with Setsuki. It appears that I have added more than Setsuki to my win rate with her. That is more satisfying to me.

MR has proceeded to the IYL finals with a slightly below average character. Grave has won 49% of his matches. That is pretty good. If I was rooting for someone in the finals, I would be rooting for MR. I think that when characters become a significant portion of what the player has done that it is less appealing.


mysticjuicer is correct that the main spectator base for Yomi is the players themselves. When a newer player like MR goes on a tear, the storyline is that we need to all keep improving and playing at our best, otherwise “things like this happen” to all of us “good veteran players” lol. The world of tennis saying it’s a “bad” thing is definitely from the spectator perspective, but from the player perspective it just makes us that much hungrier. It proves that there’s still a lot more for us to learn, new players with playstyles that we haven’t adapted to yet, etc. I largely attribute my own successes in Yomi to having some great :midori: meta armor and playing him in a way that was completely unexpected at the time.

That shit isn’t going to work anymore so I need to innovate and keep improving. There’s no resting on your laurels in Yomi, and we continue to get shown this tournament after tournament. I think it’s a good thing, and it’s probably the main reason I’m still playing.

This message brought to you by an IYL champion who is in round 1 loser’s in Summer Smash :wink: