Sportsmanship and the match simulator

Bubbles, FC Sunnyvale 1 August 2014, 14:43

This week I was made aware of an example of a very improbable match result.

The game ended 1-1, despite the home team fielding an extremely superior squad.

As an experiment, I made the server to run the same match again 1000 times to collect some statistics. The result was:

  • Home team: The Danish Vikings - total stats: 8549 (69%)
  • Away team: MacIver FC - total stats: 3864 (31%)
  • Results: 999 home wins / 1 draw / 0 away wins
  • Total goals: 3771 for the home team (98%), 90 for the away team (2%)

When I saw the result, I had to check the results a second time. I had actually expected the away team to win at least a few matches.

So in fact, the very unlikely outcome only happened again one time out of 1000.

It is sometimes frustrating to read on the forums when one-off unlikely match results are paraded out as a conclusion that the match simulator is completely unrealistic.

But because we play hundreds of thousands of matches every week, even highly improbable results WILL and MUST occur. Improbable is not the same as impossible.

Unfortunately, when things don't go well for your own team well, the reaction is often that it must be someone's fault. And it is often the match simulator that gets blamed. Looking at the forum when these sorts of match results are discussed, it can appear as though the match simulator is completely random.... but remember, no one ever creates a forum post titled "Look at this match, it went exactly as expected!".

I hope that everyone will remember this example, the next time a lesser opponent manages a rare win against you, and instead show good sportsmanship and congratulate them on their victory. It could be one of those 1 in 1,000 chances.

Vacation time

It's finally time for a little vacation time here at the office. Bangs United has already been away for the past few weeks, and now it's my turn, so there won't be any blog entries for the next couple of weeks.

See you in a few weeks!