Hello, TankPit community! I have finally finished. I have finished both: (1) annotating (videos of) tournaments where I consider myself to have played well and/or won a cup, and (2) updating the latest version of my (written) tournament guide. Often, I get laughed at, by fellow players, for writing what they consider to be “Ph.D. dissertations.” So, I have decided to postpone my discussion to the bottom of the thread, and immediately present the actual juicy content right now:

Written guide (version 3.4, updated Jan 16th 2015)

2015-01-10 / Metropolis

Points per hour: 5 out of 5. 77k is very good for Metropolis, in my opinion

Kill-hunting performance: 2 out of 5

Luck: 3 out of 5

Highlights: Using map awareness to find an area with tons of fuel / equipment for efficient PPH, on an otherwise challenging dry map

2015-01-03 / Iceland

Point per hour: 4 out of 5. Estimated 65k after lieutenant

Kill-hunting performance: 5 out of 5

Luck: 4 out of 5

Highlights: Balancing kills with PPH for the entire tournament

2014-12-25 / Desert

Point per hour: 3 out of 5. Estimated 37k at lieutenant, another 43k at captain, for a total of 80k estimated

Kill-hunting performance: 4 out of 5.

Luck: 5 out of 5.

Highlights: Being smart about tracking kills and fighting hard on a map (desert) rich with equipment and fuel

2014-11-18 / Atlantis

Point per hour: 3 out of 5. About 60k after lieutenant.

Kill-hunting performance: 2 out of 5

Luck: 3 out of 5.

Highlights: managing equipment on a dry map, and being intelligent about kills

2014-11-08 / Iceland

Points per hour: 5 out of 5. 73k after making lieutenant

Kill-hunting performance: 5 out of 5

Luck: 1 out of 5.

Highlights: top PPH and being on screen for almost 1/2 of the kills in the entire tournament. How luck plays a huge role in tournament.

2014-09-14 / Castles

Points per hour: 4 out of 5. Estimated 87k from lieutenant onwards

Kill-hunting performance: 3 out of 5.

Luck: 5 out of 5.

Highlights: This is one of my earliest tournaments. I highlight areas that I did well, particuarly where I understood (in theory) what I should do, but executed it improperly at times

2014-08-23 / Tron

Points per hour: 5 out of 5. Estimated 85k from lieutenant onwards

Kill-hunting performance: 3 out of 5.

Luck: 5 out of 5.

Highlight: How luck plays a huge role in tournaments. This one really demonstrates it.

Who is the intended audience of these videos and the tournament document?

My main audience are players who are trying to win cups for their main tanks. I believe that every single one of you is not only deserving of a cup, but also entirely capable of learning how to win one (eventually consistently win one, no less). I speak from experience – I never won a cup during Battlefield (even after reading and using MJK’s tournament bible) and after some very hard work and persistence self-critiquing / analysis, I won my first cup ever in three generations of this game (BF, uTanks, TP) only a few months ago in August of 2014. Since then, I have won a dozen more cups, and there are countless tournaments nowadays where I am entirely in a cupping position in PPH but fail to win one only because I wasn’t the one to get the lucky kill shot when a target is mobbed down. However, I do NOT claim to be among the best tournament players. I only claim that I have won cups (fact), that I have recorded many of them (also fact), and that my style of play (attempting to balance kills and PPH) is ONE possible of winning cups (fact as well). You can mimic my style entirely, or, you can skew your play style heavier to the PPH or kill side of the spectrum. Either way, my only claim is that I am very passionate about passing on the knowledge, about sharing what I can with people (opinion, not fact). I believe my strength is that: if I can do something, I can teach it well. I will leave this belief for you to verify, as you critique the quality of my written and video guides. For all the veterans reading this, who see mistakes and inefficiencies in my play style, please tell me publicly in this thread, so that other players trying to win their first cup can read and benefit from those pointers as well. That means you, Rev, Lancehead, and Beaver. As you even briefly go through the videos, you will probably notice two peculiar characteristics: (1) I have included videos of tournaments where I did NOT win a cup, and (2) even for tournaments where I won a cup, during the video, I do not reveal which cup it was.

(1) Why are there videos where Sigma did not win a cup?

Naturally, you will ask: “But, Sigma, I thought this was a tournament guide thread, so why would you include videos where you didn’t win a cup?” The answer is - the same reason why I stated before, “tournaments where I consider myself to have played well and/or won a cup.” As in, playing a tournament well and winning a cup often overlap, but they are not the same thing. A player can play very well (defined as top 5 PPH, and shot at 2-4 targets that died on his screen) and fail to win a cup (because due to bad luck, someone else snagged all of those targets). A player can also play poorly and still win a cup, usually because so few players participated that anyone who got a kill by chance (made captain) won a cup, or there were enough players but all the top PPH players missed their kills at the same time. Thus, for this tournament guide thread, I emphasize “playing well” over actually winning a cup, because in long-run, it is the style of “playing well” that wins cups frequently and consistently (25% of time or more). It is more instructive for me to present a video of a tournament where I PPH’ed well and positioned myself on screen for 3 kills (but missed all 3), than it is to present a video where I mangled my equipment and PPH but won a cup because two kills fell out of the sky onto my screen by sheer luck and boosted me to major.

(2) Why did Sigma not label which cup he won?

For the same reason as above, I don’t label which cup I won in the videos (although if you really wanted to, you can just go to the TankPit tournament results page and scroll down to the appropriate date). It’s less about “I want a video where Sigma wins gold”, and more about “I want a video that teaches me how to balance PPH and kill-hunting, regardless of the result (winning a cup or not).” If I label which cups I won in which videos, viewers will flock to those and miss out on some very instructive, well-played videos where I couldn’t win a cup due to missing kills. The key take-away: it is the methodology, and approach that matters the most, that is long-run sustainable for winning cups consistently. I could have played very well but only landed a bronze, versus played average but landed a gold cup due to better luck. So instead, I label the tournament videos by how much each of these components mattered: (1) luck, (2) PPH, (3) kill-hunting. This way, those interested in working on their PPH skills can go straight to those videos where I PPH’ed well (but not necessarily won a cup because I lucked out on 2-3 kills), or those interested in how I approach kills can look at those videos where I PPH’ed less competitively but I hunted kills brilliantly.

(3) Tournament guides have existed since early 2000s, so how is this different?

I also think these videos distinguish themselves from prior tournament guides in a few ways. Tournament guides have existed for over a dozen years, ranging from MJK’s tourney bible in the Battlefield days (I still have a copy if you want it) to the more recent 987 tourney guides and Kirby / BlueGhost tournament videos. Before I continue, I just want to express how much respect I have for these four players, because they all taught me much of what I know today and I am extremely grateful. However, I do think my guides are worth watching for these reasons:

  1. On the PPH aspect. I specify the (best to my abilities) estimate of how many points I accumulated after lieutenant, so help you gauge what type of PPH is required to be top 5 on which type of map. Land maps such as Desert, Rocks & Swamp, and The Pit will obviously require more (around 85-90k to make top 5) than water maps like Iceland, Deep Six, and Aquarium (around 70-75k to make top 5). Specifically, I often press “C” to show my points and “I” to show my inventory to try to show you the mathematical path of my points and equipment cycles.
  2. On the kill aspect. During early TankPit (version 1) and 2012 of version 2, the tournament style was heavily influenced by uTanks: PPH hard for 55 min to make top 5, and then snag a kill in the last 5 minutes during the mobs / armor fighting. However, around mid 2013, The Revelation (formerly known as A-i-r-w-a-l-k in Battlefield) returned to the game, hunted down the no-equipment newbies during mid-tournament, and began winning gold cups by ranking to major frequently. By the beginning 2014, the Incontinent Beaver similarly began to out-place high PPH captains by making major often as well. While it is still possible to win cups with high PPH and one kill at captain, the threat of 1-2 majors appearing always jeopardizes a captain’s chance of winning gold. Two of my best PPH experiences were during the Nov 01 2014 Appaloosa and Nov 30 2014 Elements tournaments, where I ended up with only bronze, because there were two majors at the end. I try to give a different approach from the 55-min-PPH-5-min-hunt-for-kill approach that 987 and Kirby are known for, by heavily discussing my thought process for hunting kills, and I hope that you can gain a better intuition for whom to hunt and when to hunt for them.
  3. I am combining theory (in my written guide) with practical implementation and examples (in my videos). Some people prefer to learn the theory and once they understand the theory, they can apply easily. Others prefer to see tangible results, and after seeing many examples, they understand the pattern and the theory appears naturally from connecting dots. Whichever type of learner you are, I am giving you BOTH choices.

