Back in the years 2008 and 2010 a little octopus named Paul fascinated football fans worldwide by accurately predicting the outcome of matches of the German national football team in the Euro 2008 and the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The cute fella was presented with two boxes containing food. The boxes were identical except for a different flag decorating each box, representing the football teams in the upcoming match. Paul made his prediction clear by eating from the box sporting the flag of his chosen team. With 12 out of 14 matches predicted correctly Paul had a success rate of 85.7 %.
Surely we as highly informed, extremely intelligent and well learned ReBBL coaches can beat this success rate in round 1 of our very own tipping competition, can't we?
No...no we cannot. Not by a long shot. Not even one of us.
Recognizing that Paul was a very special sports oracle, maybe we should go for lower hanging fruits. The lowest hanging fruits. Could we as somewhat informed, moderately intelligent and barely literate ReBBL coaches beat out a crowd of toddlers making predictions by drooling on their football coupon?
Yes! Yes, we actually can. But it was a close one. Out of 1979 tips in the first round of the Play Offs and the Challengers Cup, only 1021 were correct, that’s 51.6 %. So what happened? Do we not know any of the teams? Do we have an unwarranted bias towards some teams? Where the matches really close and hard to predict or were there many upsets?
First let us see if we were better in predicting PlayOff games than Challenger Cup games as we can assume that the latter competition contains the less well known teams, so this might give us a hint how well informed we actually were whilst tipping:
As we can see the tips were slightly more accurate for the Playoffs, but not by much.
Next let us see how much bias there was towards certain regions:
As you can see we are not better at predicting the results of GMAN and REL games than a monkey tossing coins would have been. But when it comes to Big O we not only have a 56.5 % success rate when predicting, we are also more likely to tip for them than against them. This is especially curious as from a numbers point of view Big O teams are probably the most unknown and some prominent members of ReBBL seem to think that Big O will never amount to anything in the Playoffs.
Let's take a closer look at the divisions:
Division 1 is a strange one, they were favored by 74 % of tippers, but tips on Div 1 were wrong in 54 % of cases. Despite Div 1 going 4 : 3 in terms of wins you were still much more likely to be correct if you tipped for Div 1. Most of the people who got it wrong voting against Div 1 came from The Scuffling Dead vs. New Gender Norse which got 15 to 30 tips, apparently big names like Ornan draw even more tips, than big divs.
Divisions 2 and 3 look more like you would expect. People having confidence in the higher divisions are being rewarded with lots of points in the competition, while voting against them was a bad idea, even more against Div 3 than Div 2.
Teams from Division 4 went with 9 wins and 9 losses. Same goes for the tippers, it was 50/50 whether your tip was correct or not. There was also an overwhelming lack of confidence in div 4, only 31% of the tips were for Div 4 teams. Compare that to the 43% that thought Div 5 teams were going to win. Boy were they wrong. Nothing in Round 1 was worse than tipping for a Div 5 team!
Why were so many people of the opinion Div 5 teams were better suited for Playoffs than Div 4 teams? One aspect were well-known people re-rolling, Ornan and his New Gender Norse were already mentioned, Mysteas’ Orcs Ford Nation also got 22 tips for them. Another big tip magnet were teams from FullMetals division, apparently our supreme overlords recaps and podcasts warped people's expectations:
Losre (GMAN 5A) vs Steer (REL 2B) 24 : 18
Gerbear (GMAN 5A) vs Thessa (REL 3C) 26 : 19
Woofbark (GMAN 5A) vs Mynimo1 (REL 3B) 33 : 12
All of them lost…
And finally the biggest upsets of round 1:
Ravens Claws vs Abysmal Cusp 35 : 6
Ready Lizard One vs Arequipa Nurglerers 39 : 6
Two GMAN Div 1 teams going out against REL Div 4 Nurgle… I bet Chabxxu would have seen this coming (he did not despite his writings).
Fogmire Fenbeasts vs Secret Lizard Overlordsss 27 : 4
Rollingred against whom? The minors champ? But they’ve never won anything… well now they have and it wasn’t even close.
Yethee to conquer vs Kopi Luwak 41 : 4
Iron Master got a hype video for winning every game he played this season right around the time the tipping comp started and he was up against a no-name Eurogamer coach with a fresh high elf team. It was a no-brainer tip for most people. It was also Mr Leibnitz’ first upset this Playoffs… but neither his biggest, nor his last.
By the time this article goes out the round of 32 is almost over and it is time for us to tip for the next round. So what have we learned? Don't tip names or reputation, tip facts. Tip for the higher divisions, they play there for a reason. And don't tip for the upset even if it is tempting, you wouldn't build a game plan around your opponent failing a 1 in 9 either. And with this best of luck in the coming rounds, we can't be as good as a magical mollusc, but we can beat a bunch of chimpanzees tossing coins.