Where are all of the posters this year?
I don't have the time to provide full coverage this year, and unfortunately the graphics are just too much to maintain this year. I will definitely provide the graphic for the tournament bracket (like this one) and some of the other overviews, but how many of the other posters I get done depends on time and interest. At this point I don't expect to have time for much.
The matches ended a while ago. Where are the results?
On most days I will be unavailable when results are posted and may update as much as three hours late. If you want to find out the results faster then the best option is to check the admin thread (currently here) directly: this is the first place results are calculated and usually appear at around 23:05 JST.
Isn't this tournament running awfully late this year?
The tournament is starting late this year due to slower moving organisation. It will actually be catching up during the group stages by holding more matches per day, but because of the Losers Block mechanic (see below) in effect adding another 2 1/2 weeks to the tournament it will still take until late November to finish.
Can foreigners actually vote this year?
The same vote restrictions from last year are back so for most probably not, but early signs actually do show more foreign vote codes getting assigned.
I heard there's some sort of double elimination going on this year. What's up with that?
For whatever reason, the organisers wanted to experiment with a double elimination gimmick this year. Several options were discussed, but they have now settled on a rather confusing set up that I'll try and describe clearly.
The group stage will run as normal, right up to the group final stage resulting in eight group winners. Instead of then going to the quarter-final draw, the characters who were knocked out of the tournament by a group winner (2nd place only in the case of rounds one and two) get another attempt. At 4 losing characters per group winner, that's 32 total. No other losers get another chance, no matter their circumstances or performances.
These characters are shuffled into the Losers Block, which is a bit of a misnomer as it's actually eight mini-blocks consisting of a character who lost [to a group winner] in round one, a character who lost in round two, a character who lost in round three, and a character who lost in a group final. The drawing is otherwise random, so it doesn't have to be the four characters who all lost to the same group winner.
The Losers Block(s) are staggered across three rounds running in quick succession and lasting for a total of two weeks. In the first round, the character who lost in round one faces off against the character who lost in round two. The winner of this match then faces off against the character who lost in round three. The winner of this match then faces off against the character who lost in round four. Still sound confusing? Try it in graphic form.
After three rounds in the Losers Block, the 32 characters will have been whittled down to 8. These and the group winners then get shuffled into what would normally be the quarter-final draw. The tournament then finishes as normal, except starting with a round of 16 instead of the quarter-finals.