BONUS MATERIAL (non-annotated). Additional tournament videos, which I can annotate as well, upon request:

2015-01-04 / Deep Six Point per hour: 4 out of 5.

Kill-hunting performance: 3 out of 5.

Luck: 4 out of 5

2015-01-01 / Rocks & Swamp

Points per hour: 5 out of 5. Estimated 89k on my lieutenant

Kill-hunting performance: 4 out of 5

Luck: 3 out of 5

2014-11-01 / Appaloosa (2 hour)

Points per hour: 4 out of 5.

Kill-hunting performance: 4 out of 5

Luck: 3 out of 5.

2014-10-11 / The Nile (2 hour)

Points per hour: 3 out of 5.

Kill-hunting performance: 5 out of 5

Luck: 4 out of 5.

Castles - Feb 08 2015

0 min: The Revelation steals my equipment in the first two moves of the tournament

16 min: I steal Rev's kill PLURkidIT in a 2v1

23 min 50 seconds: I make captain (record time for "Exceptional tournament experiences?")

30 min and onwards: I frequently ping 400+ ms (no idea why) and I miss shots in 1v1 PPH sessions

39 min: I deactivate Rainer Wolfcastle in a mob

42 min 30 seconds: I make major (record time for "Exceptional tournament experiences?")

57 min: I briefly pass Springfield INC to be #1, and then he and Tanker double team against me and I lose my spot, dropping back down to #2

59 min 55 seconds: I spent all of my shields and duals, and I finish the tournament 2-3 shots from death

Metropolis - Feb 21 2015

Initial fill took 7 min 30 seconds (that's pretty fast)

16 min 45 seconds: I spent 5 seconds looking at the entire map, investigating where players in the water are located. I noticed that World at Ruins was on ferry in the bottom right side, and I took a guess that after 5 min, he would be done refilling and ditch his ferry

20 min 30 seconds: My duals fall below 20, and I need a refill. I went to the bottom right where World at Ruins had been, and I immediately found his ferry. (It is always worth spending 20 seconds, every 5 min or so, to track ferries, so once you do get a ferry, you will refill many minutes faster than you would on land) I didn't know which direction of the river he had been in, so once I drove West for 2 screens and I saw no equipment, I knew that he had already been there, and I drove back North for tons of equipment and a good fight with Supreme Commander

36 min 30 seconds: I had gotten tons of points with Supreme Commander on water by this point, moving from #17 to top 5 PPH, and I was ready for a kill. I lost my ferry by accident (careless mistake) and decided to hunt for chewsetboss. He survives, however

44 min 40 seconds: I deactivate Kamek in a 4v1 with a homing shot (whew!) and make #1 captain. I knew most of the captains had been fighting on land where it was dry, so I wasn't surprised to be ahead of them. But I knew the top lieutenants (KAP40, Sakura, Princess Kashmir, Van Duyn) had great PPH and would place ahead of me if they made captain

50 min: Supreme Commander and I both find a ferry on the Northwest part of the water and we 1v1 hard until the very end, locking in our gold and silver spots. At this point, I am not sure if the top lieutenants would have passed me if they ranked to captain, because I harvested 30k+ in just 12 minutes. Total points from lieutenant onwards was probably 80-85k

Please provide me feedback. Thank you very much for watching / reading!