I just want to preface this post with the following; thank you again to everybody that has allowed us to host and run a total of 13 seasons of Highlander, and giving us the opportunity to reach two divisions again in AU/NZ which we haven't seen in a long time. This year has brought all manners of unexpected upon everyone, and we just hope that the continuation of this league has helped ease the troubles you may be facing and for a time put it in the rearview.
With 2021 approaching there are going to be some structural league changes to ensure both the continuation of the league, and the growth of our communities in both AU/NZ and Asia. In AU/NZ over the past 28 months, we've seen an uptick in the number of scrimmages between teams in each division, gradually more committed teams, and an increase in the number of new players coming to Highlander. Highlander is typically regarded as a much friendlier game mode for new players to jump into competitive for, as it more closely resembles their existing experience and is a good way to build upon it. This won't be news to anyone who has been around a while though, and to all of those people who have been around, made teams, and recruited some newer players, or even to those who have made pug and mentoring groups for new players, we thank you. You are growing this community and without this level of commitment from you all, we wouldn't be where we are now.
In recognition of that, we will be making a focus on bolstering the existing pug or mentoring groups by working in resources to our documentation site to try to improve upon the new player experience and give these mentors the resources and backing they need to continue to "initiate the new blood".
I mentioned some structural changes. This is a bit broad and I recognize that, but we aren't entirely sure where these changes will be made as of yet, we are sure of only two things:
- At the start of 2021 (hopefully prior to the next season), we will be running our first tournament based around experienced players and creating a balanced, but competitive lineup of teams for a prize pool. We aren't too far on the details for this yet either, but with the season over we'll be moving full-steam ahead on this project.
- Sometime in 2021, I (core / Connor) will be taking a backseat in Respawn, if not almost entirely stepping away from the league. This decision has been motivated by a few things (other projects, time constraints, etc.) but key among them has been seeing just how many people are dedicated to improving on the community we have together, and knowing that there are likely people who have a lot more passion and ambition for making Highlander in our region what it should have always been than I do. This is a decision I have reached over months of contemplation and I will be working with the existing staff and any new additions by then (hoping to bring on more administrators for both regions) to ensure someone is there to take the mantle, and the transition is as smooth as possible. I am nothing but appreciative of the opportunity I have been given over the past two years to help nudge Highlander in a (hopefully) better direction than it was prior to Respawn and see the community arrive at a better and more fulfilling Highlander experience.
So woah, what a weighted topic to try to move on from but nevertheless, there is one last thing to mention in this post. Moving forward into next year, we will be making a big push towards bringing everything we've mentioned in this post, everything we see as the normal Highlander experience and more in AU/NZ, to Asia. We aren't going to say how we plan to do this as of now, again we are still working out the details, but rest assured it will dwarf any previous attempt.
So I guess this might be one of the last times I'll be posting something this long on the site, so the Respawn team would just like to throw in a big congratulations not only to the winning teams of each division and region along with the runner-ups but also to everyone who made it through the year. Moving forward we'll continue to strive towards being everything and more, both as a league and community.
Stay In The Circus