Hello, Academy Students!
My name is Kevin, Director of the Academy Innovation Labs.
Today, on behalf of our team, I would like to share a Development Update on our latest feature — the Academy Tournament Platform!
I’ll be talking about what motivated us to create our own Tournament Platform, what we ended up building, and how you’ll be able to use and explore the new feature in the future.
First, some background. When we first started hosting tournaments, we ran into a simple but annoying problem — how do we host tournaments where we can be sure that all players are students?
There were plenty of tournament platforms available, but the only place where we knew we could validate student status using the criteria we wanted was our AcadArena website.
Our early tournaments had to use a manual verification process that could take up to 30 minutes for students to complete, which we knew was a bad experience.
We knew we couldn’t compromise on student verification because we wanted to maintain competitive integrity for our tournaments, so we were left with one solution — build our own platform!
With a clear solution in mind, we set out with three guiding design pillars for the platform:
Our UX Design team kicked off the design process in late 2021, guided by our Senior Engineer and resident Tournament expert Jasper.
We knew building our own platform would allow us to reference our student database, so our biggest challenges were figuring out how to create a permission-based Varsity team creation process and figuring out how to bring up our feature set to a competitive level with other platforms.
Today, after months of research and development, the Beta version of the Tournament Platform is live!
The live version of the Tournament Platform features several distinct feature sets that set it apart from other Tournament Platforms available.
With these improvements, we were able to cut down registration time for tournaments from 30 minutes to less than 5 minutes in internal playtests, which we think is a huge step forwards.
Still, because the platform is still in Beta, we’re planning to develop several additional features — allowing students to join incomplete teams, a way to place opposing teams into the same Discord lobby, and more. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve the Tournament Platform for you or your community, please let us know!
Now that the platform is live, we have several major events and milestones planned for the next few weeks, both to stress test the platform and to welcome feedback from students like yourself.
That’s it for our quick development update! This is a work in progress and if you encounter any issues, you can always reach out to us through our Discord.
Thanks for listening, and let us know if you have any other requests for new features or improvements. Our Academy Innovation Lab members are always cooking up new and interesting ideas, so stay tuned for more development updates coming soon!
Kevin & The Academy Innovation Labs
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