Brace yourself for a long one folks!
ScreamThe whole purpose of qualifiers is to give people a chance to play invite.
I have nothing against giving people a chance to play invite, but there are many ways of doing that. ETF2L's approach is generally to holistically move teams up based on a combination of experience and scrim results, and then run quals if it's too tough to call. I'm fine with that, but etf2l never goes more than like a 4 team qualifier for 2 spots, at least off of memory. What I don't like is when teams that should either obviously be invite or obviously be div 1/advanced are roped into the qualifier because admins haven't done their research.
ScreamI would also disagree and say a lot of the qualifier teams are similar in skill level. For example, one of the teams you left out, cleanbuddies, has tony (played invite, top 4 adv), Bumbo (played invite, top 4 adv twice), ed (multiple seasons of invite), alan (top 2 adv and top 4 adv), cleanbuddy/rowpieces (top 2 and top 4 adv),and FrickMyNick (playoffs adv on offclass and experience playing medic in invite). I don't see how this team is any worse on paper than any of the qualifier teams, and I don't think it's fair to straight up leave them out, as there is not really a clear winner out of the majority of the teams, none are really head and shoulders above the rest.
You said you wanted to give teams a chance to make invite, and yet you're basing this team being 'similar in skill level' on their previous experience, not their current scrim results, or just as importantly, their scrim ambitions. This team has barely existed, and they've only scrimmed the other team I suggested should be in the qualifier, and Cat Posse (who beat them relatively convincingly). Compare that to the artist team, who have much less invite experience, but have traded maps with multiple other teams trying to be invite and have also scrimmed froyotech, showing their ambition to improve.
If we look at the (not very recently-updated) RGL spreadsheet:
We see 6 teams already in invite, and 6 teams in the qualifiers. One of those teams is a really weird RainofLight team that I highly doubt has any ambition to play invite with people like stoper, goldfish and carnage who definitely don't care to try super hard. Them aside, that means there's a 5 team qualifier for 4 spots. Doesn't that seem a bit excessive?
The way I see it, you have 3 options that make more sense.
1) my original idea of the cleanbuddy and kylor teams fighting it out
2) include a couple more teams on the basis of slightly worse scrim results- like the rio team perhaps
3) include a couple more teams on the basis of less invite experience- like the artist team
Either way, from a selfish perspective, my team a) has a lot of people with significant invite experience and b) has clearly performed at a higher level in scrims than the 'obvious' qualifier teams. If we play a team like the cleanbuddy team in the qualifiers, is there a greater than 0% chance they beat us? Sure, anything is possible, and we'll play it if we have to. But I also feel like it's a bit of a distraction when I want to be scheduling weeklies against a lot of the teams that are automatically in invite and preparing for the season. Even if my team does have to play it though, I'd rather see 7-8 confirmed teams and then 3-4 teams competing for 2-3 spots rather than 5 teams for 4 spots.
Tery_Scream's point is that the tony team has players with Invite experience, comparable to or even moreso than the manacute team. In mustard's list, the latter is (in his eyes) worthy of not needing to play the qualifiers, while the former isn't.
If the rubric we're using isn't prior experience, but rather how well teams are performing now, then yes, I think that team is actually pretty good.
Tery_So if RGL decides to thin the pool early by having certain teams bypass the need for qualifiers
You worded this like the default is to have qualifiers, but I can't think of a single situation where you had 11 teams trying to play in a 10 team invite and the admins wanted 5 of them to play in a qualifier.
Tery_it leads to more case-by-case decisions or admin discretion, and we've seen how that has played out before in past decisions.
Putting aside the current RGL admins, it really shouldn't be that difficult to figure out which teams should automatically make invite. I haven't even discussed the fact that Yambo seems to be grandfathered in from playing last season or that Cat Posse got in for winning advanced, even though those teams are definitely close skill-wise to the better teams in the qualifiers. If we've established that some of those teams can be let in automatically, I don't see why we can't make reasonable decisions about teams based on their scrim results or prior experience.
Tery_Edit: Look back to last season for example. There's no telling how the original Burnsiders would've done in Invite, but they lost during qualifiers and thus their chance.
I'm pretty sure looking at that Burnsiders team's scrim results would make it pretty clear that, even if they made invite, they'd clearly be at the bottom.
Tery_And of course the whole pootis.org / Rebirth death and resurrection, and that team skipping qualifiers. This current offseason is basically that but on a grander scale with more teams and more time, of which these can be both positive and negative.
The pootis.org thing is not comparable to me, because they're a team that legitimately put the admins in a no-win situation. On the one hand, their re-emergence would force a team back down into the quals that had already been told they could just play invite. On the other, they were clearly MILES ahead of all of those qualifier teams. This season, I'm trying to get out in front of this topic BEFORE the qualifiers even start.
Anyways I know some people will laugh at me for going to such lengths to try to get out of playing a couple maps and call me chicken or big ego or something, but it's not even only about that, I just think the league should be run more logically in situations like this. Hell, it's very possible that that google doc is SUPER outdated and there will be far fewer teams in the qualifiers (again, why the fuck is the RoL team there lol).