2020 Dr. Mario Championship will be held Online

The 2020 Dr. Mario Championship (DrMC) will happen online. Since this tournament is online, the format will be different from their in-person tournament. Obviously, there will not be an in-person tournament this year because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

2020 Dr. Mario Patch that Playoff Players will receive.
All players that participated will receive a 2020 Dr. Mario Championship Patch.

Here’s a Brief Breakdown of the Schedule:

  • August 1-5: Qualifying
  • August 8-9: Opening Rounds of the Playoffs
  • Somewhere in the Future: Top 8 Playoffs (Update: The Top 8 took place on September 13, those videos will be uploaded on YouTube in the Future)

Format of the 2020 Dr. Mario Championship Qualifying Rounds

This year, the NES version of Dr. Mario will be played on the Nintendo Switch. This allows players to play against each other through the system’s online service.

The qualifying consist of people waiting to join a 4-player-pool. Each pool will have players playing against each other in a double round robin format. In this round, competitors play on Level 11/Medium Speed. At the end of each game, the winner earns 2 points for every virus cleared and 1 point for every virus the opponent has left. While the loser earns 1 points for every virus cleared.

The Pool Winner is determined based on the following in order of importance:

  1. Winning Percentages
  2. Head to Head match among players in question
  3. Points earned in all matches
  4. Points earned in matches among players in question
  5. Sudden Death Match (Level 0/High Speed)

At the end of the pool, all players can join a new pool (if there is room).

At the end of the qualifying round, pool winners get an automatic spot in the playoffs. To determine which players get the remaining spots (if any), the organizers will view the non-pool winner’s points earned.

For more information on this tournament, read the 2020 DrMC Official Rules. (Especially the last paragraph)

Playoff Format

(Edit: The Playoff Format were first announced during the qualifying rounds of the tournament.)

For the Top 32 Playoffs, players are distributed among eight different 4-player modified double-elimination sub-brackets. It was a traditional Double-Elimination tournament, except that the Winner of the Winner’s Bracket advanced to the “Top 8” (there’s actually 9 spots) and the Winner of the Loser’s Bracket advanced to the Top 8 LOSER’S Bracket.

The matches in the winner’s bracket were a Best of 5 at Level 14/Medium Speed. While the matches in the loser’s bracket featured very intense 1-game sudden death matches at Level 8/Medium Speed.

Sample Sub-Bracket. I drew these brackets to show you how the tournament works.

In the Top 8 LOSER’S Bracket, the 8 players competed against each other for the 9th spot in the “Top 8”.

Sample 8-player LOSER’S BRACKET

In the Top 8, the winner of the LOSER’S Bracket will enter a play-in match against the lowest seed of the Top 8. Where the winner of the LOSER’S Bracket needs to win 4 games to win the match while the other person needs to win only 3 games to advance.

Once the play-in match is over, the rest of the Top 8 rounds are a Best of 7.

Sample “Top 8” Bracket

The playoff rules can be found here.

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see how the tournament will operate. The Nintendo Switch online service is not perfect when it comes to online play on NES games. This is nothing that the organizers can do about it. Oh well, I still look forward to watching the tournament.

Be sure to follow the tournament on Twitter for up to date information.

Update: I was in this tournament and wrote an article about it. You can check it out here.

(Update 5/25/2021: Check out the Top 8 matches of the 2020 DrMC here.)

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