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What is SpyParty?

SpyParty is a spy game about human behavior, performance, perception, and deception. While most espionage games have you spend your time shooting stuff, blowing stuff up, and driving fast, SpyParty has you hide in plain sight, deceive your opponent, and detect subtle behavioral tells to achieve your objectives.

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Challenger Tournament – Quarterfinals


For the first time in the tournament, all higher seeds won their matchups.

ryoo‘s deep run came to an end after meeting #1 seed turnipboy, who lived up to his seeding with a strong 9-4 victory. All three of his matches have been by that exact margin. He’ll be unlikely to win that comfortably against his next opponent, however: #5 seed plastikqs, who defeated #13 brskaylor 9-6. brskaylor cruised into the quarter-finals without even allowing an opponent to reach four wins before running into one of Challenger’s best.

On the other side of the bracket, sheph defeated davidw 9-4. Before this loss, davidw had yet to even play a close match, winning 9-3 in each of his previous two bouts. sheph, on the other hand, survived a scare in the second round, defeating watermeat just 9-8 before winning definitively in round 3, 9-1.

lazybear (#10) was nominally the favorite over pofke (#34), but the latter was clearly underseeded due to late SCL entry, and was considered the favorite by many, particularly after their 9-1 thumping of monaters in the previous round. But lazybear’s incredible run continued with a comfortable 9-3 victory.

There are just four players left, and only #10 lazybear has made it this far without the aid of a first round bye.

The full Challenger Tournament bracket is available here.

Maybe I’ll Do A Different Mission

Challenger Tournament – Round 3 Results

Round 3

The favorites demonstrated why they were the favorites in Round 3, with just one lower-seeded player taking the win in the second round: #25 seed ryoo narrowly defeated #9 degran 9-8. And don’t call it an upset, because ryoo was 5-0 in limited SCL play and was probably underseeded as a result.

A similarly underseed pofke scored a definitive 9-1 win over old-timer monaters. brskaylor won 9-2 against paragon12321. #1 seed turnipboy took care of business 9-4 against frostie, and #3 seed sheph did the same against Max Edward Snax. On paper, the closest Round 3 match was #6 davidw against #11 amlabella, but the former won with the same 9-3 margin of last week’s matchup with dbdkmezz.

After hundreds of regular season matches and dozens more in this tournament, we’re down to just eight players fighting for the last two auto-promotions:

Of the top six seeds, four are still alive, and one of the two eliminated simply failed to play their match. Expect the remaining matches to be hard-fought and generally much closer. Everything which rises must converge.

The full Challenger Tournament bracket is available here.

Challenger Tournament – Round 2 Results

Round 2

The biggest news in Round 2 was #34 pofke‘s narrow 9-7 upset of #2 seed bitbandingpig. You can at least partially slot this into the “Underseeded Players” category we mentioned in last week’s summary, however, as pofke joined the SCL in Week 7 and went 4-0, obscuring their likely skill level. pofke draws an interesting opponent in monaters, an experienced player who returned after a significant layoff to defeat basshead last week and badplayer this week by a razor-thin 9-8 margin. We never know what to expect when new, hungry players meet more seasoned (but perhaps less recently practiced) ones, so this’ll be a big match to watch in Round 3.

We nearly had a second upset of similar size, as sheph narrowly survived against watermeat 9-8 in a dramatic casted match, in what should probably serve as a warning to the latter’s Group E competitors in the parallel Summer Cup group stages.

#4 seed tarekmak failed to play their match with #29 seed paragon12321, who advances by default to take on #13 seed brskaylor after their defeat of zerodoom 9-3. Other than that, most of the favorites took care of business: turnipboy defeated belial 9-4, brskaylor defeated, degran defeated jinetic 9-4, and plastikqs took his set against HumanKirby 9-2.

We’re down to just 16 competitors now, and so far three of the seven players who received a bye have already been knocked out.

The full Challenger Tournament bracket is available here.

