Tonight there was an event on Starcraft Jeopardy that I've already received some pushback about, so I want to nip the whole thing in the bud and lend some insight into the decision.

Spoilers for Episode 8 within, watch the episode before reading this.

Some things to keep in mind while reading this:

  • I'm not perfect
  • The rulings in the show are not perfect
  • We don't plan on publishing a hard-and-fast rulebook.
  • I honestly believe I made the right call tonight.

So let's address the specifics. PengWin goes all in on the Tournament names Daily Double with the clue

This tournament saw Lionsgate invest $20,000 into an SC2 tournament to promote their film.

To which he responded:

"What is the Lionsgate MLG Invitational -- aahdddnononononowaitwait What is the Ender's Game MLG Invitational"

The correct response on my cue card was the MLG Ender's Game on Blu-Ray Tournament. MLG GameOn Ender's Game on Blu-Ray Tournament or Twitch Ender's game on Blu-Ray Tournament would have been fine as well, as those were all different names that the tournament officially presented at various points.

I'll give you some insights into how I make these rulings, but remember, these aren't concrete 100% rules.

  • A contestant can add a bit of "extra" to a question. Usually this involves giving a bit of additional, unrequired information like if we were asking "This is the amount of energy an unupgraded infestor spawns with" and the contestant replies "How much is 50 or 75 with Pathogen Glands". They've given us the correct answer, but they've added additional information, that is correct, but irrelevant. These are considered correct responses usually.
  • A contestant omits information, but the information is deemed non-critical for omission and the contestant addresses the rest of the question correctly. Something like this, which actually came up in the question is "This spell can reveal cloaked units, but not burrowed ones" to which the correct response is "EMP Round", the actual name of the spell. We will accept "EMP" because the spirit of the question is more about the effect of the ability and less about the specific name of the ability, so the colloquial version is accepted.
  • A contestant permutes information. Some information is a bit out of order, but overall it's correct. Relevant to this question, MLG should be at the front of the name but "Ender's Game on Blu-Ray MLG Tournament" would have been okay, as all the key points were there, just some were permuted, without changing meaning. Permutations changing meaning are not accepted, eg. "Ender's Game MLG on Blu-Ray Tournament" - that sounds like MLG is releasing a video disc, which is not the case.

So, how does this apply? Well, generally when judging, any one of these violations is enough to award the points, and continue on with play. A violation of two of these points leads to an incorrect question.

Let's look at the "spirit" of the question. It's in the Category "Tournament Names". The focus is on the name of the tournament, since the name is unorthodox in some way, so correctness is extra important. If the category was just "Tournaments", we would have definitely ruled PengWin correct, as he clearly understands which tournament occurred, but we weren't asking about the tournament, we were asking about the name. The tournament itself was created to promote Ender's Game having a Blu-Ray release, so the "Blu-Ray" section of the name is deemed important. It was advertised heavily during the tournament, and it was long and cumbersome to say, but the casters said it in full. A lot. Finally, it's not an Invitational. The Breakout Invitational very much has Invitational as part of its name Invitational means something in the context of tournaments, especially in naming them, so adding it to the end of a name is important.

That means, that the response PengWin gave was in violation of all three rules. He omitted "Blu-Ray" which was an important omission, he permuted some of the words (but did not change their meaning). And he added "Invitational" (in both his initial response and his correction). If he just omitted the word Blu-Ray, it would have been a difficult call, but he probably would have gotten it. If he just added "Invitational", he probably would have gotten it. If he just permuted the words (without changing meaning) he would have gotten it. The problem is he did all three at once, when you're not supposed to do more than one. That's why it didn't look like I thought about the decision much, because I didn't have to. All the criterion for the decision were in my head and it was quickly clear to me that despite his best intentions and his knowledge of the tournament occurring, he didn't satisfactorily know the name, which was the point of the category.

To that end, I'm confident in my ruling on this issue.

In the interest of full disclosure I will address the other two primary points of leniency in this episode:

  1. Peanuts' answer to the question about Quantic Gaming. This was initially ruled correct as just a "too much information" rule, but it ought not have been. He offered the name Simon Bordeau instead of Simon Borderault as the Team Owner. An irrelevant detail, but irrelevant details should be correct, or not offered.
  2. PengWin's Answer to the question about Aiur Chef. The name of the Tournament is "The Next Aiur Chef". Since I said the first of this tournament, and who am I to say what the whole series is called this was ruled correct because of awkward question wording as well as the omission being deemed unimportant.

I hope this transparency has helped.

The end decision is to keep the results as they are and bid PengWin farewell and good travels. He will return for the Tournament of Champions, and still holds the longest streak on Starcraft Jeopardy by a long margin. He's won seven episodes and he's done it with strong all-around knowledge about the game, tournaments and players. While it is definitely reasonable to argue that the game would have gone differently had Peanuts not received the extra 1600 points and PengWin won them instead, we are unable to know the actual outcome. Further, PengWin has already had a long run and shown that he is profoundly competent, so we're not cheating him of some sort of "breakout performance" - he's already done that the past seven episodes.

I hope everyone understands and continues to tune in. We try to produce the best show possible, and this was a definite learning experience.