Thank you for your patience with us this year; indeed, we have kept you waiting a long time.
Today, we have several announcements to make:
- 2016 Tournament Format
- Updates to Tournament Rules
- Changes to ISML Staff
This year is our biggest tournament overhaul yet, ushering ISML into its fourth era. The Preliminary/RegularSeason/Postseason structure of past years is going away in favor of a simplified elimination-style bracket. Nominations will directly determine participants in the main tournament, and this three-week period will begin on May 22. Nova and Stella divisions have ended; we will be having a female side and male side -- each starting with 128 characters. The bracket will not be strictly single-elimination. The opening rounds will be group stages, similar to what you see in soccer/football. The group stages are miniature round-robins, and Contestants win points for victories in order to advance.
Necklaces are an important part of ISML, and these prizes will continue to be awarded. We are returning to 7 necklaces/pendants, and each match will occur about every two weeks as the Main Tournament progresses.
The Tournament of Champions is moving to the beginning of the year instead of the end. As such, it will not be held this year, since the participants would be the same. The next ToC will be held in 2017. The rules of ToC are still in place, however, meaning that Tiara winners will not be participating in the main tournament.
The main tournament is currently scheduled to begin on July 11, and the last voting day is November 30. Voting will occur on Mon/Wed/Fri this year instesad of Sun/Tue/Thu. All exhibition matches will take place alongside the main tournament; there will not be additional voting in December.
Updates to Tournament Rules
2016's structural changes call for amendments to our Constitution. As the global saimoe scene has evolved, ISML no longer needs the previous tournament schedule in order to remain distinct compared to other worldwide contests. Staff has concluded the Prelim/Regular-Season/Postseason paradigm has become limiting and restrictive. It was great and reliable for a long time, but we are ready to press forward.
We will rewrite Article II of our Constitution, and we will edit portions of Article III to remove the mention of a Preliminary Period and Postseason Period. This allows the annual Charter (coming soon) to have more flexibility on each year's tournament format.
Section 1. The primary contest format of ISML shall be a round-robin head-to-head tournament, also called the "Main Tournament." It shall take place during the League's Regular Season. The duration and schedule of the Main Tournament and the maximum number of Contestants will be defined in the Annual Charter by the Staff.
Section 2. Following the Regular Season, the League shall host a elimination-style head-to-head tournament featuring the top finalists of the round-robin tournament. This event among other optional events will be classified as the Postseason. The duration and schedule of Postseason activities and the number of Contestants admitted to the elimination-style tournament will be defined in the Annual Charter by the Staff.
Section 3. Prior to the Regular Season, a period to be known as the Preseason shall consist of additional tournaments and events to determine eligible entry into ISML, including at minimum a Nomination Period and a Preliminary Period. The Nomination Period shall allow the Community to recommend any eligible character to become a competitor in the League.
Section 4. The sequence of Preseason, Regular Season, and Postseason phases shall not collectively last longer than 365 days. No phase shall be held twice in one Gregorian calendar year.
Article III. Competitors, Candidates, and Contestants
(skipping sections 1 and 2, as they won't change)
Section 3. Eligibility for the
Section 4. Competitors are classified as Candidates upon advancement to the Preliminary Period. Candidates are classified as Contestants upon advancement to the Regular Season.
Section 1. ISML contest cycles shall take place within one Gregorian calendar year.
Section 2. A contest cycle consists of the necessary tournament phases to admit Competitors and crown a League Champion. The cycle must include a nomination phase and a main phase. The nomination phase shall allow the Community to recommend any eligible character to become a competitor in the League. The main phase ("Main Tournament") shall allow the Community to vote on admitted characters until a Champion is determined.
Section 3. The scheduling and structure of each year's contest cycle will be defined in that year's Annual Charter by the Staff.
Article III. Competitors, Candidates, and Contestants
(sections 1 and 2 remain the same)
Section 3. Eligibility for the Main Tournament additionally requires the character's appearance in a full-length animation published and distributed in Japanese media (television, theatre, Internet-exclusive videos, and video discs) on a commercial scale by a registered animation studio.
Section 4. Competitors are classified as Candidates or Contestants when they participate in the Main Tournament. The Annual Charter may make further distinctions as needed to identify characters properly in any tournament phase.
This year also brings new leadership to ISML. I, Crisu, am retiring as ISML Commissioner. For about 7 years I've been happy and proud to plan, design, and execute this tournament alongside fellow staff -- all of whom have given countless hours (and they're not stopping!) of their time and energy to make this community a fun and engaging place for everyone. I started making spreadsheets while a senior in college, then transitioned to writing code and web design from graduation and beyond. I've been working full-time for a while now, and each year of that plus other responsibilities has gradually pulled me away from saimoe, and it has come time for me to step down. ISML needs passionate people at its helm, and I can no longer give the tournament the leadership it deserves.
Thus in 2016, the League will be in the capable hands of KholdStare and Hikari-chan. They have years of experience and have already played major roles in keeping this tournament fresh and exciting through the years. ISML will continue strongly for years to come. We've recently welcomed new staff members as well: RegalStar, Just, smartboy, and Shmion also have that passion and dedication to keep ISML going.
I'm not disappearing completely. So far I have been helping to transition ISML to a new web server, which is basically complete. Eater-of-All has been helping with server administration, and RegalStar has been studying the backend technical functions and coding as well. I will still lurk the forums and provide help to new staff where needed.
I look forward to seeing new life breathed into ISML. The community is awesome and has been so memorable, and I will enjoy watching it continue to grow. Thank you all for your love of saimoe.
- No more Preliminary Period; Nominations go straight to Main Tournament
- Nominations begin on May 22 and last for three weeks
- No more Nova and Stella -- just Female and Male, each with 128 contestants
- No more Postseason; Main Tournament will conclude with this year's champions
- No more round-robin; Main Tournament will be World-Cup-style with group stages in the beginning, followed by elimination stage
- Necklaces/Pendants will remain, and there will be 7 of them
- No Tournament of Champions this year (next one in 2017); Tiara winners still ineligible in 2016
- Main Tournament will run from July to November with exhibitions woven in
- ISML Constitution will be amended to reflect these changes
- Crisu is retiring; KholdStare and Hikari-chan are new Commissioner and Vice-Commissioner