THE 2021 DrMC rules
The 2021 Dr Mario Vs Championship
In 1990, Nintendo capitalized on the runaway success of Tetris by releasing a new puzzle game, Dr. Mario. The two games were similar in that randomized puzzle pieces fell from the top of a narrow playfield and had to be strategically placed by the player to succeed. But Dr. Mario changed the focus from player vs the inevitable to player vs player. The goal in Dr. Mario is to be the first player to clear their playfield of dancing viruses while your opponent can slow your progress by pulling off combination chains. TORG Gaming Expo wants to bring together the best Dr. Mario players around and determine who is the best!
The 2021 DrMC will take place on Saturday, September 25th at the TORG Gaming Expo. The qualifying rounds will take place from 9am to 1pm, and the playoffs will begin at 2pm.
Qualifying Round (Pool System)
The qualifying rounds will be made up of pools of six players each, where players will compete in a round robin format. The player with the best winning percentage within the pool will be declared the winner of the pool and earn an automatic berth in the playoffs.
A Dr. Mario match usually consists of a best 3-out-of-5 game format, but due to time constraints, the qualifying rounds of THE DrMC will be single game matches. The qualifying rounds of THE DrMC will use Level 11/Hi Speed (48 viruses) settings.
Once all matches in a pool have been completed, the player with the top winning percentage will automatically earn a spot in the playoff bracket. In case of a tie at the top of a pool’s standings, here is the tie-breaker protocol:
1 - Head-to-head match results among players with the best winning percentage
2 - Higher seeding point total (see next section) in all matches
3 - Higher seeding point total in matches among pool winners
4 - Sudden death match (level 0/fast speed)
In the event of a 3-way (or greater) tie, once a player is eliminated via the tie-breaker protocol, the protocol starts over again with the remaining players until a single winner is determined
At the conclusion of the final pool at 1pm, all pool winners will be guaranteed a slot in the 32-player finals bracket. Any slots remaining will be awarded to players with the highest winning percentages who did not win their pools (seeding points will be used to break ties if necessary)
There will likely be several ties in winning percentage across the pools when determining the at-large players and determining the seeds for the playoff bracket. To break ties in the formation of the bracket, THE DrMC will use a simple point system based on the number of viruses remaining at the end of each match.
At the end of each match, the players will inform the judge the winner of the match, as well as the number of viruses the winning player and losing player have remaining on their playfield. The winning player will earn 2 points for every virus they destroy and 1 point for every virus remaining on their opponent’s playfield while the losing player will earn 1 point for every virus they destroy. Failure to report this information to the judge will result in both players losing seeding points for that match as the score will be recorded as 48/48, the same score we use to record forfeits.
While far from perfect, the seeding point system used over the course of several matches should do a good job of determining which players are finishing their playfields the fastest while giving partial credit to players who lose a match with only a handful of viruses left on their playfield.
Once the bracket has been filled with 32 players, the seeding process begins. No special provisions are given to a pool winner from this point forward, the only advantage a pool winner is given is a place in the bracket. A pool winner with a low winning percentage will likely receive a low seed.
All players in the playoffs will be ranked by winning percentage first, then players with the same winning percentage will be ranked by seeding points per match. In case of a tie in both categories, the player who participated in the earlier pool will be given the reward of the higher seed. Once every player has been seeded, the bracket will be filled by a standard 1 vs 32, 16 vs 17, etc bracket.
The playoffs will begin at 2pm. All playoff matches will be a traditional best 3-out-of-5 games Dr. Mario match. Playoff matches will be played at Level 14/Hi Speed (60 viruses). All playoff participants must check in with tournament organizers before 2pm. Announcements will be made when the check-in period begins and ends. Players who fail to check in will forfeit their spot in the playoffs and their spots will be filled in with alternates. Final seeds will be based on the ranks of the 32 players who checked in, so it is possible for players to increase their seed due to a higher ranking player forfeiting their spot in the bracket.
There will be no entry fee for THE DrMC. To encourage more play in the qualifying rounds, players may re-enter the tournament in a new pool, but they may only earn one slot in the playoff bracket. In the case where a player wins multiple pools, his or her best performance will be used for playoff seeding.
The TORG Gaming Expo has graciously sponsored the $1,000 prize pool for THE DrMC.
1st place - $500
2nd place - $250
Semi Finalists - $125
THE DrMC tournament organizers will provide consoles, cartridges, and monitors for the tournament. Players may bring their own standard-issue first-party NES controllers to use in the tournament if they wish. If a player does not bring their own controller, THE DrMC will bring plenty for players to use.
Stand-up Tournament Stations
Since THE DrMC can trace its origins and legacy back to the Nintendo World Championships, chairs and/or seating will not be provided to players by THE DrMC or the TORG Gaming Expo. Players at the NWC in 1990, 1994, 2015 and 2017 stood while qualifying and while on stage during the grand finals. Reasonable exceptions can be made at the discretion of the tournament organizers. Chairs will be available for the audience and players may sit in the audience between their matches.
Tournament organizers have the final say on any disputes that may come up during the competition. Tournament organizers may also modify this ruleset to fix unforeseen issues that may arise during the competition. Players who cheat, misbehave, or break any rule of The TORG Gaming Expo or the venue may be disqualified at the discretion of tournament organizers or TORG staff.