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The Wild Card Game is coming to Auto Leagues

Update as of 5/8/2020: The response to the wild card game has been mostly positive, but it has created some issues where the #1 seed is forced to face a very strong team due to the lack of balance across divisions in Auto Leagues. Therefore, all Auto Leagues will be moving to a two-division format once their current season concludes. This means the two division winners are automatically the #1 and #2 seed. The top wild card is automatically the #3 seed, and the winner of the wild card game (seed 4 vs. seed 5) becomes the #4 seed. This will guarantee the #1 team is not playing the second-best team in the league in the first round. At the same, it gives one more team a shot at the playoffs, and it reduces the chance of such unbalanced divisions.

Update as of 4/28/2020: The pilots have passed, and the Wild Card game is going LIVE across all Auto Leagues immediately.

I am going to be testing out a second Wild Card team in some Auto Leagues with the intent of rolling this out to all leagues soon. The two teams will play a one-game wild card game, with the winner advancing to play the #1 seed in the typical four-team format. Tie breakers remain the same (head-to-head, or in the case of more than two teams being tied, Power Ranking is used).

All teams will still get the three days off after the season ends, but now the division winners will get an extra two days (one for the wild card game and one extra day after the wild card game is played). The wild card winner will get one day off before the next round.

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but just haven't found the time. The increased traffic lately made me realize a few things:

1) It has become really hard for new players to compete against veterans on the site. The second wild card slot gives all teams a little something more to play for deeper into the season.

2) The team with the best record has never been given any sort of reward, but now they have the benefit of facing a non-rested team in the first round.

3) We know that lopsided divisions in Auto Leagues are fairly common. This will give teams that got hosed by division assignment a better shot at the tournament.

If you're interested in following the results, the first league to experiment with this format is going to be League 503.

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