Challenger Tournament – Round 1 Results

Round 1

The first round of the Challenger tournament is completed. At a glance, it seems as if eight of the 25 played matches in the first round resulted in upsets, but they mostly slot into distinct categories:

  1. Narrow Upsets. Most of Challenger was jammed together, so any two competitors within a few ranks of one another probably have no meaningful difference. This describes such “upsets” as #33 belial defeating #32 rta, or #35 watermeat narrowly defeating #30 portalfreak.

  2. Underseeded Players. The Swiss system run in Challenger allowed for entrants even late in the season. This meant a lot of good players, because they only played a few matches, were seeded lower than their skill level would dictate. This was certainly the case with #47 monaters, who had over 2,000 games played (albeit with a long layoff) before joining the SCL in Week 7, who won 9-1 over #18 basshead. It’s also true of #57 skrewwl00se, who joined for Week 10 (and won easily) before defeating #8 magicdoer1. It’s doubly rough for magicdoer, who was the highest seed not to receive a bye, and then was randomly paired with a clearly underseeded opponent.

  3. Genuine Upsets. The only unqualified upset is #51 sikeeatric narrowly defeating pash1k (#14) despite the fact that both played the entire season, resulting in a 4-12 points disparity.

Round 2 has already started. We’re down to 32, and the top seven seeds—all of whom received byes—get to start playing.

The full Challenger Tournament bracket is available here.

SCL Week 10 Wrap-Up

Week 10

The players in Challenger kicked up a lot of dust, but it’s finally settled, and dowsey has taken the top spot, scoring a 7-2 win over sheph. After losing narrowly in week 3 to incnone, dowsey won his last seven matches, five of them by margins of 7-2 or better. He went 28-6 over his final four matches. Joining him in the top two (which are both auto-promoted) is pox, who defeated plastikqs 7-4.

There are two more auto-promotes available to the remaining Challenger players, who have been placed into a single elimination bracket. As of this writing, turnipboy, tarekmak, plastikqs, bitbandingpig, sheph, and davidw are the top seeds, and are receiving first-round byes.

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SCL Week 9 Wrap-Up

Week 9

In Challenger sheph won the first four games en route to a 7-1 victory over degran, plastikqs defeated motionblur 7-2 on the strength of three spy wins, pox beat tarekmak 7-4, and dowsey continued to hold first place with a definitive 7-2 win over turnipboy (casted here). dowsey’s performance has gotten stronger as the season has progressed even as the opponents have gotten tougher, presumably thanks to the steady accumulation of data available on Challenger’s challengers. His last three match wins have featured a sparkling 21-4 margin.

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SCL Week 8 Wrap-Up

Week 8

If you were sleeping on sheph in Challenger, it’s time to wake up. After a 0-1-2 stretch, sheph has won their last two matches and is second in the division, largely because the other top two players just fought each other. Those would be pox and dowsey, with the latter winning definitvely 7-2 in a casted match to hang on to first place in this crowded messpionage.

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SCL Week 7 Wrap-Up

Week 7

In Challenger dowsey won in staggering fashion over plastikqs 7-0 (casted here), and now sits at the top of the division with pox who defeated waterhouse 7-4. Both players started 2-0 and dropped their week 3 matchup, but have won four straight since. c9high started 5-0 but, following his first loss, has forfeited to turnipboy. incnone shook off two straight losses (after a 4-0 start) to defeat mastrblastr 7-4.

Challenger looked like it was clearing up, but the narrowing of the field has narrowed the margins, with just two points separating the top 11 players. In this division’s Swiss style, the matchups get harder as you go, and we’re just now starting to take the true measure of its competitors as they collide with, and react to, one another.

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SpyParty and the Dunning-Kruger Effect

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

There is a well-known cognitive bias in psychology called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The bias is named after social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger who published a study in 1999 claiming that the less competent someone was, the less accurately they could judge their own level of competence. Put another way: part of not being good at things is not realizing it. Or, in bumper sticker form: You don’t know what you don’t know.

This has significant implications for many aspects of life, but the implications for a game like SpyParty, a game about deception and obfuscation, are profound, and are responsible for the single most important skill hurdle in a player’s development.
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