Back in February a group of IL-2 Great Battles Series fans and community organizers came together to announce a new project called Flight Club! The goal is to provide a highly organized duelling league with score based matchmaking utilizing the series World War I aircraft for close and personal dogfights. I put some questions to two of the organizers, Artun and Wolff, to learn a bit more about what it’s all about. Check out their responses in this latest edition of my Community Q&A series!
The questions and the answers!
Let’s get to the questions and start with some introductions.
[Artun] Hello! I’ve been involved with the Rise of Flight multiplayer community since 2010. The recent global pandemic got me back into flight simming after a long hiatus, and I’ve been enjoying FC and IL-2 GB ever since.
[Wolff] Hi. I’ve been playing WW1 sims going all the way back to Knights of the Sky on DOS. I missed out on RoF but have been active in the FC community since 2020.
Your group is making the claim to first e-Sports series for for the IL-2 series. What’s different between Flight Club and other dogfight and duel leagues?
[Wolff] “e-Sports” can be broadly interpreted, but similar to contemporary e-sports leagues, Flight Club offers seasonal, competitively ranked matches with a traditional skill-based scoring system (similar to Elo rankings from Chess).
[Artun] Flight Club was designed from the start with a few things in mind. Firstly, it’s seasonal. We’re trying to set the groundwork now for an event which will hopefully last for years to come with an ever expanding player base. Players will build Match Making Rating (MMR) points over a season which will group them into a division for each season-ending tournament.
Secondly, it’s casual. Gameplay during the seasons can be conducted on any server with dueling spawns, and the matches are self enforced (both participants have to vote for the victor).
Lastly, it’s balanced. Because tournaments will be based on MMR rankings, these matches will be held between pilots of similar skill. We hope that this will produce fun and fair fights.
How does the division and point system work for matches?
[Wolff] Similar to chess Elo rankings, players gain or lose MMR points as they win or lose matches. The amount of points that a player wins or loses in a match is proportional to the MMR of his opponent. For example, if a player with a low MMR beats a player with a higher MMR, the player with the lower MMR stands to gain a lot of MMR points while the other player will lose just as many. Likewise, if the player with the higher MMR wins, that player will gain a smaller number of points while the lower MMR player loses that same number.
Balanced matches (based on MMR) are easily assigned and tracked via the Flight Club discord. Players need only to click “Join Queue” in the appropriate channel. Once the match has been assigned and completed, the players then select the winner from the automated discord prompt. All scoring, leaderboards, and pilot records are handled automatically.
[Artun] During the season, divisions are informally created between those of similar MMR scores. Before a season-ending tournament, these divisions (Division I, II, and III) will be locked in and used to determine tournament brackets.
Each of these divisions will have their own tournament with equivalent medals and prizes. The goal is to ensure that the gold medal matchup for any of the tournaments is just as fun to watch as it is competitive for the participants.
Approximately how long is a season?
[Wolff] Exact timing has yet to be finalized, but season length is expected to be between 3 and 6 months.
Why choose Flying Circus and the World War I setting for the fights?
[Artun] Great question! Firstly, it should be stated that both of us have had considerable fun flying WWII aircraft online in both the full-real and dueling servers. Thus, we make these claims from a position of experience with both eras.
Critically, we believe that the typical WWI duel removes emphasis on aircraft systems management (flaps, engine settings, etc.) and places it instead on mastery of BFM and tactics. Secondly, due to the slower speed of the aircraft, the angular velocity is higher, and the pace of the fights is much more aggressive. Thirdly, there are no cannons, placing a higher emphasis on accuracy in landing crippling machine gun shots on the pilot or engine. Lastly, due to the simplicity of WWI aircraft, we believe it will be much more straightforward for the average WWII player to be competitive in such a league than it would be for the average WWI player in a WWII-based league. After all, the goal is to set up an even playing field for everyone in the IL2 community!
What kind of matches are you offering? (i.e. 1v1, 2v2, etc.)
[Wolff] We currently offer ranked 1v1 and 2v2 matches. Pilots can queue in the auto-matchmaking 1v1 to be automatically assigned fights based with other pilots with similar a similar MMR. The manual matchmaking queue can be used when there are fewer pilots around to initiate fights regardless of MMR. Pilots queuing for 2v2 matches can vote on whether the teams will be automatically or manually assigned.
Additionally, unranked matches are often coordinated on the discord server as well.
When does the first season begin?
[Artun] The first season is ongoing! We’ve been doing matches for a few months, and we plan to continue this season until the beginning of June before splitting up the divisions and conducting the inaugural tournament!
Are there prizes?
[Artun] Yes, there are! Prizes will be available to the first, second and third place finishers in each division:
- 1st – Cash Prize, amount to be determined
- 2nd – Flying Circus Vol. 3 pre-order
- 3rd – Collector’s Plane (your choice)
How can people join the community? How can they sign up?
[Wolff] Just join the Flight Club Discord!
Sounds like an interesting tournament. If a casual dueling tournament in WWI kites sounds like your kind of thing, check out the Flight Club Discord and get involved and start ranking up those points. Good luck to everyone already taking part and to anyone who decides to get involved!
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First Rule of Flight Club: Talk about flight club
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